I wrote an article for Medium members on prepping for NaNoWriMo in just 7 short days. Read it here.
November is National Novel Writing Month, or #NaNoWriMo, if you follow along on Twitter. This November, I’ll be writing ten short stories compressed into 30 days. That’s about 5,000 words per story, with each story taking me about 3 days to write, or about 1,600 words a day. However, my plan is a bit nontraditional and most writers will be writing the first draft of an entire novel. The only guideline is that you have to write 50,000 words in the month of November in order to “Win.”
NaNoWriMo is one of those writing events that tends to get a lot of flak, usually from people who’ve tried it and found it didn’t work for them. But for authors who work well under pressure, deadlines, and outlines, NaNoWriMo can be a plotter’s dream. For every naysayer, there’s a writer who swears by this process.
If you’re a procrastinator, never fear, it’s never too late to start prepping. Below is a 7-Day guide to setting up for NaNoWriMo. If you follow this, you will end up with a good portion of your idea already sketched out, which will leave you free to write during the month and not stalled with “what happens next” or “now what?” questions halfway through.
This is just one way to approach NaNoWriMo planning. I encourage you to adapt to your own system, feel free to experiment, and don’t be afraid to tweak as you go. You do you. The goal here is to get inspired, not to get bogged down.
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Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor and author of poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction. Find her on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath
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