My personal checklist for this #NaNoWriMo

Posted on Posted in Literary, Tutorials and resources

Hi guys, how you’re doing?

So, I have some news and some things you may find useful if you like writing. Some time ago I discovered this thing, the #NaNoWriMo, which is a challenge to write a novel in one month during November. I had some ideas so I pushed myself to it.

So the new is that I’m determined to write a novel that’s related to my webcomic Kings of Fire. Same world, same place, different time and different dragons… Lot of creatures, some conspiracies and some sex in the way, hehe.

And now… THE LIST! As I’m quite busy with the webcomic I wanted to make things step by step to not sinking in the unknown, and I thought as if it was a script for some screenwriting class.

It doesn’t pretend to be an universal list that fits every kind of project. The items order may be exchangeable, and probably will. Some other items may be to question certain storytelling points.
1) Choose a genre and theme, what will it tell roughly.
2) Define briefly who is/are the main character/s.
3) Define briefly who is the antagonist (be careful! the antagonist, if there it is, may not be “the bad guy” but the one who opposes to the main character’s intentions).
4) Define time and place of the action.
5) Define the story’s conflict.
6) Define story’s end.
7) Make a list of topics to investigate. For example, if my novel was about pirates, I should investigate about sailing, ship’s parts, etc.
8) Make a research about those topics, collect information.
9) Make a document with all the relevant information that comes up from the investigation, for not to wander in infinite links and resources when it’s necessary.
10) Define: what is my novel ABOUT? Synthesize, for example, “Love between different social classes”. Don’t be so vague as saying just “love”, either so specific as “the romance between a ginger rich girl and a blonde poor guy”.
11) Define: WHAT do I want to say about that? For example, following the last topic, “it’s impossible because…” or “loves breaks barriers”.
12) Make character sheets for the main character/s.
13) Make character sheets for the antagonist/s.
14) Define the points of view you’ll tell the story from. Not just “1st, 2nd or 3rd person”, but through who’s eyes we see what happens.
15) Make index cards with scenes, sequences, events that you know you want to put in your novel.
16) Order those cards in the order you want to tell it and complete the scale to see the complete outline.
17) Excercise: disarray the cards randomly and see how the scale results. It may be that interesting things result from changing the order.
18) Redefine the novel’s structure from what had come in the last points and write a resumed outline or synopsis. This is, a review or rearrange of the item 16.
19) Excercise: Rewrite the outline but thinking how it would be if we change it to another time and/or place. For example, a story in Medieval Europe adapted to a nowadays’ Argentina. This is part for fun, and part to see what happens to the theme if its context is modified.
20) Define a title for the novel, at least one provisory.


Well, I hope this is useful for you all! I would be pleased if I could connect to other people who are participating in the NaNoWriMo too and we can support each other’s process. For that, you’re welcome to write me to my twitter or my facebook fanpage, as you please.

I’m still in the research part but when I come up with character’s sheet I would like to share with you how I make it, so… Let’s see what results.


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