NaNo Prep

Ready to start planning your November novel? Our NaNo Prep resources are here for you.

During September and October, we’ll provide resources to inspire, challenge, and prepare you to write that novel.

Look to our blogforumsFacebook, and Twitter for updates on new stuff.

Prepare for your novel at a #NaNoPrep event!

To see what time an event starts in your time zone, click into the event, then click “copy to my calendar”.

Check your regional forum for your local events.

NaNo Prep Webcast: Watch the recording!

To help you prepare to write a novel this November, we pulled some writing prompts and activities from tried-and-true NaNo resources. Missed it when it was live? Good news: we recorded it! This webcast was sponsored by Dropbox Paper, a great place to draft a month-long masterwork.

Watch the NaNo Prep webcast playback.

NaNo Prep Webcast with author Jack Gantos: Watch the recording!

Writing Radar
NaNoWriMo teamed up with Newbery Award-winning author Jack Gantos to talk about just how to write a novel, drawing inspiration from Writing Radar, Jack’s brand new writing guide.

Check out Jack’s website for more Writing Radar videos, writing tips, and information about his other books.

Watch the “Writing Radar” webcast playback.


Make a public commitment and find your community.

NaNoWriMo 2017 Participant Banner

Get your 2017 Participant Flair.

Find your community in the NaNo Prep forums.

Intention is everything. Decide right now that you’re going to write a novel in November, then tell everyone who matters using the tweet below:

I’m writing a novel with NaNoWriMo this November. Join me in the League of Extraordinary Writers! #NaNoPrep

Review our NaNo Prep resource library.

Over the years, we’ve posted a wealth of information on how to plan your novel:

Read tips from Andy Weir, author of The Martian, on starting your novel.

Our Full NaNo Prep Library

Title Author Topic Likes
Critique Circle Basics: How to Set Up and Run an Effective Support Group Kathy Kitts Finding Community 82
Worlds Within Words: A Structural World-Building Exercise Tilia Klebenov Jacobs Setting and Worldbuilding 294
5 Ways to World-Build VicJ Wizard Setting and Worldbuilding 546
8 Steps to Break Through Writer’s Block Piyusha Vir Discipline and Writer’s Block 171
How to Create a Writing Mood Board Massiel Valenzuela-Castaneda Inspiration 106
6 Ways Writing Can Help Your Voice Be Heard Iris Vayle NaNo Strategies 144
Don’t Be Afraid of Writing Setting Lori Watson Setting and Worldbuilding 136
How to Emotionally Prepare for NaNoWriMo Kendra Levin NaNo Strategies 468
Participating in NaNoWriMo as an Introvert LeKesha Lewis NaNo Strategies 164
How to Write Outside of Your Experience Jennifer S. Brown Research 96
4 Fabulous Ways to Create Stand-Out Character Names Melissa Rose Character Building 540
6 Ways to Overcome an Inspiration Emergency Elizabeth Harmon Inspiration 138
Slaying Your First Draft Dragons Sarah Ockler NaNo Strategies 269
How to Write About What You Don’t Know Crystal Chan Writing Diversity 1143
The Truth of What It Takes to Be a Writer Hugh Howey Discipline and Writers’ Block 491
What’s In Your NaNo Emergency Kit Teri Brown NaNo Strategies 491
How to Schedule Time for Writing Chris Baty Discipline and Writers’ Block 495
The Official NaNoWriMo Character Questionnaire NaNoWriMo Character Building 1597
13 Prompts to Trigger Character Building Kelly Loy Gilbert Character Building 291
3 Tips for Creating Indelible Characters Stacey Lee Character Building 267
A Guide to Spotting and Growing Past Stereotypes Ellen Oh Writing Diversity 1055
Using Setting to Reinforce Your Characters NaNoWriMo Setting and Worldbuilding 250
How to Make Your Setting Breathe Renée Ahdieh Setting and Worldbuilding 152
How Do You Create a Unique World? Michael David Lukas Setting and Worldbuilding 217
How to Survive Plot Creation Lamar Giles Plot and Conflict 190
5 Secret Steps to Story Building Chris Baty Plot and Conflict 657
Creating External and Internal Conflict NaNoWriMo Plot and Conflict 335
Character Profiling Chris Baty, Lindsey Grant, Tavia Stewart Character Building 426
Everything You Need to Know to Write Your Novel Realistically Lindsay Carlson Research 350
4 Tips to Survive a Writing Marathon Briana Way NaNo Strategies 353
The Complex Art of Naming Your Characters Tia Kalla Character Building 320
Building a Conflict Flowchart Chris Baty, Lindsey Grant, Tavia Stewart Plot and Conflict 264
6 Tips to Transform from Master Procrastinator to Moderately Disciplined Writer Lisa Atenasio Discipline and Writers’ Block 1132
7 Essential Questions for Your Characters Randy Ribay Character Building 318
4 Questions to Ask about Your Supporting Characters Renée Watson Character Building 314
3 Steps to Rev Up Your Writing Momentum Melanie Sumner NaNo Strategies 259
3 Reasons Why the Solitary Writer Is a Myth Grant Faulkner Finding Community 160
Writing Diverse Characters Dhonielle Clayton, I. W. Gregorio, Miranda Paul Writing Diversity
Starting a Novel Kami Garcia, Ellen Hopkins, Jonathan Maberry, Danielle Paige NaNo Strategies
9 Steps to Build a Strong Plot Derek Murphy Plot and Conflict 1227
6 Tips to Add to Your Writing Cheat Sheet J. C. Lane Discipline and Writers’ Block 215
Why You Don’t Have to Justify Your Diverse Story Kathy Vo Writing Diversity 161
3 Crucial Lessons about Writing Fiction Dan Koboldt Discipline and Writers’ Block 132
3 Rules for Fantastic World-Building K. M. Vanderbilt Setting and Worldbuilding 326


Make the big decision.

Well, the big NaNo decision, that is… Are you a planner or a pantser? Here’s the difference:

Planner BadgeYou believe in rigorous preparation.

You’ll spend the months before November carefully fleshing out characters, building worlds, and plotting your story.

On November 1, you’ll have an outline—or at least lots of helpful notes.

Pantser BadgeYou believe in hardcore spontaneity.

You’ll spend the months before November stocking up on inspiration and mayyybe a vague idea or two (if you’re ambitious).

On November 1, you’ll have a blank document and your imagination.

We think both are equally valid! And even if you’re a pantser, we recommend checking out the resources and steps here… You never know what might inspire you.


Interact with the NaNoWriMo community.

Meet new creative partners, and earn shiny dashboard badges in the process. You can’t lose!

Profile Badge
Fill out your profile information so like-minded writers can connect with you.

Region Badge
Choose a home region to be informed about noveling events nearby.

Forums Badge
Post in the forums! It’s the best place to meet fellow writers. To start out, we recommend: NaNo Newbies, and NaNo Prep.

Buddies Badge
Add a writing buddy (maybe a new forum friend?) by clicking the “Add as Buddy” link on their profile.

Get a full runthrough of how NaNoWriMo works.

Still have questions? See our FAQ.