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How to Win NaNoWriMo

“The idea is that starting at 12:01 AM on November 1 and ending at 11:59 PM on November 30, you write your novel. You can write something brand new. Or you can continue writing on a current project. Whatever you want to do.”

Do You Know How to Win NaNoWriMo?

How do you win NaNoWriMo? And what the heck is NaNoWriMo anyway?

The acronym stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s a FREE event held every November from November 1 to November 30. 

Basically, it’s a fun way to inspire yourself to get serious about writing and to meet new writer friends.

What Is NaNoWriMo?

The idea is that starting at 12:01 AM on November 1 and ending at 11:59 PM on November 30, you write your novel. You can write something brand new. Or you can continue writing on a current project. Whatever you want to do.

At the end of the month, if you have written 50,000 words (or more)in November–YOU WIN! Yup! Yay! And you are forever more a NaNoWriMo WINNER!

Your prize is a certificate you can print out and hang on your wall.

Believe me, it’s very cool earning that certificate. VERY cool. It means you wrote the equivalent of a short novel in the space of 30 days.

To win, you have to average 1,667 words per day. That’s about 6 to 7 pages of properly formatted text. It’s not easy, but doing some prep work now will make it a little easier.

So what do you have to do to win? The NaNoWriMo folks suggest four key steps to do BEFORE November 1 (or at the latest, very early in the month).

Plan Your Story


Develop Characters


Build a Story World


In only an afternoon you’ll identify 7 Essential elements of your story so you’re ready to start writing. 

Take your bare-bones idea and turn it into a solid concept for your novel.

The most important two characters in your story are your hero and the main opponent. Tthe opponent might be a natural force, an animal, a space alien, or another person.

Whatever they are, go back to START YOUR STORY RIGHT Online Short Course and use the 7 Essential Questions to help you define both hero and opposition.

In fact, the worksheet with that course will help you decide which of those two will really be the hero. It might not be who you first expect…

A contemporary romance needs a very different story world than an epic fantasy or a space opera.

The Comprehensive guide will sort through all that, tell you what bits are essential for each genre–33 different genres!–and then show you how to create a story world from those elements. It’s a guide you’ll use over and over again.

How to Win NaNoWriMo:

The Final Step:

Make Time to Write

Look at your calendar and figure out when you have time to write 1667 words (about 6 or 7 ms. pages) every day in the month of November.

Do what it takes to set that time aside and make sure you can complete your NaNoWriMo mission. You can do it!

You can win NaNoWriMo this year!




Let THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO WORLD BUILDING FOR ALL GENRES help you create a genre-appropriate story world—just detailed enough without overwhelming you.


Use the 7 Essential Questions in START YOUR STORY RIGHT ONLINE SHORT COURSE to help identify hero, opponent and their conflict.


Arrange your calendar and your commitments for the month of November to give you the space you need to create your novel.



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