NaNo Rebel Guide + Tracking Calculator

National Novel Writing Month (known as NaNoWriMo) is coming up! In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a challenge to write 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days (during the month of November). Writers from around the world join in and track their progress on the official website,

But what if you’re not currently working on a new novel? Can you still participate? Absolutely! While the official challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days (which equates to 1,667 words/day), you can take on whatever writing challenge you’d like. The spirit of NaNoWriMo is to challenge yourself as a writer and as a person. Take yourself out of your comfort zone! All while being supported by a community of writers to help you bust through any stumbling blocks, and cheer you on as you make daily progress towards your goal.

What is a NaNo Rebel?

Wrimos (aka NaNoWriMo participants) who choose to tackle a different challenge during the month of November are called “NaNo Rebels.” And unlike in every dystopian novel ever, being a “rebel” is actually encouraged!

So what are some goals you could choose as your NaNo Rebel challenge? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Revise 300 pages in 30 days
  • Write 15 beats of your novel’s Save the Cat! Beat Sheet in 30 days
  • Develop 5 new characters in 30 days
  • Brainstorm 6 new story ideas in 30 days
  • Outline 25 chapters in 30 days

The goal should feel challenging, but not impossible!

How to Track Your Progress as a NaNo Rebel

The trick to being a successful NaNo Rebel is figuring out how to track your progress so that you can participate along with the other Wrimos. only allows you to track the progress of your project in word count. But fear not! All you need to do is a little bit of “rebel” math to figure out how to translate your progress into “word count” and you’ll be all set. (And fortunately, I’ve created a handy NaNo Rebel Calculator below, so you don’t even have to do the math!)

As I said, traditional Wrimos need to write 50,000 words in 30 days to “win” NaNoWriMo.

So, as a NaNo rebel, let’s say you have a 50-chapter novel that you want to revise in 30 days. With a little math, you can determine how many “words” each chapter revision is “worth.”

So you’d divide the traditional target of 50,000 words by your own target of 50 chapters to get 1,000. Which means each chapter you revise is the equivalent of writing 1,000 words. Every time you revise a chapter, you get to add 1,000 words to your NaNo tracker on So, if you revise 2 chapters a day for 30 days, (1000 x 2 x 30), you’ll have 50,000 “words” and a completed revision! Fun, right!?

The NaNo Rebel Calculator

To help you figure out your NaNo Rebel “words” and what you need to do to achieve your goal, I’ve put together this handy calculator. Just complete the sentence below and click Calculate to see your daily average needed to hit your goal, and how to translate your progress into NaNoWroMo words.


My goal is to revise 300 pages in 30 days.

My goal is to outline 20 scenes in 30 days.

My goal is to write 15 blog posts in 30 days.


My goal is to in 30 days.

To meet your goal, you need to .

For each


So whether you’re writing, revising, brainstorming, or outlining, you can participate in NaNoWriMo this November. Be sure to sign up at and announce your project!

My online writing school, the Writing Mastery Academy, is a proud sponsor of NaNoWriMo 2021.




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