When I originally made the decision to participate (might I add for the first time) this year, I had huge plans on how to best organize and get stuff done. Cue, The Snowflake Method (thanks Randy Ingermanson!). If you're not familiar, you create your novel in steps that gradually make it more and more detailed. The first step is creating your "pitch line" or one sentence summary of your book.
For the project I'm doing, my pitch line is:
A young woman discovers that she has mysterious powers and must learn how to use them before she detonates and destroys her world.
You go on from there and develop that sentence into a paragraph. Mine is 5 sentences long and it does give away the ending. From here, you'll develop a bit of your characters and then turn your one paragraph synopsis into a page long synopsis. The idea is to keep getting more and more detailed into your story without outright righting it. Step ten of this process is where is where you actually hammer out the draft. Some people call this the first draft but, during NaNoWriMo, I consider this Draft Zero, as the purpose of this
I even had a google spreadsheet set up to track my planning process. I needed to reach step four by October 13th, just 6 days after I decided to start planning this novel.
However, when working on my story, which is a fantasy novel for young adults, I realized that the snowflake method doesn't lend a lot of help towards world building (particularly setting and planning different groups in the society I am to create). So, I've branched out of that.
This week, I will be finishing my four page synopsis (only 1.5 pages left to go!) and working on building my knowledge of faeries and planning out the "good guys" and "bad guys". Oh boy, do I wish I had another month to plan this out. I'm really hoping I have enough time to plan out a scene map before November starts. I think that'll really help when it comes to writing, because if I'm not feeling a scene, I can pick out another one from the list and go out of order.
What are you doing to prep for NaNoWriMo? How much do you have left to do? Do you think you're ready or could you use another year just to plan your first draft? Let me know in the comments!