Word-Count Goal How-To

Every young writer gets to set a unique word-count goal for themselves, taking into account writing experience, schedule, and enthusiasm for the NaNoWriMo event. The goal should be difficult but still achievable.

We encourage young writers and educators to adjust word-count goals throughout the first half of the month based on individual progress.

Set an initial word-count goal:

  1. Write at a normal pace for the same amount of time you plan on writing every day. If you’re writing at home, that might be several hours. If you’re only writing in class, that might be just twenty minutes. Don’t try to type super fast; go at a normal pace.

  2. When time is up, check your word count for that session. If you’re typing a chapter in the writing space on the YWP site, you can see your word count to the left.

  3. Multiply that word count by how many days you’re going to write in November. So, if you’re going to write at home every day, that might be 30 days. If you’re only writing in a classroom for several weeks, that might be just 10-15 days.

  4. Your test session's word count x Number of writing days = Your word-count goal! This could be anywhere from 500 words all the way up 50,000 words.

  5. Enter your word-count goal when you create your novel. You can also edit your word-count goal by clicking on the wrench icon in the upper right of your “My Novel” page. 

Suggested Word-Count Goal Chart