Pre-planning for NaNoWriMo

The start of our seriously silly writing challenge is now a mere one week away. If a participant is particularly good at free writing – putting pen to the page and writing for a specific period of time regardless of the scramble of words that pour out – it may not be necessary to do any preparation for NaNoWriMo. On the other hand, the time spent writing will be more productive if some forethought has gone into it.

My two best writing buddies are thinking ahead. Island Girl’s been doing the usual pre-planning plus she says she’s “setting up IV tubing now so I’m ready to mainline caffeine when NaNo starts.” And Elderfox is trying to figure out which of two prospective ideas “to dive into”. But what if you have absolutely no idea where to start?

MagneticBoardAnother talisman in my office is this magnetic board with its box of magnetic words. When my muse is being finicky I grab a handful of those words, toss them onto the board and move them into various possible combinations until sentences or phrases relating to a theme emerge. With it in mind I do some free writing until my mental gears feel lubricated, and then I get down to work. I’ve written some interesting poetry drafts this way, too, and come up with some short story ideas.

Do you have any exercises that help to prime your writing pump?



P.S. I’m Wildwood Gal on NaNoWriMo.


4 thoughts on “Pre-planning for NaNoWriMo

  1. Dave Ebright says:

    “Do you have any exercises that help to prime your writing pump?”

    YES!!! I get my fingers to do deep knee bends – drink 12 cups of coffee (high test) & then stuff the saturated coffee grounds behind my lower lip like a dip of Skoal. Okay – I don’t do the Skoal thing but maybe I should. Talk about a caffeine buzzzzzzzz. Good luck with Nannowhatchamacallit.

  2. Carol Benedict says:

    I have hundreds of bookmarked sites in My Favorites. When I’m looking for ideas, I head to some of the sites about things I’m interested in and ideas generally start pouring out of my fingers onto the page. Of course, I usually spend more time reading than writing, but at least it gets me started–and that’s the hard part for me.

    • There are so many wonderful resources online now, so many talented people sharing their expertise. Like you, I can spend more time reading than writing when I get started browsing, but there’s a lot of information out there and it’s good to be able to take advantage of some of it.

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