Is writing a book in 30 days really impossible? A feat on par with slaying a dragon in a fantasy world? Maybe so, but that doesn’t change the fact that millions of people engage in this adrenaline-fuelled adventure every year, and some of them even succeed!
Of course, when you take on the challenge of writing a novel in 30 days, it is because you want to succeed. Everyone sets out with the intention of winning.
That is why in this article we will understand together why some succeed and some fail miserably.
Let us start with the fact that the main challenge that engages readers every year is the National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo.
This type of challenge is not even that recent, in fact its creation dates back to the late 1990s. Every single year since then, the nanowrimo website challenges every writer to write a 50,000 word story in 30 days.
This month is the first time I am participating and I find the resources this site offers crucial to really succeeding in the endeavour.
My favourite features are:
- The ability to keep track of how many words you have written per day
- The diagrams that show you how close you are to your goal
- The part where they tell you when you will finish writing at this pace (when I was behind, according to the site, I would have written 50,000 words by the end of February 2024)
If you have the goal of writing a fantasy book in 30 days, or any other genre, you should definitely check out this site. Everything you need is completely free.
But back to us.
What it takes to write a book in 30 days:
- Embrace the fact that your first draft will probably suck, and it’s perfect that way, because the only thing it has to do is exist
Let’s face it, this is certainly no small goal, if we take 50,000 words as the goal then you will have to write more than 2000 words every single day.
But I think that anyone, by following the tips I will give you, can achieve it. Even those who are not used to writing and even those who are taking up this challenge for the first time.
The best 7 tips to write a book in 30 days
Of course I cannot know your situation, but the tips I am about to give you are the tips that are helping me to keep going every day.
If you have any additional tips, feel free to post them in the comments, I would love to hear more opinions.
Here are the things that help me the most:
Give yourself a precise goal
To participate in a challenge with yourself, you must have a clear goal to achieve. Especially if you want to write a book in 30 days, Give yourself a number of words or a number of pages that you absolutely must write by the end of the month.
I recommend using Nanowrimo for all the positive aspects I mentioned (I am not advertising, I just find it extremely useful).
If for some reason you cannot use it, use a sheet to keep track of how many words you write per day. If you give yourself a goal of 50,000 or 20,000 or whatever, make sure you do everything to reach it.
The more determined you are, the better your chances of finishing a month with your book finished and ready to be edited.
Make an outline of your story
Every writer is different. There are those who need an outline for every single chapter and there are those who are better off just having a vague idea and making up the story as they go along.
After you start writing you will understand for yourself what works best for you and how to make your work easier. But if this is your first time writing a book, or a short story, I recommend you have an outline.
Not a super precise one, because as many writers say, this can make the writing of the story a bit too mechanical and risk spoiling your enjoyment.
I personally had already decided a few things before I started writing:
- The role the main characters will play in my book
- Very vaguely, what will happen at the beginning, in the middle and some outline of the end
- The main problem the main characters will face
- Some names
These are the only things I, and I stress I, needed to start writing my WIP (work in progress). I think that only while you are writing the story do you start to get to know the characters you are working with, so deciding everything beforehand limits their transformation a lot.
Choose the main characters and their role in the story
As I have already mentioned, before I put myself in front of my beloved laptop screen, I already had an idea of the characters that would accompany me in the writing of the book.
And also the role they should play.
Remember, of course you must choose which characters you create but, every person who is named in your story must have a purpose. Not everyone is a protagonist but everyone must have a reason for being between your lines.
If you are clear about these two things before you start the challenge, nothing can stop you from writing a novel in 30 days.
Write every day
This is perhaps the hardest part. Consistency. Writing 2000 words on a day when you feel eager and full of energy is easy. Doing it even when you have bad days is a different story.
But great results require great effort. And no matter how difficult it is, it is not impossible. Every day, no matter how uninspired you feel, put yourself in front of a blank sheet of paper and write.
At the end of the day, you will have written texts that suck? Perfect.
Right now you are writing the first draft of a book in 30 days. Even what you write on a good day, when you feel like you have written the divine comedy pt.2, will probably be edited when you have to re-read the book.
Every single word you write is progress. The only thing you cannot work on is an empty document.
Use the Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro method is the anti-procrastination method par excellence. I talk about it all the time and I don’t think I will ever stop, it is the only thing that has allowed me to complete my studies without any problems.
And the only way I manage not to procrastinate on my writing.
If you don’t know what it is, type his name on youtube and a lot of videos will appear for you to use.
The writing sessions on youtube as well as being super cozy are very useful for concentrating because of the timer that keeps you on your toes. Give it a try!
If you don’t know what to write, write the first thing that makes sense to you next. You are writing a book in 30 days, no time to waste.
If I stopped every time I had no ideas for an article or a new book chapter, I would never write. In those cases I simply improvise.
I write the first words that come to mind and just as I write, thus giving my brain room to think, I fill myself with useful ideas. Standing still and taking out everything open Netflix will not help you.
In fact, it risks giving you writer’s block. Improvise, improvise and improvise again, remember that the only reader of the story you are writing will be you.
The first draft serves to tell the story of the book to yourself, before other eyes will read it you will have to proofread, edit and polish it. And I am sure a masterpiece will come out of it.
No desire? Just write the dialogues
The dialogues in a chapter are often quick and easy to write, without the need to think too much.
So if after a day of writing you find your head is smoking, write only those.
The next day you open the document and all you have to do is fill in the blanks with description and thoughts. I assure you that Future You will be grateful.
This can not only be useful while you’re writing a book in 30 days, but can work with any task you don’t want to do in the moment. Just do the easiest part of it so you’ll have made progress without spending too much energy on that thing. A wonderful trick.
These tips are enabling me to write every single day this month and will allow me to write a book in 30 days, I really recommend you try them out.
At times when I just can’t write for some reason, I go to YouTube and look for videos full of tips for writers or just motivation. They are great for taking a break from work without getting too distracted.
Writing a book in 30 days is possible and you all have a chance to do it. Imagine yourself at the end of the month with your completed manuscript in your hands.
A unique feeling that every writer should experience. If this article was useful to you, and I really hope so, subscribe to the blog newsletter but most importantly, follow us on Pinterest so you don’t miss any new articles! Happy writing, my dears!
If you liked this article, you may also find the following articles helpful: