What is NaNoWriMo?

It sounds like something Mork from Ork would say. No, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/dashboard) and is a fun approach to novel-writing. It begins this Thursday, November 1, and for the next 30 days, until the end of the month, the goal is to write a 50,000 word (about 175 pages) novel. Daunting? Maybe, but the idea is to write. Just get it out of your head and on paper, or your computer screen. Edit later.

The reason NaNoWriMo is attractive to me is that I’m a seat-of-your-pants kind of writer. I get these ideas for stories and create characters, then I sit down and write a story. Some people spend a long time plotting and outlining. Perhaps I should, but I don’t. Yes, it means a lot of revising and editing, and sometimes, the story takes a wrong direction. For this project, I am plotting, just so I can keep some control (maybe!). And, I have a tendency to edit as I write; working on trying not to do that. NaNoWriMo will make me just write it all out.

According to the NaNoWriMo website, there are about 300,000 writers who take part in this event. Not everyone will finish (last year I really wanted to do this, but I’d already begun writing CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST and didn’t want to start something new). This year, I was hoping to finish up my current work-in-progress so I can begin writing the sequel to CFB. As it’s Tuesday, I can see I’m not going to finish THE REUNION (still a tentative title), but that’s okay. It probably needs a little breather. I’ll head back to it in December.

I’ve already connected with some of my writer pals, and we’ll give each other support and encouragement as we navigate our way through what is already a very busy month. If you’re participating and want to connect with me, I’m up there as Martha Reynolds.

So, 50,000 words in 30 days? Can I do it? How about you? Do you have a novel inside you, one you’ve always wanted to write? Then join me in the madness! In 2011, NaNoWriMo had 256,618 participants and 36,843 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline (11/30/2011), entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists. Whether you make it or not, getting there can be just the push you’ve always needed. I’m ready!

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2 thoughts on “What is NaNoWriMo?

  1. I will be there in NaNoland – writing flat out as my muse shouts at me! I’m also a free writer and find my last two NaNo novels did go in completely different directions to what I thought they would be…not to worry that is the excitement of this challenge. Good luck to you and add me MandyB

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