Prepping for NaNoWriMo with Juliana Brandt

Prepping isn’t just for end times, it’s for writers hoping to successfully write 50k words of a novel during the month of November! Join Juliana Brandt for a 4-week class preparing for NaNoWriMo.

Your Instructor: Author, editor, and writing coach Juliana Brandt

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 16 students

Price: $325

Class Description

Preparing for NaNo…
…and setting yourself up for success.

NaNo’s stated goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel over the month of November. Whatever your personal goals are for NaNo, I’m sure your goal isn’t to quit halfway through the month. So, what can you do before the month of November to help ensure your own success in finishing writing all 50k of those words?

The goal of this class is to help you craft a solid foundation that will provide you with a safety net to fall back on and refer to as you’re drafting. This will help you avoid is the dreaded moment when you look at the blank page and think “What am I supposed to write now?” Together, we’ll create a resource for your manuscript that will include your major story questions, themes, character arc, and plot points: all the elements that keep story tied tightly together. This loose framework will help provide guidance, especially if you go off track when you’re actually drafting.

For this class, it’s suggested you come prepared with a basic concept for your NaNo manuscript—we’ll flesh out the rest together! Each week will include handouts, a short lecture, suggested readings, and writing assignments (including easy-peasy fill-in-the-blank homework sheets that you’ll be able to refer to while NaNoing). You’ll have the chance to engage in discussions with me and your peers.


Juliana Brandt has successfully written nearly all of her novels (published and unpublished) in a month, NaNoing in all months of the year. As a freelance editor and a volunteer mentor for the PitchWars community, she has worked with a variety of manuscripts across genres and age groups.

What This Class Covers

Week 1: THEME

One of the most powerful tools in a writer’s toolkit is the element of theme. Here, we’ll identify the main story questions you want your manuscript to address, and we’ll take a look at how these themes will influence other elements in your writing.


What happens in your story should be influenced by who a character is. Often, when we’re stuck in knowing what should happen in plot, it’s because we haven’t let the characters take enough of the reigns. This week, we’ll create a strong character arc that will help guide what happens in plot and the decisions your character will make in the story.

Week 3: PLOT

NaNo is directed by word count, so this week, we’ll learn how to plot and write by word count. We’ll focus on the major plot points of your story, mor when substantial events need to occur. We’ll create a gentle plot outline that you will use throughout November. If you’re a writer who likes pantsing more than plotting, this outline will purposefully allow space for you to go off script.


In our last week together, we’ll look at the overarching story you’ve developed over the last weeks. We’ll also look at tips and tricks for creating healthy writing habits that will last throughout the entire month of November. Your success for NaNo hinges on your ability to actually…write! Here, we’ll take a look at several author’s strategies for NaNo and see what resonates for you.

Goals Of This Class

  • Develop an understanding of the foundations of manuscript construction
  • Learn how to utilize theme, character arc, and plotting to best serve your ability to write
  • Understand how to draft and plot by word count
  • Identify strategies for your own successful writing
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