NaNoWriMo 2013: Are You In?

29 Oct 2013 | Fiction

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


I’m Ali Luke, and I live in Leeds in the UK with my husband and two children.

Aliventures is where I help you master the art, craft and business of writing.

My Novels

My contemporary fantasy trilogy is available from Amazon. The books follow on from one another, so read Lycopolis first.

You can buy them all from Amazon, or read them FREE in Kindle Unlimited.


  1. David Masters

    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

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

      • Ali

        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

      Good luck, David! Let me know how you get on. 🙂

  2. Alicia A

    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

      Good luck, Alicia! Keep us posted on how it goes for you. 🙂

  3. Julie

    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

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

  4. Allison

    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

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

  5. Maria

    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

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

    • Ali

      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. 🙂

  6. Daniel Rocha

    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

      Woohoo, good luck, Daniel! Hope you have a fantastic November writing. 🙂

      • Daniel Rocha

        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

          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!

  7. Raspal Seni

    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

      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.

  8. Laura W.

    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

      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.

    • Ali

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

  9. Lady Adellandra

    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

      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. 🙂

  10. Susan Neal

    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

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


  1. Monday Must-Reads [11/4/13] - YESENIA VARGAS - […] NaNoWriMo 2013: Are You In? — Aliventures […]

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