Just last week, I announced that I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. After sketching out some NaNoWriMo spreads in my Bullet Journal, I soon realized that all of my novel planning would easily begin to overrun my notebook. That is when the idea for my NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal was born.
Think of it as a writer’s notebook meets the organization of a Bullet Journal, and you’ve got the idea. In my NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal, I’ll be making plans, taking notes, logging ideas and writing time, and organizing my research and resources along the way.
Not sure what NaNoWriMo is? Check out last week’s post for more info :)
Today’s post is just a glimpse into what I have put in my journal so far. I can’t wait to watch it fill up and grow over time. Are you ready? Let’s go!
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MY NANOWRIMO BULLET JOURNAL
For my NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal, I decided to stick with the notebook that I know and love — the Leuchtturm1917 A5 Dot Grid notebook. I’m also using my usual Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen (size S) and my trusty Tombow Dual Brush Pens for color.
In addition to the traditional Bullet Journal® index, I decided to use my Color Index hack to further categorize my entries. (Learn more about the color index here)
Green = World Building
Purple = Plot
Orange = Characters
Blue = Titles
Pink = Planning
The left-hand side of the first spread in my journal is a simple task list to complete before NaNoWriMo begins on November 1st. I’m already making progress on it :)
On the right-hand side, I copied down the NaNoWriMo outline from Christine over at Better Novel Project. Although I’m still not sure if this is the structure I’ll be following, I wanted to have it as a reference in my journal nonetheless. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you check out Christine’s blog. She has a wealth of information for new and experienced writers alike.
Up next is a traditional monthly log for both October and November. I decided to write in all upcoming events and appointments so that I can see where I will have more (or less) time to plan and write.
November is shaping up to be a hectic month for me with travel, birthday, and holiday celebrations. Knowing what is coming ahead and being able to plan my writing around it is going to be a big factor in completing my 50,000 word goal.
After that, I have some pages for title, plot, and character ideas. Don’t mind the paper covering up my lists… what kind of writer would I be if I posted spoilers of my novel before I even begin the writing process? ;)
The next few pages are all about character development. I copied down some character archetypes for heros, heroines, and villains from Tami Cowden over at www.tamicowden.com. After that, have some tips for writing stronger characters from Kristen at www.shesnovel.com.
You’ll notice that the vast majority of my NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal so far is simply reference material. As the month progresses and November draws closer, I’ll be getting into more actual planning of characters and plotlines.
The next two spreads are some info about the 16 personality types as put forth by The Myers Briggs Foundation. Taking the MBTI assessment can be pretty expensive. Luckily, there is a great website where you can take the test for free and get detailed descriptions of each personality type. 16Personalities.com has become my go-to resource for learning more about not only myself, but my characters as well.
The next spread is all about world building. Here, I’ve been logging interesting settings along with some cool ideas for different magics and sciences that I could potentially use in my novel.
Up next is a simple description of the seven main plot archetypes. On the opposite page, I have my “What if?” list. I haven’t filled much in here, but it’s my hope that these “What if?” questions will help me if/when I’m experiencing some writer’s block in November.
Finally I have my NaNoWriMo word count tracker. I decided to go with a line graph in this rendition. The mint green line represents my daily goal. As I write each day, I’ll form a new line based on my actual word count.
I had some extra space on the right-hand side and figured there was nothing more fitting than a bookcase to fill the space. After I finished drawing it, the idea hit me that I should have drawn exactly 30 books (one for each day of NaNoWriMo).
As luck would have it, I counted to find that there are exactly 30 books on the top 4 shelves — it was meant to be! I colored in all but those 30 books with my Tombow markers, and I’ll be coloring in a new book each day of NaNoWriMo.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal! I can’t wait to add more plans and sketches to its pages. And I am even more excited to finally start writing my novel in November.
Of course I can’t leave you without a free printable! Some of you asked for the complete tracker page, while others wanted just the bookshelf, so I decided to do both :)
The PDF is now available in the Tribe Resource Library for you to download and print.
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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.