NaNoWriMo 2014

Posted by Akira | Posted in Author Platform, Competition, General Writing, Writing Projects | Posted on 29-09-2014

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Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

It’s almost time again, readers!

NaNoWriMo  is an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place every November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and 30. Despite its name, it accepts entries from around the world. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing, no matter how bad the writing is, through the end of a first draft. The idea is that many people are scared to start writing because it won’t be any good, and if there’s a time to celebrate length, rather than quality, more people will write an entire first draft, which they can then proceed to edit if they wish.

November is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month!

Posted by Akira | Posted in General Writing, Writing Projects | Posted on 04-11-2013

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Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo is an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place every November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and 30. Despite its name, it accepts entries from around the world. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing, no matter how bad the writing is, through the end of a first draft. The idea is that many people are scared to start writing because it won’t be any good, and if there’s a time to celebrate length, rather than quality, more people will write an entire first draft, which they can then proceed to edit if they wish.

Sometimes, the hardest part about writing any length of work is getting started. You may have the inspiration, you may even have the plot, but getting the words to paper can seem a daunting task when the page is blank. This is a great opportunity to write without fretting about the quality. You can always edit to your hearts content after the first draft is done. But if you never start writing, you have nothing to edit. Plus it’s fun! It’s a great way to set daily or weekly word count goals for yourself, knowing that you have a deadline approaching. Seeing if you can beat your daily best can be challenging, and finishing the project by deadline is very rewarding.

Sign up for the NaNoWriMo website with that big, blue “Sign Up!” button on the homepage. You’ll get an email validation link a few minutes later. As part of the sign-up process, you’ll choose a home region for in-person events near you. This is optional, but it could be a very awesome part of the NaNo experience. This is an opportunity to meet people in your area with the same goals as you. You could finally start that critiquing or writing group you’ve always wanted or needed.

There is a user dashboard that will usher you through the rest of your account set-up. Click on the grayed-out badges to fill out your profile, say hello in our forums, and add writing buddies. The 2013 contest went live midnight on November 1, but it’s not too late to start writing. Work on your manuscript using any method where you can track your word count. Update your word count whenever you can. I would try to make it the same time everyday or every week, just to make it a habit so that it becomes second nature. Starting on November 25, you can validate your novel to win. If it’s over 50,000 words, paste the text into the word-count validator. From there, you’ll be able to collect a few prime novelist goodies. Winners of NaNoWriMo get the satisfaction of knowing they completed a novel-length work, and bragging rights. It’s tough to get 50,000 words down in 30 days.

NaNoWriMo has lots of tools and resources to assist you through the contest. You can stay motivated with pep talks, forum participation, and in-person events in your region. NaNoWriMo also has a large social media presence. They can be found on Facebook , Twitter , and Pinterest .

At present count, over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been published, both in the United States and abroad. They include: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen,published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which spent time in the The New York Times Best Seller list, published by Doubleday; BreakupBabe by Rebecca Agiewich, published by Ballantine Books; Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, published by Tor Books; and many others.

Putting pen to paper can be intimidating, but the rewards of completing a first draft can range from the satisfaction of completing a project to the possibility of getting that project published. NaNoWriMo can help get started!