NaNoWriMo 2013: Are You In?

by Ali on October 29, 2013


For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is short for (inter)National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November.

Across the world, tens of thousands of writers sign up to the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in just one month. (That’s 1,667 words per day.) To “win” the challenge, you need to write that many words by the end of November 30th.

It’s free and easy to join: you simply head over to the NaNoWriMo website and click “Sign Up”.

Not sure whether or not it’s for you? Take a look at my NaNo post from last year, 4 Reasons Why You Should Do NaNoWriMo … and 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t.

Here’s Why I’m In (This Year)

I took part in – and “won” – NaNo in 2007. Every year since then, I’ve been either already writing, or busy editing, a novel.

This year, I’m giving it a go again.

It’s been tough to find time for my fiction over the last couple of years. My fiction-writing makes up a tiny proportion of my income, so it’s rarely a priority – especially now Kitty’s on the scene.


But I really want to get more fiction written. I’d like to get the next Lycopolis book out early next year, and the third one at the end of next year. I’m currently almost done on Draft Two of the current book, and I’m planning to spend NaNo bashing out a rough draft (or most of one!) of the third.

Some Great NaNoWriMo Resources

I’m going to be using K.M. Weiland’s excellent Structuring Your Novel ( / to help me with the planning (as I think I’m going to have, at best, a day to plan before November starts.)

I’ll be turning to Rachel Aaron’s inspiring 2k to 10k ( / to help me get words down faster.

And I’ll be dipping in and out of Chris Baty’s No Plot? No Problem! ( / for inspiration along the way.

How About You?

Will this be the year you say “yes” to your novel?

(Go ahead and say “no” to everything else. Especially housework.)

If you know that 50,000 words is going to be a totally unrealistic target for you, join in anyway! Be a rebel – go for a smaller target. How about 25,000, 10,000, or even 5,000 words?

Technically, NaNoWriMo is supposed to be 50,000 words on a brand new novel in a month. But if you want to edit one instead, or write a non-fiction project … go for it.

However you go about it, if you’re going to be taking part in NaNoWriMo, good luck! Drop a comment below and let me know what you’ll be writing.

I’ll be tweeting and Facebooking about my progress during November – you can find me on Twitter at @aliventures and on Facebook at

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

David Masters October 29, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I’m in. Let’s do this! I’m going for the full 50,000 words. Hoping it the story will emerge as I write.


David Masters October 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Just curious – what’s your reason for choosing Weiland’s “Structuring Your Novel” over “Outlining Your Novel”?


Ali October 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

Simply that it’s newer and I’ve read it! I own Outlining Your Novel too but haven’t got round to reading it…


Ali October 30, 2013 at 11:32 am

Good luck, David! Let me know how you get on. :-)


Alicia A October 29, 2013 at 11:29 pm

I haven’t been writing hardly at all this year, but my November is looking to be slightly less busy than in years past, so I’m going to do my first (10,000-word) NaNoWriMo challenge!


Ali October 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

Good luck, Alicia! Keep us posted on how it goes for you. :-)


Julie October 30, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Thank you so much for this post Ali! I had set today aside to structure my novel, but hadn’t been able to get my hands on the resource I wanted in time. So your book recommendation was super helpful, thank you! Best novelling wishes to everyone, I love nanowrimo!


Ali October 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Yay, glad this was helpful, Julie! And best novelling wishes to you too. :-)


Allison October 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I’m going to be a rebel! Finishing up my novel this year, and hoping to survive track season whilst at it. ^^
Heh, heh. High school rebel.
Ugh, cliches.


Ali October 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Good luck, Allison! Hope the novel-finishing goes well — I’m looking forward to reading it. :-)


Maria October 31, 2013 at 2:19 am

Good luck to all! Won’t be doing NaNo this time round, did both 2010 and 2011, and won too, but I’m in the midst of a rewrite now. I need to complete something!
Maria’s last blog post ..Goal List Week Commencing 27th October 2013


Ali October 31, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Hope the rest of the rewrite goes well, Maria — and congrats on your past wins. :-)


Maria October 31, 2013 at 2:21 am

P.S. What an adorable little lady you have there…be sure to spend lots of happy days together. :-)
Maria’s last blog post ..Goal List Week Commencing 27th October 2013


Ali October 31, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Thanks! She’s an absolute darling … we got lucky. ;-) I’m so glad I work for myself, because it means I get to see a lot of her. :-)


Daniel Rocha October 31, 2013 at 2:38 am

I’m in. For the first time.

Here, in Porto Alegre, right now is 00:35. I have less than 24 hours to start this crazy journey…:)

All best and happy November to all the Nanos!
Daniel Rocha’s last blog post ..Livro Novo – Here comes November!


Ali October 31, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Woohoo, good luck, Daniel! Hope you have a fantastic November writing. :-)


Daniel Rocha November 2, 2013 at 4:03 am

So, my friend: did you survive to the Nano first day? :) I’m still here. And there’s more 29 days coming… Piece of cake! :)
Daniel Rocha’s last blog post ..Nanowrimo – Dia 1


Ali November 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Due to a weekend away, I didn’t even get going until day 4! I’m slowly catching up… :-) Glad you had a good first day!


Raspal Seni October 31, 2013 at 5:11 am

Hi Ali,

Have never done fiction writing, and no plans for the future, but good luck to you and everyone who takes up the challenge. Some of my other blogger friends at UBC would also be taking part in the challenge. Today’s my last day of the blog challenge at UBC. I loved these 31 days and have written more than 31 posts. Still have to post the one for today and two missed ones. Going back to posting those.

I had never thought I could complete a challenge of writing a blog post daily. And now, it looks like child’s play. :)

Raspal Seni
Raspal Seni’s last blog post ..2500+ Blog Post Ideas


Ali October 31, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Good on you, Raspal, for completing the UBC challenge!

I think people who’ve been through NaNoWriMo often feel the same way — after writing every day (or at least most days) for a month, it’s often not too hard to continue with a good writing habit.


Laura W. October 31, 2013 at 5:35 am

Me! Me! *raises hand*

I’m NaNoRebelling it this year (doing something other than starting a novel from scratch). Some people write scripts, poetry, nonfiction, etc.; I’m continuing a WIP. Who knows? I may get another 50k in, but the goal is just to finish. :)

Best of luck with your NaNo!
Laura W.’s last blog post ..What’s Up Wednesday: Pentaholic Edition


Ali October 31, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Yay for you, Laura, and best of luck to you! Nothing wrong with being a rebel. :-) Hope you get all the way to The End.


Bethanny Parker October 31, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I am doing NaNo this year. I make a living writing, but I’ve never written a novel before. I’m an article writer. I’ve written a couple of short stories and that’s it for fiction, so this will be an adventure.
Bethanny Parker’s last blog post ..3 is the Magic Number for Nov. 2013 Challenges #NaNo #SlapDash100


Ali October 31, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I hope it’s a fantastic adventure for you, Bethanny — have fun! :-)


Lady Adellandra November 1, 2013 at 6:55 am

I’ve heard of the NaNoWriMo for years but have been to chicken to do it. I chalked it up to “life” and can see you do it for your daughter. That is what made me take the leap over a short cliff and finally do it. I’ve put off my writing for way too long. I actually feel guilty, like I’m letting my characters down by freezing them in place within their stories.

I’m crossing Ts and dotting Is that I can actually not only accept the challenge, but overcome it.
50k by Nov 30? Here I come!

And what a ride it will be.


Ali November 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Good luck, Lady Adellandra! I’ve found it all too easy to put off NaNoing in recent years … but sometimes you just have to dive in. :-)


Susan Neal November 1, 2013 at 9:51 am

Hi Ali,

I’ve only recently started having a go at writing fiction – something I thought I’d never be able to do, but I’m getting quite hooked. I’m not registering for NaNo because I’m nowhere near ready to start writing a novel yet – just trying to get some short stories off the ground for starters. But I’m going to aim to write 1000 words a day through November, to start increasing my output. Thanks very much for the books you’ve recommended, which I plan to explore :)
Susan Neal’s last blog post ..15 Beliefs To Supercharge Your Writing Career


Ali November 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Good luck, Susan! That’s a fantastic target, and I hope you have a great month of short-story writing. :-)


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