#NaNoPrep Week 4: Ready for Liftoff

This is the last post and the final Friday before November begins. I know I’m excited deep down, but panic is slowly taking over and pulling me to the dark side. I actually had no idea how to end this series and that horrible, evil thing called doubt is gnawing at me so much that I almost decided to give this post a skip. Yup, this is a bad case. Why are there no Patronus charms for keeping doubt at bay for writers? Cribbing aside, I have very little advice to offer for what I wanted to cover today. I need it as badly (even more, maybe) as you do. So, this is going to be a list pointing to prep resources I have read, liked and will implement someday. (Not entirely unoriginal though, because I can’t resist putting a few words in.)


Note: Some of these posts maybe part of a series, so feel free to check out other articles as well.

Completing Your Novel Information


This is how my novel looks like right now – a bit too barren, yes? I’m on the lookout for a good novel title, a book cover and how to write a killer synopsis. If you are on the same boat, check out the following posts:-

Picking The Perfect Book Title – This is a long post with a lot of details and clear steps. I’d recommend reading this now and picking a working title for NaNoWriMo, and reading it again after your first draft and make changes, if necessary.

How to Choose Your Novel’s Title: Let Me Count 5 Ways – If you have a question about your novel, chances are it’s already answered by a post in Writer’s Digest. I included this because it is short and helpful, written by an author who had to change her title before publication. Choose this one if you’re pressed for time.

NaNo Artisans – Looking for a book cover? Check out this forum. You can enter 30 Covers, 30 Days if you have the rest of your book information figured out.

Tips for Designing Your NaNoWriMo Book Cover – This article by Kat Mellon fits the bill perfectly – it contains tips and image files you can download for getting the dimensions right. I highly recommend getting those formats and using a free online editor (a lot of people seem to be recommending Canva for this) or a powerful editing software on your computer (I have GIMP on mine) to create your own. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look super-professional. I made a terrible mess for my novel in 2014. But at least I created a cover, so I’m proud as I consider myself artistically challenged.

Back to Basics: Writing a Novel Synopsis – I found this article by Jane Friedman quite helpful. You can skip the introductory paragraphs as they’re not relevant for NaNoWriMo. Check out the bottom of the article for additional resources.

Get a Shiny Badge

I love NaNoWriMo for many reasons, and somewhere in my Top 10 is the badge system. The concept is simple – you are awarded badges throughout November celebrating important milestones by NaNoWriMo (Earned Writing and Participating Badges) or you give some to yourself (Personal Achievement Badges). This time,  I’ve given myself Plantser, Camper, NaNoPrep, Old School Wrimo, Tell the World, Next Generation, With Gratitude and Wrimo Spirit (after signing in, navigate to My NaNoWriMo -> My Badges to see what they mean). If you’ve followed the previous posts on this series, go ahead and tick the box next to Plantser. Fill up the rest as you see fit. There’s one called Novel Maestro I badly want to earn. I’m usually the kind who prefers writing without music – I write in my room with my family and neighbours (and the dogs owned by neighbours and the stray cats) screaming all over the place as they are blissfully unaware of my efforts, which provides enough background noise and then some more. Most of the time, the blaring TV or the continuous barking is extremely distracting, so I thought I’d listen to some epic music with the help of noise-cancelling headphones this November. Some articles that I will be using to put my list together are:-

The Benefits of Creating a Playlist For Your Draft Novel – Sure, I wanted that badge, but I wasn’t convinced until I went through this post. Do go through if you have lingering doubts.

A Personalized Soundtrack for Your Novel: Creating Writing Playlists – This fun article with GIFs and actual steps should help you get an idea of how to become a Novel Maestro.

Also, check back on Monday, 31st October, for a post on my favourite movie soundtracks. You never know if one of them will be the perfect fit for the scene that’s stuck in your head.

Looking for More?

I’m painfully aware that four posts are not enough to cover everything. I’ve brushed through very basic things as I was looking to provide quick fixes and fun exercises that I can use myself to finish my prep in the three days that’s left in October (I just finished a very stressful week of tests). There probably another million questions that you have. These should definitely help you out:-

The (Official) NaNoWriMo Blog – If you aren’t following this already, you’re sorely missing out. This is the best place to find inspiration and advice throughout November (and other months too, actually) in the form of blog posts.

The NaNo Prep page – There’s still some time left in October, so make the best of it by going here. This is heaven for those with the aforementioned million questions in their minds.

The NaNo Forums page – A lot of discussion goes on here. It’s a good place to find new buddies, crib about or celebrate your WIP, request those willing to help out for free book covers and so forth. This feature is very helpful when you’re suffering from doubt (like me) or can’t find inspiration as it serves as a reminder that you’re not alone in this.

With that 1000-word monstrosity out of my system, I’m feeling a lot better and also starting to laugh at the doubt I started with. (I’m sure the kitten outside my window is majorly judging me right now). Did you find these posts helpful? Would you like to point out some of your favourite resources? Do you feel I left out something important? Let me know via the comments section below.

Link to my NaNoWriMo profile – we can be buddies! (Yes, my username is different.)

Link to my Twitter account – I’m going to be using #NaNoWriMo a lot next month, so hit follow if you feel like it.

15 thoughts on “#NaNoPrep Week 4: Ready for Liftoff

  1. And breathe….this seemed a cracking idea a month ago and suddenly I’m a character in my manuscript again. Most certainly not a shiny happy confident one either 😱

    If November flies past as rapidly as the last four weeks then all I’ll get done is a paragraph !!!

    Great links though and the game is almost afoot 😳

    Liked by 1 person

      • No, this week has been hectic, trying to complete editing feedback on four short stories for a charity anthology, half term with kids home and suddenly time is running fast.

        Yes to it being a good idea though. DEFINITELY 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • That was the plan yes. Try to finish off loose ends. Even managed my last Dragon Stone post today. Ought to have really spent time sussing out the NaNo dashboard though 🤔

        I have to be terribly flexible with my schedules writing wise. Seems to be a never ending stream of things cropping up to get in the way. My calendar next week is already looking like a book storyboard all on its own!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think for me the hardest part will be establishing the routine, or finding a part where the words don’t flow because I’ve lost the novels rhythm. Although, in fairness this is really for me to hack out a first draft so achieving anything between 30,000 and upwards will fulfill my success criteria. I’m likely to be pitching the fill book at 60-70,000. All quite exciting amidst the terror 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. *pants after that exciting post* haha if you’d believe it you’ve got me excited for it. I never do nanowrimo because there are too many birthdays and festivities this month for me. But I may just dip my toe in. Good luck with it! It sounds like you’re all set, Nandini. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: My Top Thirty-One: OST | Pages That Rustle

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