National Novel Writing Month
National Novel Writing Month

November, in the writing world, is known as National Novel Writing Month, or NANOWRIMO for short. If you haven’t ever heard of this wonderful idea, it’s exactly as the title says: once you sign a pledge (either to the website or to yourself), you have from November 1st to November 30th to complete the story (at least 50,000 words). The website counts almost anything as a novel as long as it is “a lengthy work of fiction.”


When it comes to the idea of NANOWRIMO, I am terrified. I am never sure where to start—or how on earth I am going to get 50,000 words done in 30 days. I am always hesitant to start–and that’s where the website called comes in. With a few click of the buttons, I am on my way to having a decent outline to my story. I get my ideas from the website, sit on it for a minute or two–and then write until I am exhausted. If I still like the idea after a good night’s sleep—I continue. If I don’t, I visit my handy-dandy website, and start again at the beginning.


Are you stuck at the beginning of your novel for NANOWRIMO, and not sure where to go from here? Or, are you stuck writing a submission to submit for the MoRe Prize (which is judged by Ellen Hopkins) and don’t know where to turn? Below are some of my favorite suggestions from the random generator.


  1. Characters:
    1. a carefree 40-year-old woman
    2. a forceful 20-year-old man
    3. a stubborn 19-year-old woman
    4. a naive 71-year-old woman
  2. Setting:
    1. begins at an airport
    2. begins in a police station
    3. begins in a car park
    4. begins in a cinema
  3. Situation:
    1. someone telling the truth isn’t believed
    2. a baby is born in mysterious circumstances
    3. an abandoned dog is given a home
    4. Someone is kidnapped
  4. Theme:
    1. It’s a story about betrayal
    2. It’s a story about greed
    3. It’s a story about risk-taking
    4. It’s a story about a journey
  5. Character action:
    1. Your character needs a good plan to survive.
    2. Your character takes on a role of protector.
    3. Your character is not afraid to take the lead.
    4. Your character is tested to their mental limits.


Whether you try to write a story from the prompts above, visit the site yourself, or come up with your own unique plot without any help, make sure you spend this month writing as much as you possibly can.


Good luck and keep writing,


Casey Leslie


Copy-editor of Mochila Review




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