Ian Philpot

There’s just three days until the craziness of NaNoWriMO begins and The Signateur comes to life.

I’ve got my plot.
I’ve got my caffeine supply.
I think I’m ready—which means I’m probably not.

Ready or not, I already feel that this year is going to be good. I’ve been planning and I’ve even started crowd-sourcing part of my novel.

So I thought I’d share a part of the planning process along with some of the tools I plan on using during NaNoWriMo this year.


As I learned a couple of years ago while writing a play for Script Frenzy, I do my best writing when I’ve got it mapped out.

So far, I’ve written summaries for twenty-two scenes that take place across fourteen chapters. My goal is to write one scene a day. Some scenes are long while others are short, but I’m confident that I’ll have enough content to reach 50,000 words.

But scene summaries aren’t enough for me right now. I’ve got bios started for fourteen of my characters. I’m working on detailed layouts for seven specific locations in the story.

What’s been most helpful is Erin’s attention whenever I have a new idea for how the story could/will unfold.


A craftsman is only as good as his tools, so I’m trying to keep that in mind as I prepare for NaNoWriMo this year.


Screenshot of The Signateur in ScrivenerI’ve talked about using Scrivener before for NaNoWriMo, and I still stand firmly behind it. There is not better tool for writing a novel than this program.

All of those scene summaries and character sketches fall into one manageable space with Scrivener, and I don’t even have to work extra hard.

The best part is going to be in December and January when I need to export the file to print it as a manuscript or send it to friends and family as a PDF. Or in six months when I’m thinking about giving it away in an eBook version, just a couple of clicks and boom, it’s done!

Scrivener is set up to easily export a file into whatever format I could hope for.


I think I’m in the majority when I say that I don’t trust my computer. For years, we’ve all been afraid that our computer will crash or freeze or get locked in the Blue Screen of Death.

So I’m saving it to DropBox. I have much more faith in DropBox than I do the hard drive on my computer or even a flash drive.

But I still don’t trust DropBox enough…

IFTTT and Google Drive

Now I might sound a little paranoid, but this is my novel and I want to keep it safe.

Every day, I will save a copy of my novel with a new filename specific to that day. I will have an IFTTT recipe (below) that will save a copy of each file in my Google Drive account.

IFTTT Recipe: NaNoWriMo Novel Backup connects dropbox to google-drive

That’s it so far. If anything else comes up, I’ll be sure to mention it.