30 Days from concept to publication – National Novel Writing Month

I made a decision while making a video the other day on the bootcamp mindset that I was going to do National Novel Writing Month. Of course, being me, I felt I had to up the stakes and the challenge from “writing 50,000 words” to “put out a novel in 30 days.” This process will involve all four phases of book creation (planning, drafting, revising, and publishing) in an extremely condensed and (though limited) intense fashion. NaNoWriMo (as some call it) focuses entirely on phase 2 – drafting, encouraging people to get to that mythical 50k mark in the space of a month. It’s actually a very doable goal (just 1700 words a day or so), and also very useful for writers who haven’t yet completed a book, as most people get “stuck” in the draft phase. That being said, the push for a 50k word draft ignores all the other important stuff, and I want to provide that information and prove that you can go from brand-new concept to fully published work in a short amount of time, if you know what you are doing (and I’m showing you how, so you should know what you are doing when I finish here as well).

So, here is the breakdown of how I will accomplish this:

Day 1 – Planning phase. I’m only spending a day on planning because this book has to get done fast. The first day includes planning my process (which you are reading) as well as planning my story, including setting, characters, and plot. I’m using Derek Murphy’s “Plot Dot” to create the initial plot structure, which provides a sort of beatsheet for plot points to keep your writing focused. I don’t usually approach my plotting this way, but I thought I might try it and I know I need to stick to my plant to get everything done. The planning phase needs to be nailed, as it significantly reduces the difficulty and time spent drafting and revising. I did a livestream on this on Nov. 1st.

Day 2-21 – Drafting Phase. I know I’m going to lose a few days traveling with family, so I’m looking to do 2500 words per day on average over the 20 days. My first day I did 2300, as well as this post and finished my planning (which I had to push back slightly due to unforseen kid issues, which happens when you are a parent). I will also publish each installment on dvspress to ensure I am making progress and to receive feedback on my prose.

Day 22-28 – Revision Phase. Here I will read the finished book, make a checklist for revisions and rewrites, and construct the process for achieving those rewrites (if necessary). The last 2 days I will read my novel aloud (on stream), acting the character parts, as a means of proofreading and final revision.

Days 29-30 – Publication Phase. During these two days I will design a cover for the book, format the ebook file, format the paperback (if time allows), and publish it on all major digital platforms.

December 1st – Book is published!

Be sure to keep up with me on twitter and facebook to see this process happen live.


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