Just like there’s no one right way to do Nanowrimo, there’s no one right way to prepare for it. There are checklists, prompts, and worksheets available, but I’ve worked out a method of my own to get ready this year.
This year’s Nanowrimo project is my third attempt to write a music-based romance: Continuo, the story of a cellist named William and a music producer named Oisin. I’ve always gotten stuck about 10,000 words in. This year, though, I’ve made a plan, and have spent October refining it.
I started with Dan Harmon’s Story Circle. This lets me see the main beats of the story, from the approach of Orderly World -> Chaotic World -> New World. Since Continuo is a romance, I made a circle for both William and Oisin so I could see their character arcs separately, and then one for the two of them together to see where their arcs conflict and intertwine.
With the general beats in place, I then worked out a 7 Plot Point Structure outline. This lets me see the actual events and actions that lead to the emotional beats, and their consequences. So now I know why William and Oisin (and the secondary characters) do what they do, and the consequences that result.
I’ve been jotting down ideas for scenes for months, so I collected them into a notebook in GoodNotes, my new favorite note-taking app, along with notebooks for William and Oisin’s character notes, research, and flashbacks that may or may not appear in the actual story. I’ve also been making a Mood board on Pinterest, and a playlist. That’s just in iTunes: I may share it on Spotify later. It’s a lot of cello music, including classical quartet covers of pop and metal songs (classical quartets love Metallica), and songs that fit the story thematically. I visited one of the locations last year, so I’ve made a notebook of my photos for more visual inspiration.
Still to do: face casting for secondary and minor characters, more research, and deciding on which writing app to use. That will probably be the subject next time.
Good luck to all participating!