Here’s no frills NaNoWriMo calendar. After you print it out you can add stickers or washi tape. 🙂 I think there’s enough space for you to write your word count beneath the word count number to keep you on track. I hope you find inspiration from the forums, meeting writers from all over the world, and being inspired to write the story of your heart. NaNo is supposed to be fun, not a drudge. Should you persevere at the end you’ll have a draft of a manuscript, a big portion of editing, forward progress on whatever you’re writing.
NaNo is all about getting the story down. Editing comes later.
Smudge Alpin MacRuff wants to help writers with NaNo so here’s his POV on what happens when you undertake the month of November’s literary abandon.
I know this is a wee bit early before October but I wanted to go ahead and share some resources to help you prepare for National Novel Writing Month (November). If you have problems finishing a manuscript NaNoWriMo might help you finish. It teaches you how to muffle/choke your inner editor. Bribery works for my inner editor.
What if you aren’t writing fiction and still want to participate in this frenzied event? You can be a NaNo Rebel. A NaNo Rebel is a NaNoWriMo participant who chooses to write something besides a novel of at least 50,000 words in November. Some rebels choose to revise and edit their novels, while others wander into the worlds of nonfiction, video games, scripts, and academic writing.
Back to the topic of novel writing. It’s easy for a nonwriter or someone who only writes short stories to say, “writing a novel can’t be that hard.” It can be. Many people wistfully say they want to write a novel one day. I’ll bet they started to really think about it, then broke out into an icy sweat while slowly backing away from that idea.
Writing a novel can be a daunting task. I’ve found that breaking such a large project into smaller pieces makes the process less overwhelming and easier to organize. I write my stories in Word but keep them organized in Scrivener.
To have an idea of where I’m going, I write out what I know about the major plot points and/or the pinch points in my story. This is a good start but I also need a way to keep myself on track without interfering my flow of creativity. Using the Hero’s Journey and the 3-Act Structure, along with the plot points I’ve written out give me a road map to follow. BUT, this method also gives me the room I need if I come up with ideas that are better than my initial effort. A Google search brings up lots of resources to help you prepare for NaNo.
Here’s the word count breakdown to reach the 50,000 word goal: 1,667 words per day or 7 pages. If you can’t sit down and write that number of pages in a single sitting you can write 556 words in three sessions which will keep you at the daily goal.
Do you have a child or teen who’s a writer? NaNoWriMo has a Young Writer’s Program.
I hope the links provide a good starting place for your novel preparation. If you’ve always wanted to write a novel, don’t put it off. Take the plunge! Don’t worry if you don’t reach the 200 pages goal what’s important is that you learned more about writing, yourself, and maybe made some new writing friends.
Do you have your word count calendar ready? No? Here’s a basic one for you. If you check the NaNo forums people have created some really great calendars. If you can create your own that’s awesome! As you can tell, I love this writing event and look forward to it every year. The writing energy from it is amazing.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Fill out character sheets on your main characters and the villain(s)/antagonist. The more you know them, the easier it will be when you’re plotting.
Write down what you know of the story.. Write off to the side and highlight or use various colours of pens to and figure out where it belongs such as the Inciting Incident, plot point 1, midpoint. On another page write start writing out the plotting system you use and fill in the information from the story synopsis. Once the plot page is completed you’ll be able to tell at a glance where your story is going and what elements your missing. This is roadmap. A story draft get the idea down with the characters, some brilliant gems will be there with the excitement and passion for this creation.
After you’ve gotten the draft down then put your thoughts into the editing process. NaNo isn’t the time for being nitpicky over every sentence. I use a ** in a colour that stands out to indicate I need to add something in a NaNo manuscript. Example: Heroine does blah blah blah ** this spot needs more research on medicinal herbs for burns; besides the obvious aloe vera**
I hope this short blog post helps you with NaNo. Go forth and slay the editor that sits on your shoulder (at least for November!).
A minute into November 1 me and thousands of crazy writers across the world will begin NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a rough draft of a book 50,000 which = 200 pages. It’s free to sign up and there are forums on lots of topics and friendly people ready to help and answer questions. I am one of those people who waits until one minute past midnight into November 1 to begin National Novel Writing Month.
For me it’s been a wonderful and freeing experience. Have you always wanted to write a book? No better time to begin than November 1.
There are blogs and YouTube videos dedicated to this topic. October is also known in the writing community (at least by some of us) as Preptober. Getting an outlines or notes down in preparation for November 1.
If you have a child interested in creative writing, NaNo has a program for them, and teachers who would like to do this with their students. https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/
So many people say they want to write a book. Why not take that first step and do it. The first draft is always crappy, that’s why we edit. The draft gets the story down, the journey of the characters. NaNoWriMo pushes you to write and ignore your inner editor and write. NaNo helped me finish my first 200 page novel.
Pissed about 2020? Put it in a story. Mystery, thriller, science fiction, romantic suspense whatever genre you write in or want to write pour your emotions onto the page.
Now is the perfect time to write a book. Don’t wait for someday. Be brave and join the millions of us who help others see the beauty and wonder of the worlds within the pages of our books. We’re waiting for you. Take my hand…we’ll go together.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a chance to finish a book with help and support. I’m talking about a rough draft. So many writers are hung up on getting those first three chapters of their novel to be perfect and they never progress.
Participating in NaNoWriMo is the opportunity to break free. Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft. This is what most authors crank out. The beauty of this is you can go back and edit, then polish that baby up. BUT you can’t progress if you don’t step away from the cage you’ve put yourself in. A first draft isn’t supposed to be perfect. The draft is getting down the bare bones of your story. Fleshing it out, going back to layer in other elements comes after the draft is written.
NaNoWriMo is an excellent way to experiment writing in a new genre. The forums at the NaNo site are a treasure. Digging around there can spark ideas. You can make new writing friends while learning information on various topics as well.
Don’t let fear hold you back. I’ve heard writers say, “what if I write something that my Mom/Dad/Grandma/Aunt won’t like?” It doesn’t matter. Write what’s in your heart. If you’re trying to write under the constraints of family and friends it will show in your writing. The passion and the joy won’t shine through. Write what you love.
For years and years, I had no writing support. Even the professional organization I was a member of was fake about the encouragement offered. I was in an abusive marriage and continued to write romance, children’s and nonfiction for most of my writing career. I’m proof you CAN do it.
Not everyone who participates in National Novel Writing Month finishes. The upside to this is you now have more words than if you did nothing at all. To me that makes it a win. There are worksheets to help with characterization and plot, forums with oodles of topics, writing programs such as Scrivener, which I’m learning. Once I figure out all the stuff Scrivener can do its going to be a love relationship. The link is at the bottom of the post. The Scrivener people also have a program called Scapple, a mind mapping program. You won’t spend a fortune on either of the programs and I appreciate it!
If you haven’t tried National Novel Writing Month, go ahead. The month of November just got crazier! If you write 1,667 words a day or 556 words three times day you can reach the 50,000 word goal. There’s a Young Writer’s Program so you can involve your kids or grandkids as you’re writing. There are write-ins all over the world. Find your region and go.
Don’t give in to fear. Fear of not writing perfect, fear of what others might think, fear of success and the myriad of other fears that creep in. Make your dreams come true and finish that novel!