NaNoWriMo Progress Tracker

icon picker

How to Participate in NaNo Prep 101

Every week, tackle one straightforward preparation exercise.
If you feel like you can do even more, check out that week’s additional resources… then come discuss how your weekly NaNo Prep is going on our forums.

The Course Outline

(September 19-25)
(September 26-October 2)
(October 10-16)
(October 17-23)
(October 24-30)
Once you’ve completed the entire course, celebrate with !

Want to do it all at your own pace? Download our entire handbook here!

Week 1 Additional Resources

💡 : To fill it out, click “File” in the top left corner, then select “Make a copy.”
📚 and : Silly… or brilliant? Or both???
🎬 Video:
💬 : Hop into any “Adopt a Plot” threads to get inspiration from other Wrimos.

Week 2: Create Complex, Believable Characters

(Strong enough to shoulder a novel and hold your interest)

Week 2 Exercise: Character Development and Questionnaires

Characters are the active drivers of your story, and a huge part of a first draft is getting to know the characters you’re creating. Get a head start with this exercise!

Week 2 Discussion

How’s your idea generating going? Want some help choosing between a couple ideas? Or do you have a spare plot bunny that’s up for adoption? Join the discussion on our forums.

Week 2 Additional Resources

💡 : Check out some more questions you might ask about your characters if you’re on a roll!
📚 Check out this great resource from our blog.
📚 How do you decide your characters’ genders?
📚 The great blog, , shared several blog series about things to consider when writing characters of color.
💬 : Hop into any “Adopt a Character” threads to get inspiration from other Wrimos.

Week 3: Construct a Detailed Plot or Outline

(That will keep you on track with your story)

Week 3 Exercise: Pick a plotting method and experiment with it!

There are a million different ways to plot a novel, and it can be overwhelming to figure out which one will work for you! Take our extremely scientific quiz to get some suggestions on which plotting method might work for you… then find the associated exercise in this week’s NaNo Prep 101 materials and test it out!
Know which plotting method you want to try out? Get the details below:

Week 3 Discussion

Join this week’s discussion on our forums.

Week 3 Additional Resources

💡 : Author and past Camp Counselor Sona Charaipotra shares a simple way to approach planning on our blog.
💡 Here’s another plotting method for you folks who are juggling several plot threads.
📚 “Writing is such a personal thing and each storyteller has their own process, but in the event getting the first draft out is the biggest hurdle for you, like it is for me, I’m going to share five tips for knocking out that first draft in record time.”
📚 Just taking an hour before November 1 to answer some basic questions can help you win!

Week 4: Build a Strong World for Your Characters

(That your readers will want to explore, too.)

Week 4 Exercise: Exploring your setting!

Settings aren’t just a backdrop for your novel… they can establish moods and reveal details about your characters. Try out this week’s exercise (excerpted from our Young Writers Program workbook) to develop settings that add real depth to your story.

Week 4 Discussion

Join this week’s discussion on our forums.

Week 4 Additional Resources

💡 Excerpted from our Ready, Set, Novel! workbook, check out this way to go from micro to macro.
💡 If you like checklists, try this one out to flesh out the world of your novel.
📚 “World-building is a long, sometimes tedious, process, but it’s well worth the work.”
📚 If you’re working on making a big and immersive world for your story, here are some tips for building different kinds of landscapes into your novel.

Week 5: Organize Your Life to Support Your Writing Goals

(And get your community involved.)

Week 5 Exercise: A pre-NaNoWriMo checklist!

Getting ready for National Novel Writing Month isn’t just about outlines or character work. It’s also about making a little room in your life for this massive creative undertaking… and rallying your support system to help you through it.
Plus, NaNoWriMo staff and volunteers offer tons of events like Virtual Write-Ins, webcasts, community meetups, and more to help you prioritize your writing goals and get involved with the NaNoWriMo writing community.

Week 5 Discussion

Join this week’s discussion on our forums.

Week 5 Additional Resources

📚 Not sure what kind of writing group might work best for you? Check out this quiz to find out.
📚 Want to make your writer/supporter relationship very official and not at all silly? Check out this contract with a friend!
📚 From an infographic on caring for a NaNoWriMo writer, to official requests for accountability, check out these graphics made for social media.
🎬 Video:
💡 Curious about going to a local write-in? Find out about your events by going to “Community → Find a Region”, and prepare for a write-in with this handy one-sheet.
💡 Send this letter on to anyone who’s clueless about NaNoWriMo and why you’re writing for a month in November.

Week 6: Find, Schedule, and Manage Your Time

(So you can write as much as possible.)

Week 6 Exercise: What’s the Best Writing Schedule for You?

Writing 1,667 words a day can be a challenge we know… but it’s a challenge made easier if you can find the writing time in your schedule right now. Make regular dates with your creative self this November, and give yourself the space and attention to accomplish your goals!

Week 6 Discussion

Join this week’s discussion on our forums.

Week 6 Additional Resources

📚 “I know it might sound daunting, but NaNoWriMo has helped me so much with relieving stress after a long workday, I couldn’t imagine a month without it.”
📚 Here are a few tips that might help you make more time to write… without having to wake up at 4 a.m.
📚 For writers who are in school, November can be a heavy exam, test, or project month. Here are a few tips to help navigate the chaos of school and writing.
💡 Follow @NaNoWordSprints before November for writing prompts, and quick, timed writing exercises.
💡 Elections in the U.S. often happen in November, so planning ahead for how, when, and where you’re going to vote will help you manage your writing time. Some states even let you vote early or by mail! Check out the guide above from author and YouTuber Hank Green for how to vote in every U.S. state.
🎬 Webcast:
Want to print your doc?
This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (
) instead.