NaNoWriMo has always been a stellar organization, but in the last few years they've really stepped up their game. During the pandemic they developed StayHomeWriMo to help their participants cope with lockdown, even though it wasn't even November at the time. And in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Headquarters has started requiring that Municipal Liaisons (who see local participants in person) undergo virtual training to improve inclusion.
I didn't realize they had also started offering novel prep help in September and October, but I took the time to read one of their emails the other day, and realized there's an entire program now to help you prepare to write in November. There are sections on fleshing out a story idea, developing characters and plot, worldbuilding, and of course, scheduling your writing time to give yourself a fighting chance of finishing your novel and "winning" in November.
There's an entire NaNo prep course you can do, and you can even receive a certificate for completing it:
- Develop a Story Idea (September 19-25)
- Create Complex Characters (September 26-October 2)
- Construct a Detailed Plot or Outline (October 3-9)
- Build a Strong World (October 10-16)
- Organize Your Life for Writing! (October 17-23)
- Find and Manage Your Time (October 24-30)
Right now we're right at the end of week two, creating complex characters, if you want to catch up. An email goes out from HQ every week with different exercises and activities to help you with the week's goal. You can find the schedule and links to each part of the curriculum at NaNo Prep 101.
I have to admit, I will be most interested to see what they have to say about scheduling writing time, since that's the part I struggle with the most!
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