It’s a week until NANOWRIMO 2020, let’s get ready!

Nanowrimo 2020 badgeHey there,

It’s almost time for NanoWrimo – National Novel Writing Month where people try to write a 50,000 word draft of a novel in a month. I’ve taken part at various times all the way back to 2011, I believe.

In 2012, I did a series of posts about prepping that hold the test of time and they’re linked below. (I migrated my website a year ago from Weebly to WordPress and not every image made the journey, but the content is solid and worth a read).

My life is so different now to then. I don’t have a young family to juggle and I have written a lot of books since. These days it’s not unusual for me to write 50,000 words several months a year but I love the participation and community of Nano and I love getting that final novel for the year done. December is crazy, we all know that and I tend to ease off on the writing in favour of Christmas lunches and drinks with friends.

I still know a few things work for me:

  1. Get a big count early.

I love writing a new book. LOVE IT! So the beginning is the easy part. To stay om track for NanNo you need to write 1667 words a day. I like to start with a few 3,00 even 5,000 word days and then I’m ahead and the pressure is off.

  1. Round up.

Don’t stop at 1667  the recommended daily word count needed to reach your target. Aim to reach at least get to 2000 words a day. You’ll thank yourself mid-month.

  1. Sprints

That’s where you set a timer for 20 minutes or 30 and just write. Three of those a day and I will make the 1667 easily.

  1. Plotting

I don’t always plot my books. I’m a weirdo who sometimes just writes, sometimes plots an entire novel and sometimes gets to 15k and plots the rest. Heck, sometimes I make bullet points and just plot the next chapter. The bullet points mean I won’t start at the screen for an hour…I always have a scene I can write.

  1. Remember, it’s a draft.

This is not what gets published, it’s your first draft, so it’s okay to write and leave things blank– add description later, check this character’s name/hair/eye colour, insert sex scene, research this bit and -MOVE ON. You can fill all that in later, but don’t let it stop you from continuing to write.

  1. Write something fun – especially in 2020.

It’s going to be work regardless but don’t put yourself in a zone of misery before you begin. We all know this year has been and continues to be tough, so don’t set yourself up for misery and/or failure. Pick a story that will excite you and write that.

So there’s some advice.…I do recommend you read the post below, especially if you’re a Nano newbie.

Let me know if you’re signed up for this year in the comments.

From the 2012 Archives

Preparing for NaNoWriMo – Part 1 Plan the Writing

NaNoWriMo – Planning your Life

NaNoWriMo – Planning your Life


How to survive NaNoWriMo – Part 3, Organise Your Writing Life

How to survive NaNoWriMo – Part 3, Organise Your Writing Life


NaNoWriMo Planning Series – Part 4 – Plan to care for Your Body

My 2017 Advice

Preparing for NaNoWriMo the 2017 edition

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