Getting Started

Welcome, Novelist, to the first day of the rest of your writing life!

Get started here with the basics, and if you need more help at any time, check out our Help & FAQ

Write on!

 1. Create a novel.

There are a couple ways to write a novel with NaNoWriMo. If there's an official NaNo challenge (like NaNoWriMo in November or Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July) you can participate by clicking "Yes, I accept!" when the "Take the Challenge" box appears on your dashboard the month before. 

If there's no upcoming or ongoing challenge, don't worry! You can work on a personal writing challenge any time of year by clicking "Yes please!" in the "Challenge Yourself" box on your dashboard.

Fill in as much information as you can about your project—including your own personal word-count goal. You can update these novel settings at any time by clicking the wrench next to the novel's title, so no pressure!

Start your novel now

IMPORTANT DETAIL: You can work on your project in your on-site writing space, or work on it somewhere else and update your word count manually. Go to your novel settings to switch between options.

2. Get familiar with your on-site writing space.

  • Have fun! Choose a font, add a cover photo, change your color scheme. 

  • Getting ready for a challenge? Add Novel Notes to brainstorm ideas, write character sketches, or pep yourself up. They don't count towards your word-count goal.

  • Time to write! Add Chapters to your novel to write and update your word-count goal (if you're writing on-site). 

  • Stay motivated! Explore the different charts and stats to keep track of your progress, use the Dare Machine for inspiration, race against time using the Word Sprint tool, or download your novel to see your name in print. 

 3. Explore the rest of the YWP site. 

*It is.