How to Write a Novel in 30 Days

Every year, many people sign up for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which challenges its participants to write a 50,000 word novel in November. Even if you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, you might be interested in trying to finish a draft of the novel you’ve always wanted to write as quickly as possible. By preparing carefully and writing diligently, you’ll be able to finally get your novel down on the page!

[Edit]Steps
[Edit]Setting up Your Story
Sign up for a writing challenge. If you are starting anytime between July and November, you can participate NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org). If you’re starting at a different time, you could also search online to see if there are other 30-day writing challenges that appeal to you.
You don’t need to sign up for a writing challenge, of course, but it can be a good way to make yourself stick with writing, especially when you get frustrated.
If you don’t participate in an organized writing challenge, you should set your own ground rules. For instance, figure out what 30-day period you’d like to write during.
Read for inspiration. When preparing to write a novel, try to read as many novels as you can. By reading or rereading novels you admire, you can get a good sense of what you’d like your novel to be like![1]
While preparing, you can reread your favorite novels from the past or take the opportunity to read novels you’ve never read before.
Try to read novels that are written in different styles. Some novelists write dense, complicated prose (for instance, William Faulkner and Toni Morrison) while others write in short, relatively simple sentences (such as Ernest Hemingway and Octavia E. Butler). Reading novels written in a range of styles will help you figure out not just what kind of story you want to tell but how you want to tell that story.
Decide what kind of novel you want to write. Novels come in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, romance, historical fiction, and realism. Before you start planning your novel, you should choose what genre you’d like to write in. Writing is usually the most fun when you’re creating the kind of fiction you most like to read!
You can also write a novel that blends genres. For instance, you can write a romance novel that takes place in a fantasy setting!
Keep an idea notebook handy at all times. Whenever you get an idea for a character, plot point, setting, or anything else important, write it down! It’s easy to forget little bits of inspiration, but with a notebook you can keep track of your ideas.[2]
If you don’t like writing with paper and pen, you can take notes electronically on your phone or computer. There are a number of popular note-taking apps, like Evernote, that you can download for free.
Plan your novel. Once you have some ideas, you’ll need to start fleshing them out into a methodical plan. You can try to outline the entire thing or simply write a brief overview of the plot for yourself. The more detailed your plan is, the easier it might be for you to get started and finish your draft efficiently.[3]
It might help to keep traditional plot structures in mind. Most stories begin with exposition, lead up to a climax, and then end with a resolution. You can learn more about plot structures in various writing manuals, such as Denise Jaden’s Fast Fiction: A Guide to Outlining and Writing a First Draft Novel in 30 Days.[4]
In addition to outlining the plot, you should also have plans for your characters, settings, and other important details. Try to write backstories for your characters and make notes about how they fit into your novel.
Find some friends to write with. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to stick to the challenge on your own, writing buddies can help you stay on task. You and your friends can meet at regular times to reflect on your writing or even agree to write together at the same time.[5]
If you do include friends in the process, make sure that socializing doesn’t distract you from getting your writing done!
NaNoWriMo has forums that enable writers to support one another and share ideas. While you’re writing your novel, these forums could be a great place to go for community and motivation![6]
[Edit]Writing the Novel
Set an overall word-count goal. Novels written for NaNoWriMo usually end up being around 50,000 words long. You should set a goal for yourself that sounds achievable but challenging. Be realistic about what you think you can get done in 30 days, but also don’t make it too easy for yourself.[7]
You could also set a goal of writing a certain number of chapters or a specific number of double-spaced pages. Set a goal that makes the most sense for you and your novel.
Set a daily word-count quota. You can simply divide the overall number by 30 and make that your daily quota, or you can set different quotas for different days so you can vary your pace. Just make sure that you’re planning to write enough each day to reach your overall goal![8]
Start writing at the beginning of the month. If you put it off, the challenge will only seem harder! You might be anxious about starting, but the sooner you begin the sooner you can find your groove.[9]
You don’t always have to start writing a novel at its beginning, but for writing one in 30 days it will probably be best to write it linearly from beginning to end.
Establish a routine that works for you. Many writers find that they write most effectively when they work at regular times and in regular places. Choose a time of day you’d think you’d most enjoy writing — whether it’s morning, afternoon, or night — and try to write every day at that time. The more you can make writing a part of your daily routine, the easier it will become for you.[10]
Avoid distractions. Try to stay away from the Internet, your phone, TV, socializing, and other distractions while you write. Especially when you feel stuck in your writing, it can be very easy to lose time by letting yourself get distracted.[11]
Try leaving your phone in a different room and disabling your wifi while you write.
Make checkpoints with rewards for yourself. For example, you could treat yourself to a piece of chocolate every time you write 1,000 words or plan to have a nice meal at your favorite restaurant when you finish your draft. These small rewards can help keep you motivated!
Avoid editing until you’re done with the draft. The goal of writing a novel in 30 days is to get a first draft down, not to achieve perfection. Even if you don’t like something you’ve just written, force yourself to keep going. There will be time to edit later if you want to![12][Edit]Revising Your Work
Take a break when you’re done. After you finish your 30 days of writing, try to forget about it for at least a week. Then, if you want to revise, or if you have more writing to do to complete your first draft, you can continue working on it! The break helps you see your story more clearly and make decisions that will improve your novel.[13]
Don’t look at it or talk about it, and try not to think about it too much. That way you’ll be able to return to it with fresh eyes and a clear head when you start the revision process.
Get feedback from people you trust. Tell your readers to be as honest as possible with you. When trying to figure out how to revise your novel, it can be very helpful to know what others think about it.
Ask your readers what they liked and didn’t like about the novel. You can also ask things like, “Which characters were compelling and which were annoying?” and “Did the plot make sense?”
Figure out how you’d like to expand. If you think you might like to try to publish your novel, you might want to expand it. 50,000 words may be a lot, but some publishers will want more, depending on the type of novel you’re writing. Research average word counts for the genre you’re writing or aim for 90,000 words as a good benchmark.[14]
By knowing what parts of your novel are worth expanding, you’ll have a good idea of how to move forward with it.
Ask your readers which parts of the book they wish were longer to help figure out what to expand.
Decide what you think doesn’t belong or doesn’t work. When writing a first draft, there are always things you won’t end up liking. Be honest with yourself about what really isn’t working in your draft and decide to fix it or cut it entirely if necessary.
Even if you’re emotionally attached to a certain character, scene, or subplot in your novel, you may have to cut it if it isn’t moving the plot forward.
Revise your draft. Having reactions from trusted readers and a plan in mind, you’ll be ready to return to your novel. You probably won’t have to write at the furious pace you did to finish your draft in 30 days, but you will still want to have goals and a routine for yourself. You can start revising at the beginning and work your way through the whole novel or work on sections out of order. Whatever makes most sense for your process is fine!
If you end finding that you want to start your novel over from scratch, that’s fine too. But don’t think of your 30 days of intense writing as wasted time. You’ve learned a lot about the kind of novel you want to write and how to get writing done efficiently even if you don’t go further with what you wrote![15][Edit]Sample Writing Schedule and Examples
WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5dbcf13215c33’)Sample Writing ScheduleWH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5dbcf1321665f’)Sample NaNoWriMo BrainstormWH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5dbcf132171f9’)Sample NaNoWriMo Excerpt
[Edit]Video
[Edit]Tips
Enjoy yourself! It’s about having fun.
If you couldn’t convince your friends to join you, meet some new ones! Many sites have forums for you to join, and chances are you will find someone who is willing to help you edit their novel!
Tell as many people as possible what you plan to do so that you have your own personal support group! This will also keep you from pitching out at the last minute.
Write as much as you possibly can on the first day so that you have a head start in case you get behind later in the month. Take whole Saturdays just to write!
Do not expect to have a good first draft. Most likely, your first draft will be terrible. That’s ok! It’s quantity over quality, a way of getting the words out on the paper. Plus, you can’t edit until you actually have something to edit.
Set up a website for your book so that your avid readers (aka your friends) can come and check up on you!
Create a playlist or soundtrack for your writing time. Put your favorite (preferably lyric-less) music in a random order and play it quietly in the background while you work.
Writer’s block is a part of the process. Allow it to unfurl, relax and do something different for a bit. Then return when you feel like you’ve had enough of a break.[Edit]Warnings
Don’t forget to save periodically!
Remember to prioritize your life. The quality of your schoolwork and/or your work at a day job might start to slip from all the intense writing.
Make sure you have a copy of your saved novel on an external hard drive, like a disc or a flash drive. This way, if you computer crashes you’ll still have a way to access the novel![Edit]Related wikiHows
Make Letters of the English Alphabet
Write a Love Poem
Write a Poem
Become a Writer
Write Letters to the Editor[Edit]References
[Edit]Quick Summary↑ https://nybookeditors.com/2016/03/writing-a-novel-in-a-month-is-it-possible-and-should-you-try/

↑ https://nybookeditors.com/2016/03/writing-a-novel-in-a-month-is-it-possible-and-should-you-try/

↑ http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/30-tips-for-writing-a-book-in-30-days

↑ http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/30-tips-for-writing-a-book-in-30-days

↑ http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/30-tips-for-writing-a-book-in-30-days

↑ https://nanowrimo.org/terms

↑ http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/30-tips-for-writing-a-book-in-30-days

↑ http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/30-tips-for-writing-a-book-in-30-days

↑ http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/30-tips-for-writing-a-book-in-30-days

↑ https://writetodone.com/how-to-write-a-novel-in-30-days/

↑ http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/30-tips-for-writing-a-book-in-30-days

↑ https://writetodone.com/how-to-write-a-novel-in-30-days/

↑ http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/30-tips-for-writing-a-book-in-30-days

↑ https://thewritelife.com/how-many-words-in-a-novel/

↑ https://nybookeditors.com/2016/03/writing-a-novel-in-a-month-is-it-possible-and-should-you-try/

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Today in History for 1st November 2019

Historical Events

1956 – Indian states of Punjab, Patiala and most of the East Punjab States Union merge as the Punjab State
1962 – USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
1976 – “Don’t Step on My Olive Branch” opens at Playhouse NYC for 16 performances
1977 – US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1986 – Fire in Sandoz factory in Basel, 30 tons of chemicals in the Rhine
2007 – 5-time Grand Slam tennis winner Martina Hingis admits testing positive for cocaine during Wimbledon; maintains innocence; retires from tennis; no desire for fight with anti-doping authorities

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1351 – Leopold III, Duke of Austria (1365-68), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1386)
1815 – Douglas H. Cooper, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Amite County, Mississippi (d. 1879)
1825 – Joseph B. Palmer, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Rutherford County, Tennessee (d. 1890)
1961 – Louise Boije af Gennäs, Swedish writer and novelist (Stjärnor utan svindel)
1977 – Steve Hutchinson, American NFL offensive guard (7 x Pro Bowl; 5 First Team All Pro), born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1978 – Manju Warrier, Indian actress (How Old Are You?), born in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1814 – Alexander Samoylov, Russian general and statesman (b. 1744)
1879 – Zachariah Chandler, American merchant and politician (found Republican Party), dies at 65
1964 – Clifford “Doc” Carlson, American Basketball Hall of Fame coach (Pittsburgh 367–248 [.597]), dies at 70
1975 – Doro Merande, actress (That Was The Week That Was), dies at 77
1995 – Lex Hixon, religious teacher/author, dies at 53
2015 – Fred Thompson, US senator (R-Tenn)/actor (In the Line of Fire), dies at 73

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Make Dulce De Leche

Dulce de leche (pronounced “DOOL-se de LE-che,” meaning candy of milk) is a rich syrup similar in flavor to caramel. It is a common ingredient in South American desserts. If you want to add a delicious sweet flavor to your desserts, it’s easy to make your own dulce de leche at home. Most recipes involve boiling or baking condensed milk until it reduces into a syrup. You can also use regular milk mixed with sugar to produce dulce de leche.

[Edit]Steps
[Edit]Boiling Condensed Milk
Peel the label off of a can of sweetened condensed milk. Search your supermarket for sweetened condensed milk. It is usually in the baking section. Take off as much of the label as you can. For the sticky portion, you can use a wet sponge to scrub the remainder of the label off.[1]
Read the cans carefully. Containers for condensed milk look very similar to evaporated milk, and evaporated milk won’t work for making dulce de leche.
Get multiple cans if you want to make more dulce de leche.
Place the can in a pot and cover it with water. Stand the can on the bottom of the pot. Then add water until the water is at least above the top of the can. Make sure the pot is tall enough that you can completely cover the can with water while it’s standing up.[2]Don’t fill the pot all the way to the top or it could overflow when the water starts boiling.
Depending on the size of the pot, you can put multiple cans in here at the same time for even more dulce de leche.
The water can be any temperature, but pouring in water that is already hot will make the water boil faster.
Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Turn on a high flame and wait for the water to boil. When bubbles start rising to the surface, you know the water is boiling. At this point, reduce the flame and let the pot simmer.[3]
Let it simmer for 2-3 hours on a low flame. Once the water has boiled, reduce the flame to a low setting. This should bring the water to a light simmer. Let the pot simmer for 2 to 3 hours, depending on how dark you want your dulce de leche.[4]
The longer you let the condensed milk simmer, the darker the dulce de leche will be. If you prefer lighter dulce de leche, take the cans out after 2 hours. Wait longer if you want a darker dulce de leche.
Use tongs to remove the can from the water. Once the can has boiled long enough, remove it with a pair of tongs. This stops the cooking process so your dulce de leche is exactly how you want it.[5]
Let the can cool completely before opening it. After you remove the can, set it down somewhere safe and let it cool. This could take several hours.[6]
Do not attempt to open the can while it’s still hot. The contents are under pressure, and opening it too early could cause hot dulce de leche to spray out and burn you.
When you do open the can, the dulce de leche should have a thick, syrupy consistency and pour out easily.
Store the sealed can at room temperature for up to 3 months. An unopened can of dulce de leche will stay fresh for up to 3 months at room temperature. Simply place the can in your cupboard and use it when you want to.[7]
If you’ve opened the can, you can pour it into an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 weeks.[Edit]Cooking Condensed Milk in the Oven
Pour condensed milk into an x baking dish. Open up the can and empty its contents into the dish. Spread the milk around with a spoon or spatula if it doesn’t cover the entire bottom of the dish.[8]You can pour in multiple cans for this method for a bigger serving of dulce de leche. Just be careful not to overflow the baking pan.
Cover the baking dish with tin foil. Rip off a layer of tin foil large enough to cover the dish. Use more than one sheet if you have to. Tuck the foil under the sides of the dish so it stays secure during the baking process.[9]
Place the baking dish inside a larger baking dish. This larger dish should be large enough so the smaller dish can sit in it comfortably. It should also have taller sides than the smaller dish so it doesn’t overflow when you add water.[10]
For an x bowl, a x would be large enough.
Add water until it reaches ¾ the height of the smaller dish. This water surrounds the original dish so when it starts boiling, the water reduces the sugar in the condensed milk.[11]This water can be any temperature, but if it’s already hot, it will make the boiling process faster.
Bake the milk at for 90 minutes. Keep an eye on the water level as the milk bakes. If water is evaporating, use a pitcher to add more so it stays at the desired level.[12]
If you feel unsteady transferring a dish full of water to the oven without spilling it, you can put the dishes in the oven without the water. Then use a pitcher to fill the dish.
Remove the dishes from the oven and stir the milk. After 90 minutes, the condensed milk should break down enough and produce dulce de leche. Complete the job by removing the foil covering. Then use a spatula or spoon to stir the syrup until it combines. Break down any solid pieces that have formed.[13]The dulce de leche should have a thick, syrupy consistency and have a similar color to caramel.
You could also pour the milk into a blender for a more thorough mixing.
Refrigerate the dulce de leche for up to 3 weeks. If you don’t use the dulce de leche right away, you can store it in the refrigerator. Store the mixture in an airtight container or jar and place it in the refrigerator. It should last 3 weeks if properly stored.[14][Edit]Making Dulce de Leche with Regular Milk
Pour 1 quart (0.9 liters) of whole milk into a pot. Make sure this pot is large enough so the milk won’t over flow when it starts boiling. 1 quart (0.9 liters) of milk will produce about 1 cup (0.24 liters) of dulce de leche, so use more milk if you need more dulce de leche.[15]You can also use different types of milk for a different taste. Coconut milk works for a vegan option, and goat milk produces a different flavor.[16]
Add 1 cup (128 g) of sugar. If you prefer your dulce de leche even sweeter, you can add 1 ¼ cups (160 g) of sugar. If you prefer it less sweet, add only ¾ cup (96 g) of sugar.[17]If you’d like, you can also add some vanilla for flavor. Put either a split vanilla bean or of vanilla extract.
Stir the mixture over a medium flame. Place the pot on the stove over a medium flame. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved.[18]After all the sugar has dissolved, you can stir in 0.25 tsp (5 g) of baking soda to prevent the milk from coagulating. This is optional, but will produce a smoother dulce de leche.
Let the milk boil for 90 to 120 minutes, stirring regularly. Once all the sugar has dissolved, leave the pot on a medium flame and allow it to boil. Stir the mixture regularly to help it reduce and prevent it from burning.[19]
As the milk reduces, it will start changing color from white to caramel. This is a good sign and means that your dulce de leche is nearing completion.
The amount of time you let the milk boil depends on how dark you like your dulce de leche. If you prefer it lighter, take it off at 90 minutes. If you want it darker, leave it on a full 2 hours.
Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool. Place the pot on an unlit burner on the stovetop and allow it to cool. Stir it one final time while it’s cooling.[20]
Making dulce de leche this way may produce more chunks and solid pieces than using condensed milk. This is normal. It will still have a syrupy consistency.
If you prefer your dulce de leche extra smooth, you can pour it through a strainer to mix out any solid pieces left behind. This is optional and doesn’t affect the final taste.
Pour the mixture into an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. If you don’t use the dulce de leche right away, you can store it for several weeks. Transfer it into an airtight jar or container and place it in the refrigerator. It can last about 3 weeks if stored properly.[21][Edit]Things You’ll Need
[Edit]Boiling Condensed Milk
Can of condensed milk
Pot
Stove
Tongs
Water[Edit]Cooking Condensed Milk in the Oven
Can of condensed milk
Tinfoil
8’ x 8’ and 9’ x 13’ baking dish
Water
Jar for storage
Spatula or spoon[Edit]Making Dulce de Leche with Regular Milk
1 qt of whole milk
1 cup of sugar
Vanilla bean or vanilla extract
Baking soda
Cooking pot
Stove
Can for storage
Spatula or spoon[Edit]Video
[Edit]Related wikiHows
Make Caramel
Make Toffee
Make Sticky Toffee Sauce
Make Sticky Toffee Pudding
Make Caramel Apples
Make Deluxe Hot Chocolate
Make Brigadeiro
Make Leche Flan
Make Raw Yogurt in a Slow Cooker[Edit]References
[Edit]Quick Summary↑ https://www.thekitchn.com/what-s-the-difference-between-condensed-and-evaporated-milk-125900

↑ https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/dulce-de-leche-recipe.html

↑ https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/dulce-de-leche-recipe.html

↑ https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/dulce-de-leche-recipe.html

↑ https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/dulce-de-leche-recipe.html

↑ https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/dulce-de-leche-recipe.html

↑ https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/dulce-de-leche-recipe.html

↑ https://melaniemakes.com/how-to-make-dulce-de-leche-from-sweetened-condensed-milk/

↑ https://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/homemade-dulce-de-leche-0266317

↑ https://melaniemakes.com/how-to-make-dulce-de-leche-from-sweetened-condensed-milk/

↑ https://melaniemakes.com/how-to-make-dulce-de-leche-from-sweetened-condensed-milk/

↑ https://melaniemakes.com/how-to-make-dulce-de-leche-from-sweetened-condensed-milk/

↑ https://melaniemakes.com/how-to-make-dulce-de-leche-from-sweetened-condensed-milk/

↑ https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/dulce-de-leche-recipe.html

↑ https://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/dulce-de-leche-0101811

↑ https://food52.com/blog/10049-all-about-dulce-de-leche-and-how-to-make-it

↑ https://food52.com/blog/10049-all-about-dulce-de-leche-and-how-to-make-it

↑ https://food52.com/blog/10049-all-about-dulce-de-leche-and-how-to-make-it

↑ https://food52.com/blog/10049-all-about-dulce-de-leche-and-how-to-make-it

↑ https://food52.com/blog/10049-all-about-dulce-de-leche-and-how-to-make-it

↑ https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/dulce-de-leche-recipe.html

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