How to write a novel in a month - image shows an open novel with a decorative heart on top

How To Write A Novel In A Month

Do you want to write a novel but find the idea of it a bit overwhelming? Do you have a story in your head that you want to share with the world, but don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. One way to throw caution to the wind and get started is to set yourself a challenge. In this post, we’ll explore how to write a novel in a month.

Writing a novel in a month is a challenge that thousands of writers around the world take on every year, especially during November, which is also known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, which should result in a manuscript the rough length of a short novel.

You’ll be surprised at what you can actually achieve once you get into a rhythm with NaNoWriMo. You can, of course, write a novel in a month at any point in the year. However, it’s a good idea to try it out during November, when there’s a whole community of writers you can connect with doing the same thing.

How to write a novel in a month

Getting that idea out of your head and onto paper is a big challenge. It’s even more of a challenge to give yourself such a short deadline to do it!

Writing a novel in 30 days sounds like throwing yourself in at the deep end, and it is. However, there are many benefits to writing a novel in a month.

  • It gets you writing. If you’ve been procrastinating or suffering from writer’s block, this challenge can help you overcome your fears and doubts and just start writing.
  • It establishes a daily routine. Writing a novel in a month requires you to set a specific goal and stick to it. You’ll need to write around 1,667 words per day, which can help you develop a consistent writing habit and discipline.
  • It’s all about the first draft. Writing a novel in a month is not about producing a perfect masterpiece. It’s about getting your ideas and stories out of your head and onto the page. You don’t have to worry about editing, revising, or polishing your work. You can do that later after you’ve finished your first draft.

The writing process

It all sounds exciting. But how do you write a novel in a month? Here are some tips and tricks to help you succeed.

Come up with a rough outline beforehand. Even if you’re not a fan of detailed planning, having a general idea of what your novel is about, who your main characters are, what your plot and conflict are, and how your story will end can help you stay focused and avoid getting stuck. Check out this post on finding story ideas for your NaNoWriMo project.

Decide on your daily word count. To write 50,000 words in a month, you’ll need to write an average of 1,667 words per day. However, you can adjust this number according to your schedule, preference, and pace. Some writers prefer to write more on weekends and less on weekdays, or vice versa. Some writers like to write in short bursts throughout the day, while others like to write in long sessions at a specific time. The key is to find what works for you and stick to it.

Time management tips

Writing a novel in a month can be exhausting and stressful, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Try to get enough sleep, eat well, drink water, exercise, and relax. Taking breaks can also help you refresh your creativity and prevent burnout and fatigue.

You’ll want to designate a space for writing from day one. Organise your desk and make sure you have all the preparatory materials ready ahead of time. Using the month of October to do lots of pre-NaNoWriMo outlining and preparation is a really good way to hit the ground running on November 1st.

Be sure to establish a rough writing schedule for yourself and set consistent working routines. Discuss these boundaries with your friends and family too, so that they know when you shouldn’t be interrupted.

The bigger picture

Writing a novel in a month can be a lonely process at times. So, it’s helpful to have some support and encouragement from other writers. You can join online communities to meet other writers, share your progress, get feedback, and participate in events and challenges. You could also reach out to your friends, family, and social media followers, and let them know about your goal and how they can help you.

Try to think about the next steps, once you’ve completed the challenge. Writing a novel in a month is just the start of your creative writing journey. After you’ve finished your first draft, you’ll need to edit, revise, and polish your work. This part of the process can take months or even years.

You could also think about further goals for your career. Do you want to publish your novel? If so, you could start researching how to go about that process.

The most important thing is to have fun with it. Writing a novel in a month is a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity. Use it as a chance to explore your imagination, express your creativity, and share your voice with the world. If you manage to complete your novel, it’s also a huge achievement! Don’t forget to reward yourself for your hard work, and be proud of yourself for taking on this challenge.

Writing a novel in a month may sound impossible, but it’s not. With some preparation, dedication, and motivation, you can do it. And who knows, you might end up writing the next bestseller, or at least, the next novel that you love.

 Additional tips for writing a novel in a month

  • Write first thing in the morning – I find it makes a huge difference if I sit down first thing and just go for broke for the first hour or two of the day. 
  • Do not edit as you go – it just wastes your time and will throw you off from actually hitting your word count each day.
  • Erase distractions and then reward progress – after your first few writing sprints, make sure you look at what you’ve actually put to paper and then treat yourself!
  • Keep going – just keep going. Even if it’s just a little bit each day, it’s better than nothing. You can do it.
  • Research in your non-writing time -at some point you’ll realise you need to do some research to make bits of your story plausible. That’s a good thing, just don’t let it eat into your writing time. 
  • Don’t be afraid to let your story change – if it evolves as you’re writing it, just go with it.
  • Resist the urge to share your work with others – it’s not ready yet! Get it done before you release your magic into the world.

If you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo, let me know in the comments, as I’d love to hear how you’re finding it. Also, if you’re looking for inspiration to get going, it’s not too late! Check out my post on creative writing prompts for some ideas, or you can have a look through my collection of prompts over on Pinterest too. 

2 thoughts on “How To Write A Novel In A Month”

  1. I’ve wanted to write a novel for years, but there is some gigantic block in front of mean that means I’ve never made it further than the painful dreams and resentment towards myself for never doing it. I struggle with the premise (what the heck to write about!?) and the fact I’d want to set it in America despite living in the UK and it all falls apart from there really… The idea of this writing challenge is quite an empowering one, but also one I think I’d stand no chance with. I therefore think you should be huuuugely proud of what you’re achieving, so definitely worth patting yourself on the back!! Wishing you the very best as you continue you writing, you can do it!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Caz, I hope you’re right! For what it’s worth I’ve had the exact same feelings about my book and just had no idea how to get started with it – I’d definitely recommend checking out the NaNoWriMo website though, it’s given me such a kick up the arse to get started – you can totally do it xx

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