So as I stated in my last post I will not be doing NaNoWriMo this year, at least not in the traditional sense, but I thought for all of you out there who are planning on participating in the crazy notion of attempting to complete a novel in 30 days that I would make a few suggestions on getting ready for the month of November. Obviously the first thing that anyone getting into the novel writing spirit needs to do is to sign up by registering on the National Novel Writing Month website at That’s the easy part. Other things to better prepare for this month are:


  1. Brainstorm a clear idea for your novel: Hopefully you already know what you want to write about but if not that is the first thing that you need to figure out.
  2. Know the most important details of your novel upfront: You may or may not be a person that likes to outline. If you are an outliner, this is what your next move needs to be. Outline the major points of your novel so that you know where your story is going to start, and where you think it might end up. If you are more of a detailed person then you will want to detail ALL of the major and somewhat minor parts of the novel in this outline. If you are not a person who likes to outline, at the very least you will want to know that major plot points in your story.
  3. Get to know your characters: Some might consider this to be a part of outlining but I see it as being totally separate but just as complex as creating an outline. You have to know who your characters because if you don’t know who your characters are your soon to be readers won’t know who they are either.
  4. Research now rather than later: Do as much research for your novel that you can do before starting your novel. Once you get started writing, you are not going to have the time to really go back and do extensive research so get most of your research out of the way now.
  5. Begin mapping out a workable plan: Come up with a schedule that works for you to write during the month of November. If you are a morning person then you will want to make time available so that you can write in the mornings and get your best work done. Whatever time of day works better for you, you are going to want to maximize to produce your best work. This is also when you will want to let the people around you know that you may not have as much time as you normally do because you will be busy…Writing.
  6. When November 1st comes around, be prepared to start writing and be prepared to be very busy for those thirty days.
  7. One final thing: If you should happen to get stuck or have a bad day and are not able to write, don’t be too hard on yourself. Putting extra pressure on yourself to write only makes it harder for you to produce good solid work.

I hope that these tips were somehow helpful to anyone who is getting ready to embark on their 30 day journey into novel-land. I know that following these steps helped me last year when I participated and all of the years prior to that. I will be cheering all of you NaNo-er’s on from the sidelines but don’t think I won’t be getting some writing done on my part. I just have to focus on the business end of things right now, as well as putting my Write 2 Be Magazine together for its launch in January 2013. I wish all of you well in November!



Jimmetta Carpenter