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Top 10 NaNoWriMo Writing Tips

Hello friends, welcome back to my blog. For those of you new here I focus on giving you writing tips, roleplaying advice and teaching narrative design. In this video, we’ll be looking at my top 10 NaNoWriMo writing tips, as well as my plan and prep for this Preptober.

Why are you doing NaNoWriMo?

Before we start of with today’s Preptober update and some NaNoWriMo writing tips, I’d love to know why you are doing NaNoWriMo?

There is no real correct or incorrect answer here. I’m interested in why you are doing NaNoWriMo this year – let me know in the comments below.

Why am I doing NaNoWriMo?

I find NaNoWriMo incredibly useful in being prolific with your writing. It has helped me produce a lot more content in a short period of time and it forces you to learn how to be more economical with your writing, which can benefit both short stories AND long-form fiction.

My Preptober & Plan for November

I am aiming to write 65,000 words this November. Yes, it is 15,000 more than the goal of 50,000 words, but I’m doing it because I’m splitting up the way I am writing this year.

Instead of focusing on a full-length novel, I am breaking it down into:

  • A novella
  • Several short stories
  • Writing resources to help you all with your writing

I am also planning on using the month to be productive with releasing new videos on this channel, launching a second channel dedicated to gaming, Game Master tips and roleplaying resources – so watch this space if you’re interested in those.

How is your preptober going?

Let me know in the comments below what you’ve planned so far and what you are planning to write this November.

Now, let’s talk about 10 tips you can follow for writing this NaNoWriMo.

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Tip #1: Don’t give up.

If you fall behind or become stuck at some point, don’t be disheartened. It happens to the best of us. Instead, just remain positive and focus on getting those words written.

Tip #2: Plan catch-up days on advance.

It might seem simple, but a lot of beginner writers don’t plan for catch-up days in advance. If you do, you are more likely to be more consistent and stress less about falling behind in your daily word counts.

Tip #3: Write more when you can.

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself with more energy and in the moment when it comes to your writing. When you find yourself in these situations, write more to get ahead. Getting ahead will give you a boost of confidence and will make you less likely to rely on catch-up days.

Tip #4: Use writing groups for support.

Whether it’s your local NaNoWriMo group of a Facebook writing group, use them. You’ll find other writers who are willing to support each other. It can help in remaining consistent and gaining a much needed pat on the back to continue what you are doing.

Tip #5: Don’t stress out and be super strict.

I recommended in a previous video to be strict with yourself and create a routine to stick to. However, don’t go overboard and create extra stress for yourself if you can’t stick to a full writing routine. Just keep writing.

Tip #6: Don’t wait for inspiration.

It’s probably cliche at this point. Don’t wait for lady muse. Focus instead on writing. During the writing process you’ll often find moments of inspiration more than if you don’t write and wait for inspiration.

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Tip #7: Use writing prompts when stuck.

Writing prompts can be used when you are stuck at a plot point or in situations where you’re not sure to to progress the story. This could be down to a lack of outlining, but just soldier on! Use a writing prompts that could fit – or tweak it to fit your narrative – get over the hurdle.

Tip #8: Do writing sprints.

Writing sprints are my number one advice for anyone wanting to write short stories, novels or content for roleplaying games. Set a timer on your phone or computer and force yourself to write as much as possible during that time. You’ll be surprised at how productive you can be.

Tip #9: Set sub-goals.

If you set sub-goals such as 10,000 words, 20,000 words etc… and reward yourself when you reach those points, you’ll be more likely to stay positive with your writing and will enjoy those moments. It’s called conditioning. You’ll be conditioning yourself to enjoy the writing process.

Tip #10: Don’t edit.

Don’t edit during the month of November. Just focus on producing as many words as you possibly can. Editing will slow you down and may even get in the way of progressing the story forward as you’ll be thinking about a problem scene or a piece of dialogue that just doesn’t. Don’t care about it in the moment and just don’t edit.

Bonus tip: Workout when stuck.

Going for a walk or working out is a great activity to do when you are stuck. It helps to get those brain cogs turning again and it has the added benefit of improving your health too.

A summary

  • Don’t give up.
  • Plan catch-up days in advance.
  • Write more when you can.
  • Utilize writing groups for support.
  • Don’t stress about your routine.
  • Don’t wait for inspiration.
  • Use writing prompts when stuck.
  • Do writing sprints.
  • Set sub-goals and reward yourself.
  • Stop yourself from editing.
  • Workout when stuck.
I hope this has helped you with some practical tips you can put into action during NaNoWriMo this year. And don’t forget to let me know why you are doing NaNoWriMo and what you are planning on doing so far!
And check out my writing and storytelling playlist – it’s full of writing tips, storytelling advice and narrative design guides on building your worlds and teaching you interesting concepts to explore in your writing too.

8 thoughts on “Top 10 NaNoWriMo Writing Tips”

  1. Danyal, thank you so much. I joined NaNo last year and quickly became disheartened. This year I’m determined to really go for it, and your tips make petfect sense and are so motivational. In order to help me keep at it, I’ve set up a support group on my Facebook page: Author’s Pen -A Community of Writers. I’ll be certain to follow your posts and share them too. Thank you for the great advice.

    1. Thanks Lesley – I just saw your comment! Sorry about that. It’s approved and visible 😀 Kind got sidetracked with the whole NaNo thing 😀

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