Creative Writing, NaNoWriMo

What I’m Using to Prep For NaNoWriMo 2015

This year for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been struggling to come up with a good plot, and turned to the Internet for help. While there’s a huge collection of tools out there (click here to check out one of the most impressive NaNo prep lists), sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the writing tools available.  I’ve narrowed it down to just a few main sources for the sake of my sanity (though I’ll probably use others as I discover a need). Here’s the ones I’m finding the most helpful in my NaNo preparation for 2015.

Check out what I'm using to prep for #NaNoWriMo2015 and share your favorite writing tools at


I love checklists for making sure I don’t miss anything. 6 Tasks You’ll Love Yourself for Checking Off Your NaNo Pre-Writing List is sort of a checklist for checking things off of your checklist. Since I’m using elements of an old story that I’d previously abandoned on page 58, I’m hoping this will help me make sure I’ve got all the information I need for the new and improved story.


I admit it — I’m a Pinterest addict. There’s a good reason, though. It’s the best way I’ve found to collect visuals for use in your novel. You could clip pictures from magazines, scan them from books, or draw them yourselves and keep them in a physical book or folder (that might be fun, actually), but Pinterest is faster and easier to store.

Follow Maris’s board WIP – All Under Heaven (NaNoWriMo 2015) on Pinterest.


Trying this out just to see if I like it. Hiveword is an online plot and scene outliner/organizer that also keeps track of characters, settings, and important items. There are name generators for people and places built in, you can access it from anywhere, and it’s free.

I like my writer’s notebooks, but I thought I’d give Hiveword a try. I like the idea of being able to keep track of every character without taking up pages of notebook space. I also like how detailed the character sheets are, and that I can go back and add things easily. It won’t replace my beloved sticky note outline, but I’ll use it as a supplement.


I’ve noticed a tendency in my stories to write lots of internal conflict for my main characters and either leave out or under-develop the antagonist. This story has room for a great bad guy, and I want to make sure I write him well. I’d previously pinned several articles on writing good villains, and here are the ones I think will be most helpful:

Villainy 101: Villains Are People Too – The Academy of Ultimate Villainy is here to help make sure your villain is well-written

4 Types of Villain – The Last One is Truly Scary Because He’s So Good — uses Jane Eyre to explain different villain types

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 31: One-Dimensional Conflict — not just about villains; a good source about conflict in general


If I’d discovered the 30 Days of World Building tutorial at the beginning of this month, I’d have been very tempted to work through it as a month-long precursor to NaNoWriMo. We’ve got less than two weeks before NaNo starts, though, so I suppose I’ll have to go through it a little more quickly than intended. I’ll also pull from some of the other resoources I’ve collected on my world building Pinterest Board.

What about you — do you have any go-to resources  you recommend for NaNo?  something you discovered recently or you always use when crafting a new story? Share it in a comment!

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