November is almost here and you know what that means, right? The writing challenge season is about to begin! Tomorrow I’ll talk about PiBoIdMo – Picture Book Idea Month, hosted by the lovely Tara Lazar. Today’s topic is all about …


What is it?

From the official website: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

How does it work?

First you fill out a profile here and create the novel you plan on writing by adding the title, genre type, an optional cover, and short synopsis. This is the exciting part! I love this part, seeing as how I’ve done this for the past … oh, fifth or sixth years! (Mine is Laura Bowers if you want to buddy up.)

excitd kermitThen you select your region in order to receive updates on local events and gain access to your Regional Lounge in the forums. Easy peezy tea bag squeezy. Speaking of tea, now is also a good time to stock up on coffee, snacks, pens, a new notebook, (mine must be brand-new,) of course … lots of tea!

teaOh, and guess what! You can earn participation badges after hitting milestones. Badges? I LOVE BADGES!

YAYThen it’s time to get inspired and super psyched by reading all the fabulous resources on NaNo’s website, like this 2015 prep guide. And on November 1st, guess what, y’all? Woo-HOO, off you go, fingers flying!

kermit typingnovel vaidationOn November 30th, you totally conquer the challenge! Time to claim your win by validating your 50,000 word novel and scoring this awesome badge, NICE!!

So, have I ever conquered NaNoWriMo? Um, well … no.

sad kermit

But that’s okay.

keep calmIt’s okay if you never have completed the challenge as well, either because you were too intimidated to sign up or you didn’t hit the 50,000 word mark. No worries, mate, November 2015 is a fresh start with a clean slate and another chance to kick some NaNo rear!

So come on. Whether this is your first, fifth, or tenth attempt, let’s put on our best Barney Stinson swagger and say YES to NaNoWriMo by announcing:

Challenge accepted

Fantastic, WE’VE GOT THIS! And there’s no need to tackle this alone. Besides the forums on NaNoWriMo’s website, there are many Facebook groups where you can find for inspiration and motivation from your fellow NaNo’ers:

Here’s a Maryland Nano Group for my fellow Marylanders.

There’s some NaNo chat going on at the Delaware Writers Network page and West Virginia Writers, Inc. page for my neighbors.

Don’t forget about our own SCBWI MD/DE/WV page, where there’ll be lots of PiBoIdMo and NaNoWriMo chatting going on!

Is this your philosophy when it comes to writing?

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Then here’s some fantastic resources just for you!

Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method. I’ve been a huge fan of this for a long, long time. Do I follow all ten steps? No, I’m usually ready to by step seven and I’ve modified this to better suite my needs. Still awesome, though!

Kaye Dacus has been doing a killer #FirstDraft60 Challenge on her blog with tons and tons of information and everything you need to know about starting a new novel! She started this in September and it’s worth catching up with.

ETA: Kaye shared another fabulous resource of hers in the comments section that is “a more “down-and-dirty” version of this (much of which FirstDraft60 is built on) which is actually a NaNo Prep guide that might not be quite as daunting to work through in the next 10 days:”

Thanks, Kaye, I’ll be sure to check this out!

On the Maryland NaNo Facebook group, someone shared these fantastic links:

FREE #NaNoWriMo Story Planning Worksheets at

NaNoWriMo Prep: Plot Development and Profile Worksheets, Visualizing Collage, and More at

Freebie Friday: Nanowrimo Worksheets at

NaNoWriMo Prep Tools by Kristina Van Hoose

Novel Plotting Worksheets by Annie Neugebauer

Worksheets for Writers by Jami Gold

And here’s some more great articles that I found, courtesy of Google!

NaNoWriMo Prep: 30 Tips for Writing a Book in 30 Days at Writer’s Digest

5 Steps to Writing a Novel in 30 Days at

How to Write a Novel in 30 Days at Write to Done.

ETA: Found some more! Lord, I can’t stop.

Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: NaNoWriMo Prep: Planning Your Novel

The Hailstorm Approach: Prep for Nanowrimo in Seven Days (or Less)

Welcome To NaNoWriMo Prep School, Word-Nerds by Chuck Wendig

Another ETA since Kristen Lamb just posted this and it’s awesome:

In It to WIN It—Preparing for NANOWRIMO

ETA: Oh, and how could I forget all the many, many wonderful videos on YouTube about NaNoWriMo? Too many to link, but here’s a good one to start with: (She likes the Snowflake Method, too!)

Kat O’Keefe also has some great videos on her Katytastic channel!


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So who’s in? Let me know in the comments below and if you have any other great links, tips or resources, please share! Until then, let’s get ready to rumble on November 1st!


Cross posted on As The Eraser Burns.

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