With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) approaching, there will be zillions of novelists plotting, creating characters, world-building, and eventually -- writing! They'll have lots of questions, and we have as good a shot at offering them the best answer as any of those, you know, competitive sites. Essentially, this is a great time to recruit new members!

What can you do to help?

  1. As you go about your daily writing (or better yet, prepare for NaNoWriMo), whenever you have questions, no matter how silly, ask them here. You're not the only one having that question. Millions of other people will, too. Ask them even if you think you're going to be able to find the answer yourself... and if you do find the answer, go ahead and answer it yourself.

  2. When answering questions, do everything you can to overkill it. Don't just answer with a hyperlink to some other discussion group somewhere. Write a detailed, step-by-step, ultra-clear explanation -- all the better if you find a way to tie in a diagram, illustrative snippet, or other examples. Help us have the best possible answer to the questions that novelists will face preparing for and during NaNoWriMo.

  3. If a question comes in that is unclear, badly written, badly formatted, or in bad English, edit it into shape. We've always encouraged edits that improve spelling, grammar, and clarity. Make every question into a full sentence.

This is a great opportunity to build up a body of answers to common writing questions that will be super-popular in the coming weeks as the NaNoWriMo universe begins to come to life. Those questions will bring in lots of traffic from search engines, and if Writers.SE has great answers, we stand a chance of attracting some great new users who will add value for years to come.

  • 2
    is there anything we can explicitly sponsor here? We should look into that. Sep 13, 2011 at 2:20
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    @JeffAtwood I'm already working with CHAOS on it :)
    – HedgeMage
    Sep 13, 2011 at 13:06

2 Answers 2


A few other things to consider doing:

  • Link with a high quality back-link to novel related questions. Write a blog post about something in one of our questions linking to it. Tweet about it with appropriate hash tags. Make sure our good questions are seen not just here but on search engines!
  • Participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Let's get a lead on building up a body of questions by you asking your questions now. We've already seen at least one good one this year.
  • Know someone participating in NaNoWriMo? Tell them to bring us their questions now and throughout November.
  • When a new user drops by with a question that isn't quite fit for Writers try to salvage it with friendly comments and questions before closing. This does not mean to tolerate total cruft, but we should help out well-meaning users who show promise to stick around as good contributors.
  • Consider using your edit powers for good to improve others' questions and answers as well as your own so that we have a great reference!

I would also suggest that if you're doing Nano yourself this year, join up with your local writers group and network. Mention the site without flogging it and general try to get the others to at least stop by.

  • 2
    Seekrit: this is essentially the crux of our internal plan for promotion. :D
    – Aarthi
    Sep 16, 2011 at 21:05

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