So another NaNoWriMo has passed and your girl has chalked up another loss. That’s why I want to talk about a novel writing schedule you can actually stick to, and The 90-Day Novel Planner.
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Before I get too far into this post, I want to make sure we’re all on the same page.
I’m not here for the folks who would have you stretch yourself too thin to write a novel. I’m not here for the “you’re not a real writer if you don’t write every single day” folks. I’m not here for the people who think taking time off is making excuses, or that having a life outside your manuscript is somehow counterproductive to writing.
The older I get, the more I realize that being present in your day-to-day life is what makes you a writer.
You have to experience the world, and that means that you can’t be spending all your time pouring yourself into your story.
Let your life pour a little into you, you know?
So, it’s with all that introduction that I want to talk about who I am here for.
This blog is for people who notice the simple poetry in the way a bartender recommends a drink.
I’m here for the writer who wants to describe the sound of a train screeching to a halt on the tracks sounds like biting on tinfoil with a mouth full of fillings feels.
If you’ve got a notebook in the back pocket of your jeans, and it’s filled with snippets of conversations that you’ve overheard, then pull up a chair, buddy.
I think there is something that can be said for pushing yourself to write 50,000 words in a month on a novel draft.
But the thing is that a lot of other writers are already saying those things.
So, now I want to talk about a slower, more intentional process.Let's talk about a slower, more intentional, writing process. Click To Tweet
The Novel Writing Schedule You Can Actually Stick To
The NaNoWriMo schedule is pretty strict. You have to hit about 1,667 words a day. And that can be doable.
But if you recall my video from the beginning of November, your girl wasn’t ready for NaNoWriMo.
I’m not saying that NaNoWriMo is impossible. There are thousands of people who complete it every single year.
What I will say is that you can’t have a lot of other irons in the fire for it work.
Any time I’ve been successful with NaNoWriMo, it has been because I was able to prioritize NaNoWriMo.
But after November ended?
I was always so burnt out that it didn’t really matter whether or not I’d made any progress, because I wasn’t able to keep going.
Such is the life for a writer with a day job. And a side hustle. And big plans.
(I guess I should also note that I’m here for the writers who know that they’ve got something bigger on the horizon than just writing. So, if you’ve got the big kind of plans that mean there’s a lot to juggle, I see you, and we’re basically twins.)
And that’s how The 90-Day Novel Planner came into being.
For a look inside, check out my YouTube video:
If we’re being honest, 30 days isn’t really enough to draft a novel.
Even if you’ve taken the time to outline and create a world for your story before you start drafting, 30 days doesn’t leave much time to change directions when you realize your initial novel idea is pretty dead in the water.
(Shout out to all the plot holes outlines can create without giving you any indication that they’re there in the first place!)
And, like I said, when you can’t give all your attention to writing in a month, you need a longer timeline.
So, while there are others out there who like the 30-day timeline and extoll its virtues, I would like to present you this other option.
And the best part? I’ve created The 90-Day Novel Planner to be a one-stop shop for planning, drafting, and tracking your writing progress.Want to enter to win a copy of The 90-Day Novel Planner? Click To Tweet
Prewriting and Planning Pages
For me, I know that planning and doing a lot of the writing legwork during the prewriting stages is key to finishing a draft. I’m the type of writer who needs to know, in general, where I’m going.
This means that I’m aware of the major plot points, but I definitely don’t know how they’ll shake out. And I definitely don’t know what will happen between them.
You gotta leave some magic to the writing, you know?
That’s why I created the prewriting section of The 90-Day Novel Planner. It’s a space where you can figure out your characters, the plot points in the 3-act structure, and all the details about the setting.
There is even a section where you can outline what will happen chapter by chapter.
So, before the actual 90 days of writing begins, you have some space and time to figure out everything you need to hit the ground running with your novel.
Calendars and Trackers
The 90-Day Novel Planner has 3 monthly calendars, each with spaces to track your word count target, and the actual amount you wrote.
I make no suggestions here for how much you should write each day. Every book is different, which means that you need to determine the word count that’s best for you and your book.
And at the end of each week, you can total up the words you’ve written to show you how far you’ve come. (There’s also a visual progress tracker in the beginning of the novel drafting section where you can track this too!)
In each month, there is also a habit tracker where you track your writing habits, like whether or not you wrote for that specific day, or whether or not you hit 1,000 words each day. There are blank spaces for you to write in the writing habits that are important to you too.
And the sprint tracker is a place where you can track how many words you got in each writing sprint you do on that day, as well as how long that writing sprint was. (If you still aren’t doing writing sprints, make sure you read this post about how to write fast.)
Writing Journal Pages
And perhaps my favorite part of The 90-Day Novel Planner are the pages dedicated to journaling through your process.
Had a great writing day? Write about what made it good so you can refer to it later when you’re having a not-so-great writing day.
Changed a character’s name halfway through the book? Write it down in the journaling pages so you can remember exactly where and what page you did that to make editing a lot easier later.
Have a thing that you know you should research but you don’t want to stop the forward momentum with a Google break? Write down what you need to research in the journal pages.
And the kicker? Each day only gives you half a page to journal on. That way you aren’t spending your energy on journaling about your project, instead of your actual project.
How to Get The 90-Day Novel Planner
The 90-Day Novel Planner is now available on Amazon. I’m also considering making a downloadable version as well, so that those who don’t wish to purchase the paperback copy on Amazon can download one.
(If you’re interested in the downloadable version, let me know in the comments. If there are enough people who are, I’ll make it happen.)
You can get your copy of The 90-Day Novel Planner hereYou can get your copy of The 90-Day Novel Planner here, and I’d love for you to leave me a review on Amazon.
And if you happen to post about the novel planner on your blog, Instagram, or YouTube, I’d love for you to tag me!
But like the title of this post said, I’m also having a giveaway. There are multiple ways to enter, and you can do so down below!