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Will You Be Participating in NaNoWriMo?

October 28, 2016

NaNoWriMo is a short form for National Novel Writing Month, though in reality, it's turned into a more international thing. 

Basically, you spend the month of November composing an entire novel. The idea is not to achieve perfection, but to give yourself the motivation and support to get lots and lots of words down on paper. After NaNoWriMo is done, you'll have a rough draft you can finally work with.

Since many people say they want to write a book, but never can seem to find the time or motivation, NaNoWriMo fills a unique gap in the writing dream. Knowing a gazillion other people are also going to be staring at the blank screen at the same time as you can make it easier for you. 

I've personally never participated in NaNoWriMo, but I know people who have done so with good success. 

November has 30 days. If you want to write a 50,000 word novel, you'll have to write a minimum of 1666 words each day. I'd suggest shooting for about 1800, which will finish your novel at 54,000 words. You may want to set a higher goal depending on how you write, and what genre you're writing in. I personally tend to write very short form and lack description on my first draft, so my final manuscripts often grow a lot between rough and final drafts. If you tend to be very wordy, you may want to set a higher initial word count since you know you'll be paring out a lot of unnecessary fluff. 

If I understand correctly, you can outline a little ahead of time, but can't actually writing any of the story until midnight on November 1st. Then you are free to write however you want, whether that is direct to the computer, or onto notebook paper, or some other innovative method you may have. 

At the end of the month, hopefully you'll be holding the next great bestseller, but regardless of the success or failure of what you wrote, if you wrote a novel in a month, you are a NaNoWriMo winner. 

So why not give it a shot? I'm still on the fence whether I'm going to or not, because I'm knee deep in a bunch of projects this year and am not ready to start a brand new book right now (I have three partials in the works that I keep flipping back and forth between), but you never know. 

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