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It’s Almost National Novel Writing Month: Here’s How to Prepare

September 22, 2021 (Last Updated October 23, 2023)

Marcy G.

It’s almost that time of year again! Right now, both new and seasoned authors from across the globe are getting ready to spearhead their novel writing goals, stretching their creativity to the limits this November. That’s right - we are talking about National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo), and it is just around the corner!

NaNoWriMo is an annual write-a-thon where participants write a 50,000+ word novel directly on the NaNoWriMo website – equating to about 1,700 words per day. If you reach the end of the marathon with at least 50,000 words, you win! Overall, NaNoWriMo is a powerful event that occurs every year, inspiring authors to unleash creativity, advance their writing skills, and really challenge them to stick with their novel writing goals.

But, as wonderful and exciting as this writing marathon may be for writers, there is no denying that preparation is necessary to optimize chances of success. With NaNoWriMo approaching fast, below you can find some helpful preparation tips that will help you head into November with confidence to reach the finish line with 50,000 words. 


Create/Brainstorm a Plot Outline

If you haven't already, try to come up with a rough plot outline to help you get started on the right path forward. Though NaNoWriMo is for the entire month of November, that does not mean you have to wait until then to get started on the direction you want your novel to go in. For this, write down a one or two-sentence premise, some bullet point plot events, and nail down the intricacies of your characters. If there is one thing for sure, having a solid plot is great, but your characters are what drives the plot home.


Carve Out Daily Novel Writing Time

Writing about 1,700 words a day might sound easy on paper, but it can be quite the challenge in practice. Between work, school, family, etc., many people live with a full agenda that makes writing daily a hard task to stick to. The best thing you can do to stick to your daily writing schedule is by carving out time to write each day of November, during a time of day that makes the most sense for your schedule. It might call for some schedule changes and tweaks, but doing this can help you find the time to write at a steady pace and not miss days on accident.


Designate a Place to Write

Another key tip is designating a creative, quiet space to write each day. Whether it be a home office or a local library, designating a space to work on your novel is what will help signal to your brain that it's time to write. If you want to take it a step further, add some blue shaded decor into the scene, as the color blue has been studied and found to help increase the ability to think creatively. If you designated a space and it isn’t working out, try out different places in your home until you find one that helps you reach your daily goals the best. If you need more tips for productive writing, we can help.


Connect with Other NaNoWriMo Participants

Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out to the massive NaNoWriMo network of authors who are all striving for the same goal. You can connect with the NaNoWriMo community throughout the entire process. There are tons of different forums and groups like this one here, where you can connect with authors of all levels. As a reminder, NaNoWriMo may feel like a sprint, but is not a race against other authors; The point is to merely finish. This means you are all in the same boat together, and networking with them can bring new levels of encouragement, insight, and inspiration to keep you going.  


Summary – Get Ready, Get Set, Write!

In summary, NaNoWriMo has certainly helped thousands upon thousands of authors reach untapped potential and take their writing skills to new heights. There is something quite motivating about the wholesome challenge of prioritizing writing for an entire month. But, as great and unifying as it is, being mentally and physically prepared beforehand is a sure-fire way to secure your chances of crossing the finish line.

With just a few days to go, leverage these tips to your advantage to thrive for the full 30 days. In the end, prepare as much as you can now, do your best during, and above all, don’t forget to have fun!

Remember, NaNoWriMo doesn’t require your novel to be publish-ready; It can be a rough draft of your story that you can edit and finalize later. And when you're ready to take on that next phase, 48 Hour Books is on standby to help make it happen.


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