Winter is coming. This November is National Novel Writing Month, bringing with it an incredible challenge: Write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. If you keep up with Game of Thrones or its written counterpart, you know that House Stark’s three-word motto reminds them to be prepared for any challenges that come their way. Should you choose to meet this challenge, Zoho Projects can help brace you to win the war of words. And writing doesn’t have to be a lonely activity anymore!

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Set up a strict project

The NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st and ends on the 30th. In order to meet these guidelines, make your project “strict” and give it a fixed start and end date to keep you on target.

Define your milestones

While free writing can be gratifying, taking part in a timed challenge such as this requires control over your story. Most stories follow a three-act structure: exposition, rising action and climax. These can be your project milestones, each spanning 10 days. This helps to keep you from working on one part of the story for too long.

The Do Not Disturb hours

NaNoWriMo calls for disciplined writing. If you don’t write for a couple of days, you may find yourself way behind schedule! Set aside specific hours every day to just sit and write. This is where Zoho Projects’ ability to set task duration in hours comes in handy. Create a task for November 1 and make it recur every day for the rest of the month.

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 Let the story be told

Zoho Projects is tightly integrated with Zoho Writer, a fully capable online word processor. Create a new document from within your project and start typing. The best part? Our distraction-free UI ensures that your work gets your unwavering attention.

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Stay accountable

No matter how glamorous and exciting the goal and prize may seem, keeping your motivation across all 30 days can be quite challenging. Add writing buddies, family, or critics to your project for more encouragement. Let them jump into your work to give you advice and insights into your writing. Sometimes, a group chat is all the pick-me-up you need.

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Now what? Fix it, finish it

You have successfully finished your NaNoWriMo work! Some of you have met the word count and maybe even exceeded it. What happens to your novel now? This 30-day challenge is just the beginning.

Now that you have a first draft in your hands, a lot of rewriting and editing must follow to make your book worthy for publication.  Revisit your piece and revise it several times until you are satisfied that you can take this to an editor.

Bring in the editor’s eye

Your writing project is a success, now comes your editing project—sometimes an equally grueling task. Though a 6-month deadline is realistic, most timelines are more like suggestions than hard limits. It’s time to bring experienced editors into this project. It may have been a solo show until now, but this is the time to collaborate.

Put your heads together

Upload your revised version of the story and give your editors edit/comment permissions. Zoho Writer comes with great review tools that makes tracking and managing changes a cakewalk. Watching the editing process may not always be pleasant, but remember, the end result is all that matters.

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So what are you writing this year?