The Nanowrimo Ninja’s Toolkit

(strategies, tips and resources for smashing 50,000 words)

We've put together a bunch of resources to help nanowrimo particpants on their road to success.

All of these are completely free and available in full. If you find them useful, please share the links!

How to kick ass at Nanowrimo – 9 rules for success: Written by a Nanowrimo veteran, the 9 rules she follows to make sure she consistently smashes 50,000 words in 30 days or less.

Plan Your Nanowrimo Novel in 30 days (for October): A step-by-step guide to planning a novel ready to get writing the first draft on day one of Nanowrimo, broken down into a step for each day (more or less).

Surviving Nanorimo - 30 tips for 30 days: Quickfire tips to keep you motivated and focussed during the nano period! We also share these day by day on our Twitter feed, so sign up there.

Life after Nanowrimo: So, you've completed Nanowrimo - well done! This article gives you some guidance on how to take your work from first draft to final manuscript.


If you'd like to learn a bit more about Nanowrimo and why you might want to take part, read on...

What is Nanowrimo and why should you do it?

Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's an initiative to encourage writers to stop procrastinating and get on with writing the first draft of their novel.

The idea is to write 50,000 words in one month: November - which isn't even one of the longer months.

There is a website ( where you can get involved with the official community, but it's not compulsory. There's nothing to stop you hiding yourself away in your own little personal nanowrimo. You don't even have to do it in November.

What are the benefits of taking part in nanowrimo?


Some of us need a little external motivation to really get the fire going under our backsides. We know that all we need to do is sit down and write, but somehow we never actually get round to doing it. Having a start date, a deadline and a set number of words to write all set by someone else, can have a magical effect on our motivation.


If you succeed in completing the 50,000 words (especially if it’s your first time writing such a volume), then the sense of achievement is fantastic. Not only the sense of it – having the first draft is an actual, tangible achievement to be proud of.


The best way to get better at writing is to write. It's been said that you have to write a million words before you start to be any good. This 50,000 will be a good start.

Progress towards a completed novel

Once you have your first draft under your belt, you’re in a much better position to start editing and improving, and getting closer to that all coveted prize – the final manuscript.


As I mention above, taking part in the community side of things is completely optional. Personally, I prefer to go full hermit when it comes to writing a first draft, but for plenty of people, having friends and colleagues to check in with, compare progress and generally cheer each other along can be hugely encouraging and motivational.

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