Nanowrimo season is upon us! Yay! (Or are you past all the excitement that comes with it by now haha? Don’t worry I’ve been there!)
Last year, starting at 12 a.m. on November 1st, thousands of writers across the world started a challenge only few can complete—writing a novel in 30 days. And I was one of them.
But what the heck is NaNoWriMo? During the month of November, professional and amateur writers from all over the world participate in this project of writing a novel. This not only encourages, supports, and pushes writers to write more, but it creates a fun, connected community online. The main goal is to create, and that can be anything and everything imaginable. It’s not so much about the quality as the quantity, even if that sounds weird. 50,000 words, the minimum for a novel, is the challenge to overcome in just thirty days. It’s a way to get the words on the page, which the author can come back later to fully edit.
So how exactly are you supposed to write a novel in a month? At about 1700 words a day, this has and can be done. Do not fret, it may not be easy, but it is worth it.
Anyone. Anywhere. This online community takes all ages, genders, races, languages, and types of writers.
A novel writing project. An online family full of ideas, tips and advice on how to keep your plot going, your words flowing, and pages turning. Exactly 1,667 words per day to add to a total of at least 50,000 words (about the length of “The Great Gatsby”).
Starting on November 1 at 12:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on November 30.
You first need to register on the project’s website where writers can create profiles, talk about their novels, and where the novel word count will be validated. From there, the writing is wherever you want it to be.
The question should be “Why not?” Although there are no major prizes, the satisfaction is in finishing itself. This is a personal win for each writer as they reach their goal of 50,000 words, which could be just the start of or the end of a novel! Its a great way to stay writing, stay focused, and stay happy while doing it. It tests writer’s block, dead ends, and is a creative outlet from everything else that may be going on in the hectic, crazy lives of writers.
However it is chosen to be done is up to each individual. As long as the 50,000 word count starts after 12:00 am on November 1, it is okay. There can’t be previously written words, sentences, or chapters included in this, as it is not done in the 30-day time limit. There are notes and planning allowed to be used through this process though. After getting signed up on the website, the rest is left to you.
To all types of writers (or non-writers), here’s a chance to get involved in something bigger than yourself. This is an empowering opportunity to gain knowledge about writing, writers, and what kind of writer you are. Through this process, you can learn things about styles, technique, and maybe what you have to offer to the writing world. NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, will be a bit of a challenge. But it’s the challenge that makes it great. It can be about anything at all, and that literally leaves no boundaries. So if you have the best idea, no idea, or a crazy idea for a novel: get ready to type!
A few tips and tricks I learned along the way:
- Since you might not always have a computer on you, you can type away on the “Notes” app on your phone or write in a notebook (when you’re supposed to be taking notes during class).
- Don’t let yourself fall behind—the sooner you let yourself go, the sooner you are to increasing your chances of not finishing.
- If you don’t know where your story is going, have a chapter about a characters background or insight into the history of your plot.
- Its supposed to be fun—don’t get stressed out! Although there are challenges along the way, its only you against yourself. Take a break if you need it.
- If you are experiencing writers block, step away for a few minutes, read a book, watch a T.V. show, brainstorm possible plot twists or endings instead, or anything to get your mind off of not knowing what to write.
- Prepare an outline of your story before Nanowrimo starts. That will always give you something to write about, while also being able to add or subtract certain parts as you go.
- Sometimes its easier to start in the middle of the story, finish it, and return to the beginning at the end, keep that in mind if you feel stuck or lost while writing your novel.
- Don’t forget to update your online word count so you are getting credit for how much you are actually writing. (And save your novel multiple times when you are finished for the day!)
My personal experience with Nanowrimo was absolutely amazing! Although there were nights of struggling to even put words on the page, I am so excited to start yet another novel this November and practice my writing skills!
Best of luck and happy writing!