We’re a couple of weeks away from November of 2019. And that means it’s just a handful of days until this year’s NaNoWriMo.
For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, writers from all over the world converge at NaNoWriMo.org, through the NaNoWriMo hashtags and groups on Twitter and Facebook, and in person at community events. NaNoWriMo presents a straightforward but daunting challenge — write a 50,000 word novel entirely in the month of November. It’s a battle cry for the author who needs a deadline, a goalpost. It also puts a huge group of other writers in the trenches with you, doing the work, and a cheering section of friends, family, and other creators.
The point of NaNoWriMo isn’t to have a perfectly polished, gleaming gem of a novel done in a month. It’s about the messy work of the first draft, about creating forward momentum, just getting through the word count every day, filling that word processor screen with story. You can edit and polish it later. For now, the guideline is 1,667 words per day towards that 50,000 word goal.
50,000 words is, of course, a pretty short novel. Your finished book may run much longer than that. But 50K is the number needed to “WIN” NaNoWriMo. And it is mighty accomplishment indeed.
NaNoWriMo.org presents a number of tools to help you track your daily progress, gain support from the community, and meet other writers. If you need some help lighting that fire that keeps you motivated, you’ll find plenty on their website.
I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, too. I’ve tried to win without success a couple of times previously, but I’m excited to get going on November 1st. I have a few thoughts to share on the experience but, first, I’m including a (rebroadcast) conversation with NaNoWriMo executive director Grant Faulker.
My interview with Grant is from a couple of years ago, but I think it provides an excellent overview of the NaNo experience, and how to get the most out of it. Grant’s got some useful tips for avoiding burnout, using your time wisely, catching up when you fall behind, and more. I think you’ll find the discussion valuable, even if you’re not actively joining the NaNo movement this time around.
Stick around after this discussion for my own thoughts on NaNo, how I’m tackling it this year, and some fun things Fictitious will be doing to hype the NaNo community in November.
Author Madeleine Roux talks about her creative process for the deep space science fiction thriller SALVAGED (Ace Books), her transformation into an outliner, and the surprising classic story her new […]
The Fictitious Podcast, hosted & produced by Adron Buske, delves into the craft of Science Fiction and Fantasy storytelling through interviews with authors and other writers, creators, and publishing professionals.