Story and Structure Resources to Help You Prep for NaNoWriMo

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Whether you’re a planner, a pantser or the combination of both, you’re all in prep mode this month. And there’s only 13 days left to November 1st to prep as much as we can.

And to help, here are some NaNoWriMo resources and recommendations. Regardless if you prefer to write by the seat of your pants (story). Or create an outline as your guide (structure).

Jami Gold (paranormal author) Worksheets for Writers (structure)

I recently stumbled across Jami Gold’s beat sheets and boy am I glad I did. It’s a great resource for NaNoWriMo as well as every stage of your writing. She even has a Romance beat sheet that’ll definitely come in handy for Dreaming of You.

Better Novel Project’s Obstacles on the Hero’s Journey (story & structure)

I stumbled on this post on Pinterest. If you’re ever confused about or get stuck with your story’s conflict, then you have to read this post. It looks at and explains the number of obstacles a hero, your main character, must face. Be sure to check out the Master Outline as well as How to Create a Remarkable Villain.

K.M. Weiland’s 100+ Questions to Help You Interview Your Characters (structure)

Knowing your characters inside and out will help move the plot forward. And help with the backstory. Even when not everything about them makes it into the story. You can also add questions of your own.

The Emotion’s Thesaurus -Descriptive Thesaurus Collection (story)

I stand by The Emotion’s Thesaurus. It helps to expand your descriptive writing of your character’s emotions and body language. If you have time and the budget, it’s a must have. I also suggest getting the rest of the thesaurus collection too.

James Scott Bell Write Your Novel From the Middle

When I first entered NaNoWriMo in 2013, I came up short 20k. Mostly because I lost steam and waffled in the middle. So my plan for this year is to start my story from the middle. And thankfully James Scott Bell wrote a book on how to do that. Best thing is, it doesn’t matter if you’re pantser, a plotter or between. It’s a short book consisting of nine chapters of Mr. Bell’s wisdom on writing a bestselling novel. I just ordered it last Friday and can’t wait to finish reading and applying what I learn.

Have any other great resources and recommendations to share? Have any tips to share for a successful NaNoWriMo? What guidebooks/workbooks will you be using for NaNoWriMo?

PS According to last week’s “Help Me Pick My Novel” poll, story #3 The Soul Traveler is in the lead at 60%. Story idea #2 Nadia and the Immortal Witch (sequel to work in progress) squeezed by in second. With story idea #1 Dreaming of You in last. I’m still unsure of which novel I’ll take on. But I have decided to use the following books to help write my NaNoWriMo 2015 novel!



  1. If I ever participate in NaNo, I’ll definitely have to have spreadsheets and diagrams and lists and character profiles….you name it.

    Good luck with choosing! Despite what the poll says, pick the story that you feel inspiration to write and you know you’ll be able to write with no problems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Chrys. You’re right. I hope to find THE story for NaNoWriMo. But if they aren’t it, then maybe there’s a 4th/5th idea I haven’t thought of.


  2. I’m still waiting to hear what I’m supposed to be working on next! The partial I have with my editor, the list of ideas I have with my agent, or revisions on my upcoming books. So no NaNo for me…but I recently made the move to Scrivener and I LOVE it. I’m not a planner, but I took the tip to name each chapter with the setting and a general idea of what will happen in that channel, so I’m at least planning one or two chapters ahead and it really does help.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, waiting must be a killer. I’m not good with waiting myself. I’m glad you’re excited about Scrivener. I’m dying to use Scrivener too but they’re not Chromebook compatible 😢. And I like the idea of chapter settings. So far to keep my story on track, I’ve created loglines and taglines. And Bell’s ‘Write from the Middle’ is helping me to think deeper about the core of the story.


  3. I’m still on the fence about Nano this year. I have a couple of things on the fire but I’m not sure if I’ll have a good outline by the time November gets here. But we’ll see! And there’s another book, I think it’s How to Write a Damn Good Novel, that I once found helpful. I also find good screenwriting guides helpful in terms of structuring novels. Whichever project you decide to tackle, good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had a pretty good NaNo session last year. My fantasy novel was incomplete and I used NanNo to push myself to finish the first draft.
    This year I’m attempting book II from scratch.
    BTW Good suggestions. I always peruse through K.M. Weiland’s blog and have a copy of the Emotion Thesaurus

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t you just love Weiland’s blog and the Emotion Thesaurus? I swear I’m going to get the Positive & Negative Thesaurus before the year is out. And complete the collection by next year. Good luck with book 2 and with NaNo! 😀


    • Thanks Denise. I mostly stalk Weiland’s site and pin a lot of her posts on my Pinterest board(s). And I just love Gold’s beat sheets and they have come in handy for the romance I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. Struck gold when I stumbled onto her site. Have any writing gurus to recommend?


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