It’s November. The air is cool and crisp, the christmas decorations are going up, and we know the holidays will soon be upon us. Meanwhile, thousands of people are furiously holed up in cafes, libraries, and their bedrooms pounding away on their laptops and alphasmarts.
November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWiMo–or NaNo for short. This is where writers all over the world strive to write an entire novel in one month! (For NaNo they define a novel as 50,000 words). There’s also a Youth Writing Program for the under 18 set where they can set their own goals, and they have *free* curriculums and kits for classrooms. (Wow, my teachers never did NaNo with us, how fun would that be).
So, you go to the site, sign up, and commit to write 50k in 30 days.
Hardly. That’s 1667 words a day. About 6-7 pages in 12 pt. Times New Roman with 1 inch margins. It’s easier than you think–if you do it every day. There’s even ways to ‘cheat” an NaNo–like avoiding contractions at all costs. But it’s all in good fun. (Really, you can do it, I wrote 67k in September just by doing writing sprints at night, i’m not a full time writer, i have a day job, a hubby, a tot, and lots and lots of laundry.)
If you reach 50k by November 30, you “win” (after being verified by their word counting ‘bots.) You win the prestige of being a NaNo “winner”, the satisfaction of knowing you can do it. The really great NaNo folks also have some cool goodies, you can read about them on the site.
I’m a little behind. I should be at 25k, since we’re 2 weeks in. I’m nearly at 13k (bad Suzi). I also started this past Thursday (very bad Suzi). Oh, did I mention I’m cheating (that’s it, no dessert for you). For NaNo you’re actually supposed to start a brand spanking new novel. I had one all picked out, I even started it (wrote about 3500). Then I realized I made a boo-boo and needed to finish something else. So, I’m taking advantage of all the support and motivation out there to write the 43k I need to finish the book, (besides all the amazing resources on the NaNo site, two RWA chapters that I’m in are doing NaNo things, one’s even giving away a tiara…). Knowing me, it’ll probably be more like 50k, but Iwon’t claim to have “won” even if I reach 50k. But I can still pound away furiously after the tot is in bed, participate in online writing sprints, and commiserate with fellow authors. If I write at least 2500 words, I can do it (so far, four days in, I’m writing around 3k a day.)
So, do you NaNo? What are you working on? How are you doing? Anyone doing Steampunk for NaNo?
It’s not too late. With 2 weeks left you’d have to write a little over 35oo words a day, but that, too, is possible, since you’re only doing it for two weeks.
Keep you the good work everyone — write on!