How Early Do You Start Prepping For NaNoWriMo?

I start prepping insanely early. Like, middle-of-August early. I’ll get to why I do this in a minute, but I’ve started realizing that I’m kind of an oddball for doing that. The forums are just about dead (even though I still go around cheerfully spewing whatever weird information I might have), they haven’t yet reset…and yet I still quite cheerfully say I’m “prepping”. And I use that in the broadest of sense.

But really…maybe I’m not the weird one, so I’m asking you, oh writers of the interwebs, how early do you start?

  • Maybe you start pretty much as soon as Camp NaNoWriMo is over. You might be plotting already, or maybe you’re just deciding what idea you’re going with and making friends, but either way, you’re ready and raring to go by the time November rolls around.
  • Maybe you wait for school to start. Early to middle of September. You’ve still got time, sure, but you don’t have to spend an extra month twiddling your thumbs ’cause you got everything ready early on.
  • Or, maybe it’s late September, early October. You’ve got about a month, which is enough time to plot and plan, little enough time that you don’t have an agonizing wait for November.
  • Or, maybe it’s middle to late October. You have to do everything in two. weeks. This is a rush of adrenaline that gets you all set up for NaNo. You’ve got a taste of how it feels and you’re almost but not quite ready for it when it starts, but that only makes stuff more exciting.

I guess there’s a fifth type (the person that starts planning for next year as soon as they hit 50k), but I’m leaving that off. From what I can tell, for most people it’s late September to early October; at least, that’s when the forums get super crowded. But I want to hear from you: What time do you start frequenting the NaNoWriMo website again? Does your NaNo prep last months or a week?


Makes it just a little bit stressful. Just a little bit. But I’ve officially decided: I’m going to be doing a creepy Peter Pan retelling. I’m sure I’ll post the official synopsis thingy on my blog when I write it, but if you want the disjointed, jumbled, two or three paragraph idea, you can PM me on the NaNo forums. I’m VintageTypewriter.

But prepping also means that I’ve got time to make up weird stuff that I absolutely have to fit into the story. Weird stuff meaning writing a slightly creepy crocodile nursery rhyme (if you want to hear it, again, PM me on the NaNo website.).

So! NaNo prep! Have you started or have you not?

Happy Wednesday,



6 thoughts on “How Early Do You Start Prepping For NaNoWriMo?

  1. Well, I guess it depends on what exactly you consider as prepping. I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time last year and I think I started 1 or 2 weeks before it max. I had only a rough idea for a story and the only thing I prepped was the casting of my characters and making up their apartment.
    So, I guess I am the type that’s not on here at all. The one that doesn’t really prep at all. I’m still surprised I managed to get to 50,000 though hahaha


  2. I start prepping for NaNo… never. No, seriously. I always have ideas running around my mind but I never (consciously, anyway) prep them for NaNo. When November rolls around I take that idea and run with it — which works well for me. I finished NaNo in 10 days last year. But yeah, I suppose it all depends on what you consider to be prepping. Sometimes I have (verrrrrrry) brief outlines of stories in my head, then, when the time comes, I wing it. 🙂


    1. Ten days? That’s pretty impressive. Especially if you didn’t plan it. I think I would skip prepping, too, expect for the whole “no idea what to do” thing that lasts about two months before I actually decide what to do.


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