As all good writers (and friends of writers, and families of writers, and distant cousins of writers, and local shopkeepers of writers) will know, it’s NaNoWriMo time – that magical time of year where hundreds of thousands of people around the world decide to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Cafés the world over experience a boost in patronage and coffee sales as writers do their best to reach their next wordcount target in the most bohemian settings possible.
With all of this intensive writing comes an abundance of advice on how to get through NaNo: how to create believable characters or how to create a dastardly plot that would be the envy of Machiavelli; how to deal with characters who won’t do what they’re told or how to write your 1,667 words before breakfast.
So much advice! You could spend the entire month reading it, with the occasional (vital!) break for yet another pot of tea, and never even realise you’ve forgotten about the writing element of NaNoWriMo. In fact, you may end up keeping yourself so busy and productive that you can’t understand why your word count’s still sitting on zero.
What you really need is a handy guide to identifying these traps and avoiding them. A guide written by a veteran of three failed NaNoWriMo campaigns and only one success (yes, that would be me). A guide that may feel uncannily relevant to your interests. A practical guide on How to Fail at NaNoWriMo.