1. Sign up. You can sign up on the official NaNoWriMo site to keep track of your word count, download badges and other fun things. You'll also find a copy of the official rules, so you can get a better idea of what to expect. Alternatively, keep an eye out at the Harlequin forums for their version of NaNoWrimo (you can pick your word count goal for the month). Or, sign up for both.
You can take this one step further with character sheets, sketches or collages, and chapter summaries. Chapter summaries are a great trick for NaNoWriMo because the less time you have to spend thinking about what comes next in your story, the more time you have to do the writing and reach your daily word count goals.
7. Go on an edit detox. There's no time for editing in NaNoWriMo, that comes next month. You may be tempted to go back and reread what you've written but at most, you’re allowed to reread the last couple of paragraphs before you start writing each day. Reading from the start of a chapter or chapter one is banned. Editing can be your downfall.
8. Beware the week 2 blues. Everyone hits a wall about week 2. Suddenly the writing's harder, everything's garbage and you start thinking about regrouting your kitchen tiles. It could all be garbage (unlikely) but if it is it doesn't matter. The point is to push yourself beyond your normal limits. There's a lot to be learnt about your writing and writing process from NaNoWriMo. You can’t edit a blank page!
If you didn't get the whole 50K down, don’t throw in the towel. Your word count will be a lot higher than it would be if you hadn’t taken NaNoWriMo on. Writing 50K in 6 weeks is just as impressive and your draft will still be finished by Christmas.
Either way, you’re going to need a lot of champagne.
Are you NaNoWriMoing this year?