My Pre-NaNoWriMo Activities

By , October 27, 2009

In preparation for my efforts  to write a novel next month, I’ve been up to several things.

  • made certain my information was updated for this year
  • brainstorming ideas for the book
  • interviewing characters
  • collecting resources to post my progress
  • adding new resources to my arsenal

The first things I pulled out were the index cards and sticky notes. I wanted my novel allotment in one place. And of course I have my notebooks ready for the times when I need to feel my hand moving my pen across the page.

Digital Tools


Online, I checked out my web software, one free and one paid. I use Inspiration for various projects and this is one that I would love to work it out with. My other web software is a free download that I’ve worked with a little. It’s called Free Mind and it’s a free download. And, to say there’s no cost, the application is quite flexible and reliable.

Writing, Scenes and Characters

Aside from those things, my word processors are ready to go. While I understand the fans of MS Word and have it at the ready to use with clients, my preferred application is WordPerfect. I use it all the time, so no worries there. Still there are other tools designed for writers that improve searching for specifics and adding details. I found an excellent customized writer application, another free download called yWriter5.

I started working with yWriter 5, filling in the character stuff that crossed my mind, and it was truly a good and productive session. It will be a pleasure using this to see my characters quickly without the full document search every time.

Progress Meters

Lastly, I came across this nifty little tool to show my progress. It’s a little large so it will probably stay on a separate page. And I’ll probably post it over at my Telling Stories blog which is for my creative expressions apart from work.

This meter comes from, where writers can find useful stuff to distract and entertain themselves, keeping the writing fires burning.

You can see the simple progress meter from Writertopia over in the sidebar. It’s the easiest one I saw to embed, of the meters I came across. Updating is interactive as it doesn’t pull directly from NaNoWriMo. Still, all you have to do is go into the widget, mine is in a text widget, and update it with your word count. It will automatically adjust the bar and the percentage number. Only change I’d make if I could would be to change the color of the status bar and numbers. But that’s just something extra.


I guess you can tell I’m a little excited about this. Last year I signed up and didn’t come close to finishing. And yet, I’m as engaged as if it was my first effort. My NaNoWriMo badge in the sidebar will take you directly to my participation page. You can learn more about NaNoWriMo and see if you want to try your hand and write that first novel, or just the next in your long list of novels. If you need someone pushing you, and a deadline, try 50,000 words in 30 days. Good luck to you!

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