Tag Archives: November

Your NaNoWriMo Preparation Kit


Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? For those who haven’t heard of it, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Throughout the month of November, writers attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo for quite a few years and have even ‘won’ it a few times. Two years ago I put together a helpful post for NaNoWriMo-ers preparing to undertake NaNoWriMo. The post includes:

  • Ways to prepare for NaNoWriMo.
  • Helpful tips and advice.
  • Helpful links.

You can find the post HERE. I’ve also included a handy link in the navigation bar at the top of this site.


November Inspiration

We’re halfway through November, which means many writers out there are halfway through NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month). Some of you might be starting to feel the mid-November slump and need some fresh inspiration to get over the hump and reach your daily goals. I’ve included extra picture prompts this month, so hopefully there will be something here to help spark your muse.



Where is this? What significance does the butterfly have? Is the butterfly the main character or does it play another role in the story?


What is the dragon protecting and why? Is it a good dragon or an evil dragon? Is the dragon the main character or another part of the story?


Where is this? What significance does the duck have in the story? Is it the main character or just part of the scene? Who might be looking at the duck? Does the rain have any significance in the story?


  • Horse
  • Fair ground
  • Hero
  • Moustache
  • Argentina


  • Turkey
  • Gunpowder
  • Day of the Dead
  • Lantern
  • Children


  • Saint
  • Adoption
  • Scorpion
  • Citris
  • Drums
  • Soldier
  • Remember

Are You Ready For NaNoWriMo?

press-start-fa915ffe8a6fb32bb3eabf7f771620b4With only two weeks to go until NaNoWriMo begins for another year, are you prepared? As a previous (multiple) NaNoWriMo ‘winner’ I’m here to help you get ready for November.


Have you signed up to the official NaNoWriMo site yet? If not, don’t forget to sign up. It’s a great way to keep track of your word count over the month, and to keep track of any friends who are also taking part. Explore the forums and sign up to your local area group to get motivating emails throughout the month.


Do you have a plan? Although one year I managed to write 50,000 words on a novel by pantsing, I believe having a plan can be a great help. Even just a dot point outline can give you something to refer to when you get stuck so you can remind yourself where you want the story to go. I personally like having a skeleton outline, which you can read more about here.


Do you know your characters? Getting to know your characters before you start writing can make it easier to get into their heads as you write. Here is a post on various ways you can get to know your characters before NaNo.


Have some handy writing tools at your fingertips. Here is a list of links to writing tools to help you during NaNo, such as Write or Die (which is GREAT for motivating you to reach your daily word count).


Links to help you with plotting your novel.

Links to help you bolster your word count.

– And don’t forget my master list of links, including links to posts on character, tension/pacing, and much more.


– Keep a notepad and pen with you at all times during NaNo so you can write whenever you get a moment.

– Write whenever you get a free moment. Kids occupied playing outside, sit on the porch and write. On your lunch break at work, break out that notepad and write. Waiting in the doctor’s waiting room… You know the drill. Use those spare moments. Forget Candy Crush, it’s banished for the month. Bookmark that book you’re reading and put it in a drawer. Let your partner/housemates have control of the remote control (or if you have a favourite show you can’t miss, don’t forget to write during the ad breaks).

– Link up with fellow writers, particularly those doing NaNo, and do writing races. Example:

Me (on social media site/forum): Who’s up for a writing race? 30 minutes starting at :15 (use just the minutes to account for people in different time zones, so it could mean 7:15am in Australia AND 4:15pm in New York).

Writing friend: I’m in!

Me: (at 15 minutes past the hour): Go!

*30 minutes pass*

Me: Stop! 868 words.

Writing friend: 934.

– Stock up on chocolate/caffeine/Wiggles DVDs for the kids/whatever it is you need to get through writing when you are stressed/tired/despairing over character arcs. (I’ve picked a really good time to start a new diet, so it will be my first NaNo without a stockpile of chocolate/caffeine to get me through. Eep!)

Share your NaNo tips in the comments below.


What’s Scarier Than Halloween? The Day Before NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo Diary – NaNoWriMo Eve

For some people the 31st of October represents dressing up in spooky costumes, getting a sugar rush and maybe watching some scary movies. For me the 31st of October means one thing: NaNoWriMo Eve. And yes, it’s just a little bit scary. I have a big task in front of me to write 50000 words in 30 days. How in the world am I going to fit in my word count around my daily life? What if I get stuck half way through the month and don’t know what to write? What have I signed myself up for?!

To help make the prospect of NaNoWriMo a bit less scary, I’ve been trying to get organised. So far I have:

Written an outline with a basic plot arc so hopefully I won’t get stuck not knowing where the story is going. It’s like my road map for November.

– Got a reasonable supply of chocolate in the house. I can’t write without chocolate!

Got my NaNoWriMo profile up on the NaNoWriMo site to record my progress throughout the month. I just have to remember to keep updating it as I completely forgot last year (I remembered half way through the month, it ended up looking like I hadn’t written a thing for the first 15 days and then wrote something like 25,000 in one day).

I still have stuff to get organised today! Still to do:

Clean entire house so I can feel a bit more relaxed about getting writing done in those first few days and not have to worry so much about housework.

Stock up on Coke and more chocolate today when I go shopping. Coke is the only form of caffeine I drink and I’m sure I’ll be needing it. Should probably also stock up on food for the rest of the family. I need to plan what meals I will be cooking for the week so I’m prepared.

Make sure business paperwork is up to date.

Write up brief character bios for main characters. I actually have very clear ideas of my characters already, especially in terms of personality, but writing down some key points about them will help me stay consistent (eg: eye colour, family)

Make sure I have a notepad and pen to carry around in my handbag during November.

I’m not sure what the 1st of November will be like for me as a writing day. In Australia it will be Melbourne Cup day, although since I’m such a reclusive writer I have nothing planned anyway, so unless we get visitors it shouldn’t be much different to any normal day (except to sit down and watch the cup).

Are you prepared for NaNoWriMo? What are you doing to get ready?

(P.S. This is officially my 100th post on this blog! What better way to celebrate than to kick off my NaNoWriMo diary.)