The Beginner’s Guide To Succeeding at National Novel Writing Month


Hi Everyone

Back due to popular demand is guest blogger, Rochelle Melander, taking beginners through the process of preparing for NaNoWriMo. You also have the opportunity to win a signed copy of Write-A-Thon (closing date 26th November) by clicking on this Rafflecopter link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get entering to win now and follow Rochelle’s guide below to have a successful NaNoWriMo experience.

National Novel Writing Month gives wannabe writers the opportunity to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days (or 26 or even 11, it’s up to you). Chris Baty started the popular program with a few friends in hopes of giving himself a deadline—the magic element that he believes stands between most writers and their finished book manuscript. For writers and wannabes all over the world, National Novel Writing Month gives them accountability, structure, and a community. If you’re interested in jumping into the National Novel Writing Month waters, here’s how to begin:

1. Sign up. Though you don’t have to officially sign up to participate, it’s going to be a whole lot more fun if you do. Visit the National Novel Writing Month site and create a profile. You’ll add author information and create your novel profile (don’t worry, no one will hold you to your working title).

2. Join your regional group. When you create your profile, be sure to specify your region. Your regional advisor (RA) will send you NaNoMail about virtual and in-person events. Your regional advisor will also let you know if your region has other ways of communicating, such as through a Facebook group or a Twitter feed.

3. Get yourself a Buddy or two. I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo for 5 years, but I didn’t win until 2009 when I got the support of buddies. Your buddies can be friends that are doing NaNoWriMo with you, acquaintances you meet at regional events, or strangers that you connect with on Twitter. Find ways to encourage each other (such as messaging on Twitter or Facebook). And you can count on this: nothing will get you inspired to write more like seeing how far behind or ahead of your buddies you are.

4. Ready, set, sprint! I’d never heard of writing sprints until I joined National Novel Writing Month. In a writing sprint, writers try to write as many words as possible in a set amount of time (such as 15 minutes). The one who amasses the most words wins. You can set up a writing sprint with a friend, at an in-person write-in or on Twitter using the hashtag, #writingsprints.

5. Write in, anyone? I’m a solitary gal: I like to exercise and write alone. But attending a few write-ins convinced me of the value of hanging out with other writers, especially when I am behind on my word count. The peer pressure keeps me in my seat writing. In addition, a group provides the opportunity to share ideas, tools, and do writing sprints. Plus, there’s always someone to watch your laptop when you need to run to the bathroom!

6. Prepare! If you want to succeed at National Novel Writing Month, make sure you do some pre-month novel planning. Create a group of characters that will sustain your interest for a month, design or borrow an intriguing setting, and give the characters a plot that will keep you awake and writing! If you need help preparing for the month, get together with some NaNoWriMo buddies for a book brainstorming party. Or, if you’re the solitary type, visit my blog. Every Wednesday since September 26, I’ve been sharing fun ways to prepare for the month-long writing challenge!

7. Get Your Bling! If you reach the coveted 50,000-word mark, don’t forget to collect your winner’s treats at the end of the month! Half the fun of participating in NaNoWriMo comes when you can collect your winner’s badges and post them on your Facebook profile. You’ll also get the opportunity to print out a winner’s certificate. Most regions also hold celebratory parties for the winners (and even the almost winners).

Oh, and one final note: have fun. National Novel Writing Month is an opportunity to let down your hair and write with abandon. Go for it!

Rochelle Melander is an author, speaker, and certified professional coach. She is the author of ten books, including the National Novel Writing Month guide—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! For more tips and a complementary download of the first two chapters of Write-A-Thon, visit her online at www.writenowcoach.com

You can contact Rochelle:

If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to enter the competition to win a signed copy of Write-A-Thon by clicking the Rafflecopter link, the competition closes on 26th Of November, good luck and keep writing.

Write soon

Sandra

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16 thoughts on “The Beginner’s Guide To Succeeding at National Novel Writing Month

    1. I am so honoured, my third award, this is fantastic news. Thanks so much for nominating me, I really appreciate your support and will be nominating 11 others after the current competition has ended. So watch this space.

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  1. Hi Sandra,
    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Living abroad means I’m sometimes not aware of great things like this in the UK. Having a writing buddy is a bit like having a sport buddy, isn’t it? Someone to spur you on in those dark, winter months(!) And I also find that telling people that I’m writing something helps too because they are bound to ask me about it again.. and this helps me try and keep to my plan. Have a nice evening, Louise

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    1. Hi Louise. I hadn’t really thought of a writing buddy as being like a sports buddy but I guess you are absolutely right. All support is welcome. I agree with telling people about your writing. I tend to do that a lot, as the more people I tell, the harder I work to come up with creative writing solutions to a standard that is expected by me telling everyone that I am a writer.

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    1. Hi Jen. Thanks for your great comments, I am so glad you like “Own Your Niche” and find it is helpful to you. I read the whole book from cover to cover and thought it was great. I could have done a more in-depth review but didn’t want to bore people, I thought the Keep It Simple rule was a better way to go but if you want to do a guest review of some of the points I may have missed then let me know.

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