November is National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo) … thirty days and thirty nights of literary abandon. The idea is to finish a 50,000 word manuscript in a month, or to at least write the first 50,000 words of a longer novel. I have signed up this year, as coincidentally I’m beginning my new novel in November, but I do feel like a bit of a fraud. My expectation isn’t to finish the manuscript by December, but I do intend to give it a big kick start. It’s all about fun and motivation.
Writers wishing to participate first register on the project’s website, where they can post profiles and information about their novels, including synopses and excerpts. This annual novel writing project brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write 50,000 words (approximately 175-page) by 11:59:59 PM on November 30th. Because of the limited writing window, the main thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world others are agonising over their novels and pounding away on their computers too. In 2011, there were 256,618 participants and 36,843 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline. Due to family commitments, I won’t actually be starting until November 6th, which puts me a bit behind the eight ball right from the start. Still, I’ll be interested to see if the peer group pressure aspect of the project, spurs me on.
Anybody else signed up for NaNoWriMo? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Now, off to make a profile …