How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo 2023

How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo 2023

How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo 2023

If you’re a writer or want to start writing it is likely you have heard that in November it is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo 2023 for short.

As a published novelist and writer I thought I would share a few tips on how to prepare for NaNoWriMo 2023. Writing 50,000 words in one month is a challenge!

How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo 2023

Plan out your idea

You may be a plotter or a pantster, but if you’re writing to a strict timeline then I recommend planning in advance. Even if you regularly write free-hand and plot out as you go, that is considerably harder to do when you have 30 days to write a 50,000 novella or the beginning of a novel.

How you plan is up to you. For me, I like to write summaries of each chapter so that I know roughly how the story will expand. You need to consider things like your conflict and the resolution as well as the beginning and the ending.

Having a plan, even a basic one, will help you stay on track and stop you from losing momentum halfway into the challenge.

Dedicate 30 minutes a day

Writing 50,000 in one 30 days equates to about 1666 words per day. You can force out 1666 words 30 minutes, if you’re not distracted and know where you’re picking up from. Whether you’re choosing to handwrite your story or type it out on a computer. Find 30 minutes per day, every day of November, and you’ll get your 50,000 words written.

Try not to word count precisely

Though I suggest you spend 30 minutes per day writing, so as to hit a minimum of 1666 words per day, I would highly suggest you don’t count your words every day. If you start to notice you’re slipping about Day 3 or 4 – which you probably will as you find your groove – it can be really hard to keep going.

There may be days that you can’t write, for example, and you don’t want to pressure yourself into thinking that now you have to write 3,300 words or 5,000 words that day because you missed a few.

If you aim to write 30 minutes+ a day then you’ll get there. Trust in your own ability.

Tell people you’re trying NaNoWriMo 2023

Much like telling people you’re going to go to the gym, telling people you’re undertaking NaNoWriMo 2023 means that you’ll be held accountable. People will ask how it’s going or ask you to share a bit of your idea. All of these questions and support will motivate you to keep going with the challenge.

Don’t worry about the little things

And finally, don’t worry about crafting the perfect novel, or if you spot typos. Writing 50,000 words in one month is hard! If you read over your work and spot mistakes or a plot hole you’ll spend more time fixing those issues than you spend writing the book. And that’s where you’ll get stuck and you won’t complete your 50k words.

Re-writing is writing. Get your zero draft on paper and then go about fixing the plot holes and errors when it’s complete. It’s harder to edit and submit an empty page than it is to write a story. Don’t let the little things hold you back from completing NaNoWriMo 2023.

I wish you all the best of luck! I cannot wait to see what novels and novellas are produced.

Love Ellie x

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How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo 2023

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