This year, I am stupidly excited for NaNoWriMo. Normally, I do something like beef up my blog post backlog, or write half a story and then tack and ending onto it, or just fail completely. This year, though? I have an outline. A WHOLE outline. And it’s really shaping up. I don’t think what I’ll write will be magic, but by god, it will have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

For my fellow NaNoers, I have two gifts! The first: Yet another daily word count spreadsheet:

The Numbers

Feel free to copy it, or to use it to publicly shame me when I fall behind.

My second gift: This graph (source), which has helped keep me focused while outlining:

Basically, any time I felt that a chunk was too fuzzy, I’d look at this chart and sort out where in the story I was, and how I could use that set-piece to work with that plot-point. Also, since I was looking at an image and not a blog post, I didn’t go down a rabbit hole of “next” links and “You may also like” articles.

So, who is in? Are you outlining, or going by the seat of your pants?