NaNoWriMo Prep

National Novel Writing Month 2014 is less than two months away, which means it is officially NaNo Prep season! So, here’s a very short list of essential things to do now to prepare for your November noveling:

Here are three tips some NaNoWriMo veterans recently shared on their Facebook page:

  1. Never edit as you go. If you get caught up with editing, your story will never meet your expectations and you’ll get bored. You don’t want to get bored. Fall in love with your story!
  2. Don’t quit if you get behind. You’ll still feel happy if you finish a book in December. – Marie M.
  3. Remember you are doing this for you. Not to impress friends. Not to get published. Do this because it makes you happy. Remember that you love to write, even when it’s hard.



NaNo Prep

Ready to start planning your November novel? Our NaNo Prep resources are for you.

From now until NaNo, we’ll provide resources to inspire, challenge, and prepare you to write that novel. Look to our blogforumsFacebook, and Twitter for updates on new stuff, or bookmark this page (we say put it right on your browser bar so you remember your noble noveling intentions).

Let’s start by addressing some of the burning questions you might have:

You’ll find the answers sprinkled along the prep route we suggest. Read on!

Make a commitment.

Intention is everything. Decide right now that you’re going to write a novel in November, then tell everyone you can. We’ve prepared a few ready-made social media messages for sharing:

I’m officially writing a novel this November during @NaNoWriMo. #NaNoPrep

I’m writing a novel this November during @NaNoWriMo. This is not a drill. Please man your stations as we practiced. #NaNoPrep

No big deal, I’m going to write a novel this @NaNoWriMo. But yes, I will accept your undying adulation. #NaNoPrep

Make the big decision.

Well, the big NaNo decision, that is… Are you a planner or a pantser?

Here’s the difference:

Planner BadgeYou believe in rigorous preparation.

You’ll spend the months before November carefully fleshing out characters, building worlds, and plotting your story.

On November 1, you’ll have an outline—or at least lots of helpful notes.

Pantser BadgeYou believe in hardcore spontaneity.

You’ll spend the months before November stocking up on inspiration and mayyybe a vague idea or two (if you’re ambitious).

On November 1, you’ll have a blank document and your imagination.

We think both are equally valid! It all depends on the type of writer you are.

And even if you’re a pantser, we recommend reading through the links below… You never know what might inspire you.

Review the prep resources.

Over the years, we’ve posted a wealth of information on how to plan your novel. Check out a few of our favorites:

Preparing for NaNo Success
Characters and World-Building
Plot and Conflict

Or, if you’re looking for an all-in-one-place guide, try our books:

Interact with the NaNoWriMo community.

Meet some new creative partners, plus earn up to five shiny dashboard badges in the process. You can’t lose!

Profile Badge
Fill out your profile information so like-minded writers can find and connect with you.


Region Badge
Choose a home region to be informed about noveling events nearby.


Forums Badge
Post in the forums! It’s the best place to meet the most active members of our tribe. To start out, we recommend: NaNo Newbies, NaNo Prep, Resources & Writing Support, and Genre Lounges.


Buddies Badge
Add a writing buddy (maybe a new forum friend?) by clicking the “Add as Buddy” link on their profile.


If you follow the path above, you’ll be 100% ready to write on November 1.Check here for a fuller look at how it all works, plus see the FAQs for many more logistical answers.

Bonus: A copy of my desktop wallpaper calendar designed just for NaNoWriMo. Download here (be sure to favorite!)

calendar template


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