Preparing for NaNoWriMo

Image by Christin Hume (unsplash)

With November 1st being just mere days away, here are some of the ways I like to prepare myself for NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo, for those of you who don’t know, stands for National Novel Writing Month. During NaNoWriMo many writers sign up to complete a 50,000 word challenge for the entire month of November. It’s hard work but worth the pay off for such dedication because some of us end up with real novels in the end.

I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2013 and I have won NaNoWriMo the last two years. So here are some of my tips and tricks to help you prepare for NaNoWriMo.

One of the best ways to get yourself in the zone to write 50,000 words is by figuring out what genre you are planning on writing. Depending on your writing style, the genre could change as the writing challenge progresses. But it’s always nice to have at least 1–3 genres picked out that you’d like your novel to be so you can have an idea of who your audience may be.

2. Complete some Character Sketches

As a writer I always have several characters stored in my head at one time. I try to write theses ideas down as often as I can. One of the best ways I’ve found to figure out whether or not a character could work for your story is to complete some character sketches. You can find several examples of Character sketches online or you could make up your own. I tend to do a little bit of both to try and get as much information about my characters as I can to use for future writing.

3. Make up/Find some writing prompts

Another helpful thing I’ve found is to make sure to have a few writing prompts on hand for those days when you feel like you’ve hit writers block or for when you just have no idea what to write next. These prompts don’t have to be complicated, just something to get your creative juices flowing and who knows maybe you’ll end up using some of those prompts in your novel!

4. Write a brief outline of what you will be writing

Yes, I said Outline. I used to hate writing outlines for projects when I was in high school but now that I’m older, I’ve found that writing an outline is one of the BEST ways to keep yourself writing during NaNoWriMo. These outlines don’t need to be super complex or in a specific order of events. My outline always changes as I write my story but it’s good to have a general idea of what direction you want your story to go in. This also helps because on days when you have writers block you can just jump ahead to another scene and then come back to that section at a later time.

5.Make a Pinterest Board for your Novel

This may seem unimportant at first but when I’m feeling uninspired or am just in need of a nice refresher on the aesthetic of my book it’s nice to have one of these to glance over. Find photos of people who look like your characters. Find places that look like the settings of your books. Just find anything that reminds you of your novel and put it in a board!

6. Make a music playlist for your Novel

Did I spend over 6 hours listening to plethora of songs to see if they would help inspire me while writing my novel this month? Yes, Yes I did and I’ve been adding to it randomly over the last few weeks. This can also be like your Pinterest board, if there is one song that really fits a certain scene, USE IT! Put it on your playlist and listen to it on repeat. Maybe there’s whole album that has been inspiring you, PUT IT ON YOUR LIST! Keep in mind you can make a playlist for your book, for certain characters, for a certain scene or really anything for your book. Music is such a big part of my life so having playlists prepared is a must for me!

So those are a few of my tips on preparing for NaNoWriMo. Good Luck to all of you who are participating in NaNoWriMo this year! Hope this helps!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store