Nanowrimo Guide
5 min read

The best tools for each part of your Nanowrimo journey

The NaNoWriMo logo on a gradient background overlaid with the text "A NaNoWriMo toolkit"

Every hero needs a trusty sidekick, a mentor to impart some wise words, and a few good tricks up their sleeve. These will be yours for the writing journey ahead. You don’t need to go it alone! Here’s our round-up of the best tools for each part of Nanowrimo – right from concept to completion.

Ideation & Research

Before Nanowrimo kicks off, start thinking about your story and establish your story basics. If your brain starts to feel like it has too many tabs open, use First Draft Pro’s notes folder to help you keep everything together.

Arrange your character sketches, stylistic notes, and worldbuilding research as you see fit – and draw connections between them with wiki-style linking. Everything will be conveniently stashed right alongside your manuscript, making it easy to refer to later down the line.


Ready to move on to plot and structure? Here are two of our favourite resources for all things story-craft:

  • If detail is your thing, you’ll love Story Grid’s repository of in-depth articles for understanding the fundamentals of storytelling, genre, and more.
  • For something a little more bite-sized, check out The Plottery on Instagram for handy tips from a pro fiction writing coach.

When you’re ready to sketch it all out, First Draft Pro’s outlining and plot tools will help you find the shape of your story. Use the outline view to create a framework for your narrative, and easily reorder things later with intuitive drag-and-drop chapters and scenes.

FDP TIP Not sure where to start? Follow our guide to Nanowrimo! We break down a classic three-act story structure across a 50 000 word novel, so that you can meet your word count goals.

Finishing your first draft

You’re armed with a great story idea and know where it’s going to go – now it’s time to put pen to proverbial paper. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Just get started. You have 30 days to write 50,000 words, so get typing! Switch over to the First Draft Pro’s fuss-free manuscript view and let your imagination do the rest.
  • Banish distractions. First Draft Pro has built-in focus tools like word count goals and offline mode to keep you motivated and distraction-free. Still find yourself falling down the Reddit rabbit hole? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Check out Freedom, an app and website blocker designed to level-up your productivity.
  • Stay motivated. Looking for some constructive feedback or a second opinion? Start a writing group, or join a writing community online.
  • Improve your writing. First Draft Pro is compatible with Grammarly, so there’s no need to worry about those sentences coming out perfectly first time. Write when the inspiration strikes – and review suggested changes for spelling, grammar, and punctuation when you’re ready.


Fine-tune your manuscript with an editor. Reedsy is a marketplace for finding editors, so if you don’t have one, it’s a good place to start your search. Working with others helps make your writing the best it can be.

Publishing and sharing

Once you’ve written and refined your story, it’s time to share it! Reading it to your cat is one thing, but online communities like Wattpad can help you connect with readers and reach a wider audience.