It’s Time to Start Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2014

NaNoWriMo - Image courtesy of National Novel Writing MonthEvery year in November novel-writing fever takes the world by storm as writers take part in NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, a fiction writing challenge founded in 1999 by Chris Baty. Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in a month, starting from scratch and reaching “The End” by November 30. The novels written do not need to be perfect and ready for publishing. This is a challenge about getting 50,000 words written. Think ‘first draft’.

As we get closer to the end of October writing blogs will be buzzing about the upcoming challenge. The only problem is that by then you have precious little time to get ready. If you have never written a novel before and you want a realistic chance of beating this challenge then now is the time to start preparing.

NaNoWriMo is free to enter. There are no judges. There are also no prizes. So why bother?

Because it’s all about writing. And that’s what we do.

Every year there are thousands of “winners” who write a 50,000 word novel during November. Besides, the organizers of this challenge go out of their way to make it all as much fun as possible!

So what is NaNoWriMo really all about?
It’s about writers committing to writing
on a daily or regular basis.

Are you interested to take this year’ challenge? Then let’s do a reality check and look at a few facts.

  • 50,000 words in November works out at an average of 1,666 words per day. So you will be busy.
  • Each year the ratio of participants to winners has been similar… around 1 winner for every 6 or 7 participants.
  • In 2013 there were 310,095 participants and 42,008 winners.
  • Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.
  • So what can you do to help your chances of winning? It all starts with being well-prepared. And that can start now. You have 3 weeks until the start of this year’s challenge and if you make the most of this time you will have a huge advantage.

Here are some tips I have provided in previous years that are still relevant today:

About the Author: Gary McLaren

Gary McLaren is the author of 'The Indie Author's Guide to Publishing Ebooks'. He also manages several web sites for professional writers including Publish Your Own Ebooks and Worldwide Freelance.


  1. I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve done it several times but gave it a miss last year because I was too busy with ‘proper’ writing. I’ve never managed the full 50,000 words but, for me, the word count wasn’t the most important thing about it. It taught me that writing every day, especially when I’m not ‘in the mood’, is the best way to generate ideas and get the words flowing. A lot of what I wrote during NaNo was pure rubbish but afterwards I was amazed to find a lot of workable ideas in there that I have since used for publishable stories.
    Good luck to everyone else who’ll be doing it!

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