NaNoWriMo Prep Tools

Prepare for NaNoWriMo, or any other writing project, with over 100 tools and resources for planning plotlines, creating characters, developing worlds, and more!

Know of a resource not listed here? Make sure you let me know so I can add it!

Last Updated:Aug 5, 2016


General Writing and Writing Habits

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Book References

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Story Bibles

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Beat Sheets

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Character Development

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Outlining & Planning

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Plot, Conflict, and Scene Building

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World Building

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Word Counting & Calendars

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  • some things that would make cool stories
  • Free online novel-writing app (LitLift).
  • Descriptions of the 12 most common archetypes.
  • I wanted to add a link to this amazing podcast series about writing, hosted by the fabulous Brandon Sanderson, plus Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler. Podcasts are each 15 minutes long, and they cover ALL writing topics, basically
  • Lino – Private pinboards that work just like your home corkboard. I love this tool so much, and I think it works way better than Pinterest for storybuilding.
  • Songza – My preference for free music tracks. Love the Post-Rock Bliss channel for writing.
  • Firestorm – I live in Kitely grid and host a write in on Thursdays, but there’s virtual write-ins all over virtual worlds like Second Life. If you want something really low resource, Radagast is a text viewer.

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Tools for DURING NaNoWriMo

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  • Katastic’s Youtube Vlogs on writing and revising are great! I’ll be trying out her outlining method (2 videos) after nano is over and I’m ready to start a longer novel.

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Finishing the Novel

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Links found from NaNo users: averyink, Will_Watanabe, ushotmedown, debso, Leechy, scriobhnoir, Roswenthe, Allocin, girl-king, shand21, Chandeere, zvi, BookBaby, KristinaVH, Jillieji, purplegracenotes, Zette, ChaosFoxRiverSong906, and ToolUsingMonkey on NaNo

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Have a resource you’d like to recommend?

Let me know by leaving a comment here or adding the link on the forums.

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Found a Broken Link?

Let me know by leaving a comment here or contact me directly with the broken URL.

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27 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Prep Tools

  1. You may have this here and I just missed it, but I really appreciate Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook — it was mentioned in one of the NaNo webinars in October. You need to have the basic premise and a few characters for this workbook to help, and I found the exercises to be very thought provoking — helped me build in some much needed tension and complexity. (And thanks for compiling all these resources!)

  2. Great list! I would add (in the Tools for DURING NaNoWriMo section), Write or Die It’s an app available on several platforms as well as a free web app. I have used it during NaNo when I needed a boost to finish a chapter or a section. It’s like your own personal word war/sprint.

  3. I would suggest the “Track My Words” ( Google Docs add on I created. It tracks your words per minute and word count for each day you type automatically, and then generates stats for you so you can see which days you type the most, how you compare to other writers on the site, and more.

    If you are using Google Docs I think it is a great option!

  4. Hey Kristina,

    Having read your awesome list of resources, I wanted to introduce TheRightMargin, a smart, goal-driven writing tool that I think your readers would LOVE.

    Why should you care to write about something other than the usual status quo Scrivener like tools out there? Well…

    We moved out of beta last summer and since then:
    We had more than 270 NaNoWriMo writers and 7 winners using our tool to write a novel last November.
    We’ve had almost a million words written on our tool since launch.
    We see an average of 500 words written upon sign up–motivated by our awesome goal-setting wizard.

    Would you be interested in including us as a resource?

    Shivani Bhargava

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