National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts next Tuesday, which means this is our last Writing Resources post before the big event commences. As such, here’s a brief list of resources to excite, educate, encourage and inform your work before November 1st.

So load up your reader and get ready to get your Learn on! Enjoy.

Writing

  • A cooling mist of NaNoWriMo-flavored novel writing advice – Oh, Chuck Wendig – how you get to the heart of the issue with such irreverent grace. And within the humor, and the always-furious pacing of his advice posts, there is true wisdom. If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year, Chuck’s 25 pieces of advice are pure truth. Indeed, it takes a good plan, hard work, dedication, community…and a healthy dose of not giving a f@$! to get through 50,000 words in 30 days.
  • How to write a synopsis for your novel – If you’re preparing for NaNoWriMo and you just can’t bring yourself to outline, do yourself a favor and at least write a novel synopsis. We’ve said it before, but writing a synopsis can help keep your writing on track – especially during those dips in productivity and motivation where a good compass rose for your story can keep you headed toward the finish.
  • Strong beginnings: A trick to editing your novel – Just as writing your novel’s synopsis can create a guidepost for your first draft, planning a strong first scene can anchor you in the precise moment your story begins. This not only saves you time, but helps focus you on the action of story without burdening the reader with all the information that belongs beneath the iceberg. As author and literary agent Paula Munier writes in her just-released  The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings:  “Remember: What the readers need to know to read the story is not what you needed to know to write it.”
  • What word count really means for writers – Matthew Right argues for the importance of word count “as a tool, not a target.” A good thing to keep in mind as you dive into your daily 1,667 this November.  Of crucial importance for writers writing a novel for the first time: It’s not all about the words on the page. A lot of planning and creativity goes into getting an idea together before you even write, and as Right says, that’s “a process that is certainly writing even though it probably won’t add or subtract much in the way of word count.”

Tools for Creating a Writing Habit

For some people, NaNoWriMo may be the only time during the year they focus on writing a novel. And that’s totally fine. But for many other writers, there’s an opportunity to use November to create a regular writing habit. As November is going to fly by – with its 1,667 words per day and coming holiday madness – you may as well experiment with some new tools to help make your new writing routine into a regular habit as you welcome 2017 and all its many exciting possibilities (ahem…revising, editing and finishing your novel’s final draft).

Here are a few we’ve either used or heard great things about: 

  • Streaks – Choose specific tasks you want to turn into daily habits.
  • Habitify – Build habits, receive regular motivation, and turn your streaks into points you can use to donate to a good cause.
  • Today – Beautiful, highly visual, and with a number of options for custom charts, counters, journals and trackers – this looks like data wonk turned writer’s best friend.

Happy #WriterWednesday, Fellow Wordsmiths!

Plan your novel, write your draft, track word count, monitor progress, and win NaNoWriMo 2016! We’ll show you how.