It’s October. You know that that means: National Novel Writing Month is coming. We have a few brief announcements for you about 2017 NaNoWriMo, and then four tips for you as you write your novel.

Your friends at Caffeinated Press gently remind that for the month of November—when NaNoWriMo transpires—we shut down almost all non-essential business and editorial operations so our team can either participate or take a breather. So submissions, questions, etc. will likely be delayed.

Because we moved this summer to a smaller space, we cannot host a kick-off write-in on Halloween or permit regularly scheduled write-ins for the Ottawa County-Grand Rapids region. However, we will host Come Write In sessions. Check our online calendar for specific dates and times. During a CWI block, writers are welcome to come to our office to write in peace. No structured programming, just writing time. And we do not request any fees or RSVP, either. Just bring your novel and let the magic happen. (We’ll even supply free water, coffee, snacks and Wi-Fi, and you can browse our in-office literary library!)

That said, as people prepare for this year’s explosion of novel-writing productivity, we share a few bits of advice to help you on your journey.

  1. Attend write-ins. Show up to events in the region. Meet new writers. Get feedback. Share best-practice tips. Although writing may be a solitary art, being read takes a community. Start building yours this year!
  2. Use cloud-sync services. There is never, ever an excuse for losing a novel or a chapter. Don’t just save stuff to a hard drive or to a thumb drive. Use cloud storage services. It’s the 21st century, people!
  3. Use Microsoft Word correctly. If you’re even thinking about seeking publication, and you’re using Word instead of a tool like Scrivener, then set the document correctly:
    • Rely on hanging indents; don’t use tabs.
    • Use styles for things like italics instead of pressing CTRL+I or clicking the slanty-I button on the toolbar (commercial publishing programs lose formatting unless you make a Word style).
    • Don’t worry about making it pretty. It’s the content, not the formatting, that matters!
  4. Revise, revise, revise! If you finish by November 30, great—but remember, revisions start in December. Those peers you met at write-ins will be of great help to you as beta readers. Use your network!

NaNo is coming. Are you ready?

Getting Ready for #NaNoWriMo
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