- Thinking and Planning. For November’s NaNoWriMo, I’m mostly laying the foundation for the second half. Outlines, research, and acquiring trinkets that help me to connect with the story.
- Work. When I’m not writing or homeschooling the children, I am the Web Commander at Silver Rockets Web & Graphic Design, where I design lots of websites.
- Recording all ideas and possibilities that come to my mind. This process doesn’t end just because I’ve moved onto the writing phase. My notes fill the pages of a binder that I’ve created on Zazzle to resemble a book that one might find on the shelves of the Glass Library (a key location in the story). The binder contains materials both for planning Dragon Relic, and furthering my writing studies.
- Outlining the story arc, characters, and chapters. A brief outline, and some of the notes, sit in the beginning of the novel doc for easy reference while writing. However, the bulk of my notes and outlines are in my binder, scribbled in pencil on graph paper, using a combination of Eva Deverell’s One Page Novel formula and ideas from J.K. Rowling’s outline of Order of the Phoenix.
- Filling out countless worksheets just before bedtime, most of which are provided by Eva Deverell. Her site offers abundant help while in this planning stage. At some point, I plan to take her One Page Novel course (it clashed with my schedule this time around).
- Reading, usually at bedtime. I’m currently re-enjoying a favorite, the Chalion series by Lois McMaster Bujold.
* The /now page concept originated here
- Building this website! Websites have long-served as ways to organize my thoughts. However, this will be the first time I’ve employed one to help with my novel writing. It is my hope that the site will help to keep me on track, motivated, and inspired with graphics and links.
- Preparing my writing template. I used Scrivener for the past several writing projects. I do love it, but thought I’d return to Word for this one. I’m still not sure which I prefer, and I hope this will help me to decide. I also thrive upon a “change of scenery” and may continue switching between the two. I’ve been customizing the margins, headers, the notes section, colors, and even researched the font sets (both for effect and ease on my eyes). My goal is to have it all set up so that I can pop it open and begin writing without fiddling.
- Collecting names. This is one of the stickiest traps I fall into while writing. Best to get it out of the way now!
- Scouring music sources and crafting a playlist. This is another time sucker if I don’t do it ahead of time. While I’ve not actually begun this yet, I shall today.
- Crafting ambient soundtracks on Ambient Mixer. Similar to the above, but pure ambiance.
- Previewing Cheri Lasota’s upcoming book, Petra, which is an engrossing honor!