Nanowrimo Workbook Flash Sale!

That’s right! Download a copy of the Nanowrimo Workbook, my guide to having your most successful Nanowrimo ever, for FREE with code Nano22. This sale is only good through the 12th, so download now!

This workbook is based on my Nanowrimo Bootcamp series here on the blog, which uses exercises like those below to prepare you for writing 1667 words a day, even if you’ve never written before.


October is where we start looking at the numbers. On page 14, I’ve divided up October into its four component weeks with goals for each. You can write anything for these exercises, but I find it works best when I’m writing something related to my book. At the end of this section, I’ll list some examples. 

It’s time for Boot Camp. 

Week 1: Write 500 words at least four days.

Week 2: Write 1000 words at least five days.

Week 3: Write 1500 words at least five days. 

Week 4: Write at least five days a week, using your goal daily word count for Nanowrimo (from page 9) or 1667 words. 

Per the rules of Nanowrimo, if you are a traditional Wrimo, you can’t work on the actual book. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work on book related things. 

Start with your blurb. Think of this as back cover copy (about 500 words or so). It’s the part you read that makes you want to read the book. 

Next, we’re going to write the synopsis. This is usually 1-2 pages (about 1-2,000 words), and gives a more in depth look at what the book is about–including spoilers). If you choose to traditionally publish, you will need both the blurb and the synopsis for your query package (see the resources page for more on query packages and examples of both of these). These don’t have to be perfect. At this point, they are here more to give you an idea–a road map–of where your story is going. 

Another good project for week 1 writing exercises is your author bio. Describe yourself in 250, 500, and 750 words. Write about who you actually are, or create and author “persona.” (For more on pen names and personas, please see the Publishing Roadmap). 

By now, you should have a pretty good feel for the story, the world, and your characters. It’s time to lay it all out and create an outline. I go into more information about this in the New Author Workbook, but the short version is to create a timeline of events. I label each day, assigning them occasionally arbitrary dates just so I can keep them in order, and then list the events of that day. I worry about what will make up each chapter later, when I sit down to write the actual book. Some scenes take longer than others, so I find that a timeline is more useful to me than a traditional outline. This is also a really useful method if you are writing something with multiple POVs, so that you know when everything is happening and have a nice list to work from. 

A lot of authors hate outlining. If you’ve never done it before, I advise doing it at least once. If you end up not using it, fine. If you never write another outline again, fine. But try it, especially for Nanowrimo. This is your cheat sheet. If you get stuck writing a scene, you can always skip to another one further down on the list. Don’t be afraid to write out of order. Remember, the goal here is words on the page. Everything else can be changed later. 

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