Ready? Set? NaNoWriMo!

Welcome to November, dear readers. If you’re a fiction writer, you may also know that means welcome to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Whether you’re still on the fence about committing to a month’s worth of word-slinging or you’ve got your novel outlined already (!) and your fingers are just itching to hit that keyboard, the editorial and blog teams here at LSQ have some words of advice for all you word warriors out there. In the words of our ed-in-chief Jennifer Lynn Parsons: “May your words flow freely, may your inner editor enjoy their vacation, but most of all, remember to have fun!”

I did Camp NaNo for the first time this July and won. One thing that really helped me was picking a dedicated time to write—for me, the morning, before I started work. Making it part of my routine helped me be able to focus on it. When I wrote, I used the Focus App’s Pomodoro timer and wrote in 25-minute increments. In between 25-minute sessions, I’d grab water or coffee and step away from my desk to rest my eyes. And I’d only check word count after the 25 minutes was up. This can make writing seem less intimidating—you only have to write for 25 minutes at a time rather than worry over word count.

Another tip is to get ahead on your word count early in the month while you’re excited about the project and have energy to write more than the allotted 1667 words. Being ahead on word count makes it easier for you later in the month when you’re busier, possibly less energized about the project, and have Thanksgiving plans. — Carolina VonKampen


Speaking of app recommendations, if you work better in long sessions rather than shorter ones, is brilliant imo. — Gô Shoemake


As a two time NaNoWriMo winner, two time loser (though you never really lose as long as you get SOMETHING down) I can give a bit of advice to all you WriMos out there: Enjoy the forums, but they will not contribute to your word count. Get the support when you need it, but then get back to that keyboard!

– Try sprints when you get really stuck, or a change of scenery, or take a little break. Change it up!

– If something isn’t working in your story, just skip to the next section where you know what happens. NaNoEdMo is there for when you’re ready to fix it. — Jennifer Lynn Parsons


I have done NaNo for several years now! It’s helped me significantly flesh out many of my stories, even if I haven’t properly finished and fine-tuned any just yet. — Angelica Fyfe