To Do: Write a Novel during November

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2006, we had over 79,000 participants. Nearly 13,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, to recap:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.

Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: Sign-ups begin October 1, 2007. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Still confused? Just visit the How NaNoWriMo Works page!

And, here is my User Page on the site. If you participate, link to me as a friend, and let’s keep each other on track!

1 thought on “To Do: Write a Novel during November

  1. I am excited to listen to yr Horatio Hornblower podcast. My mom just told me about my grandfather who is 88 and not doing so well in the nursing home. He was a bookworm and in fact turned me onto fantasy. In recent months he has not read a bit until recently he asked to read Horatio Hornblower from his childhood. His memory of 40+years ago is good. We are getting him those books and he is loving them and we are thrilled to get them for him. Tonight it clicked that that was your podcast, and I can share it with him by helping make sure he hears it. Wishing you lots of luck with your writing this month. I am pleased to have some major artist/creative blocks melting for me, thanks to the Artist’s Way inspiration. YOu are always inspiring with the many creative things you can do like sing in a musical and write poetry and fiction and make music and children’s books, acting, script writing, guitar and drumming and that is just scratching the surface of your talents.
    Shannon at 11/09/2007 09:15:57 pm

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