NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) starts today. Every November, hundreds of thousands of writers—professionals, hobbyists, dreamers—take to their keyboards to pound out at least 50,000 words in one month.
You can read all the details, including FAQ, on the NaNoWriMo official website. There you can sign up, and once you do, you’ll be able to track your progress, connect with fellow NaNos, and give and get support.
I participated one year and was able to finish a rough draft of a sequel to one of my middle grade stories. The key phrase here is “rough draft.”
The idea of NaNoWriMo is to just get the words written. Of course, you have to start out with a premise for your novel. Some people prepare an outline ahead of time. But if you’ve had an idea bouncing around in your head for a while, now’s your chance to get it out. Let the words stream across the page. Write, write, write. Perfection is not your goal. You can worry about revising later.
I admit, it’s difficult for me to “just write.” I tend to edit as I go, and NaNoWriMo was a good incentive for me to break away from that habit. It went so against my nature to write virtually without stopping. But I was pleased (and amazed) that in 30 days, I’d written an entire novel!
I’m participating—sort of—this year. There are “rules” for the event, and one is that you can’t revise previous stories, though you can write sequels, and you can use previous characters, ideas and settings.
I want to do a major revision of one of my stories, and use a large part of the content. So though I’m not signing up for NaNoWriMo this year, I’m using it as my own personal incentive to get my revision done—a rough draft of my revision, that is.
How about you? Do you have a novel inside you? Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? Best of luck to those who are!