Let’s get preppy! #Preptober is coming

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you already know what a big fan of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I am.

But what you may not know is that… I’ve never actually used the month of October for intensive preparation before I attempt to write my novels.

As a reformed Pantser (and current Plotser), I usually end up writing up a very hastily scrawled outline on October 31st and then winging it for a few days as I attempt to figure out just what in the heck I’m actually writing about.

But all of that is about to change. Why? Because I’ve discovered PREPTOBER!

What is Preptober?

As I’ve discovered (via The Ginger Wordsmith and Rachael Stephen, among others!), Preptober is the unofficial planning month before NaNoWriMo takes off. So, the entire month of October can be devoted to brainstorming, plotting, character sketching, figuring out settings and scenes, and otherwise scribbling notes towards what will, ultimately, become your novel.

This year, I’ve decided to dive deep into the planning process, attempting all of the stuff I normally avoid, to see whether or not it makes writing my novel any easier come November.

I’ve also decided to share my process with you, via this blog and social media.

If you’d like to prep along with me, here’s a worksheet with prompts you can use for each day of the month:

Click image to download a printable copy!

And here’s a link to download a Calendar version.

Each day I’ll post the prompt on my Instagram profiles (@LauraRobertsBooks and @originaloflaura), with links to my blog posts exploring characters, settings, scenes and plot points from my own NaNo novel.

Follow along daily, or jump in whenever the mood strikes you!

This is a totally optional component to help you get novel-ready for November, but the goal is to get your fiction muscles flexing, thinking about your characters and story.

So, what do you think?

Will you prep along with me this Preptober?

Use the hashtag #Preptober on social media so we can check out each other’s work, comment and connect!


  • Sandra Yeaman

    Hi, Laura,

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing your journey during Preptober. You’ve reminded me that while I started my work-in-progress as a memoir, I’ve taken the good advice of my read-and-critique group to turn it into a novel. And that means I need to rethink my main characters so that I don’t keep writing the story as if the real characters I started writing about do not limit the range of their thoughts, decisions, and actions.

    Thanks for opening my eyes and thinking.

    • Laura Roberts

      You’re welcome, Sandra! I’m glad people are getting something useful out of these prompts. This is my first year prepping for a month in advance, so I’m getting really eager for November to finally arrive so I can start writing this story. I’ve also decided to sign up for a writing class with the local SCBWI chapter (which meets monthly), so hopefully I will be able to shape the manuscript with their assistance once the challenge is over. :D