It’s almost the middle of October (I know, what?!) which means that soon November will be upon us and with it the insanity of writers the globe over attempting to write a 50 thousand word novel in a month. It’s fun, crazy, and more than just a little stressful, but National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) can be a great way to kick start a new project.
Attempting Elizabeth was actually a NaNoWriMo novel and though it went through lots of revisions after the month ended, there was a lot of great stuff written during November of 2011. There’s really something to be said for writing as much as you can and checking your editing brain at the door. I didn’t get to fully participate last year because I was finishing up AE and working on Atone at the same time so my writing schedule was off, but this year I’m already signed up and logged into the NaNoWriMo forms and my fingers are itching to get started.
So what exactly does participating in NaNoWriMo entail?
Writing. A LOT. 50k words in 30 days breaks down to about 1667 words a day. If you’re not a “write every day” type of writer and you want to try to be, this is a great opportunity. Or if you’re like me and have come to the realization you are just NOT an every day writer NaNoWriMo word count goals can make for some awesome huge sprint writing type days (I usually write about 4 days a week during the month).
Starting a new project. This doesn’t mean you can’t have done any prep. If you’re a planner than you can use the remaining time before November to plan the crap outta your novel so that when you sit down to write you’re breezing through those daily word count goals like they’re nothing. If you’re a pantser (me!) it gets a little more…exciting. I’ve done some basic novel prep for the project I’m working on. So far I have: title (I’ve had that for two years so, yay me), extremely basic plot idea (like so basic that it’s quite frankly scary), and a decision to make between to possible heroes. November is gonna be fun, ya’ll.
What do you need to do to join in?
Just head on over to the NaNoWriMo site and sign up. They have a really awesome word count tracker (that I wish was available all the time ’cause it’s cool), you can hang around the forums and talk to other novelists, and even find local groups that do meet ups, etc. NONE OF THESE ARE REQUIRED. The most basic thing is to sign up, write 50k, then validate your word count at the end of the month and BOOM! You’re a NaNoWriMo winner! You can look in the mirror at your dark under eye circles and haggard appearance and proclaim, “Dammit, I wrote a novel in a month! A whole novel! In a month! Suck it, World!”…or something less angsty and dramatic.
And you can get cool little web badges to show that you’re a participant and later a winner (’cause I know you all will win!). This year the theme is all video game and very Wreck-It Ralph and makes me want to crank up Owl City and rock out as I start writing!
So what do you say, novelists? Are you going to join me in NaNoWriMo this year? If you are make sure to add me as a “buddy!”