Its October, Which means it is also Preptober, the month where those around the writing world are preparing their ideas, outlining and plotting for Nanowrimo next month. I have been working on an idea for the past few months and I am pushing myself to have a complete outline of it by the end of this month so I can go one to sculpt a zero-draft of it in November.
I am hoping to reach my 50k words in November by fleshing out my initial bullet draft which I will write this month. This will hopefully give me a solid foundation with snippets of dialogue and all the twists and turns in place to take my time writing a full first draft over Christmas and into 2022.
I have a number of tools to help me get working on this including my Writer’s journal which you can find here, a TBR of craft books which I am discussing later and my everyday bullet journal, which is the subject of todays post.
October/Preptober Bullet Journal
I always use a Nuuna dotted note book as my bullet journal . I like that it is slightly larger than A5 with 0.5 dot spacing. for the layouts this month I have chosen a brown and gold colour scheme so I have used:
Uniball Signo Noble Metal – Bronze
Uniball Signo Noble Metal – Gold
Staedtler Triplus Pastel and Vintage highlighter – Brown
For day to day handwriting I have chosen my Turquoise Lami Safari fountain pen with fine nib, it is filled with Diamine ink in sepia.
October Monthly Spread
Like I have said previously I like keeping my title pages simple and elegant. This is because they take little to know effort and time to draw but still look pretty. I have kept the 1920’s Art Deco style which I have really been loving. I think it looks really stunning in the bronze and gold. It really shines of the page.
Calendar, Blog posts and Reading Record
A bullet journal is a useful tool for organising day to day life and for me that also means keeping track of my reading and my blog posts too.
In this spread I have four sections. The calendar is used just to mark down quick appointments, birthdays etc. and the Important section is where I can make longer notes and future planning. Here I will usually just mark the day and then the associated information. When filling in next months calendar I can glance back and mark in any important dates I have made note of.
The left hand page contains my Books Read section. I don’t keep my TBR in my Journal instead I mark off the books I have read. I print little stickers of each book cover that I read in the month and paste them in this section along with the star rating and page count. At the end of the month I can easily see what books I have read and what I thought of them. Through out the month I have a page for each book I read that I make when I start each book this will have my notes and ESCAPE Score for each read.
Finally I have my Blog post tracker. I like to try and plan and write my posts in advance so this section is usually split by date and the post/ review I want to write for that date. Then I can mark when I have written and scheduled each post.
Again this is a very very simple spread. Its just a box for each day. I can fill in any appointments I have that day. any notes that are needed and I also will record daily reading there. Again I print mini stickers of the books I am reading and the pages read that day.
Yes another simple title page in the same style as my monthly page. I decided to keep the same colour scheme too. I feel it is appropriate as I am writing a space based mystery inspired by the Queen of Crime herself Agatha Christie and the stylings of the space station in the videogame Pray which has a very 1920s/30 feel it it with the mahogany and the brass so I feel keeping the bronze and gold will really inspire my worldbuilding. Also pictured is my writers notebook. I carry this with me all the time and it is filled with scribbles and ideas that I am going to be parsing out this month hopefully into an outline for a story!
Goals and outlines
I Then have a spread for my goals for this month which again is to continue brainstorming and then outlining my idea. As well as a section for my outline. I have tried other outlines in the past but really liked Katytastic’s 3 Acts, 9 Blocks, 27 chapters method. While I never stick to the 27 chapters it helps me think of the story arc overall in a really broken down manor which just makes it easier for me to make sure I have a complete story and not one that gets lost in the middle (which I have done before).
I set up the Writing Sessions tracker a couple of years ago for a Nanowrimo and it worked really well for me. It gave me space to track how much time I am spending on writing, What type of writing I am doing, What I was working on and any notes I want to leave for myself for the next session. This allows me to glance back to find out where I left off and what still needs done but also how i was feeling etc.
Lastly I have my Zero Draft Check list. My zero draft checklist is something I will be creating as the month goes on. This is essentially all the elements I want to hit when writing my zero draft in November. So it will be a combination of all the elements I need to pull together this month such as character profiles, worldbuilding and setting descriptions as well as a general bullet draft as a check list that I can tick off as I write each section in November.
In fact I can add and check off the first task on that list and that is to announce my project on The Nanowrimo website. It just has a working title at the moment, i will need to brainstorm a title, but it’s a fun step to getting this project off the ground.
So that Is my Preptober Bullet Journal set up.
If you are interested in me talking about my writing more let me know.