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New Year, New Chapters, New Novel in 365 Days: Novel Writing Challenge 2017

Welcome to 2017! This is a new year for resolutions, clean slates, and fresh journals, which leads us to the 365-day novel writing challenge.

This challenge was inspired by a quote I came across on Facebook, by Brad Paisley. I’m certain what he said was not meant to be taken literally but I figured, hey, why not?

Tomorrow is the first blank page of 365 page book.Write a good one. ~Brad Paisley

When I read the quote, I thought, what would it really take to write a book in 365 days besides sitting down and writing one?

Then I saw another shareable moment that read:

12 new chapters. 365 new chances.~Unknown

Within the span of twenty minutes this challenge was born, one that I am giving to myself and offering to you as well.


A novel (Young Adult, New Adult, General Adult) will contain roughly 50,000 for YA, 70,000 to 90,000 words for Adult, depending on the genre. Genres like thrillers and science fiction run around 90,000 to 120,000 words, while middle-grade manuscripts require a lesser tome of roughly 20,000.

To get a bit more information about word count you can check out the blog, “Ask the Agent” by clicking the link.

Putting things down to daily requirements for word count within the 365-day challenge, here it goes:

  • 20k Novel: 54 words PER DAY
  • 50k Novel: 137 words PER DAY
  • 70k-90k Novel: 192 to 245 words PER DAY
  • 90k-120k Novel: 245 to 329 words PER DAY

Not very many words, huh? But this is a challenge after all, and I want to give you a little something to work with.

First, let me give you the rules or guidelines.


  1. Choose a Genre and Demographic you’d like to write your novel for.
  2. Decide which bracket of word count you are in.
  3. THE RANDOM WORD OF THE DAY-Using a word each day chosen from the random. word list, fulfill your word count requirement by weaving the direction of your narrative around the given word. ( A list of words is at the bottom of this post. You can also do a Google search for random word engines and create your own list of 365 words.)
  4.  How to create Chapters: 52 chapters or 12 chapters in all:
    • EXAMPLE for a book with 80k words-  You will have roughly 1,600 words a week, the length of a chapter. Create 52 chapters (one for each week)
  5. Write for 365 days!

And that is it in a nutshell..mostly. This challenge is about having fun but there are going to be days this year where you just don’t have even five minutes to set aside for fun. Life does happen. Here are some things to keep in mind should you decide to take this challenge:

  • For days that you can’t write, double up on the days that you can. Grab the words assigned for the given day and write.
  • Feel free to follow your creativity: If you are feeling like you have more than 250 words for the day, GIVE MORE! Again, double or even triple up your writing goal for the days when the juices are flowing.
  • Have fun!


~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!


    • Thank you very much! Hopefully something great will come from it if you do. If nothing else, you will have embarked on a great journaling practice! Happy New Year!

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  3. Wow, when you take it down to daily word count it does seem quite a lot to write a novel in a year. Luckily I am 1/3 of the way through mine already…

    • Congrats on your current progress! I’ve yet to publish anything on my own but have had the pleasure of completing several manuscripts and also having them beta read. Now is the work of editing and revisions. And truly if you look at this writing challenge as a way of a writing exercise or daily warm up, the word count seems even less daunting. I mean, 200 words a day for 365 days is a tear in a bucket! 🙂 Nice to meet you btw and Happy 2017!

  4. What a lovely challenge. I might write a story now and then. But at the moment the book project is on hold.
    Happy new year!

    • Happy 2017, Solveig! I am glad you like the idea. Writing a novel is a big commitment, as you know. But the 365 word list is there even if you just want to do a bit of free flow writing every now and then. 🙂

  5. This sounds plausible, even better than the NaNoWriMo XD I hope to give it a go, am just crossing my fingers I’ll be able to squeeze it in between journal writing and reading T^T

    • Hello there! I’m glad you found this encouraging in the least! I started the process on day one as I am the best guinea pig, and it has been exciting! I plan to share my first full two chapters this week. I have had days were I’ve had to double up on words because I’ve missed a day or two but that actually helps because some days I write way more than the required 200. I say just dive in there and have fun. You may produce something amazing 😊

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