Another NaNoWriMo… Will This Year Be Different?

I believe it can be.  I believe it should be.

Last October I wrote 31 posts in 31 days as a sort of NaNoWriMo bootcamp.  Damn near killed me.  But in the end I had what amounted to a valuabale guide to writing a book quickly and effectively.

I had intended to do it again this year.  But not much has changed about how-to-write-a-publishable-novel-in-30-days since then… so here’s a better idea: Read the book.

Shortly after that series I compiled those posts — which I expanded, and to which I added new content — into a book, which you see above.  It’s been selling consistently all year since, but allow me to introduce it to you here, in context to that pit you’re feeling in your stomach as NaNoWriMo approaches.

Fact is, you CAN write a publishable novel in 30 days. 

But it just might take you 31 days (October) to prepare for the process.

Be advised, however… there is a conditional and non-negotiable caveat of that possibility: that you start with a killer idea in mind and begin developing it into a concept, then a premise, then a story plan… and that you do it NOW… so that when November 1 rolls around you’ve jump-started and empowered the whole process.

That’s perfectly legal in NaNoWriMo land, by the way.  I believe it’s the only way to truly “win” NaNoWriMo, beyond the self-flagellating drudgery of simply pounding out 50,000 words that are still in search of a story spine.

The book is writtin in context to NaNoWriMo, too.  In other words, I feel your pain… and exhilaration.  I prefer the latter. 

It’s cool to start a marathon and finish, just to see if you can… but it’s better if you intend to really win the race.  Admit it, that’s your goal, am I right?  To turn pro?  Why not use NaNoWriMo as a runway for that aspiration, and come out the other end with something that really does have a shot.  A legit piece of work.

The book will show you how, step by step.  It’s all about craft and process, the triumph of informed storytelling over a random and rushed cobbling together of ideas.  If you know your story beforehand — and you can — the challenge of writing 1800 words a day is a no-brainer. 

Imagine where you could be come December 1st.  Perhaps a tweak and a proof away from something submittable.

It’s $5.95 on Kindle… or to buy a directly downloadable PDF, click this button:

Buy Now

I may do a few posts in October to help ease the NaNoWriMo jitters.  The the Big Enchilada is in the book… which (full disclosure) you can piece together from my Archives here, minus the value-add of an assembled whole.  Either way, I wish you a great November, and a future for your project thereafter.


Filed under NaNoWriMo

13 Responses to Another NaNoWriMo… Will This Year Be Different?

  1. This will be my last nano, just as last year was my last and next year will probably be my last.

    And I started planning a couple of weeks ago. Since this is a straight ahead crime fiction, I should be able to knock off the whole thing in November.

  2. Shirls

    Yay – I just bought the book for my Kindle which I’ve had for only a month and am totally in love with. (With which I am totally in love?) I’ve been on synopses lately and figure that my killer idea is probably as good as many of them. I feel the enthusiasm rising. Thanks Larry!

  3. My last Nano was in 2005. Working in multiple horrible jobs has since gotten in the way. Now that I write for a living, Nano will become part of my November deliverables 😀

    This was just what I needed to hear – knowing I’m on the right (write) wavelength, since October-prep is all part of the plan. Woohooo!!

  4. I went into 2010 Nano simply to overcome my fear of writing science fiction. As a long-time (I’ll omit just how long) fan, I was familiar with the genre, but had never written any. I spent half of September and all of October planning, mostly on the world-building, as this was the part that intimidated me. I created the characters and sketched the plot. I had about a page of plot notes, a good many of which make me cringe to read now. I did know the beginning (boy arrives on planet), the middle (boy becomes involved in terrorist plot yet manages to save the day) and the end (boy remains on planet), but not much else.

    No surprise, then, that I spent December mulling the whole thing over and all of January and half of February in an editing workshop.

    Since I work full time, I would end up planning my evening’s writing and the next couple of scenes in my head on the way home from work, then write. Fortunately, I touch type. I did more planning for 2011: beginning, end, major plot points, scene notes which I actually followed for about the first quarter of the book, and consequently faced fewer killer edits.I’m resisting the urge to participate this year. The 2010 novel is newly published and I’m still editing the 2011 novel and another I wrote in between.

    There is a trade-off: more planning, less editing. As best as I can determine, we’re going to take the hit on one end or the other.

  5. NaNo isn’t so hard if you have a plan and how you want to end it. The first time I did it was in 2010, got it finished in 13 days. Not publishable.

    2011, did it in 3 days (one day was 25,000 words). Publishable, but not editing it at the moment.

    The difference between the two was an outline, mile markers, and true character definition. This is the only way you can even think about completing it, much less in 2 days or less, is with a plan.

    Granted, I was quite delirious and I was scowled at by my peers in town due to my ability to be efficient.

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  8. Larry,

    Love the NaNo book. I am using it as my guide as I attempt NaNo for the first time.

    Also, have you ever thought of Deconstructing M. Night Shyamalan’s SIGNS? I think its a great use example of amazing plotting, small details and how they lead up to the A-ha moment.

    Thanks for all the guidance,


  9. @Charli — thanks for the kind words. I like the deconstruction idea, and I’ve been a fan of M. Night’s since the beginning. Will definately consider Signs, a film that was under-appreciated. Thanks for being here – Larry

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  11. Pam

    I read the posts last year, and I bought the book. It has been an eye opener. I now have a plan for my nano book. I know exactly what I am writing and when. I have even tried out the idea on several people. This will be the first time I am ready for NaNoWriMo. Thanks for the great advice.

  12. It’s been one week since purchasing How to Write a Publishable Novel In 30 Days and I am uber prepared for NaNo. Not only that, I am finally seeing the light to story deconstruction. I have Story Structure De-Mystified but bought it after I pantsted my first novel. What a mess. And I was so defalted by that mess and all the rejection that followed I put De-Mystified away.

    I am using both guides this time around, on my second novel. I can now see how good ideas, great characters, and riveting dialogue mean nothing without the knowledge on how to properly construct a workable plot. For me, this is the true craft of writing; executing an idea, birthing characters, and giving them a voice in a carefully assembled plot structure. Thanks, Larry, for being an amazing teacher, guidance counselor, and warden of the craft.

  13. And yes, M. Night is under appreciated for many of his movies.