The next American classic

November is right around the corner, and with it comes NaNoWriMo. Here are some tips on how to brave the intensity of the month and write a new classic.

It’s that time of the year again: time for the writers of the world to crack open their laptops, create a fresh new Word document and start typing.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a nonprofit committed to supporting authors of all experience levels through creative writing. Over the course of 30 days, participants are challenged to write a 50,000-word novel. It can be daunting for those who haven’t done it, but even those who have experienced it may get caught up in trying to beat previous years. See what this writing month could look like and how to plan for the weeks to come. 

Overwhelmed? West Side Story is also here to offer tips and tricks on how to embrace NaNoWriMo so you can get started on something you’ll be proud of.

  1. Make sure you map out your story before drafting. Some people can be spontaneous, but err on the side of caution just in case you draw a blank. Plan the plot of your novel, the characters, the conflict and all the other fun details.
  2. Keep track of your progress. You can enter word counts on NaNoWriMo’s website to see how close you are to your goal per day. Our recommended daily goals are above.
  3. Join the region you’re a part of and keep track of events going on within your writing community. Get the chance to meet fellow participants and maybe even share a meal and write together.
  4. Find resources that will give you inspiration or help you draft. Sometimes it can be difficult to get something out whether you’re a first-time author or one with more experience. These tools are here to help. They’re available on the NaNoWriMo website under the Inspiration tab or around the Internet.
  5. Don’t try to get consumed by NaNoWriMo. Take breaks whenever you feel like it’s becoming too much. Use that time to read, take a walk, talk to family, re-strategize or feed yourself. No writer should ever go hungry.




Infographic by Sophie Stephens