Ah, November—the month for Thanksgiving feasts, autumn colors and candles, cooler weather, and for many writers and non-writers alike: National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it’s commonly called. NaNoWriMo is an international event that takes place once a year, and challenges everyone who participates to attempt to write a novel in one month: 50,000 words, 30 days and 1,667 words per day, to be exact.
The staff at Midnight Publishing is an award-winning group of passionate editors, writers, and marketers with our fair share of personal manuscript ideas that we, ourselves, want to write, and what better time to do so than NaNoWriMo? It’s an event that fosters community in the writing and reading industry, pushes us to reach new word count goals, and can sometimes even result in workable, publishable manuscripts down the line! Because of our massive excitement and support of this yearly writing event, Midnight Publishing wanted to share some advice and info about ways to approach NaNoWriMo 2016 so that you’ll have the best chance of crossing that 50,000-word finish line on November 30th.
How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo:
1. Draft Your Outline Before November 1st
If you’re an outliner/plotter, then draft your outline before November 1st (consider trying the Snowflake Method designed by award-winning author Randy Ingermanson for a new approach to plotting your latest novel!). Even if you’re a pantser, it’s often very useful to have a basic outline done before diving in—time is of the essence, so you want to keep bunny trails and “ darlings” to a minimum if you’re working full-time and still need to get your 1,667 words in a day.
2. Have All Your Materials Ready
Computer, flash drives to save your work (or a cloud account like Google Drive to save to), notebooks and pens/pencils if you write freehand, and a designated area where you can work, uninterrupted, for about one-two hours every night (that’s typically the amount of time it takes to write nearly two thousand words) are all vital to have in place.
3. Create a Self Reward System
This is especially important, and not necessarily a “part” of NaNoWriMo, per se, but a very useful tool: come up with a rewards system for yourself. Whether that be something to gift yourself with once a day if you make your word count, once a week, or perhaps even a larger reward if you manage to complete the 50,000 words or more before December 1st, incentives are a huge motivator when you’re exhausted after a busy week and the last thing you want to do on Friday night is write another scene.
4. Have an Accountability Partner
Another crucial tool in preparing for a successful NaNoWriMo is to ask one (or several!) people to hold you accountable in your daily writing time. Your spouse, kids, best friend, or other writer companions are all fantastic people to enlist for assistance—not to mention that your daily word count is reported through your NaNoWriMo account so that everyone who follows you can see how much (or how little) you’ve gotten done that day.
Different Options for Approaching NaNoWriMo:
1. Create a Plan That Works for You
Not sure you can stick with the daily word count for 30 consecutive days? Another option is to designate a weekend or two when you can try to produce a large amount of words and get ahead of the game—5,000 words or even 10,000, which some NaNoWriMoers say they’ve successfully written in a weekend-long writing plan. Perhaps you’re more of a sprinter than a marathoner, so if that’s the case, you can still get your word count in while completing your weekly goals in a way that’s more conducive to your style of writing.
2. Continue Working on a Current Manuscript
Yes, NaNoWriMo is typically for “new novels,” but YA and adult novels typically run between 60,000 and 110,000 words after their final draft—so it’s completely feasible to continue working on an existing manuscript if you want something truly publishable to work with at the end of the month.
Whether you’re writing the first draft and want professional developmental help, have a completed novel that needs copyediting or proofreading, or still don’t know where to start beyond your book idea, Midnight Publishing’s professional and award-winning staff will help you every step of the way! Contact us for a free sample edit and see why we’re the top editing, ghostwriting, and marketing company in Phoenix, Arizona for seven years running.