Swap-bot Time: September 27, 2022 1:31 pm

NaNo 2021 Prep Season (Sept/Oct)

Launch gallery slideshow

NaNo 2021 Prep Season (Sept/Oct)
Group:NaNoWriMo Swapping
Swap Coordinator:Artistic (contact)
Swap categories: Letters & Writing 
Number of people in swap:3
Type:Type 1: Electronic
Last day to signup/drop:September 22, 2021
Date items must be sent by:October 31, 2021
Number of swap partners:1

NaNoWriMo Prep season begins Sept. 1. This swap is for those who want to do the full preparation course designed by NaNo. It's set up so you "tackle one straightforward preparation exercise" each week leading up to NaNo.

The Course Outline

  • Develop a Story Idea (September 13-19)

  • Create Complex Characters (September 20-26)

  • Construct a Detailed Plot or Outline (September 27 – October 3)

  • Build a Strong World (October 4-10)

  • Organize Your Life for Writing! (October 11-17)

  • Find and Manage Your Time (October 18-24)

Each week has a link with an exercise, discussion and resources.

The page on the NaNo site also includes a free workbook you can download.

For this ELECTRONIC swap: Post a minimum of 6 updates below updating your progress throughout the preparation course. Include your NaNo name. You can make weekly or biweekly updates if you choose, or provide the six updates as you complete each level. TIP: Waiting until the last week of October isn't a good idea. Starting early gives you the advantage of a full preparation for November.

To rate your partner a 5: search for their name below and find all six comments.

We will have some other NaNo Prep swaps throughout September and October.

REMINDER: All group members are officers and can post swaps and forum activities at ANY time.

Photo credit: all-free-download.com

Electronic. International. Group membership.


Artistic 08/16/2021 #

My NaNo name is Artisticinva.

Artistic 09/15/2021 #

Extending the signup period by one week. Watchers will need to commit or miss.

Nserviam 09/20/2021 #

My NaNo name is Ctice. I am thinking that I am going to rebel this NaNo and continue editing/rewriting. But I might change my mind and write my next novel in the series.

Cherylb 09/22/2021 #

My NaNo name is Cheryl_b. Not sure if I’m going to be a rebel or new book in the series.

Artistic 09/23/2021 #

Partners are assigned. Let's get prepping!

Artistic 09/23/2021 #

It's Sept. 23 and I'm thinking about several (3) potential projects.

A) One is new, one of those ideas that's been in the background for a long time. The Sept. 16 death of a former classmate really got me focused on it, primarily the setting. Working title" "The Proving Grounds." General fiction.

B) Revisiting an idea that I sketched out in a short synopsis about an ATF agent. Romantic suspense.

C) My perennial undone crime novel. I just want it finished.

Hope to get this narrowed down and focused in the next couple of weeks.

Nserviam 09/30/2021 #

Okay, so here's a post to get caught up....kinda. I'm with Artistic, I've got this stupid series that is never ending and always getting rewritten. I just want to get it done.

I've found (and have finally watched the videos) a workshop about creating a story toolkit. It's kind of an alternative to a story bible. She divides things into potential and canon. Like, these are things I'm thinking about (potential), and these are the facts of the story (canon). Do not mix the two together in the same notebook. Unfortunately, that's what I've done. I have a whole bunch of "what ifs" that I let change my canon. So I am going to go through my series and make the decision on what is canon and what is not and Leave It That Way. Anyway, here's the link: https://www.rachaelstephen.com/toolkit

So week one: Story Idea - I've got that. I'm playing with my Aine series.

Week two: Create Complex Characters - I suspect this is what I am going to work on this weekend. I'd like to create separate plot embryos or story circles for my main characters. I've been floundering for how this series is going to end up overall. Let's hope I don't push it off further! My next few weekends are already spoken for.

Artistic 10/12/2021 #

12 Oct 21: I've definitely eliminated the third option (above). My thinking is that something fresh and new will inspire me. I've not won --- or even completed! -- a NaNo since I moved to Texas. I'm starting to think there could be a connection there.

That leaves "The Proving Grounds" which is the only concrete thing I know about that story, or the ATF agent which is intrigues me because a) I know a couple of ATF agents here, b) every time I read the basic gist of the story that I captured as an idea years ago -- notes to myself on the protagonist, opening paragraphs or lines and what sparked the story idea -- think, "I should go write this story."


ALWAYS jot down your ideas. There are some that may stick with you, but others are here today and gone when you want to remember "what was that thought I had a few years back about XYZ"?

Now, back to my update. The calendar says we are in Week 4 which is Build a Strong World. I think I'm set on that. And, yes, as I was writing this, I decided to go with the ATF Agent Romantic Suspense. That is also going to be my working title for NaNo naming purposes.

I'm going to spend some days working on the strong and detailed outline. My captured idea is basically a blurb with the overall gist of the story. I'm a plotter, so if this is going to happen in November, I need to fill in a LOT of details besides the inciting incident.

Artistic 10/17/2021 #

Sunday, 17 Oct 21

A swap package I got this past week from @ariestess really helped me focus on my NaNo project. It was for another swap, but in addition to a couple of notebooks, she also sent a letter, some quotes and some prompts that were just what I needed. I'm settling down with a cup of cocoa, a pen and a notebook now to do some more plot work.

Nserviam 10/18/2021 #

October 18 2021 - 2nd update: I'm still stuck on this stupid plot/character/embryo thing. Mostly, I suck when it comes to making decisions. I have made a few. I am quite happy with having changed a few points of my world building and character. I, however, am getting in the weeds when I try to figure out the overall series (do I do a hero's journey for all the books? How do I get from a to b? How long do I want it to be? Etc etc). Being able to jot things down as "this is canon, don't change it!" is helping.

But I am making space in my house and have a plan for how to "rebel" within the NaNo system.

Nserviam 10/20/2021 #

October 20 2021 - 3rd update: Several months ago, we reorganized the living room and got a new couch. It also means that we still aren't quite done putting things back in their place. We have also turned our spare room into a plant growing space. And a friend dumped a boat load of stained glass equipment and books on us.

The point of it all is that my house is still a disaster area and I haven't felt like I had a dedicated writing space. However, I have ordered (and it should arrive when I get home from work) a laptop table/tv tray thing that will be able to slide right up against the couch so I can have a workspace in the living room. The couch isn't quite comfortable enough to type with the laptop on my legs.

I used to have my laptop live in the kitchen with the charger. But my rabbits have chewed straight through my dremel cord, halfway through my sewing machine cord, and have already destroyed several chargers. Electronic cords aren't safe there even though we try our hardest to the keep the beasts out of the kitchen.

This week I am going to clear the kitchen table completely so I will have writing space if needed away from the distraction of the tv.

Artistic 10/21/2021 #

Thursday, 21 Oct 21

I made a LOT of progress on my basic outline. I have a list of 17 key plot points/moments. I was trying to keep it in the romantic suspense genre, but the romance has taken a backseat in this draft of my plot points.

My back stories for the heroine/main character 1 and the killer are solid with good GMC. The hero/main character 2 needs a bit more work on goal, motivation and conflict which I hope to finish up before the weekend.

I have three big craft events coming up in November, so Step 4 Organize Your Life for Writing is going to have to be roughed out soon. Work, writing, crafting are a constant balancing act with writing losing out more often than not so far this year.

Nserviam 10/26/2021 #

October 26 2021: 4th Update

I have also made a lot of progress on my plotting. Well, maybe not plotting exactly. But I've gone through my outlines, put everything in one place, figured out what I want to happen and what needs to be changed. I'm still at a loss for the overall series plot, but I have a better handle on some things. I am currently writing out a list of scenes as suggested in the "Jot, Bin, Pants" method. Once I have the list of what I've written and what I want to write, I can go through each scene and change what needs to be changed. I can also organize them into the overall series. I can also throw them into my Plot Embryo system.

Artistic 10/26/2021 #

Tuesday, 26 Oct 21

Things got real a few days ago when the Houston MLs sent an EXTENSIVE lineup of activities for this week and next. From driveby pickup of goodie bags and a prep party to a 24-hour writeathon and challenges, Houston is ready for the starting pistol at midnight Nov. 1.

Getting that initial notice forced me into Weeks 5 and 6: Organize Your Life for Writing! and Find and Manage Your Time. My November calendar (paper) is looking jammed with NaNo, a class I facilitate and several crafting events. It's gonna be a busy month, so scheduling time to write is super important this year. I like a paper calendar to record word count, award myself stickers for accomplishments and BC noting which write-ins I would attend. For this second year in a row of Virtual NaNo, I'll still have Zooms to attend.

Zeke, one of the main characters, is coming along quite nicely -- even though I still don't have his backstory motivation sorted out, and GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) is what drives a story.

Glad to have 5 more days to get that together!

Artistic 10/26/2021 #

@Nserviam what is a Plot Embryo system?

Nserviam 10/28/2021 #

@Artistic It is a plotting device based on the Hero's Journey and Dan Harmon's Story Circle. Here is a link to the person I found it through. She has a series of videos walking through how it works. https://www.rachaelstephen.com/plot

Here's an explanation of the Dan Harmon Story Circle: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/dan-harmon-story-circle/

Aaand another one, comparing and adding in more story circle and plotting things: https://amandadowntherabbithole.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/writing-how-i-came-up-with-my-story-structure-mash-up-%EF%BB%BF/

Nserviam 10/28/2021 #

October 28, 2021: 5th Update - Scheduling time and life balance

Since I am rebelling this year, I've added the extra challenge of figuring out how to input my work into the 50K word count. I have decided that every 20 minutes of work equals 700 words. This is based on prior sprint numbers and seeing what others on the Rebel boards have done. There are some there that are using the 1 hour equals 1000 words. But I type way faster than that. A good sprint with my local group nets me an average of 700-900 words in twenty minutes. So here is my breakdown:

10 min - 350 words
20 min - 700 words
30 min - 1050 words
40 min - 1400 words
50 min - 1750 words
60 min - 2100 words

I know it looks like I can be done after an hour, but I never sit down and write for an hour. Having it cut into chunks like this will allow me to do a little as needed. It also means that I can participate in my groups (virtual) sprints but still be able to count my time easily. Getting me to sit down and edit is like pulling teeth. I'm going to need to know that I can sit for ten minutes, get up and do something, and then go back for another ten minutes. I'm sure that once I get started, I won't just be doing ten minutes at a time.

As for life outside of NaNo. I've been doing NaNo for longer than I've had a husband, so he knows what goes on. We are thinking of taking a long Veteran's Day weekend as a mini vacation but we haven't decided where yet. I'm sure he will encourage me to do my writing in the car if we go somewhere.

Nserviam 10/29/2021 #

October 29 2021 - 6th update:

Plot and world: I think I am finally ready. I have gone through all my versions, made note of what I like and what I don't, and am ready to get going. At the beginning of the month, I was so confused and frustrated with my whole story. Now I am excited to get going.

I have one more world point to figure out - how the faerie underhill connects or anchors to the human world in detail. But I have figured out several of my overarching plots. I am pushing out one of my ideas to a later novel so that my story has time to grow into it.

My goal - and I am pretty sure it's a reachable goal at this point - is to have a good idea of what to write next. The books I'm editing should be in good enough shape to at least start querying agents/publishing. And I will be able to move on to other projects without feeling like I'm abandoning my characters.

Artistic 10/29/2021 #

Excellent @Nserviam And thanks. Will look up each of them.

Artistic 10/29/2021 #

Friday, Oct. 29

I REALLY don't know where this month went. Seemed like just a couple of days ago I had a lot of time to plan for NaNo.

Today: created computer file.

Tomorrow: pick up goodie bag from Houston MLs

Sunday: Organize "desk" space; .

Monday: Houston NaNo 24-hour virtual write-in (I only expect to hop in for a few hours after work).

Cherylb 10/31/2021 #

Okay, Late as usual. And I some how I manage to fail at following instructions. I would be so easy if I would. Since we have a minimum of post to make let me start at the beginning an move forward. Week One- Develop a story ideal- Too many to chose from.
I've been working on a series for too long and have bits and pieces of it mapped out. The series is Dead Men

The next one is Dead Men's Agenda

The story idea is an alliance between a militia group and a radical environmental group causes problems across the southern portion of the United States' Border area. Until recently the groups activity didn't seem link until a journal of a recently missing undercover agent is sent to a news paper journalists.

Cherylb 10/31/2021 #

Week 2 Developing characters:

I have the main characters' names- Sam Reviez And Natalie Crelie. It's the other cast of characters that I spent a lot of time on. Natalie is a the government agent, Sam is the journalist. Sam will have a boss, there will be a task force with additional agents. This will cross international borders so there will be agents from government agencies from Mexico and Canada.

Cherylb 10/31/2021 #

Week 3 and 4 got smashed together, i have to kinda know about the world so I can build the plot. The big event will have at Hoover Dam. Once i figured out how to possibly damage the dam, I could work back and build the rest of the plot. For the plot I used the plotting method from last year. It was a one page novel story structure at eadeverell.com

Cherylb 10/31/2021 #

Week 5 was really fun. I was going to clean off desk and gather snacks, fill in plot with more stuff. When granddaughter went and messed up her knee. The house has bee crutch proof throughout and I have a clean off. She comes in to visit. I've also gone out to check out the Dan Harmon Story cycle. Will see how it fits with the one page plot.

Cherylb 10/31/2021 #

Week 6 Wow the time did slip by and I still feel not ready to launch. I wish I could stay up to start writing at 12:01 on Sunday. I will be up early Monday to get a few words tin before work. I've been waking up at 4:30 am and I plan to use it as my secret weapon this month. I've also got music lineup to get me through the book. Artistic I like the paper copy too. I've got butterfly stamps so I can mark when I made the daily goal. For a change, I have every Friday off for the month of November with no soccer games since GD hurt her leg. This gives me time to catch-up if I fall behind early. Family knows that this NaNo month. Happy writing ladies

Artistic 10/31/2021 #

Should have been the 31st all along, @Cherylb Didn't realize it wasn't until I saw your note.

Artistic 10/31/2021 #

Sunday, 31 October 21

Yesterday, I had one of those "it's less than two days to NaNo so let's change the book" moments.

I was digging out something from my NaNo box and came across a single sheet of paper that has the not one or two, but SEVEN books of the Mercy series blurbed out. I still LOVE those story ideas and immediately thought, ditch the ATF agent and write one of these other NaNo stories.

Common sense eventually prevailed because that would truly be writing without a plot, just a single paragraph of premise, and I already know that no plot is a big problem for me.

By the time I picked up the Houston kickoff goodie bag and got home, I'd shifted my focus back to this new story (ATF agent) that is a standalone novel. That is what my writing soul needs: a fresh start.

I'm looking forward to tonight. The last thing I need to do is pull down my NaNoWriMo mugs. I think I have three (maybe 2). My goal for 12:01 a.m. until I decide to go to bed is to write, write, write, starting with the first bullet on my 17-point outline.

Artistic 10/31/2021 #

Here is my 2021 story blurb:

A series of vicious pranks at a bureau of a cable news network escalates to a firebombing and the ATF agent assigned to the case begins to suspect a personal vendetta against the network’s rising star, an investigative reporter who appeals to him on more than a professional level.

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