top of page
  • Kate Barker

Can You Write a Novel in 30 Days? 5 Tips to Prepare for NaNoWriMo

November is almost here! That means it’s almost time for National Novel Writing Month…or NaNoWriMo!

Every year thousands of people–nationwide and internationally–sign up on the NaNoWriMo website to accept the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month! That’s a novel in some circles!

Have you ever tried to write a book in only one month? I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo three different times…never quite reached 50,000 words, but I always had more words at the end of the month than when I started…so I consider this a productive challenge!

Since we’re halfway through October, NOW is the time to prepare to write your complete story in the month of November.

Tip #1

Sign Up!

Just go there…and sign up! Here’s the link again:

Okay…that was easy, right?

Tip #2

Some writers are pansters. That’s a literary term for “those who jot a few notes and start writing!” In the other camp are those who are often referred to as plotters–“those who plan each step before they write.” I’m an in-betweener! I start with a basic outline…beginning, middle and end. And add to it as I write. Some novelist map out their stories or use the snowflake method. You can Google all these terms if you want to know more.

I make notes and do research before I begin a story. For the new idea that came to me the other day, I’ve begun to investigate certain types of human behavior. Another great prep idea is to create a secret Pinterest board! What could be more fun! Character look-a-likes, landscape, settings, even events or celebrations that might take place in your manuscript…all can be pinned for later reference.

Character lists and sketches are really helpful in the beginning. Remembering what color eyes your hero or heroine has is easily solved if you’ve made your personnel list with each one’s attributes.

Tip #3

If your computer needs updating, take care of it before you start.

Keep a pen and notebook handy!

   I keep a pen and journal on my nightstand. Sometimes I wake up with thoughts or ideas about a story and if I don’t write it down, I guarantee I won’t’ remember it in the morning!

It’s best to schedule a definite time to write…like every morning from 6 am to 7 am or something that works with your lifestyle.

If music helps you write, get your playlist set up before November 1st.

Tip #4

If you want to finish  50,000 words in one month you’d have to write about 1,666.66 words per day!

I usually set a 1,000 daily word count goal…I know that will only be 30,000 words, but it will be more than I had on November 1st. Hopefully, I can squeeze in more words on weekends or early, early in the morning. It’s more difficult to count on making a word count when you’re writing on the fly. Not saying it can’t be done, just that it’s problematic.

Now…once you’ve established a word count goal and a time to write…all you have to do is WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!!

Don’t stop to edit. No editing allowed right now! (LOL) Editing is for LATER! When you’ve finished the month…go back and do your edits.

Tip #5

Last Tip…find a few writing buddies! At NaNoWriMo   you can search for friends or writing buddies writing in the same genre. A buddy helps you stay accountable! Also, there is a place to check out who else from your area is participating in NaNoWriMo. Looks like this year we have a few participants from Redding, so we might all get together and write or have a social to encourage one another…or who knows!

Get your tea or coffee and some snacks and Let’s Get Ready To Write!!



6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page