Yes, Yes, NaNoWriMo

Yes, Yes, NaNoWriMo

I first heard about NaNoWriMo about fifteen years ago. What a novel idea—literally. National Novel Writing Month. The concept is you write a novel in one month. The goal is to write approximately 50,000 words, or 1,607 words a day over 30 days.

Books 2Yeah, I know. Easier said than done. But last November I signed on and I actually wrote 28,121 words. Not a full novel, but a good skeleton of one, and probably more words than I would have written in that month had I not participated. (I’m still working on putting flesh on those bones.)

Well, November is coming around again, and I’m committing to starting a new book. I have a germ of an idea, but it’s not enough.

If you are going to write 50,000 words in a month, you need to prepare.

One of the things I am doing to prepare is, first of all, get a couple of months ahead in my writing for ARHtistic License. I don’t want to completely drop out of sight (or site) for a month, but I know I will need my entire writing time—about four hours a day—if I am to meet my NaNoWriMo goal of a 50,000 word first draft.

The official NaNoWriMo crest

The official NaNoWriMo crest

But I also need to seriously think through my new book and get some preliminary ideas written down. None of it needs to be carved in stone, though, meaning that as I do the work of writing my draft, I am free to follow any trail that my muse wants to pursue. However, it’s good to do some pre-writing.

I’m planning on following the suggestions Kaitlin Hillerich outlines in her wonderful article, “The Four Benefits of Pre-Writing Your Novel.” Click here for a worksheet she devised for pre-writing.

My working title for the new book is The Night Runner. After November, I might divulge some hints about my plot.

So, what do you think, fiction authors? Are you ready to write a novel this November? Check out for more details, and share your commitment in the comments below.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

5 responses »

  1. Just reading this and what you’re doing excites me! I wish I could participate, but we’ll be traveling almost 3 weeks during Nov. Can’t wait to read your new book! I’ll be praying for you as you pre-write and then put your nose to the grindstone in November.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Linda. Actually, you can do the same thing on your own ANY month (although without the wonderful built-in support system and accountability the NaNoWriMo website provides).


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