It’s that time of year again. NaNoWriMo here we come!
For those of you who do not know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a first draft of your novel that is 50,000 words long by writing 1,667 words a day every day in the month of November. Now we all know that unless you are writing a young adult novel, 50,000 words is a bit short to be considered a full length novel. The reasoning behind that number is that is is considered a high enough word count to be challenging while also being a reachable goal, even for those aspiring writers who have day jobs and families to attend to.
Since the first time that I heard of NaNoWriMo, the idea has intrigued me. It is a challenge to any would be writer to stop making excuses and sit down and write. The website, www.nanowrimo.org offers participants a way of tracking word counts as well as forums for support, ideas, encouragement, and connecting with fellow writers. The rules for the event are simple.
- Register for an account.
- Start writing on November 1
- Post your novel for word count verification and claim your win.
Now to be clear, winning at NaNoWriMo means that you wrote 50,000 words in a month or less. The sense of accomplishment is your prize.
I have considered giving NaNoWriMo a try for the past couple of years. I’ve read several pieces of advice on how to “win” and pretty much they all agree on several points. First of all, you should do all of the prep work in advance of November 1. That means, have at least a rough character sketch written out for each of the main players in your story. Secondly, you should have at least a general outline of your story’s plot to help guide you along in your writing frenzy. Third, and perhaps most important (at least to my thinking) is that you have to turn your internal editor off. Do not try to get the story right, just get it written. Don’t slow down to correct spelling or grammar problems, just keep writing. Write. It sounds so simple, but if you are like me, those little red squiggly lines that word processors place under any errors drive you crazy.
Last year, I had planned to sit down and work out a plan for a story to write during the NaNoWriMo event, but suddenly I realized that it was November 5th and I had nothing ready. So I promised myself that I would be ready for this year’s event. Well, guess what. Yep. Once again we are a couple of days away from November and I have no plan. I have nothing other than a general idea that I want to develop and see if anything good comes of it. Will I try to sit down and write 50,000 words next month? Probably not. But I will sit down and write more than I have in the past few months. That is my promise to myself, and to you, my readers.
What about you? Are you planning to try your hand at writing a novel in November? If so, what preparations have you made to help make the month easier? Do you struggle with getting the words down without allowing your internal editor to take over? Or have you conquered your internal editor? If you have, how did you do it? I truly want to hear from everyone on this.