Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's #NaNoWriMo Time.

The #dailyarsenal for NaNoWriMo over lunch breaks
 by mpclemens at
Ah, sweet November. Fall has come and writers everywhere anticipate their favorite holiday. Thanksgiving? No silly, NaNoWriMo. NaNo huh? National Novel Writing Month. Thirty days of emotional writing rollercoaster ride.

Did I forget the mention the goal was to write 50,000 words by November 30?

The National Novel Writing Month is an international event where thousands of writers gather in front of their computer screen, spending countless of hours trying to write the first draft of their novel. Since it's conception by Chris Baty and twenty-one of his friends in 1999, the movement has grown to include thousands of participants worldwide. NaNoWriMo is in its fourteenth year and is still going strong. Many of the novels written in NaNoWriMo have been published by well known and respected publishing houses as well as small presses. There is a large list of published NaNo novels on the NaNoWriMo website that you can find here.

So how does NaNoWriMo work?
It's simple. Here are the rules.
1) You can plan for your writing adventure by creating outlines and character sketches.
2) You cannot start writing before midnight November 1st. No cheating.
3) In order to win the competition you must have written and uploaded your 50,000 words by 11:59pm of November 30th.
4) No editing. Just keep writing. You can polish your masterpiece after NaNo.
5) HAVE FUN!!!

Sounds simple enough, right?  Are you ready to take the plunge?

By: hjconti @

Here are some tips and tricks to survive NaNo.

Attend Your Region's Kick-Off Party
This social gathering is great for any writer who is participating in NaNo because you get to meet other writers in your area trying to do the same thing you are - write. The friends you make at party will be there every step of the way to encourage you. Remember this is supposed to be a fun thing to do. So have fun with your other writers.

Attend Your Region's Write-Ins
A write in is an event in NaNo where you bring your laptop, paper, pen and headphones to the predetermined location. You gather with your fellow writers, socialize and write. You can find these events in your region after you have joined a region on the NaNoWriMo website. Sometimes regions will host a virtual and physical write-in at the same time. This way all participants in the region can participate without having to leave their location if they cannot get to the write-in location.

Connect With Other NaNo Writers
If your region doesn't have a kick-off party or write ins you can still gain friendship and support from other writers via Facebook. There are several NaNo groups online. You can also participate via the forums on the NaNoWriMo website.

By: NaNoWriMo sticker by pottered4dwzei
Plan A Time To Write And Stick To It
Writing a novel takes dedication and commitment. Set a block of time in your daily schedule for writing and commit to it. It doesn't have to be done all at once. Just an hour or two a day. I set aside a couple of hours when I get up in the morning to do my NaNo writing. Once you commit to a time tell everyone you know not to disturb you during this time period. You're a novelist at work. No distractions - no social media sites, tv, phone calls, text, you get the picture.

Plan Ahead!
Write your outline and character sketches before you start writing.

Use A NaNoWri Calendar
These are wonderful! In order to meet your goal of 50,000 words you need to write at least 1,667 words a day. NaNoWriMo calendars are easy to find just by conducting a Google Search. I downloaded one and have it set as my wallpaper. Everyday on the calendar it lists the total or words your novel should have by the end of that day. Sometimes the calendars include motivational messages and dares.

NaNoWriMo also charts your progress as you progress through the month. Make certain to upload your word count at the end of each day and keep track of your progress on paper as well.

When Your Stuck Use A Dare And/Or A Sprint
A dare is any idea someone else has submitted for you to include in your novel. These can be regional, national or international dares. Some are so outlandishly funny you want to include them in your book.

A sprint is when you and/or other people write consecutively for 10, 15, 20 or 30 minutes. At the end of the allotted time you count your words and announce your total to your friends who had participated with you.


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