November is National Novel Writing Month!

What do the novels Water for Elephants, The Night Circus, Fangirl and Cinder all have in common? They began as National Novel Writing Month projects. For more than twenty years, this writing challenge turned global phenomenon has motivated people to finally write down the story they’ve had in mind.

Over 500,000 writers participated in the challenge in 2020. Writers devote time each day in November to work towards their goal: 50,000 words in 30 days. Many say the time pressure helps them move past self-doubt and get their creativity flowing. You could be one of them!

Local author (and WDM Public Library staffer!) Maggie Ann Martin created her book The Big F during NaNoWriMo. She shared a few tips for success with us.

“Use a website like Pacemaker to help you set a word count goal and writing pace that’s reasonable for you. My brain likes to “gamify” writing, so any time I can write up against goals and word counts I tend to draft more efficiently!

Also, create your story’s outline ahead of time. When you know where the story is going, it’s easier to keep chugging along to meet those lofty word count goals that go along with NaNoWriMo. If you don’t know where to start on your outline, I’d work following the plot beats featured in Jessica Brody’s Save the Cat! Writes a Novel.”

To participate, simply register on the NaNoWriMo site and be ready to hit the ground running on November 1. Happy writing!

NaNoWriMo Novels and Books on Writing


More ideas and inspiration from our collection:

Check out writing books and NaNoWriMo novels from the library

Share with other writers at the NaNoWriMo Reddit

Writing software Scrivener gives free use of their product for the month, or try the free option available at yWriter

NaNoWriMo tips for success

Grammar and writing skills tutorials on Learning Express

"Writing Great Fiction" class available through The Great Courses

Courageous Creativity course from Learn It Live