November is National Novel Writing month!
I have no idea who "said so," but I do know that most writers know about it. In keeping with this month-long focus on writing novels, the people at NaNoWriMo are sponsoring a contest.
I first learned about the contest last November from my friend, Emily. I wasn't ready to try it then, but this year I'm excited to say that I'm participating! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
This contest has been held every November since 2000, and participation just keeps growing. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days -- not a finished novel ready for publication, of course, but a first draft. Last year there were 200,500 participants and 37,500 winners.
For me this will mean writing 1,666.6 words a day for thirty days!!! I don't even know if I can do that, but I'm going to try. Participants are allowed to outline their novels before the contest begins, and I've been having fun doing that .
The contest includes some special features geared to school age kids, so spread the word to any young writers you know. There's still time to join the challenge.The contest begins in 11 days. Happy writing!
Here are a few commonly asked questions (taken directly from the NaNoWriMo website):
Why bother writing a huge novel in 30 days? Why not just write a real novel later, when you have more time?
For one month, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!
This sounds like a silly rule, we know. But bringing a half-finished novel into NaNoWriMo won't be the same. You'll care about the characters and story too much to write with the anything-goes approach that makes NaNoWriMo such an adventure. Give yourself the gift of a new idea, and you'll tap into parts of imagination that are out of reach when working on pre-existing fiction.
You win NaNoWriMo by writing to your word-count goal by midnight on November 30. Every year, there are many, many winners. There are no "Best Novel" or "Quickest-Written Novel" awards given out. All winners will get an official "Winner" web badge and certificate, and bragging rights for the rest of their lives.
I think some of my readers have participated in the past. How grueling was it?