Friday, 1 November 2013

Write a novel in a month...starting now! by Keren David

Ever wanted to write a novel?  Today's the day to start.         

The NaNoWriMo crest
Just get yourself along to NaNoWriMo - which stands for national novel-writing month - it should actually be international, but that's less snappy. It's a website with one aim -  to get as many people as possible writing their novel in November. Just write 1,650 words a day and you'll have a first draft of 60,000 words by the end of the month. The website helps you track your progress, sends you tips, connects you to a community of people all doing the same thing.

It can't be that simple, can it? Surely you need to plan your book before plunging in?


It can be done. A little planning helps, but NaNoWriMo helps you with a lot of things that aren't immediately obvious when you think about wriitng a book.

If you've got a target it helps you find time to write.
If you've got a target then you learn to forget about quality of writing and concentrate on just writing hit that wordcount
If you write every day your story starts to grow in your head.
You don't have to tell your story chronologically. You can write a patchwork of short chapters and then rearrange them
Editing can take place after you've written your first draft.
You CAN find the time
You CAN think of plot twists as you go along
You CAN write a novel in a month.

I didn't know about NaNoWriMo when I wrote my first book. But I set myself the target of writing a book in 12 weeks and it took me 16 -  and that includes quite a bit of editing and rewriting. I pretended I was writing a newspaper column which told a story in episodes. I only planned ahead little by little. I was fierce about my time (I was sharing a computer) and sometimes I had to write at midnight or 6am. I was determined to finish the story.
If I hadn't set targets I should think I'd still be faffing with that book now. But I finished it and it was published and I've written four more since.

I've got a deadline of January 17 for my next book.
So far I've written 2,000 words that I'm happy with.

NaNoWriMo, here I come!


  1. I started on my third NaNo at one minute past midnight. It is a great way to get your first draft written.

  2. It really is! One minute past midnight is a great idea..