How to make a success of your NaNoWriMo 2023?

How to make a success of your NaNoWriMo 2023?

Successful NaNoWriMo 2023 requires perseverance. This international challenge is followed by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. The aim: to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. Would you like to take up the challenge? Discover our top tips for your NaNoWriMo.

To succeed in NaNoWriMo, you need to know yourself well

Although NaNoWriMo has a strong community aspect, writing is still a solitary exercise. Alone in front of your paper (or your computer), it's up to you, the author, to come up with ideas and stories, and to bring characters and places to life. That's quite a challenge in itself. But completing it in 30 days complicates the process even further.
So, yes, there are a thousand tricks to counter the anguish of the blank page. And in our eyes, NaNoWriMo is one of them: get rid of the form, the details, to write by the kilometer, to "free" yourself in a way. And to succeed in NaNoWriMo, it's best to be well-prepared: will you be the type to procrastinate? Or will you find it hard to resist rereading and rewriting passages?

Knowing yourself and anticipating your reactions during NaNoWriMo will give you a head start on your success.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

These are two terms with which all wrimos (i.e. NaNoWriMo participants) are familiar:

  • The planner, who, as the name suggests, makes plans. This is the writer who needs time to prepare before launching into the writing process: documentary research, story structure, character sheets, etc. They are also known as "architects". They are also known as "architects". Planners often follow the PrepTober: the month of preparation in October for a successful NaNoWriMo.

  • The pantser, who arrives with his hands in his pockets. That's where the name comes from. No preparation! Just an idea, an inspiration and, above all, the desire to take the plunge. They fit in perfectly with the "I'll write and then we'll see" idea so dear to NaNoWriMo. They're also known as gardeners, cultivating their ideas and letting nature take its course.

These two profiles regularly tease each other during NaNo, and by defining more precisely to which team you belong, you'll surely be more serene and remain yourself. There's nothing wrong with meticulous planning. And there's nothing wrong with going with your finger on the pulse! The important thing is that you're comfortable with it. Talers is perfectly suited to both pantsers and planners.

Of course, there's an ocean of possibilities between these two profiles. You can fall somewhere in the middle: needing a bit of a framework for your story, but without a pre-constructed scenario, for example. Many wrimos also mention the fact that characters sometimes decide for themselves what's going to happen to them, whether you're a planner or a pantser! After all, "writing would be so sad if you never deviated from your plan" — Giorgio Agamben.

A taste for challenge

Ticktock, the days go by, the hours fly by! The deadline is approaching, and every day you check whether you've reached your daily 1,667 words. Yes, NaNoWriMo is an exciting challenge, perhaps even a little stressful for some.

However, it's important to remember that it's up to you to set the cursor where you want it regarding this inherent pressure of NaNoWriMo. As organizers and wrimos often remind us: the important thing is to write. The 50,000 words is a motivating goal, but if you don't reach it by the end of the 30 days, it's not so bad: you'll have written and made progress on your novel, that's the main thing.

We invite you to take this challenging aspect positively, as a driving force for progress and inspiration. On Talers, you'll see your word counter gradually increase in your workspace: it's extremely motivating to see your progress! Those who successfully complete their challenge and write 50,000 words on the app in November will receive the title of "November 2023 Champion" and unlock the associated badge:

Before or during NaNoWriMo, be organized

We can assure you: this advice applies to pantsers too! Whatever genre you've chosen to explore, we're sure your text won't be a single document with your first draft. You'll no doubt have a few notes on the side, so you don't forget a new idea, a family tree tracing the links between your various characters, images to inspire you, photocopies of your research, and so on.

Put simply, you'll soon realize that 50,000 words is a lot! To make a success of your NaNoWriMo, you'll need to follow a few organizational rules, which you can freely adapt to suit your project. "Writing makes you dream, but above all it's a lot of work" said Arnaud Delalande.

Choosing the right tools for a successful NaNoWriMo

How tense it can be when a grain of sand jams your inspiration machine just as you were about to write an anthology scene. The success of your NaNoWriMo depends directly on the tools you choose. You need to opt for a medium or software that doesn't create frustration, but rather invites you to unroll your words with ease. Finding a note, highlighting an important element, retrieving a chapter: everything should go like clockwork.

Here's a little tip: if you're using Talers, you can put emojis in the titles of your folders and files to quickly visualize your different parts:

The software also lets you :

  • have your chapters and notes in a single project,

  • consult a thesaurus,

  • create your own text styles,

  • correct spelling and grammatical errors with the built-in spell-checker.

We've done everything we can to help you write your NaNoWriMo without getting stuck.

"One more backup is never too many"

You're likely to see this saying all over the NaNoWriMo networks. You're bound to hear about participants on the verge of completing their NaNoWriMo. And then, tragedy strikes: the file has disappeared, vanished into thin air. No backup. This is a real danger for the unwary wrimos. However, there are a number of solutions available to guard against this misfortune.

For those who still write in Word, we recommend setting up a cloud synchronization, so that your documents are automatically backed up on a remote server. The other option is to regularly copy your data to an external hard drive, but this is more time-consuming, and you need to make sure you don't lose the drive.

If you use Talers or Google Docs, you don't have to worry about a thing. Talers records every change you make in real time and saves your data on two separate servers. Another advantage: you can retrieve your projects and texts from anywhere in the world, simply by logging into your account.

Unlike Google Docs, Talers guarantees that your data remains private. This is the "price of free" with Google Docs: your texts are analyzed to fill huge databases with statistics that are then reused or resold.

A successful NaNoWriMo means saying goodbye to perfection

For some, it's very easy not to reread and to press on, almost headlong, to the end of the 30 days. For others, it's not so easy. To keep up with the 1,667-word-a-day pace, you'll need to boost your productivity.

Our first tip: set up a writing ritual. Get used to writing at the same time every day. Like sport, it's difficult at first, but then it will give you real work strength.

The environment in which you work plays a major role in your concentration. Cut out all potential sources of distraction: conversations and social networks will wait until the end of your writing session.

To help you focus during these moments of writing (entering "deep work" as Cal Newport calls it), Talers offers a focus mode. This allows you to create the ideal writing atmosphere on your screen, with a minimalist, inspiring image in the background, and a focus on the paragraph you're writing. No corrections, no backtracking, no doubts! Enter your own personal bubble of concentration.

Finally, accept that you're not producing a perfect text, but rather a first draft, the first written account of the story you have in mind. Of course, this first draft will have its flaws. Not only is this not serious, it's perfectly normal. Then you'll have plenty of time to go over it again, with a clear head or with the help of your beta readers.

You now have all the keys you need for a successful NaNoWriMo with Talers. Pantser or planner, we're sure you'll succeed in bringing to life that novel, collection of short stories, fantasy saga, play or whatever literary format and genre you have in mind.

Happy NaNoWriMo!

Avatar of Matthieu Gindre
Matthieu Gindre

Passionate about writing and new technologies, I founded Talers to bring authors, screenwriters, students and all kinds of writers around the world a professional writing solution that's a daily pleasure to use.

I personally challenged myself to write my first novel with Talers!

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