Finish Strong in November: Six Tips for National Novel Writing Month

November is almost here. Do you know what that means? It’s National Novel Writing Month, and it’s time to write the novel of your dreams.

NaNoWriMo” is a 30-day writing contest for aspiring novelists. The idea of the event is to motivate writers to draft a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. That’s about 175 pages. And if we break that down further, it’s shy of six pages a day. In perspective, you’re writing one small freshman composition assignment everyday for 30 days. Nothing you can’t handle. Right?

Well, if you’re motivated to compete in NaNoWriMo, I have tips to help you write better, more effective prose.

  1. Discipline and deadlines. A colleague of mine once told me “nothing good ever gets done without discipline, and that comes from setting and meeting deadlines.” Map out daily deadlines to write six pages of your novel. You also want to set goals, benchmarks you intend to meet.
  2. Creativity comes in the right environment. A long time ago, I learned the best place for me to write was at a wooden desk, sitting in a wooden chair next to a window and close to my books and notes. I also found a quiet spot with no distractions and no access to the Internet. This is the environment in which my writing thrives. Yours may be different, but find the perfect environment and guard it for November.
  3. Carve out your writing time. We are creative at different times of the day, usually when our energy levels are at their peak. My creative spirit is usually very early morning when most people are sound asleep, but yours may be different. Monitor your body’s energy levels and write during the peak times of the day.
  4. Do your research. Always have your notes handy. If you carry a moleskin full of character sketch notes, make sure it’s handy for reference when it’s needed the most.
  5. Stay organized. The best way to stay organized in a digital world is by using a computer application, such as, Scrivener. Evernote works too. These will help you keep notes, files, research – whatever you need – a finger length away. They will help bring order to chaos.
  6. Find an accountability partner. Having a friend who’s not afraid of telling you to get back to work when laziness and fatigue set in is a good friend to have. Make her your accountability partner and give her the authority to prod you on.  She should be a cheerleader when you accomplish milestones, and a coach to motivate you.

Most importantly, writing a novel should be fun. Enjoy yourself and reap the benefits of your labor by publishing the work through a digital imprint. We know of one that will get the job done. (Wink, wink). (Nudge, nudge).

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