#NaNoPrep: A workbook for all my fellow planners

In one week, writers around the country will sink into a reclusive bubble made up of coffee, self-doubt, inspiration, and lots and lots of typing.

You’ve got it… It’s time for NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month begins November 1st and challenges authors to write 50,000 words in one month. That’s 1,667 words each day.

For reference: My first novel – State of Grace – currently sits at about 100,000 words. It took me two years to complete.

I haven’t participated in this challenge before but figured there’s no time like the present. So in the words of Barney Stinson:


Now there are two main types of writers, and the folks over at NaNoWriMo have aptly named them Pantsers and Planners.

  • Pantser: Hence the name, these writers fly by the seat of their pants. They may have a vague idea but typically just see where the story takes them.

  • Planner: These writers prefer to take a little more time and maybe even outline their stories ahead of time. They come prepared with characters, settings and main plot points.

If you are curious which method is more applicable to you, here’s a quick quiz that will sort you into one group or another.

I am a 100% Planner. While I am sure it works perfectly well for others, the thought of just winging it makes me physically nauseous.

So in planning for November, I identified a few key pieces of my story that needed to be taken care of beforehand. I’ll be sharing those details with you in next week’s blog once the challenge officially launches, but in the meantime, I wanted to help my fellow first-time Planners in developing their stories.

In my PDF workbook, I have combined all of my usual worksheets as well as a few more specifically designed for NaNoWriMo including:

  • A Month Before Checklist
  • Motivation & Inspiration Brainstorming
  • Tips for Beating Writer’s Block
  • Crafting your Pitch
  • To Research List
  • Character and Setting Profiles
  • Mapping Your Hero’s Journey
  • Goals and Writing Log
  • Weekly and Final Reviews




I’d also recommend creating a good playlist, a good writing space, and a good stock of post-it notes, extra pens, and your writing beverage of choice (coffee, tea, wine, etc.)

How are you feeling about your #NaNoPrep? Are you a planner or a pantser? Post questions and comments below!

6 thoughts on “#NaNoPrep: A workbook for all my fellow planners

  1. Eileen Saunders says:

    I’m committing to do it this year. I appreciate you sharing this pre-November workbook. I’m definitely a planner and I think this is really going to help. I’ll let you know.


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