2021 NaNoWriMo / Moonshine & Murder Checklist

Here we are on November 1st — the beginning of NaNoWriMo! Are you ready? I’m not, but am I really ever 100% ready? 

I am pretty confident that I will be able to win NaNo this year, unless something major happens in my life that prevents me from writing. I have won in the past and know how to reach my daily/weekly word count goals to get to 50,000 words. So, I decided to prepare myself for life after NaNo with the checklist below. 

  1. Win NaNoWriMo / Write 50,000 words :: This is always the first step in writing my novel. While writing 50,000 words is definitely not an easy task, it is probably the easiest part of the writing process. I just need to get 50,000 words down in my Scrivener doc. Later on in the process, I will revise and edit those words.
  2. Complete first draft / Write +30,000 words :: Winning NaNoWriMo doesn’t make your novel complete. Most novels are much more than 50,000 words. For mine, I am reaching for around 80,000 words, so I’ll need to write an additional 30,000 words after NaNo is finished. With the holidays approaching, it will be likely that I don’t write my +30,000 words and complete my first draft until after the new year. My goal is to have my first draft complete by the end of February.
  3. Research / Complete final outline :: I will most likely be working on both of these as I am finishing my first draft. I have a bit of research to do but nothing too time consuming. The research and final outline will probably be done around the new year.
  4. Revise first draft / 2nd draft / 3rd draft :: These steps will take the most time. Revising the first draft will probably happen in the early spring. The 2nd draft will happen after editing and the 3rd draft after proofreading. I most likely won’t be able to check this box until the summer.
  5. Proofread / Edit :: These will coincide with revising my drafts. I will start looking for editors/proofreaders in the spring to have them set up to start reviewing my manuscript in the summer. 
  6. Design book cover / Marketing material :: I will also need to start looking for a book designer in the spring. The marketing material will probably have to wait until I complete the next step. 
  7. Take author photo / Write blurb :: Both my author photo(s) and book blurb will need to be done before my marketing material is designed/printed. The book blurb can be written when my 3rd draft is completed. I will have a very good understanding of my story by then. 
  8. Publish Moonshine & Murder in 2022 :: My goal is have the entire novel completed and ready to be printed/uploaded by the fall of 2022. 

There it is! My Moonshine & Murder checklist. We’ll see just how close I stick to the plan. 

I’ll be posting NaNoWriMo updates throughout the month of November and novel updates well into 2022. I’ll be using the hashtags #moonshine&murder and #elissakwrites on both Twitter and Instagram.