Ever thought about writing a novel but didn’t know where to start? Well, now is your chance to begin fast! November is National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo). The challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel by the end of November.
Yes, 50,000 words is a lot in just one month, and it isn’t even quite a full novel. But this is a tremendous start and the challenge will keep you motivated to reach the final goal. There will be thousands of others from all over the world who will participate right along with you. Some are serious, experienced writers who will keep working on their novels and try to sell it. Others are beginning writers who just want to gain some experience. Participants organize kick off parties, write-ins, and other events wherever they are. Check out if they have a group in your area.
Write your novel. No one needs to read your work at this stage. With only 30 days to complete the challenge, there’s no room for writer’s block. You have to think fast and keep the ideas flowing. Sure, writing 1,667 words each day sounds daunting for some. This can be done in an hour or two if you don’t worry about the writing and just tell the story. Keep writing and you’ll get this first draft down! Then you’ll have plenty to work with at the end, and the editing process can begin.
I’ve participated in this three times (I finished twice!) and I’m always itching to do it every year. After my first Nanowrimo novel, I felt so much stronger as a writer. I knew the novel was bad, but I also knew I could improve it if I wanted to. I had this immense draft written, so I had something to edit.
To get started, begin writing an outline. Make it as simple or detailed as you want. Kristen Lamb wrote an informative post on structure that you may find helpful. Jamie Todd Rubin also wrote Five Tips for a Successful Nanowrimo that is a must read! Jamie mentions a program called Scrivener. I used it last year and highly recommend it. Download a free trial. (Last year they gave a discount to those who finished Nanowrimo!)
Will you participate in Nanowrimo this year? Are you working on another big writing project?
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