NaNoWriMo Preparation: Plotting Your Story Idea

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National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, is just around the corner. For folks who have never taken part in this writing project, NaNoWriMo can feel quite daunting. You only have 30 days, or roughly one month, to write a novel.

Getting to the end result is not as easy as picking up a pen and paper for your computer. There is actually a lot of preparation to do. For instance, you need to know who your characters are, what the big problem in the story is, and how your characters are going to solve that problem.

To help you get started I have created a FREE four-part preparation course. This course also comes with a Novel Writing Kit. (Learn more about the Novel Writing Kit here.)

The first lesson is on Story Ideas and Plotting.


If you have no story idea, you have nothing to start with. No novel. Therefore, come up with your story idea before you write or type the first word to your novel. 

Here are some sample story ideas:

  1. Main character wants to plan a vacation with their partner, but things don’t go to “plan.” 
  2. Main character has moved to a new town and feels out of place. They keep running into a stranger/neighbor who is not happy to help them.
  3. Main character has just lost their high-corporate job of many years. They decide to start their own business instead.
  4. Main character goes to the seaside and comes upon a bottle with a letter inside.

Sign-up for more story ideas. 


Plotting your story idea helps you visualize your novel from beginning to middle to end. You can plot your story using a simple plot diagram, a list of events, or a beat sheet. 

A plot diagram includes your three act story structure.

A list of events is simply in the name. You list the events that take part in your novel. An event is an important piece of information that keeps your story flowing.

And a beat sheet, borrowed from movie scripting, allows you to list the events that occur in your novel into a three act structure. 

I personally prefer a digital beat sheet because I can write down my thoughts, and be as specific or ___ as possible. And I can always refer back to it as I am writing. 

More information on the three different ways to plot can be found in my four-part course and Novel Writing Kit.


National novel writing month, or NaNoWriMo, is coming up. I have material to help you prepare for this daunting task, with story ideas and three ways to plot your novel. Check those out now. Good luck and have fun!

Watch the video here

P.S. If you needed AI generated story ideas, try Writesonic today!

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