Both the hardest and the easiest thing about writing is that there is no one right way to do things.
It’s hard because there’s no road map to getting it done. You have to forge your own path and figure out what works for you. It’s easy because YOU GET TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.
I know many people who plot the hell out of their novels. They plan. They finagle. They know what’s coming long before they ever sit down and write the first word.
I’m not one of those people.
I’m one of the ones who knows the overall arc my story is going to take but the journey to get from point A to point B unfolds as I write it.
And this works for me.
So, my planning for NaNo (or anything, really) usually starts with a single scene that I know will be in the story. Somewhere. Usually in the middle. Which, again, works for me. I know where I’m going to start and I know where the end point is going it be. My job is to get my characters from point A to that random scene to the end.
Do I have my random scene for my NaNo novel? Indeed, I do. I can SEE IT.
I love that.
(random hint that won’t make sense to anyone but me: A hilltop overlooking a group of houses. My two main characters are PLOTTING THINGS! And there might be a zombie or two lurking around.)
Ultimately, the scene might change a bit once I start writing the book, but that’s the place I want to get my characters to at some point.
So, plotter, pantster or one of those who sees little sign posts along the way, there’s no wrong way to get this done. As long as you’re doing SOMETHING, you’re on the right track.