Countdown To NaNoWriMo

Countdown To NaNoWriMo – How To Plan For The Month

Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? In this post, we give you a 4-week countdown to NaNoWriMo and tell you how to plan for the month.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a novel writing initiative where you begin writing on 1 November and write a 50 000-word novel by 11:59:59 PM on 30 November.

4-Week Countdown To NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is about more than writing 1 667 words per day and completing a 50 000-word novel in the month of November.  If you want a fighting chance at completing a book, start a month earlier.

Use this four-week planner to work out what you’re going to write in November.

NOTE: You can use this planner for any book that you write.

Week 1: 1-8 October

  1. Get a story idea that you like enough to work on for a month. Spend a day or two brainstorming this idea. If you have no ideas, read 20 Fun Ways To Find Ideas For A Plot
  2. Think of a protagonist and an antagonist who would fit into the idea.
  3. Name the characters.
  4. Choose a setting.
  5. Use a vision board for inspiration.
  6. If you feel you need to research anything, do it now.

Week 2: 9-16 October

  1. Use our Writers Write plot definition to work out your plot: What Is A Plot?
  2. Fill in the nine points.
  3. This includes an inciting moment, the role of the characters, their story goals, and the ending. (Remember that you can always change this as you go along, but it’s probably better to stick to it if you are going to use this planner.)
  4. Give your novel a title. (This can be a working title and you can always change it later.)

Once you have a plot, your story will fall into place.

Week 3: 17-23 October

  1. Complete character questionnaires for your four main characters.
  2. Use this one for your protagonist: The Only Character Questionnaire You Need to Complete
  3. Use one of the others for your other three characters: 9 Character Questionnaires

If you get to know your main characters well, you will never be stuck when you’re writing. There’s always something to include, especially if you have to reach a word count.

Week 4: 24-31 October

  1. Create a timeline.
  2. Write a list of 60 scenes and sequels that you will include in your novel.
  3. Give a brief (one or two lines) description of what happens in each scene. (If you feel you need even more structure, you can use our scene templates to help you plot them in more detail.)

If you follow this countdown to NaNoWriMo, you will have a great idea of what you want to write. You will have an outline that you can refer to every day. You can even write your scenes out of sequence if you like.

How To Finish Your Novel:

Stick to a set time every day if you can. This will help you to create a routine for your writing. If you have additional time during the day, this will be a bonus and you will add to your word count.

Write two of the 60 scenes you need to complete the book every day and you will easily write a 50 000-word book in a month.

Do not rewrite. Do not edit. You can do that in December after you finish your book.

Download this calendar to keep track of your word count: NaNoWriMo Calendar


If you want to register for NaNoWriMo, click here: How It Works

© Amanda Patterson

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LOOK: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course.

Posted on: 30th September 2019