NaNoWriMo 2018 Officially Begins!

The official logo for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). it is a blue shield with a viking helmet on top. The shield has a coffee cup, a computer, two pens crossed over each other making an X, and a stack of papers.It’s November which means it’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Authors of all genres take part in the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel from November 1 to November 30. If you’re as good at math as you are at writing, you’ll realize that’s 1,667 words per day. It’s not the easiest challenge, but it is a fun one. We want to start the month off write (get it?), so here are three tips to help you begin.

1. Make a Storyboard

Write down each scene on an index card. Using a corkboard—or even some tape and a blank wall—arrange your scenes in order of how they’re presented in the book. For most of us, this’ll be chronologically, but it may not be. Seeing the scenes laid out gives you a bird’s-eye view, allowing you to see how everything connects. It’s also easier to move around scenes as you figure things out. Maybe a middle scene works better at the beginning. Just move your index card and test it.

2. Write the Most Exciting Scenes First

You don’t have to write the story linearly, even if it’ll be told that way. Start with the scenes that excite you the most. They’ll be the most fun to explore and may help motivate you to write the necessary but slower scenes that connect them. You’ll also find that by starting with the most exciting scenes, the previous slower scenes may be unnecessary altogether, and you can remove them from the story.

3. Don’t Tell Anyone About Your Project

This may be the hardest thing to do. We’re excited about our writing. It’s meant to be shared! But sharing your story too early is the fastest way to lose motivation. Set yourself a “share goal,” where you can only share the information after you’ve completed a certain amount of writing. Your goal may be “write a chapter” or “finish a scene.” Whatever it is, it’ll get you writing, instead of talking about writing.


If you’re in the Dahlonega area, join us for a weekly Write In, sponsored by The Chestatee Review and the University of North Georgia Press. We’re meeting every Thursday (except Thanksgiving) from 7 pm – 9 pm on the second floor of Starbucks.

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Tips and Tricks to Get Started on NaNoWriMo

Ever wanted to write a novel? Can’t find the inspiration or drive to do it? Then look no further than NaNoWriMo! What is NaNoWriMo, you may ask? It stands for the National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, you will write 50,000 words over a 30-day period. By the end, if you have successfully written 50,000 words, then you will have a novel that you can send to publishers, publish yourself, or have just for you to enjoy! Some famous authors, who we will be featuring throughout the month of November, have even created their novels during NaNoWriMo.  All you have to do is visit the NaNoWriMo official site and create a profile so that you can become connected with the community, track your writing goals, and so much more. Does all of this seem a little intimidating? Here are a couple of tips on how to start before the month of November!

Start by storyboarding possible ideas that you have. During November, you may be too busy typing away to get to your word count goal for the day to think about the characters that you are developing and the storyline. It is a great idea to start NOW on selecting possible genres, time periods, and directions for your novel. This will help you have a clear direction for the month ahead and helps buffer the impact of any bumps in the road. Do research, make outlines, and get to thinking so you are not stressing while you are busy writing your novel.

Seek support from the NaNoWriMo community. Sometimes, you may need advice on your novel from other people who have also struggled with writing a book. Luckily, NaNoWriMo understands that and has set up events and forums just for this. This gives you the opportunity to talk with other budding authors that are trying to keep up with their word count, their story, and their day job all while trying to write an entire novel in a month. You can do things like add a writing buddy in your profile to keep you accountable on those days when you just do not want to write a single word. Regional events are held throughout the month, such as write-ins, where you and other local NaNoWriMo author gets together to write or edit. Check out events like Camp NaNoWriMo, a virtual writing retreat, that will give you the resources to complete all of your writing projects in your drafts.

Don’t wait! Procrastination is the enemy of any novelist. Check out the NaNoWriMo website today, create your profile, and begin writing your outline for your book! Utilize all the tools and tips you can, and keep an eye out for more great stuff in November so you can have a successful National Novel Writing Month.

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