The Pre-NaNo Countdown

Posted October 22, 2013 by Kelly Apple in Writing / 0 Comments

I have ten days to finish my preparedness checklist for NaNo. I know what I’m writing about (ZOMBIES! And two non-zombie people who like to get naked a lot!) and I know where the story needs to start and end. In my opinion, these are probably the most important things. I can do a lot with just those things.

But. BUT… there are a couple of other steps I like to take before the 1st.

I use Scrivener to write. I kind of love Scrivener because I can add all the little bits of pieces of my characters, setting, timeline, etc into the folder so it’s easily available if I ever need it. (As an aside, the first time I opened Scrivener I almost cried because that is one intimidating beast of a program. There are options in that bad boy I’ve never used and wouldn’t know what to do with if I ever accidentally opened them.)

(FYI, the type of program you use isn’t important. I just mention Scrivener because it’s what I use. You could write your NaNo masterpiece on a bar napkin. Or a waiter. Or an octopus. I’m not about to judge.)

Since this is the third book in a series, I have the characters pretty well fleshed out. So to speak. Heh. I mean, yeah, the two main characters do get pretty fleshy upon occasion. And the zombies aren’t very fleshed at all. Still, I know what drives these guys and I know some of the secrets from their past. The setting is established. The rules of the world have been established. A lot of the bits and pieces have been taken care of already.

Which is cool.

Because now I just have to write the story.

Over the next ten days, I’ll reacquaint myself with the characters and their quirks again. Mainly the secondary characters because the mains are IN MY HEAD already. I’ll reread both of the previous books so I’m in that zombie apocalypse love story mode. I’ll revisit my timeline just so it’s fresh and stuck to the front of my brainpan. (aside #72, I HIGHLY recommend starting a timeline of events when you first start a series because it makes keeping things straight SO MUCH EASIER down the road. You don’t have to hunt through previous manuscripts to figure out how much time has passed since X happened.)

Basically, the next ten days are going to be about getting my ducks in a row so I can dive into writing on the 1st. If this was a new series, I’d be making sure I knew enough about my characters that starting writing them wouldn’t be an issue.

I’m off now. I have a book or two to reread!

(PS: If you missed the Q&A and cover reveal for Demon Besieged on Sunday, a recording is available at Want to see the cover itself? You can do that, too!)

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