It’s Halloween night, and we’ve got both writing tricks and treats for everyone getting ready for the start of National Novel Writing Month 2019 on Friday!

NaNoWriMo, an online project tasking participants with the goal of writing a 50,000-word book during the month of November, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Whether you’ve been partaking in the challenge since its creation in 1999 or 2019 is your first go at NaNoWriMo, writing an entire novel in a month can be hard for anyone, and writing tips from published others can help make it all a bit easier.

If the looming start date for NaNoWriMo 2019 (Nov. 1) has you asking yourself, “How the heck do I write a book in 30 days,” then you’re going to want to check out these tips and tricks that writers shared with International Business Times at New York Comic Con earlier this month about how to prep with a novel outline, bust writer’s block and finish the full first draft.

7 Best Writing Tips From Published Authors:

1. Focus on your own writing, not on everyone else’s.

“Don’t compare yourself to anybody else,” Kasie West, author of “Maybe This Time” and “Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss,” said. “Do it your way. Don’t try to write a book like someone else writes it, write it like you write it.”

Elizabeth Eulberg, the author of “Past Perfect Life” and “The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound,” shared, “[Don’t] compare your first draft to someone else’s final draft. Because, as a writer, your first draft is going to be horrible, imperfect and messy. It’s gonna be trash. But it’s a first draft, and it’s done, and every book that you read, that’s been on a bookshelf, is someone’s 12th or 13th draft. So, just remember that.”

2. Get out of your comfort zone.

“Write the thing that scares you. Write the big, fun idea that you’ve always wanted to write, and just really enjoy it,” Danielle Paige, author of “Mera: Tidebreaker” and “Dorothy Must Die,” said.

3. Remember that any time spent writing is better than no time spent writing.

“Word count stresses me out,” Sarvenaz Tash, writer of “Virtually Yours” and “The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love,” said. “It's more about just writing every day. Even if I write two paragraphs, I still accomplished something. I think it’s more about achievable goals.”

4. Make the most of whatever time you have for writing this month.

“Honestly, when I am struggling, I just put a 10-minute timer on and challenge myself to write as many words as possible because I am competitive, and I am very competitive with myself,” Adam Silvera, author of “They Both Die at the End” and “Infinity Son,” said. “Whatever gets me to just put words on the page [means I have] something I can fix later, or completely scrap, but, nonetheless, I have momentum I’m working off of.”

5. Write a lot, read a lot and repeat.

“Write, write, write. Practice, practice, practice,” West suggested. “And read, read, read. Because that’s our study guides for writing. So, if you’re writing rom-coms, read a lot of rom-coms. And I know it’s really hard homework, but you have to read some rom-coms, or watch all the rom-coms.”

6. Keep pushing through, especially when it gets hard.

“Just finish. No matter what it takes. Even if it’s an ugly draft,” Paige said. “You’re gonna feel so much better once you get through the ugly draft. Because then you have this sense of accomplishment. It’s kind of like sense memory, like you know you can finish one thing and then you can write something else.”

7. Outline your book, to some extent, before you start writing the actual novel.

“My tip would definitely be to work on your outline before NaNoWriMo starts, so that way you can go full speed ahead in draft mode once you get to that point,” Sona Charaipotra, author of “Tiny Pretty Things” and “Symptoms of a Heartbreak,” told IBT. “I always work with an outline, and mine’s pretty detailed. So, it helps me do a lot of the thinking on the front-end of things. As opposed to trying to unravel everything as I’m going, which, when you’re fast drafting like NaNoWriMo, it can take a lot longer.”

Examples of How Authors Write Their Book Outlines

West: “I’ll do a very general outline, where I know — I usually know the end, I usually know the climax, I usually know what my characters’ motivations are, and then I kind of go from there.”

Paige: “I believe in an outline. If you at any point —  you have a map, and you can even skip ahead on the map if you’re stuck one day. If you don’t have a map, then you’re just lost. I’II try to do at least one line for every scene to start. And sometimes it helps to do a board, and you can lay them out. That also works for me.”

nanowrimo 2018 dog With these NaNoWriMo tips, you’ll be typing as fast as this dog from the BBC’s children’s program, “Blue Peter.” Photo: John Pratt/Getty Images

Silvera: “I’m an outliner now. But it’s varied across the books. But with the fantasy series, I’ve become a super, super intense outliner. I have a big Scrivener doc that has all the character profiles, world-building details, chapter-by-chapter notes. It is insane.”

Charaipotra: “I think you make the outline not so rigid that you don’t have any breathing room, but you make it specific enough that you’re not floundering. Whether that’s one line per chapter for you or whether that’s two paragraphs per chapter, that depends on you. But whatever works. And figure out what works in advance.”

Tricks to Beat Writer’​s Block and Get Motivated to Finish the First Draft:

West: “Give yourself permission to suck. Especially in that first draft. When I have to motivate myself, if I’m stuck, it’s usually because I’m putting too much pressure on my first draft. I want my first draft to be my last draft. And it never is. So, I have to tell myself to just put crap on the page. Just put crap on the page. And it usually works. I get through it and then go back and fix it, of course.”

Paige: “I take long walks. I call friends. I really believe in phone-a-friend. If you are hitting a wall, and you just sit and talk to someone else about what is wrong, you might figure it out yourself or the actual other person might have good advice for you.”

Tash: “I just think, ‘Okay, I can write a scene. I can write the next chapter.’ I think it’s just about staying focused. I’m also an outliner, and, to me, that’s when I zoom out and see the whole story. And once it’s outlined, I can zoom in and be like, ‘I’m just gonna write the next scene.’ If I get too lost, I’ll stop writing because I’m just like, ‘Ugh, this is too hard.’ But if I’ve outlined it, I’m like, ‘All right, I’ll slog through this scene, I know what comes next, I’ll just slog through that scene.’ And, then, eventually, you pick it back up and you always go back and fix the middle where I’m like, ‘I don’t know about all this.’”

NaNoWriMo 2019 starts on Friday and runs through the end of November. Those interested in participating can sign up on the non-profit’s website.