October 29, 2007

Novel November

November is, among other things, National Novel Writing Month. A non profit writing organization, NaNoWriMo, sponsors a group writing activity – the goal of participants is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. It’s feasible! In 2006, 79,000 people signed up, and 13,000 actually met their 50,000 word goal.

How does it work? Participants sign up on the website, and then they write. A lot. They need to average 1,667 words a day to succeed. They self-report their word count on the website. At the end of the month, they submit a copy of their text through a scrambling filter for word count verification. The submitted text is not read or retained – just counted and discarded. Verified authors “win” – and get a certificate and an icon for their website.

While authors can do prep work, like outlining and research, prior to November, the window for actual writing is Nov 1-30 and starting before that is cheating. If an author’s novel ends up being longer than 50,000 words, the initial 50,000 count as their NaNo entry, but authors can sure keep writing past Nov 30.

Why do people do it? Some want to jump-start their writing career with a focused writing stint. Others feel the deadline pressure makes them more productive. More specifically, many feel the insane deadline keeps them focused on productivity, rather than perfect drafts and constant self-editing. A few feel that the month’s constraints and rapid writing pace actually triggers creativity. Adapted from: Jeri's Blog


Jeri said...

I'm not sure whether I can reach 50K words - but it'll be fun trying!

Good luck with your writing efforts!

Loy said...

@Jeri - Thanks for your comment! It really sounds fun and crazy at the same time:-) I could go crazy just with the thoughts of it...