The Last Days Of NaNoWriMo

The Last Days Of NaNoWriMo

While the last days of NaNoWriMo are not exactly like the last days of Pompeii, there can, if you’re not prepared, be distinct similarities. The sudden realisation,
the panic,
the frantic trying to decide what to do,
the irrational decisions and
the last-minute fleeing for your life!

Sound familiar?

You will be thankful to know that fleeing for your life isn’t generally needed with NaNoWriMo. You’re not going to be turned into a solid ash-cocoon if you don’t finish your novel in the next few days. Likewise, you’re not going to be smothered in a hundred feet of hot lava.

So, what should you be doing to avoid falling in a heap?

5 Things To Do In The Last Days Of NaNoWriMo

  1. Don’t Panic
    Panic is never as good idea. After nearly 30 days of being consumed by your WIP (Work In Progress) you need a pat on the back for your accomplishment. And possibly wine.
  2. Make Some Coffee
    Or tea. Or pour yourself a glass of whatever your writing beverage is and think rationally on the following 2 things.
  • How much more do you need to write? Do you know what you need to write? Can it be done in the next few days.
    ~ If yes, why are you reading this? You should be writing.
    ~ If no, continue to write anyway. Get that first draft done!
  • How are you going to end your book?
    ~ If you’ve plotted beforehand, stop reading this and get back to writing.
    ~ If you haven’t plotted beforehand, now is a good time to start. Make brief notes of what happens in each chapter. This is good for 2 reasons:
  • If you know where you want the book to end: It can help you see if you’re on track and what you need to do to get there.
  • If you don’t know where you want the book to end: It will spark ideas for an awesome finale.
  1. Grit Your Teeth And Make The Last Big Push

You’ve come so far that stopping now would be a real pity. Keep going. You only have a few days left. YOU CAN DO THIS!

  1. Plan To Celebrate Whether You Finish The Book Or Not

Even if you don’t finish the book, you will still have done something incredible, and you should celebrate that. Booking and diarising a celebration is a good ‘extra bonus’ to aim for as you make that final push. Here are 2 simple ideas for that celebration.

  • Some intensive time spent with your family or friends atoning for the 30 days of ‘go-away-I’m-writing’ that they endured may be in order. Celebrate with a meal at your favourite restaurant.
  • ‘Me Time’ at the spa to decompress is also an excellent idea.
  1. Be Realistic
    Unless your book is actually a short story, it’s unlikely you will ‘finish’ the book. A finished book includes:
    ~ The first few drafts
    ~ All the edits – and there are many. And you really shouldn’t start doing  these until you’ve had 3 months space from the first draft
    ~ Having a professional editor and proof reader do their magic. 

So relax. All you want to do is finish the first draft during NaNoWriMo.

If you don’t finish the first draft, you’ve at least:

~ Made a solid start
~ Written a good chunk of it.

The Last Word

Remember, you can’t ‘fail’ NaNoWriMo. You won’t be hauled off by the NaNoWriMo Police for not finishing by the end of the month. The point of NaNoWriMo is, yes, to write a book in a month. But the real point of NaNoWriMo is to help you:

~ Set aside time each day to write.
~ Put your bum on the seat and write.
~ Discover how much you can accomplish when you do.
~ Discover your ‘aha moment’ if you’ve always thought you don’t have time to write.
~ At minimum, start writing your book. At best, have a first draft under your belt.

And you will, hopefully, have done all of this! Well done!

But the month’s not over yet, so get back to writing!

Elaine Dodge

by Elaine Dodge. Elaine is the author of The Harcourts of Canada series. Elaine trained as a graphic designer, then worked in design, advertising, and broadcast television. She now creates content, mostly in written form, for clients across the globe, but would much rather be drafting her books and short stories.

More Posts From Elaine

  1. 5 Ways Plotting & Character Development Is Like Playing Chess
  2. 5 Tools To Use When Writing A Historical Novel
  3. The Thing About Life And 5 Things To Consider When Killing Off A Character
  4. 4 Writing Challenges To Keep Your Writer’s Brain Alive That You May Not Have Thought Of Before
  5. Book Banning And Why It Matters
  6. How To Market Your Book After You’ve Written It
  7. How To Market Your Book Before You Start Writing It
  8. How Important Is Backstory In A Romance Novel?
  9. Setting & Description In A Romance Novel
  10. How To Pace A Romance Novel

Top Tip: Find out more about our workbooks and online courses in our shop.

Posted on: 28th November 2022
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