The Dragon and Chips series

NaNoWriMo progress forms

Every November, thousands of writers sign up for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I'm not going to try and explain it all, especially since they have an excellent FAQ on the site, but basically you commit to writing 50,000 words of fiction during the month of November. That works out at 1667 words per day, every day, and it's an excellent way to force yourself to write. Do you have a dusty old plot waiting to be written, or have you always wanted to sit down and write? This is your chance. (Further down the page you'll also find my handy tips for winning NaNoWriMo.)

(If you do sign up for NaNoWriMo, my profile is here)

My new middle-grade scifi novel was written during Nano 2010.
Now, despite all those winning efforts I'm pretty bad when it comes to getting on with things: I procrastinate until just before the deadline, then go mad at the last minute to hand them in on time. You can't do that with 50,000 words of fiction, which is one of the reasons I set up this page with my NanoWrimo progress form. I find I work best by crossing off daily word counts, taking small nibbles of the bigger task. To that end, I've come up with a spreadsheet you can use to track your own progress.

It's simple enough - one line for each day of the month, with a daily count of 1700 words and a running total. Enter the number of words written each day, enter the running total and subtract it from the target. If you start to fall behind, you'll know long before it becomes a major problem. And if you get ahead ... make the most of it, as it probably won't last! You'll never complete NanoWrimo if you fall too far behind.

The idea with this form is to print it out, tape it to your desk and hand-write the figures at the end of each day. It's a low-tech solution, but having the page right there in front of you is more powerful motivation than any number of files buried away in 'My Documents'
The spreadsheets are editable, so you can change the word count and the starting date.

Download the form as a PDF file

Download the form as an SXC spreadsheet

Download the form as an XLS spreadsheet

Oh... and good luck with your novel!

NanoWrimo tips

I've won NanoWrimo several times so far. I'm not a particularly fast typist (I don't really touch type - although I don't have to look at the keyboard) but I manage to do my 2k per day or else.


The one-day catchup form

NEW: the one-day catchup form! Force yourself to write 7500 words in a single day!
I don't recommend using this method regularly, but it's a fantastic way to boost your word count. How? Print the form (OpenOffice, XLS or PDF format) and plan your day from 8am. Start writing, and stop the moment you have 500 words. Then take a break and do whatever you want until the stroke of 9am. Then write another 500 words. Repeat all day until you finish the last 500 words some time after 10pm. All you have to do is write 9 words a minute throughout the day. Can it really be that difficult? (Don't waste all the break time - think up two more scenes for every one you write!)

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