National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is just around the corner! The fun begins on November 1st, and the idea is to write a 50,000-word novel over the course of one month.
I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo this past July (read all about my experience with Camp NaNoWriMo by clicking here), and I’m looking forward to participating in NaNoWriMo next month. Of course, if you’re going to write a draft of a novel in the space of one month, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
Here are my tips for preparing for NaNoWriMo:
1) Decide ahead of time what you want to write about.
Typically, people write novels for NaNoWriMo. But what will your novel be about? What genre do you want to write? Do you know what the main plot will be, or who your main character is, or from what point of view you’ll write?
It’s a good idea to plan this out so that you can just start writing on Day 1 of NaNoWriMo. For July’s Camp NaNo, I wrote a business book, so I think I’ll be a NaNoWriMo “rebel” in November and continue working on my series of business books rather than work on a novel.
2) Figure out what your schedule will look like in November.
Are there certain days or weekends that are already looking hectic? When will you have time to fit in writing? Are you going to set aside a couple days each week for doing huge amounts of writing or write a bit every day?
NaNoWriMo often does writing “marathons” some days during the month, in which you’re supposed to write as much as you can in a day and that sort of thing. Why not create some of these mini challenges for yourself? It’s an especially good idea if your schedule is busy—you might be better off writing larger chunks on fewer days than trying to write every single day of the month.
3) Create an outline.
If you know what you’ll be writing about, it’s not a bad idea to have a brief outline written up.
For myself, I plan on putting together the table of contents for a business book or two in the next couple of weeks. That way, I’ll be able to start writing the chapters on November 1st, and I’ll know exactly what I want to write about in the book.
You want to take advantage of letting the creative juices flow throughout NaNoWriMo. It’s no fun if you get stuck because you don’t know what should come next! If you give yourself an outline, you’ll have something to go on in case you need it. And if you end up branching out in a different direction, that’s okay too!
Create an outline ahead of time so when #NaNoWriMo begins, you can start WRITING on Day 1
4) Collect your writing supplies.
What do you need to do your best writing? Is there a specific type of music you like to listen to? Caffeinated beverages you need to stay alert? Pictures to inspire you? A special notebook and pen to write ideas as they come to you on the go?
Gather all of your supplies ahead of time so that they are ready to support you once you start writing on November 1st.
By the way, you can get insights into my experiences with (Camp) NaNoWrimo in this episode of Indie Author Weekly:
5) Plan for hiccups.
Sometimes things come up and get in our way. To really set yourself up for success this year for NaNoWriMo, it’s a good idea to expect hiccups to happen!
If you choose to write a 50,000-word novel in November, that breaks down to about 1,667 words per day. With that in mind, plan to write 1,700 words each day, and try to get a jump-start at the beginning if you can.
This year, November 1st falls on a Saturday. Why not try to write several days’ worth of words in that first day? There might be other days when you just aren’t feeling it or when other things come up, so if you can plan to get ahead of schedule, you’ll be that much more likely to reach your goal.