The Dawn Patrol Crawl

November 17th, 2014

One of the best parts about NaNoWriMo is the community. I’ve been very active on the NaNo forums this year. By challenging myself, I’ve written more this month than any other, since grad school. I’ve also challenged others with this writing crawl, which is designed to help focus your mind. Whether you’re doing this crawl first thing at 6 a.m. or last thing at 2 a.m., hopefully it will help center you. If you’re curious about the title and inspiration, check out this clip from The Jungle Book. Glhf!


  • Hup Two Three Four : Can you hear those elephant feet? Wake up with a quick 100 word sprint.
  • Keep It Up Two Three Four : Great job! Keep it flowing with a 250 word sprint.
  • A Parade! : Lift your arms, stretch your legs and make sure you have plenty of water/coffee/tea. Move a little extra on your way to fill your mug.
  • Oh No, The Dawn Patrol Again : They show up every day, but it’s never at exactly the same time. Go to and get a random number between 100 – 1000. Sprint!
  • Company, Sound Off! : Switch up your playlist. Try something new on Pandora or Spotify. Change the tempo of what you’ve been writing to. If it’s late, try something more chill. If it’s early, pump that bass.
  • Ho, The Aim of Our Patrol : is to write! Challenge yourself to stay focused for an entire 10 minute sprint.
  • Is a Question Rather Droll : Take five deep breaths. On a piece of paper or a new document, write down the main question you think your novel is asking. This can be the theme, plot, character motivation, etc. Don’t think too hard and as soon as you write it down, put the question away. This should be the quickest part of the crawl.
  • For to March and Drill : Take your total word count for this crawl thusfar. Halve it, and sprint to that number.
  • Over Field and Hill : That new playlist not working for you? Feeling a little cramped? Do like the elephants do and reverse. You can change your playlist, jog around the room, pet the dog. Whatever it is, take a moment or two to get silly, get loose. Wake up the last sleepy parts of your mind and body.
  • Is a NaNoWriMo Goal : March through a 15 minute sprint.
  • Halt! : You made it! Colonel Hathi approves. Now that you’ve focused your thoughts, it’s time to update your writing goals for today. Or perhaps you’d like to motivate yourself with a carrot (but beware the stick).


If you continue writing today past this crawl, peak at your Question Rather Droll. Let this guide your writing, let the question permeate every scene.

Hope you enjoyed marching to The Dawn Patrol!

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