Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What is NaNoWrimo?

The wind has a bite to it now. People have been walking around in costumes for the past week. Readings of Edgar Allen Poe and other frightening stories lend the air a scent of mystery.

But, more importantly for (many) writers, there's something special that happens after Halloween. Because October 31st is followed by November 1st.

Duh. Of course--no month has 32 days and November follows October. What's so special about that?

Halloween at midnight sees a special transformation in many writers. We turn from our normal selves into caffeinated, word-warring participants in National Novel Writing Month, affectionately abbreviated as NaNoWriMo or NaNo.
Essentially, the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the scant 30 days of November. (That's a scant 720 hours, if you're wondering).

Why would anyone do this?

It's the perfect time to shove your inner editor into her office, broom closet, or personal yacht. There are literally thousands of writers across the world writing in this insane event, developing a certain level of camaraderie And it's a way to crank out a nice rough draft.

Granted, symptoms may also include talking to characters, caffeine overdose, editing withdrawal, and the occasional sleepless night, but I've written some terribly ugly really nice first drafts that I later edited into some novels I'm working on turning into something that might one day be worthy of publication.

This year, my college program is really demanding, so I won't be shooting for 50,000 words. (School is my priority right now). But, I'm shooting for 30,000. Hopefully, I'll be able to get a nice little word count widget going on one of the side columns.

Have any of you participated in NaNoWriMo? What are your goals for this year?


  1. I've never participated in NaNoWriMo before, but this year I decided to take the plunge. Like you, though, I'm not expecting to complete the entire 50,000; for my first attempt at this great insanity, I'm setting my personal goal at 25,000.

    Happy writing!

    1. Nice! NaNo is a lot of fun, but it can be stressful. It sort of sucks you in, though and you just can't beat the atmosphere. I'm already flirting with the idea of trying for the full 50,000. If you ever want a word war buddy, let me know! Thanks for the comment!


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