Two Thursdays from now is November 1st, meaning Nanowrimo is less than two weeks away. Aah! For those who don’t know, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel (really more of a novella) during the thirty days of November. That’s 1667 words a day or approximately six double spaced pages. If you hit 50,000 words by the end of the month, you win! Your prize: the right to say “I’ve written a novel”.
I know it sounds daunting – 1600 words a day? Are you nuts? Well, yes, some of us are a little nuts when November rolls around. But you can be nuts too. What about that idea you’ve had burning a hole in the back of your head for year? Maybe it’s about time you go it on paper. Even if you have no idea what to write about, you’ve just always wanted to write a book, this is a great opportunity to get started.
And you won’t be alone. With over 300,000 writers participating around the world, you have a great support network and a community to cheer you on. You can check out nano activity in your region and join other local wrimos for write-ins. Once or twice a week you’ll get pep talks from other writers and published authors.
If you’re still in school and 50,000 words really is too much, there’s the Young Writers Program designed specifically for kids who want to write a book. They can participate individually or with their class and they set their own word count goals.
Thinking about jumping on the band wagon? Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Get in the habit of writing every day now. You’ve still got a little less than two weeks. If you get used to writing just a few paragraphs a day, it’ll make those 1600 words seem a lot less daunting come November.
- You can’t start writing the book until Nov 1st, but you can do as much planning as you like. You can jot down ideas, figure out major plot points, you can have the whole story outlined in color-coded marker if you want. I’m a pantser (I write by the seat of my pants). I go into Nanowrimo with very little structure. But even I benefit from doing a little research and getting the big stepping stones figured out before setting pen to paper.
- Don’t edit as you go. The whole point of this is quantity, not quality. You’re trying to see what happens when you just let go. This is going to drive you nuts, guaranteed, but you have to ignore the little voice wailing in your head, otherwise you’ll never hit 50,000.
- You’re going to get stuck. It’s a fact of life. The key is not to panic. Find some tips for writer’s block – here’s a couple to get you started. And if you’re really hurting, there are some tricks of the trade. Like adding something unexpected. How about a flying purple ninja. You can play with your character’s reaction for a couple pages until you get back on track. Who knows maybe the flying purple ninja will end up saving the day.
So, who’s going to join me on this crazy endeavor? If you need a writing buddy, look me up on Nanowrimo’s website. I’m kendramerritt85 and I’d love to see you there. I’m still on a fairytale kick. Last year was Beauty and the Beast. This year it’s going to be The Robber Bridegroom/The Singing Bone. Well? What’s yours going to be about?