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Non-dropnote version of the 2012 October NaNo Prep Calendar.
Introduction
Ever had a "huh?" moment in the midst of a good book? Picture this: the main character encounters a dense thicket. This is no problem for our hero, who whips a sword from his scabbard and slices through the underbrush. But wait a moment... didn’t he just lose his sword over the cliff in that action-packed battle? Up until that moment, you were captivated - you were completely engrossed in the story. But this discrepancy just yanked you right out of the narration and plopped you back in your living room.

The longer a work, the more important planning ahead becomes. Because of the length of time required to write longer works, it's easy to forget what happened in Chapter 3 two weeks (or months) later while you're writing Chapter 17. Even if you catch the error in the edit phase, the problem might permeate the entire piece. Take for instance the previous sword example. The hero now needs to find another way through the thicket, or else the author needs to remove the thicket from the plot entirely. But what if the thicket is central to the plot, such as it is in the story of Sleeping Beauty? In that case, the hero needs to either find another sword, or not lose his sword in the first place. Fixing errors such as these in the edit phase is frustrating, because every correction can ripple, yielding new and unforeseen problems.

Prevention is the best method for avoiding mistakes in your story plot. Outlining in advance prevents the errors in the first place. Draft a rough outline before you begin writing the piece. When starting a new writing project, you may not know everything that’s going to happen in your story, and that’s okay. Your initial outline can be limited to your beginning, your climax, and your ending. Once you have that in writing, you can begin to flesh out the middle, outlining how your characters will get from the beginning to the climax, and finally, to the end.

Some writers feel that outlining stifles creativity. While opinions vary, two things remain true: (1) plot errors take a lot of work to fix after the fact, and (2) overlooked plot errors run the risk of pulling readers out of your story. Whatever your thoughts on outlining and the creative process, consider the headaches that planning ahead will save you. You may find that it’s worth it.

BONUS ASSIGMENTS in the 2012 Challenge Calendar.
Overachievers earn extra prizes!


*Down* Scroll down for bonus assignments. *Down*

*Leaf1**Leaf2**Leaf3**Leaf4**Leaf5**Leaf1**Leaf2**Leaf3**Leaf4**Leaf5**Leaf1**Leaf2**Leaf3**Leaf4**Leaf5**Leaf1**Leaf2**Leaf3**Leaf4**Leaf5**Leaf1**Leaf2**Leaf3**Leaf4**Leaf5**Leaf1**Leaf2**Leaf3**Leaf4**Leaf5*

October NaNo Prep Challenge: 2012 Calendar


This list of daily challenges accompanies "October Novel Prep Challenge [13+]. If a challenge does not apply to your novel project (for example, if your story takes place in a single setting, and therefore you can't describe three separate settings), post "Challenge not applicable" in the forum for that day. You will still be eligible for the grand prizes.

THE CALENDAR:
(Required Assignments.)

Monday, Oct. 01 - PREMISE
The premise   of your novel summarizes the following: Who is(are) your protagonist(s)? What will happen to him/her/it/them? Why? How will it turn out? What does that tell us? Is there a moral to the story?

Options:
*Bullet* A “what if” question. Example: the movie Groundhog Day (1993): ‘What if you lived the same day over and over again?’
*Bullet* A theme or moral and how your storyline addresses it. Example: In this epic tale of love conquering fear, Carly must overcome her fear of flying to traverse the globe and pull Tom, the love of her life, back from death’s door.

*** STILL NEED A STORY IDEA? Try the writing tools at the bottom of the calendar. *Down*

Tuesday, Oct. 02 - OUTLINE #1
The first draft of your outline.
Options:
*Bullet* Using traditional outline format  : Define what happens at the beginning, climax, and the end.
*Bullet* Using Index Cards (Paper or Electronic): Define your beginning, climax, and end. As you build your outline throughout October, you can easily shuffle around plot elements.
*Bullet* The Snowflake Method  : Write a provocative one-sentence description of your story. Example from Randy Ingermanson’s Transgression  : “A rogue physicist travels back in time to kill the apostle Paul.”

*** SEE ALSO: Outlining Tools in the Writing Tools section at the bottom of this calendar. *Down*

Wednesday, Oct. 03 - MARKETING EXERCISE
Describe your target audience. Identify a demographic   profile including gender, race, age, disabilities, mobility, home ownership, employment status, education, income level, marital status, location and other commonly evaluated data. Explain in detail what aspects of your novel will appeal to this particular audience and why.

Thursday, Oct. 04 - DRAMATIS PERSONAE
Draft a list of your characters and write a brief profile on each one (first and last name, age, occupation or relation to main character(s) and rough physical description.) Keep your list handy for future updates throughout the Prep.

*** NEED CHARACTER NAMES? See the name generators at the bottom of the calendar. *Down*

Friday, Oct. 05 - PROTAGONIST PROFILE
Complete a character profile of your protagonist. The point of this exercise is for you to get to know your character inside and out before you write your novel. If you don't know your character, how can you expect it of your readers? Flesh out your pre-story character in detail. Keep in mind that your protagonist will grow in some way during your story.

Options:
*Bullet* By listing his/her attributes  
*Bullet* By writing a description   from the perspective of someone very close to your protagonist.

Saturday, Oct. 06 - CONTEST ROUND: PROTAGONIST BACKGROUND STORY
Write a story about your protagonist that takes place outside of your novel. Make your readers relate to him or her in such a way that we would be devastated if he or she were to experience conflict (which, ultimately, sometime in November, he/she will.) The object of the contest is to make your judges root for your protagonist! Simply put: the character we like best wins. If your protagonist is an assassin or someone similarly "unlikeable," never fear! I love Vlad Taltos, the professional assassin  . You can make us love your character, too.

*Submit your BITEM or ENTRY link by 1200 noon WDC time on Sunday, Oct. 07 to compete. If you miss this deadline or choose not to compete, you may still post your assignment completion for the grand prize, per the standard Challenge guidelines.

Sunday, Oct. 07 - OFF/FREEBIE or BONUS ASSIGNMENT
Take a break or catch up.

BONUS: Complete a bonus assignment and earn extra prizes. Post your completed assignment in the forum and tell us what you did.

*** BONUS ASSIGNMENTS Choose one from the list at the bottom of the calendar. *Down*

Monday, Oct. 08 - CULTURAL SETTING
Describe the cultural, political and/or religious setting in your novel. What do your societies believe? In what practices do they engage? What kind of government rules your world? What laws or rules of society are in place? Who enforces them? How successful is enforcement of laws and rules?

Tuesday, Oct. 09 - OUTLINE REVISION #2
The second draft of your outline.
Options:
*Bullet* Using traditional outlining or index cards, write your climax and several key conflicts/disasters.
*Bullet* The Snowflake Method  : Expand your sentence to a paragraph. Include the beginning, conflicts/disasters, climax, and end.

*** NEED DISASTERS? See the Plot Twists generator at the bottom of the calendar. *Down*

Wednesday, Oct. 10- SETTING #1 DRAWING
Get out your pencil (or Excel or Visio or Autocad if you're the nerdy type) and draw a physical sketch of any setting in your novel, which we will call Setting#1. This can be a map of a town, woods or valley, a layout of a room with furniture and walls, a floor plan of the castle, or any other physical setting. It doesn't matter if your art skills are lacking. Just get a feel for where obstacles and objects are in relation to one another.

Thursday, Oct. 11 - SETTING #1 DESCRIPTION
Describe Setting#1 (with words.) Use all five senses, and make your reader experience the setting as if he or she were there.

Friday, Oct. 12 - ANTAGONIST PROFILE
Complete a character profile   of your antagonist (your "bad guy" - the character creating conflict for or your protagonist.) If your antagonist is a situation rather than a person, write about what it is and how it will create the narrative conflict.

Further clarification:
- Wikipedia's definition of Narrative Conflict  
- Newsletter Article: "When The Bad Guy Isn't a Person"  
- "ANTAGONIST (Re: A LOT of confusing things)"  


Saturday, Oct. 13 - CONTEST ROUND: ANTAGONIST BACKGROUND STORY
Write a story about your antagonist that takes place outside of your novel. Make your reader empathize with the motivations of the antagonist. If your antagonist is a situation rather than a person, write a background story about that.

*Submit your BITEM or ENTRY link by 1200 noon WDC time on Sunday, Oct. 14 to compete. If you miss this deadline or choose not to compete, you may still post your assignment completion for the grand prize per the standard Challenge guidelines.

Sunday, Oct. 14 - OFF/FREEBIE or BONUS ASSIGNMENT
Take a break or catch up.

BONUS: Complete a bonus assignment and earn extra prizes. Post your completed assignment in the forum and tell us what you did.

*** BONUS ASSIGNMENTS Choose one from the list at the bottom of the calendar. *Down*

Monday, Oct. 15 - PLOT BACKGROUND STORY
Write a story that sets up your plot. EXAMPLE: The Lord of the Rings story revolves around the One Ring, its significance, and how it's destroyed. But how did Frodo get the One Ring in the first place? We learn that in The Hobbit. You obviously can't write a full-scale novel in 15 minutes, but you could write the scene where Bilbo encounters Gollum and stumbles across the ring. That would be a background story that sets up the plot in Lord of the Rings.

Tuesday, Oct. 16 - OUTLINE REVISION #3
The third draft of your outline.
Options:
*Bullet* Using traditional outlining or index cards, fill in some of the gaps and start developing subplots.
*Bullet* The Snowflake Method  : Write a one-paragraph summery of each key character’s personal storyline.

Wednesday, Oct. 17 - MINOR #1 PROFILE
Write a character profile about a supporting or minor character, whom we shall call Minor #1. If you have a second protagonist or antagonist, use this assignment to profile that character.

Thursday, Oct. 18- MINOR #1 BACKGROUND STORY
Write a background story about Minor #1 (or your second protagonist or antagonist.)

Friday, Oct. 19 - SETTING #2 DRAWING
Complete a physical drawing of a second setting.

Saturday, Oct. 20 - CONTEST ROUND: SETTING #2 DESCRIPTION
Describe Setting #2 with words. Use all five senses and make your reader experience the setting as if he or she were there.

*Submit your BITEM or ENTRY link by 1200 noon WDC time on Sunday, Oct. 21 to compete. If you miss this deadline or choose not to compete, you may still post your assignment completion for the grand prize per the standard Challenge guidelines.

Sunday, Oct. 21 - OFF/FREEBIE or BONUS ASSIGNMENT
Take a break or catch up.

BONUS: Complete a bonus assignment and earn extra prizes. Post your completed assignment in the forum and tell us what you did.

*** BONUS ASSIGNMENTS Choose one from the list at the bottom of the calendar. *Down*

Monday, Oct. 22 - OBJECT DESCRIPTION
Describe, in detail, an object critical to your story.

Tuesday, Oct. 23 - OUTLINE REVISION #4
The fourth draft of your outline.
Options:
*Bullet* Using traditional outlining or index cards, fill more gaps and flesh out subplots using traditional outline format. Optional: Add a timeline.
*Bullet* The Snowflake Method  : Compile a synopsis of your story by expanding each sentence of your summary paragraph into its own full paragraph. All but the last paragraph (which describes the story ending) should close with a disaster.

Wednesday, Oct. 24 - MINOR #2 PROFILE
Write a character profile about supporting or minor character #2.

Thursday, Oct. 25 - MINOR #2 BACKGROUND STORY
Write a background story about supporting or minor character #2.

Friday, Oct. 26 - PROCRASTINATION LIST
Write a list of all the things you tend to do to procrastinate and establish a schedule for the month of November outlining when you are and are not allowed to procrastinate. Schedule time to write and put your schedule in writing.

Saturday, Oct. 27 - CONTEST ROUND: COMMITMENT LETTER
Write a commitment letter to yourself promising to do your best during the month of November and vowing to not allow distractions or procrastination to keep you from your goal. Explain in the letter why you are awesome, how you plan to complete NaNo 2011, and what you will do to celebrate when you win.

*Submit your BITEM or ENTRY link by 1200 noon WDC time on Sunday, Oct. 28 to compete. If you miss this deadline or choose not to compete, you may still post your assignment completion for the grand prize per the standard Challenge guidelines.

Sunday, Oct. 28 - OFF/FREEBIE or BONUS ASSIGNMENT
Take a break or catch up.

BONUS: Create your own assignment. Post your completed assignment in the forum and tell us what you did.

*** BONUS ASSIGNMENTS Choose one from the list at the bottom of the calendar. *Down*

Monday, Oct. 29 - OUTLINE REVISION #5
The fifth and final revision of your outline.
Options:
*Bullet* Using traditional outlining or index cards, flesh out the logistics of how your protagonist gets from the beginning of the story to the climax of the story. Add more timeline details and consider plotting out scenes by chapter.
*Bullet* The Snowflake Method  : Using your synopsis, list the scenes needed to create your novel. Each scene should include the POV character and the action.

Tuesday, Oct. 30- SETTINGS LIST
Using your outline as a guide, list other settings in your novel. Sketch OR draft a brief description of each.

Wednesday, Oct. 31 - PROTAGONIST INTERVIEW
You are a journalist. The story of your novel is complete. Interview your protagonist and ask the following questions:
1. How did the events of your story change you?
2. How is life for you now?
Thursday Nov. 1 - NANOWRIMO BEGINS
Start writing your novel!


BONUS ASSIGNMENTS and PRIZES:
(Optional Assignments..)

WORLD BUILDING
         Instructions: Spend 15 minutes developing history, geology, ecology, or maps for your world.
         Prize: 2,000 GPs (per assignment completed, max one per freebie day)

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
         Instructions: Profile another protagonist or antagonist.
         Prize: 2,000 GPs (per assignment completed, max one per freebie day)

"QUERY LETTER
         Instructions: Draft your query letter.
         Prize: Query Review

DIALOGUE 500
         Instructions: Enter the current round of "The Dialogue 500 [18+] using a main character.
         Prize: A chance at a Dialogue Merit Badge
                   *Bullet* Include the words "NANO PREP" in your Dialog 500 forum post.
                   *Bullet* Include the date of the bonus round you're fulfilling in your D500 forum post.
                   *Bullet* Book Entries are eligible entries to the Dialogue 500 for this round.

WRITING SPRINT
         Instructions: Test the time it takes you to write 1,667** words.
         Prize: Membership in the elite "Invalid Item
                   (1) Choose any character in your novel and brainstorm a new related background story.
                   (2) Set a timer and write for 15 minutes. Stop writing with the timer.
                   (3) Count the # words written in 15 minutes.
                   (4) MATH ALERT (sorry!): Divide 25,000 / # words.
                   (5) The result is the number of minutes required* to write 1,667** words.
                   (6) Finish the background story as needed.
                             * Not considering interruptions or fatigue.
                             **1,667 is the number of words per day required to reach 50,000 in 30 days.

CREATE-YOUR-OWN
         Instructions: Create an assignment that helps you prepare your novel for writing.
         Prize: 2,000 GPs (per assignment completed, max one per freebie day)
                   *Bullet* Work for at least 15 minutes on your assignment.
                   *Bullet* Report exactly what you did in your forum post.
                   *Bullet* Your activity is fair game for next year's bonus assignment list.


BONUS GRAND PRIZE: Earn a NaNoWriMo Unblock.
Complete four bonus assignments (one per freebie day) and earn a NaNoWriMo Unblock:

Say you get stuck during November. Your characters are in a rut. Your plot is spinning in circles. You can't find the motivation to get out of bed, let alone write 1,667 words today.

You're blocked.

Cash in your NaNoWriMo Unblock, and you get a sympathetic ear. A brainstorming partner. A kick in the rump. Whatever it takes to get you past your block.



WRITING TOOLS:
(Optional tools to help you complete the assignments.)

BRAINSTORMING TOOLS
         *Bullet*Brainstorming and Mind Mapping  
         *Bullet*Free Mind Mapping Software  

WRITING PROMPTS AND OTHER GENERATORS
         *Bullet*Plot Generator  
         *Bullet*First Line Generator  
         *Bullet*Plot Twist Generator  
         *Bullet*Character Name Generator  
         *Bullet*Seventh Sanctum: Name and Fiction Generators  
         *Bullet*Behind the Name: the etymology and history of first names  

OUTLINING TOOLS
         *Bullet*Novel Outlining Worksheets  

NANOWRIMO TOOLS
         *Bullet*NaNoWriMo Survival Guide  



The calendar accompanies:
FORUM
October Novel Prep Challenge  (13+)
A month-long challenge designed to help you plan a novel prior to writing it.
#1474311 by Battiwyn🎶
© Copyright 2012 Battiwyn🎶 (tuozzo at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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