By now, many of you have either signed up on the NaNoWriMo webpage and dropped your username (and if you haven’t, you should!). In the words of the magnificent lurker god, @Bash: dope.
So what’s the next step?
It’s been said that writers tend to fall into two main categories: Pantsers and Planners.
Pansters: (Literally, people flying by the seat of their pants) People who believe in “What Will Be Will Be,” spontaneous inspiration, and good old fashioned improvisation. They aren’t afraid to start the month with a blank document.
Planners: What it sounds like. People who spend weeks, and even months, prior to NaNo plotting, fleshing out characters, worldbuilding, and writing helpful notes. Now, this is a rather extreme example, but most planners at least go into NaNo with a general outline.
Personally, I am a combination of both. Which one are you?
Now, NaNoWriMo isn’t just a snazzy webpage with a nifty word counter and a buddy system. It’s also a hub for writing resources, for inspiration, organization, tips, cool NaNoWriMo Flair for your Facebook profile cover… you name it. Whether you’re a Pantser or a Planner, or something in-between, there is something for you.
(Although, personally, I think we should have our own NaNoWriMo flair, Mounties… don’t you?)
They even have a Webcast all about preparing to write.
So where do we begin? Well…
Inspiration is the hardest part, isn’t it? There at 0300 in the dark of night, when you’re asleep… and a ghost in the middle of day when you’re sitting in front of a blank screen with the cursor just staring at you. Some of us are beginning the month with a pretty solid idea of what we want to accomplish. Some of us won’t know til day one.
To facilitate that fickle muse, I’ve come up with a short list of writing prompts that might (maybe) give your imagination a li’l boostie!
- The story begins in an office. The leading characters are two men in their late thirties - one selfish, one spontaneous and clever. A baby is born under mysterious circumstances… it is your main characters’ job to lend a helping hand. It is a story about survival.
- The story begins in a stately home. The leading characters are two women; the first is a very compassionate woman in her forties, the second a rather rude woman in her fifties. A family member shows up unexpectedly. It is a story about terror. Your main character discovers some unpleasant truths.
- The story begins in an elevator. Your characters are a woman in her early thirties, keeping many secrets, and a young woman in her late teens, who can be quite forceful. A reunion takes place. It is a story about envy. Your main character takes on the role of protector.
- The story begins in a forest. The leading characters are a young man in his early twenties, sensitive and kind, and a young woman in her early twenties, who is a liar with good intentions. A dog is found wandering alone. It is a story about a hunt. Your main character reluctantly becomes involved.
- The story begins on a crowded street. Your characters are a young person (gender undisclosed), who is decisive, and an old man, who is manipulative. Someone has a stalker. It is a story about betrayal. Your main character must uncover the truth.
I hope that some of these were interesting to you! Below, how about you provide some of your favorite sources of inspiration - a book, movie, music, website, or a writing prompt of your own!
Only a few more weeks to go til showtime!