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30 Days To A Book: Writing Your Nonfiction Book in a Month


Photo of Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner

NaNoWriMo – Founded by Chris Beatty. Literally woke up one morning and wanted to do it. Didn’t want to read a bunch of how-to books. He went down to the library and looked about, picking up Catcher In The Rye, about 50k. And thought he could do that in a month.

Then he called some friends and met. This is one of the traditions. It’s like losing weight. Your friends will ask you if you’re not there. They would drink a lot of coffee and not let anyone go to the bathroom without their word quota. Of 21, 6 succeeded. They also do word sprints and the one who writes the most gets a small prize

He found that the biggest barrier separating people from their artistic dreams isn’t a lack of talent, it’s the lack of a deadline.

Writing for quantity instead of qualiy brings about both. Every draft is a shitty first draft.

3. Enlightenment is overrated: it’s not worth waiting around for.

4. The #1 excuse is being too busy. Being busy is good for your writing.

5. Plot happens: “You intuition knows what it wants to write, so get out of the way.” Ray Bradbury

6. Writing is it’s on reward

Photo of Nina Amir

Nina Amir


Wanted to write novels, but had a pratical mother who insisted that she learn to write well, AKA get in as a non-fiction writer. She started as a magazine writer.

Nina has done NaNoWriMo, but wanted to keep writing in the off season. So she created a nonfiction challenge to write nonfiction in November. She wanted to have a deadline. Deadlines are your friend.

Nina has found if you plan it goes faster


Write Daily

Make up Missed time

Eliminate distractions

Leave additional research for later, just make a note and do NOT go on the internet. Researching is not writing.

take advantage of group energy

Take advantage of accountability – FB page, Forum, Buddies

Dont think you need to write for long periods, short periods work, 1,500 words a day, 45k a month.

Consider writing a short book

Stay inspiried, read the blog,

Check Nina’s blog for ideas and inspiration. You can get her book for free at Smashwords – EN73H at Smashwords. You can search her name at


The Write Nonfiction NOW! Guide to Writing ….

Q and A – Kate Chynoweth moderating. She asked how you can tell when it is time to change direction if you hit a slump?

Photo of Kate Chynoweth

Kate Chynoweth moderates 30 Days to a Book

Grant – good question. The first week is fun, and many hit a wall in week 2. This is the lesson of writing. You must show up even if you are not inspired. This has value beyond the month of November. What happens is that you clench-you start the day with no idea. But this is the time to be playful, get away from your ego, the word sprints are helpful. You have to write for 10 mintues and it’s amazing what happens when you write fast. It’s like improv. You get a word and just write on it.

Nina – Agrees. Now, with Nonfiction you have a lot of choices. You have the opportunity to change to another chapter or subheading. This is the big advantage of working on a planned structure. But she gives herself permission to write crap and finish a section. Just plow through it and come back later. Your mind is taking over, and it may be better than you know. You may be surprised when you come back later. Stopping does not help. This is what you do at any other time. This is what you don’t want to do. You want to make yourself work through it. Think about it, When you get a publishing deal, you have a deadline. It’s about getting out of your way and getting the words down on paper.

Kate – I want to speak a few minutes from an editing perspecitive. You don’t want to censor and over think. But when you get started, respect the basics of writing. For example, just use the word “said.” Don’t write in purple prose. Use basic terms. Don’t get hyperbolic.

Secondly, have basic notes on the characters as they come together over the months. Scrivner has a template. Even the basic character traits can shift if you’re not mindful. The voice and physical traits, the personality and emotional makeup, don’t go all over the place. If you have something explained in dialog, don’t explain it in narrative later. Be sure when you move forward quickly, don’t tell what is being said. Top tips.

Kate helps with the next stage when they have their draft. But before you get to that stage, look at the work. What does NaNoWriMo suggest?

Grant. Yes. The people who are most successful are somewhere in the middle. The people who have thought about it a bit and some character notes. And what you produce is just a rough draft and it must be revised.

Kate – Q and A


#sfwc14 – #NaNoWriMo – Writing With Abandon


Having a fun time with Chris and Grant from the National Novel Writing Month.

Notes to follow.


Photo from Writing With Abandon

National Novel Writing Month

Well…. Wish me luck.

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