Tips and Tricks, Writers' Resource

Preptober: Going into NaNoWriMo Swinging

Fall is upon us, Halloween is creeping ever nearer, and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November is just around the corner. That means it’s time to prepare for the next writing project!

NaNoWriMo can start early with Preptober.
Photo: NaNoWriMo

There are a lot of different approaches to NaNoWriMo; admittedly, writing an entire novel in 30 days isn’t for everyone. But if you’re the type of person who loves a challenge and has the time to dedicate to writing a novel next month, NaNoWriMo is the perfect excuse! And what better to make sure you meet this goal than to participate in Preptober?

What is Preptober, you ask?

Along with the first biting chill of fall and pumpkin spice lattes, October is also the time to start thinking deeply about the project you will work on come November. NaNoWriMo’s official website has tons of resources to help you plan your novel whether you’re a planner who loves outlines or a pantser who flies by the seat of said pants.

(Quick aside: Don’t know if you’re a planner or a pantser? No worries! Take this quiz to help you discover the best way for you to approach your writing project.)

NaNoWriMo currently has a list of resources for Preptober 2020.
Photo: NaNoWriMo

Even though NaNoPrep technically started back in September, Preptober offers some time to take a breath and contemplate your novel before NaNoWriMo begins. From character questionnaires (which I continue to find incredibly helpful) to tricks for time management, the possibilities for personalizing your NaNoWriMo experience are endless!

One very positive aspect of Preptober is the community engagement. The NaNoWriMo forums and social media drum up the excitement all year long. You can find plenty of new online friends to share ideas with and count down the days till November (and your novel) begins.

NaNoWordSprints on Twitter is part of the large Preptober writing community.
Photo: Twitter

Fun fact: This is my first year participating in Preptober. Last year (as you’ll remember if you kept up with my weekly reports), I got distracted by a shiny new idea and abandoned my old, completely outlined novel. As a result, it was extremely difficult for me to meet my goal for NaNoWriMo.

But this year, Preptober is not only helping me to prepare and outline my novel; it’s keeping me interested in my novel idea! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started writing a brand-new story only to watch it fizzle out. I can’t see that happening this year. Each Preptober game shows me a different angle of my story, and it hasn’t once gotten old or boring!

Interact provides a fun quiz to see if you're a pantser, a plotter, or a plantser in between: perfect for Preptober!
Photo: Interact

So, what do you say? Ready to join the party and start prepping for NaNoWriMo now? You’ll future self in November will thank you. (づ ̄ ³ ̄)づ

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash