I discovered National Novel Writing Month last year a week after it had already started, but I still managed to write a 50,000 word novel in November 2002.
The rules are pretty simple: Write a 50,000 word complete novel during the month of November. Don’t start until November 1, and finish by November 30.
That’s pretty much it. The idea isn’t generally to write something completely publishable (though I will probably re-work my effort from last year into a novella and publish it online), but to show writers that they can finish an entire novel, and they can do it quickly. You only have to write an average of less than 1700 words each day!
The truth is that most novels written during NaNoWriMo end up with a lot of gibberish in them as people struggle to meet their word counts. At one point I took the easy route of having one of my characters describe, in detail, a novel he’s considering writing. Of course, it’s a novel I’ve been considering writing. This is the primary reason why my 50,000 novel (already a bit short for a “real” novel) will end up as a novella by the time I’m done editing it.
But this year I’m starting from day one, so I won’t be playing catch-up the whole month. And I’m starting with some new characters I’ve just been thinking about in the last two weeks. I’ll first put fingers to keyboard tomorrow sometime, but I have a very rough mental outline of where I might want to go with the novel, and I’ve set a goal of 2000 words per day. That will give me a little cushion if I need it (I’ll be traveling for Thanksgiving this year, for example), and a larger novel if I don’t.
You can do it! Visit the official NaNoWriMo site and sign up – you’ve got nothing to lose, and you might find that you really enjoy writing and have something to say.Powered by Sidelines