So, you want to write a novel in a month?  You’ve come to the write place.  Here’s what you need to do to get started:
STEP ONE:  Sign up at the nanowrimo site.  It’s free to join, but you’ve got to be official.  When you get there, it will look like this:

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Put all your information in, as requested.  You’ll also need to confirm that you’re over the age of 13 (!) and that you agree to their terms and conditions, such as minding your manners in public forums, etc.
STEP TWO:  Once you’re signed up, log in and click on Dashboard.

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From here, you need to “launch your novel” before the start date – 1 November.  Don’t worry about what you call it when you “launch” – it’s only a placeholder and you can change the name and what it’s about at any time.  In fact, it will change, as you’re writing, but you’ve got to start somewhere!
STEP THREE:  Decide “how” you’re going to write.  You don’t write your novel on the NaNoWriMo site.  In fact, you don’t give them any words until you’ve got 50,000 of them.  Then, you log them in so that they can verify you’ve hit your target.  (Don’t worry about this yet.  We’ll talk about this step in a later post.)  But, in order to post your words when you finish, they need to be written, whether in MS Word or some form of writing software, such as Scrivener (Mac or not) or Ulysees (Mac only).  (For NaNoWriMo, both forms of software are free to use – as a trial form, so there are a few limitations as to time and capability – but it’s a good way to see if you like them.)  Want to know more about this software?  Drop a comment below and we’ll write some posts about them – or schedule a workshop.
STEP FOUR:  What next?  Get ready for the big launch day – 1 November.  But wait – don’t write anything yet!  You can get to grips with the software, make a writing schedule, or begin to plan your story or characters or think about what you’d like to write about – but no writing.  Not until the month begins.  So… are you ready?

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