Posted by Mark Withall: 2013-10-31

My usual approach to make novelling in November easier is to have a fairly rigid structure in place. This has two goals: the first is to allow me to end up with a balanced novel and the second is to give me a sense of achievability and progress.

50,000 words sounds like a lot (and is) but it seems much more manageable when I know that I only have to write 1667 in one day and 3 days’ writing will complete the first chapter.

Here is the list of structures that I have used to help me along for the previous four NaNos and the one that I will be using this year.

2009: 100 x 500 word chapters, where the end of each chapter would inspire the beginning of the next (and the final chapter would wrap around to the beginning).

2010: 3 x 10 chapter parts; each being 1667 words and taking a day to write.

2011: A free approach to chapters/structure, where each chapter is finished when it’s finished.

2012: 30 x 1667 word chapters with each chapter focusing on one of the 3 or 4 storylines.

And my choice for this year is to write 10 x 5000 word chapters, each taking 3 days to write but each chapter will be made up of newspaper articles, interviews, letters and the like. Hopefully, this will help motivate me as the previous structures have done.