Get Ready! How to Prepare for National Novel Writing Month NOW By Rochelle Melander a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hi Everyone

Today we have a guest blog article by Author and Writing Coach Rochelle Melander and we are giving away a free signed copy of her book, Write-A-Thon, to one lucky person. All you have to do to enter the giveaway competition is to answer a few questions by clicking on the Rafflecopter Giveaway Link in the title of this post. In the meantime I will hand you over to Rochelle.

As a former Girl Scout, I’ve never forgotten the scouting motto: Be Prepared. Even thought school has just started and November seems far away—I’m getting ready for National Novel Writing Month right now. After several years of succeeding at NaNoWriMo and one epic fail, I’ve learned how to prepare. Here are three practices from my toolbox that will help you get ready for the month-long writing marathon:

1. Train Your Writing Muscles. NaNoWriMo novices often end up like the proverbial weekend warrior, jumping into the month with gusto only to be grounded by injury (my aching neck) or discouragement. Schedule daily writing time throughout the rest of September and October. Write daily pages, craft poems, or do fiction-writing prompts—just get words on paper each day. By the end of October you’ll be a seasoned writing professional, easily able to amass 1667 words a day! As a bonus, you’ll have already created space in your daily schedule to write.

2. Create a Story Bible. Filmmakers and television writers make use of a show bible—a document that contains information about character, setting and plot. Take time to create your own Story Bible for your National Novel Writing Month project. In past years, I’ve used three-ring binders, spiral notebooks, and index cards to collect my ideas about character, setting, and plot long before the month starts. During some of your writing time each day, create histories for your characters. Collect photos of your setting. Sketch out several scenes. In the middle of National Novel Writing Month, you won’t have to wonder what your characters might wear or do— you will just have to consult your story bible.

3. Collect energy boosts. Writing a book in a month takes an enormous amount of energy. During the next month and a half, pay attention to the activities that increase your energy. For me these include taking daily walks, eating healthy snacks, stretching, reading fun magazines, and listening to music. I’m collecting these ideas on a Pinterest board, so that when I hit the proverbial wall—I’ll have easy-to-access solutions. ( I’m also stockpiling energy boosts in my office. I have a shelf in my closet that I am filling with yummy snacks, inspiring books and magazines, and a few new music albums. (Wow, I can’t wait for NaNoWriMo to start!)

Your turn. What are you doing to get ready for the month-long novel writing challenge?

Rochelle Melander is an author, speaker, and certified professional coach. She is the author of ten books, including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It)Rochelle teaches professionals how to write good books fast, use writing to transform their lives, navigate the publishing world, and get published! Visit her online at

Rochelle Y. Melander

Author and Writing Coach

Editor, The Word in Season


Author of the book,

Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days 

(And Live to Tell About It)

(Writers Digest Books, October 2011)

A 2011 ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist



Find me on Facebook

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Competition closes on Friday 28th of September 2012.

26 thoughts on “Get Ready! How to Prepare for National Novel Writing Month NOW By Rochelle Melander a Rafflecopter giveaway

  1. These are great tips! I’m a freshman in college who’s done NaNo since freshman year of high school (and won each time, but with EXTREMELY varied results quality-wise). My most successful NaNovel (completed at 72k) was born on the last two days of October, and I outlined as I went without a real idea of how it would ultimately resolve–in fact, I changed around the main conflict of the story a few times! This year I have an idea mentally simmering, but thanks to this post I think I will start putting down an outline and fleshing out my characters before the big month starts. Wow, what must it feel like to actually be PREPARED for NaNoWriMo?


  2. NaNo is always a stressful time of year. Hopefully, the tipsweekend and tricksI will make things a little better. I think they will… 🙂


  3. These are great tips. I wanted to do NaNoWriMo last year but didn’t want to just jump in and burn out. I think with these tips and some time for planning, plus an awesome team, I can do it this year. Thanks for the extra motivation I needed. Good luck NaNOWriMos!


    1. Hi Emily
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love your sense of positivity, it’s certainly catching and I am sure you will be able to do a great writing job for NaNo.


  4. Thanks for the giveaway! To get ready for this year’s NaNo, I’m collecting as much info as I can on plot and structure — I want to have a far more detailed outline this time around than I’ve usually worked with.


  5. I’m actually digging out an old outline and refining it. The first year, I COMPLETELY made it up as I went along (having no idea what I was going to write as I started) and last year I rebelled and wrote my story. So I’m trying it new this year, having a plan going in for fiction and making the hard choices now so I don’t get bogged down come November.


    1. What result did you get when you completely made it up? I think it is always good to have a plan. I plan a lot of my work but sometimes the creative flow kicks in and overtakes my plan.


  6. Our Mummy has never done the NaNoWriMo before but she is thinking of trying this year. As she help us with our blog whee force her to write everyday which she says has really improved her stamina when writing. Now up to post 142 so whee have been going awhile!

    Do you have any tips for first timers? Also could you maybe do a post telling us what NaNoWriMo is, a beginners guide almost. Mummy is kind of nervous about taking the plunge and trying this but whee think she is just going to have to leap in and hope for the best!

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil


    1. Hi Hutchagoodlife

      I do like your suggestion of a beginners guide but as NaNoWriMo is something that I have personally never taken part in, I would not be able to offer you the best advice. I would suggest you contact Rochelle direct through the links on this post and/or go to the NaNoWriMo website Sorry I can’t be of more help on this occasion, please let me know how you get on.


    2. The book “No Plot? No Problem!” was written by NaNoWriMo’s founder, and it makes a great overall guide for your first NaNo. For me, one key to getting to the NaNo finish line (3 times so far) has been planning out different word counts for different days based on my schedule (more on weekends, less on busiest work days, that kind of thing), instead of just doing the same word goal every day. Hope that helps. 🙂


    3. My book (Write-A-Thon) can help you do NaNo the first time. I also offer plenty of tips at my blog ( But mostly, I’d say: just dig in. Find a book idea that you love, do some preparation with character and plot, and then make a plan to write and write! One other thing that helps me a lot–having some NaNo friends online. Doing word-count races with them can be a good boost to a slow writing day!


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