Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Novel Writing Month

Ahhh, fall! Football, cooler temperatures, World Series, fairs and festivals, Halloween, Thanksgiving and NaNoWriMo. What?! YES! It is NaNoWriMo time of year! National Novel Writing Month is the time when writers will lock themselves into their writing spaces and for one month, November 1st to November 30th, and attempt to write a novel of 50,000 words or more emerging only for a brief period to gnaw on a turkey leg and say hello to Uncle Joe and Aunt Fanny.

This is a great opportunity for writers to practice writing. It's like practicing scales in music. NaNoWriMo is not about proofreading or editing. It is not about using a dictionary or thesaurus. It is just writing. What you get, if you finish, is a rough, very rough, 1st draft. And in theory it is realistic to meet. After all, 50,000 words is only 1667 words per day.

The website for more information and lots of goodies is You will see a whole list of published novels that sprang from this. Water for Elephants is one that comes to mind. Also, the rules are listed there but as a synopsis I borrowed this bullet list from Christine Powell Gomez on the Write Now Facebook page (a great group of writers and very supportive). Here is Christine's list:

•Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
•Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
•Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
•Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
•Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
•Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.

You have 14 days to go buy you candy for Halloween, plan your menu for Thanksgiving, and get your outline and character sketches done!

I participated last year and have 30,000 words into an untitled novel that I will continue to work on until it is finished. This year I'm focused on completing Murder at the Primrose Inn so I will not be participating. However, for those of you who need encouragement, a cheering squad, a butt kicker, I'm here for you! Good luck!

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