PREPtober: Week III

NaNoWriMo 2023 is almost upon us. Are you ready? If you’re like me, then the answer is that you’re probably more ready than you feel but less ready than you like. But your trusty MLs believe in you! We know you have it within you to successfully complete Heroic Literary Exploits this November. You’ve got this!

Oh! But you know what might help with you marching forth to NaNoVictory? Gamification. In previous years, people loved themselves some Raptors. But raptors are a memory for this year. (Maybe they’ll be back next year?) So for 2023, we’ve developed a points system and a weekly points tracker. Keep track of your points privately, let us share your totals publicly, or avoid the point system altogether. We don’t care. But there will be prizes for the top earners.

More to come — we’re wrapping up some of the fine print and Kess is developing a tracker for you. But if the thrill of competitive-yet-friendly victory appeals to you, we’ve got you covered.

But wait, there’s more. Rumor has it, bonus points are awarded for attending at least one regional prep event this year. Attend one of our regional PREPtober activities or join in one of the virtual offerings from NaNoWriMo HQ (save proof of attendance if you do) to be eligible for one of these “side quests.”

This Week’s Prep Event

On the evening of Wednesday, October 18, we’ll assemble for “Planning A/B/C Plots in a Five-Act Structure.”

A plot is more than “one darned thing after another” — it’s an opportunity to highlight a story’s conflict through plausible, meaningful sequences of events. In this session, Jason will lead a half-hour reflection about setting primary and secondary plot arcs that are based on the core conflicts of your story. These arcs then weave together, often with careful POV changes, into a three- or five-act structure that broadly conforms to genre norms.

After the reflection, the group will workshop participants’ specific questions or barriers around this approach to novel planning. And, despite the topic, we’ll try to keep it fun! Even if you’re writing just for yourself, this chat will give you new nuggets to consider about the big-picture structure of your novel.

The session occurs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Jason’s Books and Coffee, located at 1590 44th St. SW, Wyoming, 49509. There’s no cost to attend and no expectation that you’ll purchase any books or coffee from the bookstore. Light snacks and beverages will be available for free. You’re welcome to come early, to enjoy the bookstore’s seating to read, write, or relax in peace. 

This session is in-person only. If you’re planning to attend and either need or can offer a ride for others, please pop into our Discord server.

Reminders, Updates, & Opportunities

A few other things:

  • Kickoff is coming! Join us on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Allendale Township Library. No cost to attend and light snacks will be provided, as well as teh regional goodie bag. We’ll start with a little opener — advice, inspiration, details, &c. — from the MLs, then we’ll break into groups. One group is mostly social, to connect (or re-connect!) with friends, while the other group 
  • If you haven’t yet taken the regional survey, now’s the time. People interested in hosting a write-in should complete the survey ASAP so we can get the regional schedule finalized by this weekend. The survey helps us plan for gaps in the in-person planning as well as offering all of you lovely people the chance to request a goodie bag if you can’t attend the in-person Kickoff event.
  • This year, the Day of Knockout Noveling will be held on Saturday, Nov. 11. (I think the regional survey still had last year’s date attached — oops.) More about DOKN to come. For now, celebrate that G.R. Comic Con is held the first weekend in November, so the two events won’t collide this year. You’ll find familiar faces there on different sides of the table. Jason’s Books and Coffee will be selling an assortment of used Sci-Fi and Fantasy books; our former ML gypsywitch (author Jean Davis) will be there; longtime member The General (Allison Hawkins) will offer a fan panel. If you’ll be there as a vendor or presenter, drop us a note so we can highlight you next week. #SupportOurRegion
  • Subscribe to the blog! Our blog is the “source and summit” of the region’s news alerts and official messages. Given how many who don’t participate are subscribed to our region on the NaNoWriMo page, it’s quite likely that soon, we’ll stop double-posting these messages as NaNo Mails.

Have a tip, resource, or opportunity to share with the region? Let us know by dropping a note through our Contact Us page.