National Novel Writing Month

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National Novel Writing MonthIf the novel writing calendar has a New Year’s Day, it falls on the first of November rather than January. For those just getting into fiction, November is officially “National Novel Writing Month”. Better known to the old hacks as NaNoWriMo, the goal of this ambitious project is as follows: each participant writes a single, 55,000-word book of original fiction between the first and last day of November.

Anyone care to do the math there? Completing the project means averaging a shade over 1,833 words every day. That means Saturday. A rainy Monday before work.

1,833 words on Thanksgiving.

When I first heard about National Novel Writing Mosnth, I asked the obvious: why didn’t organizers pick a longer month? One without a major eating and travel holiday. If they had decided on one with thirty-one days (check your knuckle counter for which apply) then writers could cut that pace down to 1,774 words per day.

OK, maybe it’s best to thankful that they didn’t pick February. 1,964 sounds brutal.

Although I have never participated in NaNoWriMo (check the site for what formal “participation” entails) I am supportive of the project. I believe that participating in the challenge a good thing, if for no reason other than the fact that it kickstarts reluctant scribes into the practice of daily writing.

If you follow NaNoWriMo on Twitter (or any other social media) you can see their results too. Each year a few well regarded books spring out of the untethered month long sprint.

Yet, if you read any of the establishment writer publications, they hardly make mention of the project. Clearly, there is a divide in the writing community about the value of of NaNoWriMo.

Over the next few blogs, I am going to take a look at National Novel Writing Month from a few angles.

First I will make the argument that going for it is worth your time. Then I’ll throw out a cautionary angle. Finally, I will give you my recipe for a successful NaNoWriMo experience.

Fall is here. The shadows are getting longer. NaNoWriMo is coming. Are you going to participate?

Is your manuscript in need some help? Contact me today for a free consultation on how we can get your book publication ready.

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Erick Mertz 

Writer, Editor

Erick MertzNational Novel Writing Month

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