Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nanowrimo Invades the World!

Nanowrimo is just around the corner. In fact, it's less than 18 days away and counting.  So what does that mean for you? It means that you have less than 3 weeks to plan out an entire novel, followed by the 30 hectic days of literary abandon that follow suit.

No needs to panic, (though it can definitely be a little scary)! YAStands has you covered!

In case you've missed it, your blog host Nicole Steinhaus and contributor Haylee Qualls have previously posted on the topic of Nanowrimo. You can find Haylee's HERE and Nicole's HERE. Since Haylee has offered up Nano advice, and Nicole's post is mostly on what to do after you've completed, I wanted to touch base on the before-you-start bit.

Here is what I recommend doing in the three weeks that you have left.

1. Pick an idea: decide on the story you have to tell. One year (a year I didn't finish), I couldn't even decide on what I wanted to write almost a week into Nanowrimo. You need every moment to write. If you haven't done this before, you may not know what I mean. But trust me, you will thank yourself if you plan ahead.

2. What happens? What takes place in your novel? What is it about? What goes your protagonist want? What's at stake here? Who is your audience? Sometimes it's easier (for me at least) to figure out the big plot points first, and then figure out the ways to connect them.

3. Figure out your protagonist and supporting characters. Who are they, what do they want, what are they afraid of, and what part do they play in your novel? You need to know them well in order to write something believable. It's helpful to write them down in a document or a post-it or whatever you use to write.

4. Make sure you know your conflict. No conflict = no story.

5. Ending. Figure it out. Or at least know which direction you're going. Are you leaving it open for a sequel  Does the protagonist solve the crime? Does the guy get the girl? Do the aliens take over? Know where you're going and get there!

6. Set a writing goal and stick to it. For me, I usually set a goal of 2000 words a day. That way I have a little bit of a buffer in case something comes up and I miss a day. Hit that goal. Do whatever you have to! Once you start getting behind, it's almost impossible to catch up. So sit down now and figure out when you will have time to write. Last year, I woke up an hour early before work to write. When I got home, my roommate and I would write together for another hour. Maybe you can make time on your lunch break. Maybe you want to bust out more on the weekends. Whatever it is, figure out a schedule in advance that works for you.

6. Get ready. November 1st is just around the corner!!

Don't forget to check out Nanowrimo's site. It's amazing. There's news, tips, tools, and much more. They even have awesome free web badges if you're interested HERE.

Who is doing Nanowrimo this year?
What is your pre-Nano writing practice?
What tips do you have for newbies or veterans?


  1. Really good advice. I'm still daunted and trying to figure out if I want to play this year. I've registered and I have a kernel of an idea...but not sure. I'd feel like a win if I hit 30K in a month, so I might just give it a go and see how I do.

    1. Go for it! You still have time to expand your idea and make it a novel. My first Nanowrimo I had to keep reminding myself that it was okay if I didn't finish or if I wasn't head over heels In love with everything I wrote. That's what revising is for! If you need help planning, feel free to reach out to me.

  2. This is just the reminder I needed to outline more! I have a basic idea, and know who my characters are going to be, but I like to be a tad more prepared than that, and right now I'm just, not. Maybe I'm a closet pantser? *gasp!*

    No, no. It must be something else. Probably just procrastination. Great post!

    1. Well, if you have a basic idea, that's a great start! There's still plenty of time to hash out the details!

      Closet panster? Hehe. I'm totally guilty of that type of writing usually. Nanowrimo seems to be the only thing I participate in that can make me plan!

  3. My first time will be this year. I'm quite excited and have a basic plan and few paragraphs already. I think I still need to plan some more though - a basic chapter outline would be good I think.

    1. How fun! Congrats on getting involved and dedicating yourself to such a rad commitment. You won't regret it! I definitely agree with an outline. For Nanowrimo, if you're not planned out, it's so much harder to finish!

      Congrats again!

  4. I am very excited to get started. Awesome blog.

    1. Thanks! We're so glad you stopped by! And congrats on Nano-ing!