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Rated: E · Assignment · Contest · #1951941
Non-dropnote version of the 2013 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.

*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: 2013 Calendar


This list of daily challenges accompanies "October NaNoWriMo Prep Challenge [13+].

*Bullet* If an assignment does not apply to your novel project, post "Assignment not applicable." You will still be eligible for grand prizes.
*Bullet* You must complete all of the Bonus Assignments to win the Bonus Prize.

THE CALENDAR:

Calendar too messy?
Try the dropnotes version: "October Nano Prep: 2013 Calendar [E]


Tuesday, Oct. 01
*Bullet* Required: PREMISE
prem·ise (noun): (1) a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion. "if the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true" (2) an assertion or proposition which forms the basis for a work or theory. "the fundamental premise of the report"

Your novel premise is nothing more than the basic idea, the seed, the concept on which your plot is constructed. Your premise answers the question: "What is your story about?" Your premise can, but doesn't have to, summarize 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? Folks, you should be in brainstorming mode at this point. Remember your plot basics: Your main character(s) should have an objective but encounter obstacles along the way (AKA, literary conflict.)

Resource: Premise  

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.
*Bullet* Fill in the blanks: My main character is a ________ whose objective (goal) is to ______ but he/she/it is confronted by _______ who opposes him/her/it because ________.

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

*Bullet* Bonus: PREMISE DEFINITIONS
Clearly identify your protagonist, antagonist, characters' objectives and conflict.

Wednesday, Oct. 02
*Bullet* Required: CHARACTER INVENTORY REVISION #1
AKA 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*

*Bullet* Bonus: 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.


Thursday, Oct. 03
*Bullet* Required: OUTLINE REVISION #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*
{/dropnote}
*Bullet* Bonus: CHRONOLOGICAL TIMELINE #1
Add a chronological timeline to your outline. Specify when your plot begins, climaxes, and ends, using whatever definition of time is appropriate to your novel.

Friday, Oct. 04
*Bullet* Required: SETTING INVENTORY REVISION #1
Draft a list of your settings and write a brief description of each. Keep your list handy for future updates throughout the Prep.
*Bullet* Bonus: SETTING #1 DRAWING or SAME SCENE/DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS
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.
Same Scene/Different Viewpoints: Write a brief description of your setting from the viewpoints of two or more different characters.


Saturday, Oct. 05
*Bullet* Required: CONTEST ROUND 1: 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. 06 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. 06 OFF/FREEBIE Take a break or catch up.

Monday, Oct. 07
*Bullet* Required: PLOT POINTS INVENTORY REVISION #1
Draft a list of plot points you will need to reference later, and write a brief description of each. Examples of plot points are: objects critical to the story, historical facts, descriptions of fictional races and species, or that "how I met your father" story that will be critical to the plot. Your plot points inventory should include your Prep object description, plot background stories, cultural setting, and any other aspects of your work that require a quick summary for easy reference during November. Keep your list handy for future updates throughout the Prep.

As an example, here is a possible list of plot points for the Harry Potter series:
* rules of magic
* the Ministry of Magic
* modes of transportation (apparition, Floo network, portkeys, flying, etc.)
* Harry's scar
* Hogwarts (not just as a setting, but as a school with teachers and routines and history)
* the four Houses
* the unusual behavior of photographs and artwork
* the sword of Gryffindor

In your plot points list, you'll flesh out details that you'll want to remember later for consistency:
* how does one enter the Ministry of Magic?
* how old does a student have to be before they are allowed to apparate?
* how did Harry get his scar, and what does it mean?
* who was Hufflepuff school named after again, and what are the typical traits of a Hufflepuff wizard?

You won't have to dig through pages and pages of scribbled notes to find whatever you decided about these plot points - they will all be compiled into a neat list / binder / database / note cards / whatever your favorite form of organization happens to be.

*Bullet* Bonus: RESEARCH or WORLD BUILDING
Research: For reality-based fiction, research aspects of your novel that will lend credibility to your writing.
World Building: For fantasy, science fiction, or other speculative fiction, develop the history, geology, ecology, and/or maps for your world.


Tuesday, Oct. 08
*Bullet* Required: 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.
*Bullet* Bonus: ]WRITING SPRINT #1
Complete today's assignment using the Write or Die sprint writing tool at writeordie.com. Set the time goal to 15 minutes and record your final word count. You will try to beat this count in subsequent sprints throughout October.

Wednesday, Oct. 09
*Bullet* Required: CHARACTER INVENTORY REVISION #2
Update your character inventory.
*Bullet* Bonus: MINOR CHARACTER #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. 10
*Bullet* Required: 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*

*Bullet* Bonus: CHRONOLOGICAL TIMELINE #2
Add a chronological timeline to your revised outline, using whatever measure of time is appropriate in your story.

Friday, Oct. 11
*Bullet* Required: SETTING INVENTORY REVISION #2
Update your setting inventory.
*Bullet* Bonus: SETTING #2 DRAWING or SAME SCENE/DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS
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.
Same Scene/Different Viewpoints: Write a brief description of your setting from the viewpoints of two or more different characters.


Saturday, Oct. 12
*Bullet* Required: CONTEST ROUND 2: SETTING #1 DESCRIPTION
Describe Setting #1 in 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.13 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. 13 OFF/FREEBIETake a break or catch up.

Monday, Oct. 14
*Bullet* Required: PLOT POINTS INVENTORY REVISION #2
Update your plot points inventory.
*Bullet* Bonus: 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? How does this setting impact your protagonist?

Tuesday, Oct. 15
*Bullet* Required: MINOR CHARACTER #1 BACKGROUND STORY
Write a background story about Minor #1 (or your second protagonist or antagonist.)
*Bullet* Bonus: WRITING SPRINT #2
Complete today's assignment using the Write or Die sprint writing tool at writeordie.com. Set the time goal to 15 minutes and record your final word count.

Wednesday, Oct. 16
*Bullet* Required: CHARACTER INVENTORY REVISION #3
Update your character inventory.
*Bullet* Bonus: 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)"  


Thursday, Oct. 17
*Bullet* Required: 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.

*Bullet* Bonus: CHRONOLOGICAL TIMELINE #3
Add a chronological timeline to your revised outline, using whatever measure of time is appropriate in your story.

Friday, Oct. 18
*Bullet* Required: SETTING INVENTORY REVISION #3
Update your setting inventory.
*Bullet* Bonus: SETTING #3 DRAWING or SAME SCENE/DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS
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.
Same Scene/Different Viewpoints: Write a brief description of your setting from the viewpoints of two or more different characters.


Saturday, Oct. 19
*Bullet* Required: CONTEST ROUND 3: 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. 20 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. 20 OFF/FREEBIE"}Take a break or catch up.

Monday, Oct. 21
*Bullet* Required: PLOT POINTS INVENTORY REVISION #3
Update your plot points inventory.
*Bullet* Bonus: PLOT BACKGROUND STORY #2
Write another background story that happened in the past and sets up your plot.

Tuesday, Oct. 22
*Bullet* Required: MINOR CHARACTER #2 BACKGROUND STORY
Write a background story about supporting or minor character #2.
*Bullet* Bonus: WRITING SPRINT #3
Complete today's assignment using the Write or Die sprint writing tool at writeordie.com. Set the time goal to 15 minutes and record your final word count.

Wednesday, Oct. 23
*Bullet* Required: CHARACTER INVENTORY REVISION #4
Update your character inventory.
*Bullet* Bonus: MINOR CHARACTER #2 PROFILE
Write a character profile about supporting or minor character #2.

Thursday, Oct. 24
*Bullet* Required: 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.

*Bullet* Bonus: CHRONOLOGICAL TIMELINE #4
Add a chronological timeline to your revised outline, using whatever measure of time is appropriate in your story.

Friday, Oct. 25
*Bullet* Required: SETTING INVENTORY REVISION #4
Update your setting inventory.
*Bullet* Bonus: SETTING #4 DRAWING or SAME SCENE/DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS
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.
Same Scene/Different Viewpoints: Write a brief description of your setting from the viewpoints of two or more different characters.


Saturday, Oct. 26
*Bullet* Required: CONTEST ROUND 4: 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. 27 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. 27 OFF/FREEBIE Take a break or catch up.

Monday, Oct. 28
*Bullet* Required: MARKET DEFINITION
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.
*Bullet* Bonus: QUERY LETTER or WORKSPACE PREPARATION or PROCRASTINATION LIST
Query Letter:
Workspace Prep: Plan out where you will work, what computer you will use, and what supplies you will need. Create a music playlist, if applicable.
Procrastination List: Write a list of all the things you tend to do to procrastinate and establish a writing schedule for the month of November.


Tuesday, Oct. 29
*Bullet* Required: OBJECT DESCRIPTION
Describe, in detail, an object critical to your story.
*Bullet* Bonus: WRITING SPRINT #4
Complete today's assignment using the Write or Die sprint writing tool at writeordie.com. Set the time goal to 15 minutes and record your final word count.

Wednesday, Oct. 30
*Bullet* Required: PROTAGONIST CHANGE
Describe in detail how your protagonist has changed from the beginning of the story to the end. If you created a protagonist profile, devise before-and-after versions.
*Bullet* Bonus: 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, Oct. 31
*Bullet* Required: 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.

*Bullet* Bonus: CHRONOLOGICAL TIMELINE #5
Add a chronological timeline to your revised outline, using whatever measure of time is appropriate in your story.

FridayNov. 1 - NANOWRIMO BEGINS
Start writing your novel!



WRITING TOOLS:
(Optional tools to help you complete the assignments. Click each for more info.)

BRAINSTORMING TOOLS AND PROMPTS
         *Bullet*Brainstorming and Mind Mapping  
         *Bullet*Free Mind Mapping Software: Freemind  
         *Bullet*Free Mind Mapping Software: Mind Meister  
         *Bullet*Photo and Quote Prompts  
         *Bullet*WDC Writing Prompts  

SETTING TOOLS
         *Bullet*Fictional World Mapping  

CHARACTER TOOLS
         *Bullet*Character Name Generator  
         *Bullet*Seventh Sanctum: Name and Fiction Generators  
         *Bullet*Behind the Name: the etymology and history of first names  
         *Bullet*Baby Name Dictionary  
         *Bullet*US Name Statistics  
         *Bullet*Google Images - find your perfect character  

PLOT GENERATORS
         *Bullet*Plot Generator  
         *Bullet*First Line Generator  
         *Bullet*Plot Twist Generator  
         *Bullet*Seventh Sanctum: Name and Fiction Generators  

OUTLINING TOOLS
         *Bullet*Novel Outlining Worksheets  
         *Bullet*Seven-Point Story Structure  
         *Bullet*The Snowflake Method  

NANOWRIMO TOOLS
         *Bullet*NaNoWriMo Survival Guide  



The calendar accompanies:
FORUM
October NaNoWriMo Prep Challenge  (13+)
A month-long challenge designed to help you plan a novel prior to writing it.
#1474311 by Brandiwyn🎶
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1951941