I bet you’ve noticed the NaNoWriMo craze in the writersphere lately. There are great posts everywhere on everything from defending NaNoWriMo and why you should participate to how to prepare and start planning your novel. I bet you’ve saved some of them for later.
Or maybe you just decided you’re participating, and you’re looking for some good tips on how to start planning (who cares if it’s hours away, right?).
Either way, I’ve put together this huge list of the best NaNoWriMo tips I’ve found around the web. So when you’ve written only 54 words during the whole day (true story), you can come back here and grab some quick tips. By the way, this list isn’t comprehensive so feel free to share additional links in the comments, and I’ll add them.
And if you’re looking for some encouragement, be sure to become my buddy over on the NaNoWriMo boards! I’m y_vargas32. I won’t be participating this year, unfortunately, but I do have a personal goal of writing at least five minutes every day during November.
If you’re on Pinterest, be sure to check out my boards over there as well. I’ve got these same resources on my 5oK board as well as writing tips, marketing tips, self-publishing tutorials, funnies for writers, and much more.
To NaNo or Not to NaNo? (And What to Know About NaNo)
12 Thoughts About NaNoWriMo by Joe Bunting at The Write Practice
“Here are 12 reasons you should or should not participate in National Novel Writing Month.”
4 Reasons You Should Do NaNoWriMo…And 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t by Ali Luke at Aliventures
“Although some writers are evangelical about NaNo, and others are scathing, I fall somewhere in the middle. I believe NaNo has huge benefits for many writers … but I don’t think it’s right for everyone.”
25 Things You Should Know About NaNoWriMo by Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds
25 things to think about before committing to NaNo, from writing tips to why agents hate the challenge. Contains curse words.
NaNoWriMo—Should You Join in the Silliness? 9 Reasons to Consider It by Anne R. Allen at Anne R. Allen’s Blog
“As Anne LaMotte wrote in her classic book for writers, Bird by Bird, ‘the only way [most writers] can get anything done at all is to write really, really, really shitty first drafts.’
NaNoWriMo forces you to get that dung onto the page.”
12 Reasons to Ignore the Naysayers: Do NaNoWriMo by Carolyn Kellogg at Jacket Copy
“And is a large pool of hopeful writers really a terrible thing? Are there not thousands more marathon runners than medalists, more home chefs than pros who might ever run a restaurant kitchen? What’s wrong with an enthusiastic amateur class of writers? Who says they’re not readers, anyway? I’ve yet to see anything more substantial than a dinner party anecdote.
Here’s a quick rundown of Miller’s argument, and where it goes wrong.
To NaNo, Or Not to Nano…by Chelsea M. Cameron at YA Indie
“So, is NaNo for you? I honestly think everyone should at least try to do it once. It forces you to stop worrying about what you’re writing and just write. After NaNo, I don’t have an issue with cranking out a draft in a few weeks. It helped me focus on the important things. The words.”
NaNoWriMo: I’m Only Going to Say This Once, Okay? By Catherine Ryan Howard at Catherine, Caffeinated
“Every year around this time, something else starts too: NaNoWriMo Snobbery. Professional writers, who the other eleven months of the year seem like the nicest, most generous and friendliest people, suddenly start tipping their noses in the air and saying or even writing things about how NaNoWriMo and the people who partake in it are belittling their profession, ridiculing their craft and making a mockery of the 1,670 words they write every single day of the year in order to make a living.
Now, usually I just grit my teeth and try to ignore it, but this year I’m finding it impossible—and we’re not even T-minus 1 week to go yet.”
Preparing For NaNoWriMo
7 NaNoWriMo Resources to Help You Reach the 50,000 Word Goal Line by Jennifer Blanchard at InkyBites
“Sure, you could just sit down on Wednesday, start writing and see what comes out. Or you can take things a step further and actually do some prep work prior to the start of this annual writer’s event.
When you plan ahead of time, you’re much more likely to end up with a useable draft than you are if you just sit down and write.”
11 Ways to Prepare For NaNoWriMo by Gary McLaren at Publish Your Own Ebooks
“Today I am going to give you 11 ways that you can start getting ready for this years’ fiction writing challenge in November.”
NaNoWriMo—The Pitfalls and How to Deftly Avoid Them y Lisa Cron at Writer Unboxed
“Somewhere deep down inside, though, most of us know the score. I mean, if all we had to do was unleash all our pent-up creativity and write 50,000 words, wouldn’t we all be successful novelists by now? The trouble is that when a seduction is in full swing, that little warning voice in our head never carries much weight.”
5 Tips to Help Indie Authors Prepare For NaNoWriMo by Natalie Wright at How to Successfully Self-Publish
“You will be thoroughly engrossed in your story for an entire month. You will eat it, breathe it, and sleep it. It will be both exhausting and exhilarating. You are giving yourself the gift of a full month of literary abandon and intense focus on your story. That’s an amazing gift. Plan now for the help you’ll need to support your literary marathon.”
Ready Or Not, Here It Comes: NaNoWriMo by Sophie Novak at The Write Practice
“Rather than going through the facts and stats, conditions, and how it works (all of which you can find on the official website), let’s look through the required psychological and intellectual effort as a preparation for those who are considering giving NaNoWriMo a go.”
The Siren Call of NaNoWriMo by Raewyn Hewitt at Dreaming of Other Realms
“…there are some great things to be gained by participating in NaNoWriMo, so can it work when you have limited time?”
NaNoWriMo: Quick Preparation Tips and Resources by Suzannah Windsor Freeman at Write It Sideways
This post has a little of everything, from productivity tips and how NaNo works to how to plan your novel and awesome resources.
Next, is a great series by Janice Hardy, starting at the overall planning stage. She also gives you tips for planning the beginning, middle, and end of your novel.
NaNoWriMo Prep: Planning Your Novel by Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story
NaNoWriMo Prep: Planning Your Novel’s Beginning by Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story
NaNoWriMo Prep: Planning Your Novel’s Middle by Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story
NaNoWriMo Prep: Planning Your Novel’s End by Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story
Reaching the 50,000 Word Finish Line
How To Do NaNoWriMo When You Don’t Have the Time by Alison Wells at Alison Wells: Head Above Water
“You’ve got to write, you do it whenever you can. But this Nano thing. I mean 50,000 words in one month, you’re lucky if you do a thousand in a week, let alone in a day.”
NaNoWriMo 2012 Progress Forms by Simon Haynes at SpaceJock
NaNoWriMo productivity tips, a daily progress form, and an excellent way to catch up when you’ve fallen behind.
A Good Way to Catch Up by Yesenia Vargas at Yesenia Vargas
I go more into depth on SpaceJock’s method of catching up (above). Basically, for every hour of the day, from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, you are responsible for writing 500 words an hour. After writing 500 words for that hour, you can do whatever you want until the next hour begins.
FREE: 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Tips For Procrastinating Writers by Jennifer Blanchard at InkyBites
“Here’s how it works: sign up for the email list, then from November 1 until November 30, you’ll receive a daily email that gives you guidance and support for writing and completing your 50,000-word novel during the 30 days.”
4 Tips For Writing a Quick First Draft by Rachelle Gardner at Books & Such
Four crucial tips for reaching the 50K finish line. All tips can probably be boiled down to these tips.
When Plans Go Haywire by Yesenia Vargas at Yesenia Vargas
“When life happens and things don’t go as planned, you just have to adapt and make it a learning experience. Here are some tips that are working for me.”
How (Not) To Be a NaNoWriMo Champ by Ava Jae at Writability
“I present to you the infallible keys to becoming a NaNoWriMo champ.” For fun.
NaNoWriMo Word Meter at Language is a Virus
“Here is a cool NaNoWriMo word meter you can use to keep track of your daily NaNoWriMo word count. You can set the color of the progress bar. Just plug in how many words you’ve written so far, how many total you plan to write (NaNoWriMo 50,000 default), choose a color for your progress bar and hit calculate. Then just copy/paste the code where you want the NaNoWriMo word meter to appear!”
Life After NaNoWriMo
Why Writers Should Let Their Manuscripts Cool by Ava Jae at Writability
“As many writers know (and some would rather pretend they didn’t know), the cooling off period is more important than it sounds—it’s the time that allows us to take a couple steps back away from our freshly drafted WIPs, so that we can then in turn edit more objectively. It’s the pause between writing and editing—the breather, so to speak, and without it, it is very difficult to edit effectively.”
One-Pass Manuscript Revision: From First Draft to Last in One Cycle by Holly Lisle at Holly Lisle Writer
“The first draft of your novel is finished. Now, according to the recommendations of any number of writing books, pundits, and writers who go through this themselves, you’re in for five or ten or more rounds of revision, in which you’ll polish your work until it is a gleaming, perfect pearl … and in which process you’ll dither for months or years.
You can do that if you want. But you don’t have to. It isn’t the way I work. I find a lot of truth in the adage, ‘If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, how are you ever going to find time to fix it later?’ ”
What other awesome resources have you come across? Chime in below, and I’ll add them to this list. Are you particpating in NaNoWriMo this year? Leave your username, and I’ll send you a buddy request!