Have you ever dreamed of writing your own novel but never really found the time or motivation to do it? If the answer to this question is yes, you should consider participating in NaNoWriMo, which is about to kick off again, and it is the best excuse in the world to sit down and write a novel!
While some of you might be acquainted with the phenomenon already, others may be wondering what the Dickens NaNoWriMo stands for and what it is. So read on to learn about the event and how you can participate!
What is NaNoWriMo?
National Novel Writing Month has been around since 1999 and today it is a non-profit organization whose mission statement reads:
National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page. – nanowrimo.org
National Novel Writing Month is simply put a competition where you challenge yourself. On the 1st of November participants begin working towards achieving a 50,000 word novel by the 30th of November. It’s free and open to participants from all over the world. In 2016, 384 126 participants joined in on the challenge and at the end of the experience, many of them walked away with the complete first draft of their very own novel. Anyone who reaches the 50,000 word count is named a NaNoWriMo winner.
According to nanowrimo.org, hundreds of novels have been traditionally published as a direct result of NaNoWriMo. Among such novels are Wool by Hugh Howey, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.
Each year participants are also offered mentorships by published authors through special pep talks along with local groups and libraries setting up writing workshops and YouTubers posting videos on how to prepare for the event.
How can I participate?
To be a part of NaNoWriMo all you need is a good story idea and a wish to let your voice be heard. To officially sign up, just visit www.nanowrimo.org and create an account. Once you sign up you can plan your novel, plot in your word count progress, receive online encouragement from the staff and published authors, access a community of writers like yourself and find local groups and activities you can join or attend during November.
To hit the 50,000 word count, you will also have to be a bit strategic about your writing process. To complete the challenge in time you will have to write approximately 1667 words per day, which equates to writing around 5 pages per day. It’s not easy, but with some determination and some planning ahead of time, it is not impossible. Something that is also important to note is that finishing a NaNo-novel is not about creating literary gold. Your draft is not supposed to be perfect, you are just supposed to finish a story as quickly as possible. You can always edit later, once you have a complete draft in front of you. It can be hard to stay away from that backspace button, but the best advice is to forget it exists.
Another piece of advice, should you choose to take on the challenge, is to map out your basic plot and maybe write some character biographies in advance. It might make it easier to keep track of things as you go. However, there is no right or wrong way to write a novel. There are lots of writers out there who simply sit down and write by the seat of their pants, making it all up as they go, while others do a little bit of column “a” and a little bit of column “b”. The important thing is to find a writing style that suits you and keeps it fun for you. We are all different and as a result our stories and our voices will be different too, which is a good thing!
The Nerd Daily and NaNoWriMo
As this article is being written I am planning on participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. I will be livestreaming writing workshops twice a week throughout the month of November, and posting about it here on The Nerd Daily once a week. So, if you want to join in on the fun, talk about your projects or just listen to where I am in my own project be sure to tune in. For more information, you can watch the video below.
Have you ever participated in NaNoWrimo before? Did you win? Will you be doing it again? Leave a reply in the comment section, we would love to hear about it!