NaNo Prep

Need some extra help planning out your novel? Our NaNo Prep resources are here for you.

During the months leading up to November, we provide resources to inspire, challenge, and prepare you to write your novel. No matter where you’re at with your writing, you can always visit these resources when planning a new writing project.

Check out the “Noveling How-tos” exercises from our Young Writers Program workbook.


Join a NaNoWriMo 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.


Dive into the NaNoWriMo community!

Let your friends and family know that you’re taking on NaNoWriMo this year by rocking our pretty-darn-lovely 2018 flair.

Get #NaNoWriMo2018 flair for your social media profiles!

Are you on Instagram? We’ve launched the #InstaWrimo challenge to stir up inspiration, help you find fellow writers, and get prepared for noveling season.


Review our NaNo Prep resource library.

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

 


Check out the new NaNoWriMo + She Writes podcast!

Write-minded: Weekly Inspiration for Writers is for writers craving a unique blend of inspiration and real talk about the ups and downs of the writing life. Hosted by Brooke Warner of She Writes and NaNoWriMo’s executive director Grant Faulkner, each episode of Write-minded features a pep talk, a green-light moment, and a writing action. 

Guests will include Kwame Alexander, Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl), Emily X.R. Pan, Mitali Perkins, Mary Robinette Kowal, Chris Baty, and more.

Find out more about the Write-minded podcast!

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Subscribe on Google Play


Interested in an online writing course?

We’ve partnered with Wesleyan University for the second year in a row to provide a special online “NaNo Prep” course! You’ll learn alongside your fellow Wrimos, discuss all things noveling, and get feedback through Coursera’s online learning platform.

Courses in the program are available for $29 each and guarantee six months of full access—a special 50% discount for NaNoWriMo members! Financial aid is also available through Coursera if cost is an issue. Information on this can be found in the FAQ at the signup link.

Find out how to enroll in this online “NaNo Prep” course!

During the program, you’ll spend around two weeks on each of the following:

  • The Craft of Style
  • The Craft of Setting and Description
  • The Craft of Character
  • The Craft of Plot
  • The NaNoWriMo Capstone (a special project that ties everything together!)

Each segment is taught by a different Wesleyan professor/author and consists of video lectures, readings, discussion forums, and short writing assignments that you can submit for peer review.