Guest Post: A NaNoWriMo Must-Have (with Promotion)

Michelle’s Note: I know Cameron through irowboat, and he is an amazing person, talented author and has invented possibly the best outlining tool ever made (Like, so good it made me squee in delight). I will be using Plottr to outline–yes, me… outlining–and I will post screenshots of my progress in this year’s NaNoWriMo here so you can follow along. Make sure to take him up on his special NaNoWriMO promotion of this amazeballs app, and listen to me interview him for my podcast here.

The month of November can be one of the most exhilarating of the year for many writers and possibly the most stressful. 😅

I don’t know how you’ve approached writing a whole novel in 30 days, but I couldn’t do it without a little bit of planning … okay maybe more than a little.

I’m not a pantser, that’s for sure. I need to have a pretty clear plan of what I’m about to write. I’ve tried to write a novel by the seat of my pants and when I got to the end of the ideas in my head, I couldn’t get any further. I had to stop writing and plan the rest out.

And when I started planning the rest of the novel, a bunch of things had to change from the beginning so I ended up re-writing the whole thing. Has that ever happened to you?

For the next novel, I planned it out pretty detailed. Like almost down to the paragraph … okay not quite that far, but you get the idea. It was a really detailed plan. That novel turned out to be my best novel ever (in my opinion 😉).

Sometime around the time between that first novel and the second novel, a fellow writer and I started making a tool to help plot out our stories because there really wasn’t anything out there that did what we needed. I really didn’t want to have to rewrite another story over and over, so I decided to make a tool myself.

It’s taken me a couple years, but I’ve finally perfected that tool and now this month I’m so excited to be able to release Plottr into the wild. 🎉🎊

Plottr is the most elegant tool for plotting out stories that you’ll ever use. It makes it easy to visually plot out multiple story lines in your story.

And it couldn’t come at a better time. As you prepare for your own NaNoWriMo novel, this year you’ll be able to plot it out first in October.

You start with a timeline which you can think of as an organized way to put sticky notes on a wall. You add your scenes across the top and subplots down the left side. Where a scene and a plot line intersect, you can add a card. Each card holds the description of an event.

Plottr will take your timeline and make an outline for you. You can even export the whole story into a Word doc which gives you a convenient hard copy of your outline.

You can also track characters and settings with Plottr. One of my favorite features is that you can tell Plottr which attributes to track about those characters and places.

Lastly there is an area for notes. I like to use it for brainstorming and background info about the story’s world.

I think Plottr is going to change the way we all write novels. It’s already changing how I write my own and I love using it. 👏

Because this year is Plottr’s first NaNo, and because you’re hearing about it on Michelle’s blog, I’ve got a special discount for you at this link: 🎊

Cameron is a family man, inventor, writer, and Christian. By day he works as a software engineer with Instructure, and at home enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife and five amazing children. He is fascinated with martial arts and meditation, and he spends his free time writing and deepening his understanding of the creative human spirit. You can buy his novels on

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