Even Pantsers need Preptober

You likely already know that it’s the first week of Preptober for those of us getting ready for Nanowrimo next month. How it got to be this far into October already without me noticing I have no idea. But that’s another conversation for another time. 

Maybe you’re a pantser, though. Meaning, a writer who doesn’t work with outlines and instead writes by the seat of their pants. 

While I’m not a fan of this kind of writing, I get that it’s what works for some people. I’m not going to get anywhere in this life convincing people they’re making art the wrong way. 

But don’t think for a second that just because you’re not writing an outline that you should skip Preptober. Oh no, you still have some planning to do. 

Especially if you’ve never written a novel before. 

You still need to know when you’ll be writing.

This is the biggest mistake I see new Nanowrimo participants make. You go into the month with the desire to put 50,000 words on the page, but not a plan of when that’s going to actually happen. 

When are you planning to write? How much time is it going to take you to write 50,000 words? If you’re used to writing short-form work, you might know how much writing you can get done in an hour already. If you haven’t written anything for a while, try doing some writing prompts this month. See how long it takes you to get a thousand words on the page. Then you’ll know how much time you need to carve out.

You’ll still need to know how you’ll be writing.

Are you writing your novel long hand or are you typing it? If you’re typing it, what format are you using? Do you have enough writing supplied?

Don’t leave these decisions until the last minute. Figure it out now so you’re ready to hit the ground running on November first. 

You still need to know your team.

Who is your support team? Who will be helping you out at home so you can write? Who will be your writing buddies? Are you getting together in real life, or virtually? How are you going to support each other? 

You still need to plan for your life.

Listen life’s going to keep coming at you while you’re writing in November. You know your life better than me, you know what can go wrong.

Are you going to be traveling for the holidays? 

Are you a student? What is your class schedule going to look like that month?

Are you a parent? What are you going to need to do for your family? What’s going to happen in November that will take you away from writing?

For me, that’s a whole lotta cooking on Thanksgiving, and a whole lotta cleaning before and after. 

Remember, that it’s okay for life to get in the way of your writing. It’s to be expected. Not even during Nanowrimo do we want to ignore our lives. 

Remember, what doesn’t get planned doesn’t get done. So if you want to write a novel in November, even if you don’t want to outline the book itself, you still have to outline a plan. 

Don’t forget, I have a Preptober Planner to help you get ready for Nanowrimo. You can grab it right now on my ko-fi shop.



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