How To Write A Novel In 30 Days: Ultimate Guide


Is it possible for anyone to write a novel in 30 days? TBH, it took me much longer than 30 days to write Forever There For You. In my (weak but totally true) defence, it was my first time. And I didn’t know better.

Thankfully, I fared much better with Because Home Is… (OK, it’s just a collection of short stories as opposed to a full-length novel). 

Here’s what I wish someone had told me about how to write a novel in 30 days before I even thought about writing my first one.

1) Create an outline 

It’ll help you think and see clearer. And you’ll write your novel faster as you’ll actually have a better idea of what you’re doing. 

Some people think having an outline will stop you from feeling the writing. And that you should just write as it comes.

But waiting to feel or writing as it comes is not how to write a novel in 30 days.

It could be the reason you complain that you have writer’s block and never finish writing your novel.

2) Start writing

I’m not sure how to say this without being unnecessarily repetitious but just start writing. It really is as simple as that.

3) Stop procrastinating 

No, you don’t need to have a brand new laptop and the most expensive writing software before you write. 

No, you don’t absolutely need to eat chocolate brownies, drink green tea and stand on your head in the middle of your room at exactly noon before you can write. 

As long as you’re not in ICU and hooked up to tubes to prolong your life, “I have to do this fancy thing before I can write” is just nonsense you tell yourself. To avoid writing. 

No, you don’t need to be on social media at all today.

Or call your bestie for five minutes because you have to tell him/her about your day before you can write

Stop faffing about and creating excuses for why you’re not writing your book.

4) Resist the urge to edit as you go along 

Your first draft is supposed to be a poor shadow of your final product. That’s why it’s a first draft.

It’s not the final anything. Not the manuscript sent to the editor. And hopefully, it’s not the final version of the book that you expect people to buy off bookshelves (including virtual ones) to read and love.

If you keep stopping to edit while you’re still writing, you’ll never finish writing the novel.

5) Create time for research, separate from your writing 

This is really important because you don’t want research to become another way you procrastinate. And there’s no reason for even legitimate research to eat into your writing time.

If you discover as you’re writing, that you need to research something, make a note of it but don’t stop to research.

Carry on writing, even if you have to move on to a completely new and unrelated chapter. 

Just make sure you actually research in the time you’ve allocated for it, so that you don’t have empty spaces cos I was going to research that later.

6) Write everyday 

Even if it’s on your phone, write. Use a pencil and notepad if you have to. Just make sure you transfer it into a single document as soon as you can. Maybe, scan and email it to yourself. 

I wrote the first draft of the first book in an upcoming New Adult series, on my phone.

And my phone isn’t fancy or anything like that. Not that I’ve ever needed a fancy phone.

But I can honestly say it’s the fastest I’ve ever written a novel.

How much time a day you actually spend writing is up to you. You need to be consistent yet realistic.

On the one hand, unless it’s a very short book or you speedwrite, I’m not sure how you’re going to write a novel in 30 days – if you’re going to spend just five minutes a day on it.

On the other hand, writing for five hours everyday isn’t realistic for everyone.

And if you set an unrealistic goal for yourself, you’re setting yourself up to fail. 

Give yourself a time frame each day and if you exceed it for whatever reason, don’t take it from the next week session.

So, no “I decided to write for two hours daily. I wrote for three hours yesterday. So it’ll be OK to write for just an hour today cos it evens out and I’ll catch up.” No, ma’am, no, sir.

The only thing you’re evening out is a break in momentum. And breaking momentum is not how to write a novel in 30 days. Or even in 100 days as you might be shocked to learn. 

It’s preferrable to finish quicker, than give yourself a reason to procrastinate and finish late or never. 

Personally, I’m not too fussed about word counts especially when I know it’s a first draft. It doesn’t mean I don’t check, though. 

So, I’d say stop terrorising or tormenting yourself with word counts. Focus on chapters instead. Forever There For You has 90,000+ words. But the first draft wasn’t even up to 30,000 words. 

7) Mind your physical and mental health

While you should treat your writing seriously (because it’s a serious job), one of the reasons you can find writing so hard and dreary is that you’re not actually living. 

You’re not eating or sleeping properly and you’re dehydrated.

I’m not going to pretend I always sleep eight hours a night when I’m working towards a deadline…

But certain lifestyle choices can drain your motivation cos the human body just wasn’t designed to run on caffeine or adrenaline all day, all night, all year. It just doesn’t work like that.

There’s no need to endanger your health just because you’re trying to see how to write a novel in 30 days.

Have you downloaded your novel outline cheat sheet, ordered your “Banish to Finish” guide, and registered for the “How To Write A Novel in 30 Days” webinar? They’re all free!

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