Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's NaNoWriMo Time!

As a Newbie Writer, I’ve been excited to take part in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. 
NaNoWriMo is an effort to help kickstart writers into concentrating on pure writing for one month, and have a finished novel by the end. It starts November 1st every year and goes till the end of the month. In that time you need to write 50,000 words to be considered a “winner”.  And yes, for those of you doing the math, that’s 1667 words every day for 30 days. Last November (2009), 165,000 people signed up for NaNoWriMo and 30,000 of them completed their projects. That’s about an 18% completion rate and my goal is to be in that 18% this year.
Many people say they want to write a novel, but doing it is a whole other thing. That’s the beauty of NaNoWriMo. They have a unique way of getting you to write.
NaNoWriMo is about putting stuff down on screen (or paper if you’re old-school). It puts sheer word count ahead of good grammar, editing, even spelling. It’s an effort to kick you in the pants and get you motivated to get something done. Some authors find fault with this method, and that’s okay, it’s not for everyone. Some professional authors actually use NaNoWriMo as an excuse to put off their agents, editors, adoring fans and myriad of other things that authors have to deal with, and get their next book written.
The spirit of the month is to write. Stop watching TV. Turn off World of Warcraft. Put down the Apple TV remote. Maybe even lock up the iPad if you’re as bad as I am. 
Get your word count in each day for 30 days and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. There’s even an effort in March of each year to edit the same novel that you wrote in November, giving you a little time away from the novel, as well as a little extra time to finish the rough draft in case you need to pass the 50K mark on your book, which I imagine most people would, since 50,000 words really isn’t a book by today’s standards.
Whatever your motivation, you can do all the prep you want ahead of time, as long as you don’t write any of the actual novel. Some people begin planning out their novels back in August. I was kind of busy back then I so started this last Sunday. I’m currently working on basic outline and character development right now.
Here’s hoping NaNoWriMo goes well for me this year. It’s my first year doing it and I hope I can complete it. I know I have the time, I know I can do it, the hard part is making sure I don’t let other distractions pull me away. Given that we’re currently in the middle of bathroom and master bedroom remodels, work, kids busy with school, gearing up for the holiday season and Thanksgiving coming smack in the middle of the time when I’ll probably be trying to catch up on my NaNoWriMo Novel, it’ll be fun. Why oh why did they have to pick November?

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