NaNoWriMo Chronicles: What is NaNoWriMo?
I’m sure you have many questions.
But I’m going to answer the biggest one for you.
What is NaNoWriMo?
Short answer - National Novel Writing Month NA NO WRI MO
Long answer - NaNoWriMo is a writing movement that is online based. It primarily consists of a group of people who commit to writing a manuscript of 50,000 words or more during the month of November each year. This can also include writer meetups locally, as well as several ‘pep talks’ or inspirational engagements to inspire those looking to complete a NaNoWriMo experience.
The novels created during this time are defined by the authors writing them, and can range from fictional poetry to nonfiction historical works. What you create for the month is up to you. Last year, my work was a fantasy romance called, ‘Among the Sands’. My goal was 90,000 words, which I will get into later this month - it was too lofty a goal for 30 days. While I didn’t manage to hit the 50,000 words required to ‘win’ NaNoWriMo, I did get a good part of my novel started and it has been a work in progress since. You can download the first two working chapters here.
Much like the content of the novel, the prep work can also be decided by the author of the work. There are those who like to spend the month before, known as Preptober, to take notes and prepare ideas about their current piece, and there are those who like to just dive head first into November hoping the momentum of it will carry them through. However you decide you like to prepare, down to the last detail or not at all, is completely up to your own writing style. Keep in mind though, that any prep work you put towards the novel prior to November 1st, does not count in your final work count. I, personally, am a planner. Last year I spent all of October planning the novel I worked on for NaNoWriMo, and this year I’m even pulling in portions of September to augment my planning.
You can find the group at the center of this movement at their organization website, NaNoWriMo.org. There you can enroll and sign up to participate in the more world of NaNoWriMo outside of just sitting in front of your computer and typing up a manuscript. You can find your local connections and meet ups, you can engage in the mid month inspirational works they send out to spur you towards the finish line, and you can list your novel that you are working on, including a synopsis and an excerpt. They also have an archive of articles and exercises to get your thinking in terms of your work before, during and after NaNoWriMo. One of the best part of signing up on the website is when you submit your final work before the end of November and it meets the minimum 50,000 word count, you ‘win’ NaNoWriMo, which makes you eligible for a long list of offers from sponsors that can help you to either improve your manuscript, or work on the next one.
So, now that you know what NaNoWriMo is, I’d like to formally invite you to participate this year! See what you can create in a month, you just might surprise yourself!
Find my current work here.