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31 Days to Plan Your Novel

Every October, hundreds of bloggers gather at The Nesting Place to write for 31 days straight on a variety of different topics, teaching and encouraging and offering tips and tricks to make life easier.

This month, I’ll be helping you plan your novel – starting from that sort-of-an-idea you’ve had floating around in the ether, and ending with an outline, ready to write.

(NaNoWriMo starts November 1st, so what a great opportunity to keep going once we’re done here!)

Every day you’ll get a tip and an ‘assignment’ that should take around 30 minutes to complete. The first two weeks will be spent on brainstorming and free-writing, getting into the world of your story and fleshing out characters, situations and settings, then we’ll spend a few days on developing a story arc before we start writing our outlines in the last week.

For me, this 31 Days Challenge is a bit more than just blogging for 31 days. It’s the launch series for this blog – if you’ve gone back trying to see what else I’ve written, you’ve noticed that this is the very first post in this space – so welcome! I’m happy to meet you, and I hope I’ll see more of you around here!

Let’s get started!

Day 1 Writing Assignment

Day 2 – Creating Meaningful Characters

Day 3 – How Characters Change Plot

Day 4 – Is Your Protagonist Really A Protagonist?

Day 5 – To Plan or Not?

Day 6 – Writing Resources #1

Day 7 – Finding Your (Novelling) Bliss

Day 8 – Developing Other Characters

Day 9 – Defining the Antagonist

Day 10 – A Growing Cast of Characters, pt 1

Day 11 – A Growing Cast of Characters, pt 2

Day 12 – Give Minor Characters a Life

Day 13 – Writing Resources #2

Day 14 – Is Your Villain Pure Evil?

Day 15 – Why We Love the Antihero

Day 16 – Life off the Page, pt 1

Day 17 – Life off the Page, pt 2

Day 18 – 3 Tips to Improve Dialogue

Day 19 – Creating a Voice

Day 20 – Writing Resources #3

Day 21 – Your Novel in Three Acts

Day 22 – 7 Elements in Act I

Day 23 – The Inciting Incident

Day 24 – Conflict in the World of Your Novel

Day 25 – Your Protagonist Accepts their Role

Day 26 – Getting Through Act II

Day 27 – Making Your Protagonist Suffer

Day 28 – Writing the Third Act

Day 29 – 4 Parts of Narrative Climax

Day 30 – A New Equilibrium

Day 31 – Now Go Write!

12 comments

    1. Hi Megan! I’m glad you’re here!

      I hope that the tips and assignments that I’ve put together help get you on some kind of track! Whether you’re the type of person to do a formal outline or not, I think every writer can benefit from spending a little time in the world of their story before they start writing.

  1. I was looking for a way to plan and prepare for NaNoWriMo. Your plan fits the bill! Thank you! I will be following along with you.

    1. Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by.

      I’m looking forward to seeing what other #31Days themes other people are using. I’m glad that I’m able to offering something that will be helpful to you.

  2. Awesome! I’m doing the same thing (31 Days of NaNo Prep) but from a different angle (blocks of thoughts/concepts rather than assignments). This will be so fun for me to read parallel to my own stuff!

    1. Amy! I’m so glad you’re here! I was on your site checking out your series earlier today, but I didn’t comment because I might be a little scattered from launching a blog AND a 31 Days series at the same time. I’m excited to follow along with your plan too! It’s so great to have a variety of methods to look at.

    1. That’s a great question, Barbara. A lot of this series will be based on developing characters, and then the outlining will focus on narrative arc – so I guess it depends on what type of non-fiction you’re working on. I can see it being helpful if you’re working on a memoir or a piece of creative non-fiction.

      More to the point, there may be something here that will be helpful to you no matter what you’re writing, so I hope you’ll stick around. 🙂

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