NaNoWriMo2017 Prep: expanded outline and loads of world building!

NaNoWriMo2017 Prep Part 4: Outline

How are you doing with your preparations for NaNoWriMo2017? I hope everything is going well! I’ve worked on my outline again and I’ve done some more world building. Things are looking good!

Incredible what a day at work can bring. That is, if you’ve got a job like mine. I’m an interior cleaner. Yeah, it’s not the greatest job in the world, but hey, it pays the bills. And a very nice side effect is that I can think about my story while I’m doing my job. How nice is that? It’s exactly what I did today.


Although I’ve written stories without any outline, I felt from the start that with this story, or rather series of books it is turning into, I NEEDED an outline. I just didn’t want a fixed outline that wouldn’t give me any freedom. Which is something I’m kinda used to from high school and college. It was something I HATED!

When I found “NaNoWriMo for the New and Insane” by Lazette Gyfford, I found my solution. Not only does she give a hilarious, mostly accurate, view on NaNoWriMo, she also presents a, for me new, way to make outlines: the phased outline.

Phased Outline

A phased outline works with key words and key phrases. Perhaps even a quote you’d like to include in your story. And that’s it. A couple of dozen words can turn into a full chapter in your story. And that is what has happened for me ever since I started using that method.

A few sentences, sometimes not even more than 15 words can turn into whole chapters of thousands of words for me. Apparently a little spark is all I need to go on.

Book I

As you may have seen in my checklist I still have to finish my first draft of my first book. That’s okay. I don’t mind that. Although I’m slowly starting to realize I might not be able to finish it I do get more and more ideas for both my world and the stories within it. At the moment I’ve added several phases to the outline of book I. Nothing yet for book II, but for that to happen I need to have at least the outline of book I finished. At the rate it’s going now, I hope to have the outline finished in a few days, cause it’s developing fast!

World Building

While I was at work today, I’ve also come up with several additions for my world building. At the moment I can’t tell you any specifics, but I can tell you that a few things in my book and my outline now make more sense. Not because I made the world to fit around it, but because the world grew like this and the book and the outline turned out to fit neatly in the world with perhaps a few small changes, but nothing “life changing” sorta speak.

Later on I’ll write more on world building when I’m going through the steps of The Magical World Builder.

Suffice to say that my world turns out to be older than I thought and the civilizations turned out to be older as well. And there were more civilizations before the current ones. The current ones grew from the older ones, as you see happen often, of course.

Enough said

For today, this is it. I’ve made quite the progress and I’ll continue to make much more progress if things keep going the way they are now. And I’m happy with it.

How do you build your outline? Do you write each and every change? Or are you more like me? And world building, how does that go for you? Do you imagine a large new world filled with wonders, adventures and dangers for your characters to travel through? Or is your world more or less like Earth? Let me know in the comments!

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NaNoWriMo Prep 2017: Are you ready?

NaNoWriMo Prep 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017 starts November 1st. Are you ready? Or can you use some more ideas? Join me in my journey of NaNoWriMo Prep to get ready for THE writing event of the year!

The international event National Novel Writing Month 2017 is around the corner:

It seems like a long time (32 days at the moment of writing), but it’s here before you know it. This year I’ve decided to take the route of the PLANNER instead of the PANTSER/PLANTSER with a bit of pantsing built into it.  Which pretty much means I’ve got a lot to do still.

What is NaNoWriMo?

But let’s start with what NaNoWriMo actually is.  Basically the National Novel Writing Month is an international writing event where you write, in your own favorite writing place, 50.000 words of your novel. It starts November 1st, 12:00AM and ends November 30th, 11:59PM in your own timezone.

So, a NATIONAL event is INTERNATIONAL? How does that work?

Well, in the beginning….. there was a group of friends in the USA who wanted to challenge themselves to write a certain amount of words in 30 days. It didn’t take long before more people joined them.
And soon after it was a truly National event, it became an international event, because writers from all over the world joined in this event. They kept the name, but it truly is an international event.

Why Prep?

To NaNoWriMo Prep or not, that’s the question. For me, I’ve found I need some preparation to make sure I’ll be able to complete my NaNoWriMo goal. Even though the story I will be working on, if all goes well, will be a sequel to the story I’ve been working on this past year, I still have a lot to do.  There are things I need to have in my possession to write, not limited to my computer, cause that’s what I’ll be using to write. And there are things I need to keep me going through November, be it food, inspiration or otherwise.

My NaNoWriMo Prep

A few things are important:

  • Writing Stuff
  • Food & Drink (you gotta eat and keep yourself hydrated during this event!)
  • NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

I’m going to keep a checklist here to see how far I’ll get in my preparations.

To do Finished?
Outline 1st draft book I complete  
1st draft book I complete  
Outline 2nd draft book I complete  
Outline for Book II complete  
Outline for Book III complete (preferably)  
Outline for Book IV complete (preferably)  
Outline for Book V complete (preferably)  
Get into daily writing habit  
Finish 30 Day world builder process  
Define names of all main characters  
Finish character interview Ayla  
Finish character interview Dany  
Finish character interview Séamus  
Finish character interview Mícheál  
Finish character interview Ruark  
Finish character interview Ciara  
Finish character interview Aunt 1  
Finish character interview LotV  
Create an Excel histogram with:

  • NaNo Daily Word Count goal
  • Reverse NaNo Word count goal
  • Achieved word count
Make a Meal plan for November  
Pre-cook several things for November for in the Freezer  
Test Aeon Timeline  
Create NaNo Survival kit  
Create world map  
Make/buy a box for the NaNo Survival Kit  
Create Care package (after October 15th) (In the Dutch forum we’re doing care packages this year)  
Update Scrivener (last week of October) (If you use Scrivener, be sure to update it before NaNo starts!!!)  
Optional  (loads of this is already in the back of my head. I just need to put it on my digital paper 🙂 )
Finish history of the Dragon Riders  
Finish history of the Protectors of the Realm  
Finish history of the first True Seers  
Finish the Parabataì history  
Finish the Soulmates basics & history  
Finish Seer Council Description  
Finish Dragon Riders Council description  
Create timeline based on outline (adjustable during writing)  

Make a start with the story’s languages:

  • Seers: Based on Scottish Gaelic (maybe mixed with some Latin)
  • Dragon Riders: Based on Irish Gaelic (maybe mixed with some Latin)
  • Common Tongue: English
  • Specifically for: Rituals, Names, etc.

Conclusion & Accountability

Yeah, I know. I said I would report my daily word count and I didn’t. That was not good. Luckily I have been writing, but it was mostly world building and some small scenes for later books.

Now that it’s almost October, I’ve decided to allocate several hours a day for my NaNoWriMo Prep. And as you can see in the list above this also means writing.

I’ve got a lot left to do, but I’m confident I can do it. Now that the MyPeakChallenge gathering in Scotland is over and I don’t need to do any preparations for that anymore, I can devote my time to my writing. Now all I need to do is do all the preparations BEFORE I watch any of my favorite television series.

Leading up to November 1st, I will record my progress on my preparations here. Let’s see how far I can get before the writing frenzy starts! Are you with me?

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? If so, how do you prepare? Are you a planner or a pantser or perhaps something in between? What are you favorite writing tools? What are the things you absolutely can NOT do without during NaNoWriMo? Leave a comment below!

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