It’s that time of year again…if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, you may be in #Preptober mode!
Not familiar with NaNoWriMo?
It stands for “National Novel Writing Month,” and the idea is to write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel during the 30 days of November. So much fun! Knowing that there are thousands of people writing right alongside you is super motivational.
I’m technically a “NaNoWriMo rebel” because I’ve been working on the same novel for the last four years…but I have a feeling this might be the year I complete it. My story is the first in a planned trilogy, so you’ll have to stay tuned to see if next year, I’m starting on book two! 😅
To help along the way, I’ve created a NaNoWriMo digital journal. I decided to do things digitally this time around because it makes it really easy to drag and drop images for when I’m doing research, and having everything available at a quick glance is really helpful for me.
Maybe it would be helpful for you, too! I’ve made this digital journal available for free — you can access the download links if you’re a member of our Boho Berry NaNoWriMo or Boho Berry Digital Planners Facebook groups.
Let’s take a look inside, shall we?
To see how I’ve filled in the journal with some of the details of my own novel, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for my video flip-through!
The first page of the journal is a perfect place for the title of your novel, and perhaps even some possible cover art. On the left side, you’ll find a few blank sheets of paper to use throughout — there are dot grid, lined, graph and blank sheets.
Next up, we find our calendar. This is a place to fill in important dates and events that may conflict with your writing schedule, so that you can plan around them, be realistic, and set yourself up for success.
This page is a fun one! This is where you’ll track your actual word count. Every day, you’ll come in and make a little dot at the amount of words written, and eventually it will become a line graph that moves up and up until you hit 50,000 at the end of the month (hopefully!)
The left-hand side has boxes to write in the rewards you’ll give yourself for hitting certain word count milestones, and the left-hand side has a shelf that holds 30 books — would you look at that?! The idea is to color in one book for each day that you write!
(Psst…for those of you who aren’t digital planners, this Word Count Tracker is available as a free printable in our Tribe Resource Library! If you’re interested in having this in your own journal, join the Boho Berry email list here for access to the library.)
Next is a place to index your resources — places where you’re taking pointers on novel writing and structure. A favorite of mine is betternovelproject.com, and I would love to hear some of your favorites over in the Facebook group!
The Character Index is super helpful for plotting out the stats and particulars of your character and being able to reference them at a glance.
Jotting down things like their ages, looks, location and family info can be key for consistency, but getting into nitty gritty details like personality quirks can also be super helpful for making them come to life. Even adding pictures of people you imagine them to look like (or drawing them yourself!) will help them jump off the page.
The Relationship Index will help you map out the dynamics between connected characters. Are they good? Are they bad? What struggles might they have?
The timeline is where you can hash out the order of events. Think outside the box here — could it be important to not just have the events of your novel in order, but what happened before we met these characters?
World-building is one of my absolute FAVORITE parts of writing — I can get absolutely lost in research. This is a great place to keep ideas and visuals to enrich the world you create on the page. Consider real-life inspirations that you can draw from, and use these pages to dream them into something that’s your own.
The Encyclopedia section can serve as a key and dictionary of objects and symbolism in your book. This is highly customizable, depending on the kind of novel you’re writing!
And finally, the Notes and Miscellaneous Index can be used however you like! Stray thoughts that you may or may not move to another section can land here first. So far, I’m using mine for the NaNoWriMo badges that I’m looking forward to earning. 😊
I’m so excited to get started, and we’re having SO much fun in the Boho Berry NaNoWriMo Facebook group already! Please be sure to join us in our literary adventures over there if you haven’t already.
Check out my video below to see how I’m filling in my journal in preparation for November!
JOIN THE BOHO BERRY TRIBE
- Access to the Tribe Resource Library, chock full of FREE printables. New printables added every two weeks!
- Admission into the Tribe Facebook Group, where we support and encourage each other daily.
- An invite to my monthly Live Q&A exclusive to Tribe Members!
- A 10% off coupon for Boho Berry Paperie for each month that you remain a Tribe Member.
You will also receive the Boho Berry Newsletter every Friday -- chock full of motivation, inspiration, updates and more!
Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy – Boho Berry Paperie.