Be a Superhero: Write a Novel in a Month

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by Susan May Warren

NaNobutton 2013“NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month? Oh please, don’t ask me to write a novel in a month. I’m sorry, it’s just too overwhelming.” My friend and aspiring writer mentee, Sally, took a sip of her mint dark chocolate cocoa, looking at me as if I’d asked her to run a marathon. Tomorrow. “No. Forget it. You’d have to be some sort of superhero to do that.”

“Listen, you’ve learned so much with the WIPs you’ve been working on, but you’ve lost momentum after the third round of edits. What about setting this book aside and simply jumping in with a new one? You may be shocked at the amazing story you can write in a concentrated amount of time.”

“55 thousand words in a month…?” She took another, very long sip of cocoa. “NaNoWriMo even sounds like a sort of disorder.”

“It is…once you learn to fast draft, you’ll be addicted!”


“Listen, you can do this. Plan the work, then work the plan–”

“That’s easy for you to say – you’ve done that about forty times!”

“Here’s the Truth: I do it the same way each time.” I pulled out a sheet of paper. “Look. I made you this cool infographic of the process. Just follow it step by step.”

She took the graphic. “Plan the work, work the plan?”

“If you spend the next two weeks planning out your story, you’ll be ready, scene by scene, to knock it out. It is possible to write a book in a month – we call it Fast-Drafting. And it’s fun.”

“That’s one word for it. Well, I’m going to need more than this, coach, to get me through to the end.” She raised her coffee.

“Like another one of these!”

Would you like an infographic to help you on your NaNoWriMo Mission? Download the full MBT NaNoWriMo Story Starter infographic!

Truth: Writing a book is simply about figuring out what direction your character is going to take, and then showing up every day to help him on his journey.

Susie May

Susie May Warren Carol picSusan May Warren is the mulit-published, best-selling, award-winning author of over forty novels, and the founder of My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novels of all levels. Stop by the blog at: or if you think you can write a book in a month, join her at MBT WriMo.

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