Preptober: Making A Plan

Preptober is one of my favorite times of the year because it’s full of possibility. Sure, NaNoWriMo is looming on the horizon, but for now we get to do all of the planning, which means fun spreads in my bullet journal and brainstorming.

To start with, here’s how I set up my main Preptober spread:

I separated my Preptober tasks into three sections.

1. Publishing Research

My first step is to evaluate the market so that I can get a feel for my potential audience. This will affect how I write, and so I want to get it out of the way before I actually begin the writing process next month. Tasks include making an audience profile, looking up Amazon keywords and categories of similar works in my chosen genre (more on that later!), niching down if possible depending on my Amazon research, and considering pricing and formats for the final work. I know it seems like a lot to do before I even start writing, but making an end goal helps me visualize the work being done and gives me motivation that will help me when I inevitably hit a writing slump.

2. Plot & Content

This is the fun one, where I get to storyboard my project and set the initial framework for the outline. The outline itself will come later this month, but this is building what is called an “elevator pitch.” The idea is that you find yourself on an elevator with a literary agent who asks you what your book is about, and you have the duration of the elevator ride to convince her that your book is worth reading. Starting with your elevator pitch can help you home your writing goals and maybe even find some holes in your early planning. Monthly tasks for this section include refining and expanding a rough outline, creating a description for the project using the snowflake method (which I’ll go into later), creating character sheets and boards, and creating setting sheets and boards. I’ll link to the posts once they exist.

3. Create Google Doc for Start

I always set up my virtual workspace before I start writing, and I’ll want to hit the ground running in November. For me, this means establishing a Google Doc so that I can work on my project from anywhere. People call me crazy, but I do the majority of my writing on my phone, which means that I need my document to be portable. Tasks for this section include making the document available offline, adding my outline with pacing established, setting up headers and a table of contents for easier navigation, and of course general formatting like font, spacing, and page numbers.

This spread will be my go-to dashboard for all things Preptober 2021, and I’ll get to cross things off as I complete each task.

What do you think? Are you going to join in on NaNoWriMo this year? How do you approach Preptober? Let me know in the comments!


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