Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

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NaNoWriMo 2020

Table of Contents

Have You Thought About Writing A Book?

NaNoWriMo may be the best event for you to get that book idea out of your head and into written form. National Novel Writing Month starts in 25 days. It’s a yearly event that challenges folks to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days – that’s 1,667 words per day!

I finished my first challenge back in 2007 and have attempted every year since. I didn’t get too far in 2018 nor did I participate last year.

The participation rules for NaNoWriMo are simple. Don’t start writing until November 1. You have to be officially finished by midnight local time on November 30. One author only. You have to sign up and submit your novel for official count between November 25 and 30. As long as you’re over 13, you’re good to go!

My NaNoWriMo Tools

As much as I love traditional pen and paper, my goal for this year is to keep everything digital. Let me review each of the tools that I’ll be using and provide links so that you can check them out for yourself. Plus, I’ll tally up the costs for you  to use these tools during NaNoWriMo.


It’s ok to start brainstorming your novel now. For me, I’m using Milanote. You can check out my review of this product hereMilanote has a free plan, just sign up and start prepping!

Think about your story line. For me, it’s playing the “What If?” “But Why?” “So that” game. It goes like this…

What if someone genetically engineered a dragonfly to spy on people? But why would they do that? So that they could get information and blackmail people.

I first started using that method when getting software requirements from clients and found out that it works great for story planning as well.


I’ve been playing with a new tool I discovered this past week. It’s called Plottr. It has a 30-day free trial, runs on Mac or Windows. They have amazing video tutorials to get you started. I’ll try to get a review posted soon.

Note Keeping

I use Evernote. Period. On all of my devices. They have a free plan, but I’ve been a subscriber since they shortly came out of Beta. I have the web clipper installed so it’s easy to save a web page into Evernote.


This year, I’m using Novlr to write my copy. I like it because it’s distraction-free.  They offer a 2-week free trial. This year, they have set up an integration with NaNoWriMo so you can easily synchronize your word counts! Opyrus has a free plan that includes the Fast Pencil Write Edit tool.

Other Useful Tools

Here is a list of some other tools that I find useful and perhaps they would be helpful to you as well.

I’m Ready for NaNoWriMo

I feel good about my preparations and am looking forward to participating this year. Make sure you look me up on the NaNoWriMo site (username is jyllstuart) or connect with my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter.

Cover Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash