14 Oct


National Novel Writing Month.

If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard about it. The challenge: write a novel of 50,000 words in one month, November. It’s lead many writers to a month of little sleep, aching fingertips and excessive coffee consumption.

But it has motivated thousands of writers to get started and complete either at 50,000 word novel, or the first 50,000 words of a novel. I know what you’re thinking—50,000 words, kind of low right? F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, a fantastic novel and personal favorite of mine, is roughly about 50,000 words, so, you know, your NaNoWriMo novel could be the next Gatsby.

If you’re thinking of particpating, here’s a few things you should do/know:

  • go to the NaNoWriMo website, and sign up! The sign up is free and is used to verify your novel’s length at the end of the month. That is, by 11:59:59 on November 30th. Starting in 2008, the self-publishing company CreateSpace began working with NaNoWriMo to offer those who do complete the challenge one FREE paperback copy of their novel. ALL BOUND AND EVERYTHING.
  • While on the site, check to see if there’s a group of people particpating in NaNoWriMo in your area. Chance are, there is and if you’re a college student, your school may even have a group of people dedicated to the NaNoWriMo challenge. They’re probably meeting right about now, so find out soon!
  • When you do verify your novel, NaNoWriMo doesn’t keep any record of your book—i.e., it still belongs completely to you!
  • Don’t cheat! Don’t start writing before the month begins: you’re only cheating yourself.
  • However, before the month begins, you can do detailed and extensive note-taking, plotting, character development, etc, etc.
  • NaNoWriMo offers a Laptop Loaner program for people who don’t have regular access to a computer. While there is a $300 deposit fee attached, along with having to pay for shipping, but hey, it is cheaper than buying a computer!

So what do you think? Think you might like to try it? Have you tried in the past? Whether you completed the challenge or not, how was the experience? If you are getting started, and think you might have some work to do beforehand, I suggest you start now. READY…SET…WRITE! (ready…set…unoriginal joke.)


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