Tips for Winning NaNo

Tips for Winning NaNo
October 18, 2016 3 Comments For Authors, Writing Advice J.K. Allen

tips-for-winning-nanowrimoLast week we talked about how to prepare for NaNoWriMo. This week let’s look at some more tips for winning NaNo.

Fifty thousand words is beyond daunting, but not beyond possible. It breaks down into 1667 words per day. A much more manageable chunk. After all, that’s just a few pages a day. So how do we write 1667 words a day and win NaNo? Let’ take a look.

Eliminate Distractions

  • Schedule your writing time and keep it sacred. Disconnect from the Internet and turn off your phone and leave it in a separate room. Show up to your writing and make it a priority. Explain to friends and family when your writing time is and ask them to be supportive of that time away from them. Do whatever you can to help you succeed.

Do not edit as you go

  • A really quick way to stop your words from flowing is to edit as you go. It halts your writing and ruins your bigger picture idea. If you’re self-conscious about your writing, how do you expect your idea to flow? Try writing your draft by hand to shut off your inner critic. Or use writing sprints to make your word count goals free of editing.

Plan your novel

  • I wrote last week on how to prepare for NaNo, but some of you pantsers (ones who fly by the seat of their pants) may be shaking your head right now. But planning ahead helps you to finish the draft, avoids writing yourself into corners or writing a story full of plot holes, cuts down on rewrites, and helps keep writer’s block away. All good reasons to spend some time on pre-writing. Brainstorm your ideas, make a scene list (at least for major plot beats), and get to know your characters.

Have an ending in mind

  • Knowing where you are going will only help you to get there. Having an idea of what will happen at the end of the story will help you figure out that tricky middle. Your ending may change, and that’s okay if it does, but pick an idea and keep it in mind as you begin.

Have fun

  • Enjoy NaNoWriMo. Enjoy the frantic writing as you scramble to meet your writing goals. Enjoy the comradery of write-ins and forums as you connect with other writers. You should enjoy writing and the challenge of writing 50k in 30 days. Otherwise what’s the point?

What are your tips for winning NaNo? Share below and happy writing.


Follow my blog and Twitter for more writing tips and inspiration and find me on Facebook for weekly prompts.

J.K. Allen Julia Allen received her BA in Creative Writing and English from Michigan State University. She did her senior thesis in poetry under the tutelage of Diane Wakoski, but has been focused primarily on fiction as of late. Common writing themes that can be found in her work address identity and the type of strength that can be found in ordinary people. Julia is currently working on a Young Adult fantasy novel and can be found at local cafes in her hometown when writing, and painting, drawing, or reading when not.
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  1. 3 Comments


    I love the OWS community for more than one reason actually but this article is an example of these reasons. This is my first nano, not only would I most likely not know about it but I would absolutely not be ready for it if I was not part of this community. Thank you for taking time to help everyone that you reach!

    1. 3 Comments


      Glad you found this helpful


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