It's almost the end of that time of year again! It's fall, pumpkin spice is everywhere you look, and writers are starting to finish with a very difficult month. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) ends in just a few days. So are you where you wanted to be yet?
NaNo can take a lot of a writer. It is easy to get discouraged or not make enough time for those daily writing goals. I don't want that to happen to you! And if it did then I don't want it to happen to you again next year, so I've put this post together.
I have collected a few suggestions and ideas for NaNoWriMo prep that will help you succeed and hopefully win NaNo this year!
This is probably the most important of your NaNoWriMo prep. PLOT! If you are a plotter then plot your little heart out! Generally the more you plan out the harder it is to get stuck when writing so many words every day for a month. If you are a pantser then at least consider coming up with a few plotting items. Have a few plot ideas. Create character sketches, or a time line. You don't have to go crazy, but the more you get ready, story wise, the better prepared you will be to get all the words on the page.
- plot out your story, as in depth as you would like
- research the setting you will be using
- research anything that you may not be familiar with that you are including in your manuscript
- create character sketches
- create a timeline of events
I have discussed tracking goals for NaNoWriMo in the past, and I still consider it to be a really good tool for succeeding during the month.
- Create a tracker
- use the tracker on nanowrimo.org as well - for accountability
- set goals for each day and reward yourself if you stick to them
- be as diligent with tracking your words as you are with writing them!
There are so many tools you can use to stay on track with NaNo. Here are just a few that I typically use.
- the tracker I create
- the writing community, and my written friends
- Twitter - I often participate in writing sprints during NaNo, and one I enjoy is #1k1hr with writing friends, checking in with them on Twitter
- Some folks use things like write or die
Motivation is a huge piece to sticking with your NaNoWriMo goals. If you aren't motivated then it is hard to keep up with almost two thousand words a day. To stay motivated I like to...
- Reward myself when I accomplish my goals
- Keep myself accountable with writing friends
- Give myself quiet writing every day
- Get words in early in the day or week so I can reward myself in the evenings or on weekends
- Set timers to help me stay on track
More NaNoWriMo tips:
Check out a few of the posts from last year around NaNoWriMo time to see even more suggestions and tips for making November include your next new novel!
- Another set of eyes
- Pantsing versus plotting
- On writing quickly
- Letting yourself write badly
- Keeping lists
- Let it sit
- Managing daily goals
There is also a series on staying motivated that could be useful:
Finally one other post I've put together in the past may be useful for NaNo. It includes a resource for creating and tracking daily goals:
After NaNo is over my biggest suggestion is to start editing. AND that's something I can help with. As an editor over at Wild Things Editing there's nothing I more than a NaNoWriMo project. I've edited a few of my own and manuscripts for others too. I have openings in December and beyond for those NaNo projects.
What are you doing to prep for NaNoWriMo? What are the best tips you've found to stay on track and win NaNo?