With NaNoWriMo coming up in under a month, I wanted to let you in on a little-known book that you can pick up now to help you get through the NaNoWriMo month a little easier. It’s a book full of perfect NaNoWriMo Writing Prompts.
I have posted about this before, but I wanted to give you an updated, fresh post for 2018.
This is one book that can actually help you get through your novel and reach your NaNoWriMo target.
Now, of course, I can’t guarantee this…
But this book will definitely get you most of the way there… if you put the work in.
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The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts
The book is The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts, and it’s pretty much perfectly designed to help you to write your NaNoWriMo novel.
The way the prompts are presented will help you figure out your plot as you move forward with your novel, as well as give you a writing prompt for each day of the month.
Now, as I said, I did write about this last year, but I wanted to put it out to you again, as I really think Martha Alderson is a little-known gem of a writing teacher and this book is particularly helpful, especially if you’ve ever struggled with writing a novel before. I actually prefer this book over her others…. as I can get way too caught up with planning and plotting if I’m not too careful.
I first found Martha Alderson through a short course I took by Martha through Writers Digest years ago, after which, I found her YouTube Channel, which is amazing, and just about gives you everything you need to know about pre-plotting and writing a novel.
To have the best start at NaNoWriMo this 2018 I suggest to go through her some of her YouTube videos and check her out. She did have a 21 lessons of plotting your whole novel, but for some reason, the videos in the middle are now listed as “Private” — not sure what’s up with that (but perhaps it’s because she’s since released a video course covering the same material since I first watched the videos.)
But you can still get a whole lot of information on her channel. Check it her blog and Channel here:
Check out Martha’s Blog here and her YouTube Channel here.
But if you’re familiar with universal story structure, or just want to jump right in, you can follow this book of Writing Prompts, which gives you a description of the four parts of a story in the introduction, and actually takes you on a journey from story beginning to story end, by the way the prompts are structured.
Using The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts
If you are a complete beginner, I’d suggest just this book, as not to overload your mind just before NaNoWriMo starts. You can always quickly find more information about the structure of stories online. I’d recommend checking out Larry Brook’s series of structure lessons, well as Martha’s Youtube Channel as suggested above.
The book is broken up into four sections, reflecting the four parts of a story or a novel; The Beginning, The Half-way Point, The Crisis, and The Climax and Resolution. Each of the fours sections has 30 prompts sets. And each prompt set includes 3 prompts:
- A Daily Affirmation
- A Plot Element to prompt your imagination
- A Writing Prompt – a specific exercise which helps you to produce words and advance your story.
Martha suggests using four prompts a day to reach the final prompt on the last day of NaNoWriMo. The book helps you to navigate from the first page through the four parts of the Universal Story.
The prompts are designed to give you approximately 500 words, so you do have to complete about four of them to reach your daily target.
Now, I found, that sometimes these prompts took me away from my story a bit too much. The first time around with this book, I tried to follow it too strictly.
Alderson recommends (from reading her blog and her YouTube channel) coming up with a bit of a story plot list beforehand, and continuing to build it out as you write each day. You will find you’ll generate more scene ideas when you’re writing the prompts out each day.
So if one of the prompts, doesn’t really fit into your story, then write your next scene from your list. Use the prompts as a guide through the Universal Story, to help you if you ever get stuck.
A Final Word…
I also wanted to mention that you might want to stop focusing on finishing a complete novel in November. You don’t have to get the exact 50,000 words and you don’t have to get it perfect. Maybe think about just aiming to write a certain word count each day, moving your story forward with action. Remember, it’s action scenes that will help move your story forward, and will actually help you to write faster.
Remember you get to rewrite all those lovely words after 🙂 If you focus more on having fun writing and getting into the practice of daily writing, or at least weekly word counts, then you will have really advanced in your writing craft by the end of the month.
If you need something extra to help you guide you through this NaNoWriMo Prep time, check out my recent post on my October Prompt Challenge: It’s full of questions for NaNo Prep 🙂
Another awesome tool to check out while you’re doing NaNoWriMo is Scrivener – an excellent resource. Plus, you can try it out for free for a month AND get a major 50% discount if you do complete NaNoWriMo and “win” by completing your 50,000 words. Even if you don’t complete your 50k words you can still grab a 20% discount by just being NaNoWriMo 2018 participant (enter the coupon code NANOWRIMO). Please note, that on the NaNoWriMo Resources page it is noted that these discounts are limited to 7th December 2018, and the 50% discount is not valid on upgrade pricing.