Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Can you prepare for Nanowrimo? (68 days and counting)

Some say yes. Some say no.

I'm inclined to agree with them.

To the uninitiated, Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. During Nanowrimo, which takes place in November, writers all over the world sign up on the Nanowrimo site and write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Yes, that's 50,000 words, start to finish. 30 days. For the fastidious among us, it means that you have to daily produce 1666 and two-thirds words every day in order to finish by midnight on November 30th. Each day you get the fun of uploading your word count and seeing what you're friends are doing. If you're the competitive type, this is an excellent opportunity to get the lead out and write like the wind.

Now that you know what the insanity of Nanowrimo is, you might be wondering how you can prepare for this monumental yearly event. Here are some tips that will help you get ready.
  1. Involve your friends, family, and students. (Misery loves company.)
  2. Make a list of people for whom you can offer to do unpleasant and/or embarrassing tasks as penance for not finishing your daily word count. (This is excellent motivation to finish those 1666 2/3 daily words, because no one likes to lose face.)
  3. Make an outline or 3x5 scene cards to help you keep going with creative ideas when you feel like your brain has turned to sludge (usually in the second week).
  4. Make up your mind that even if you can't remember the names of the characters you introduced somewhere in chapter 7 and you have forgotten the original plot, you will keep typing.
  5. Come to grips ahead of time with the fact that it will be a piece of garbage when you're through, but it will be your piece of garbage, and that makes it wonderful!
If you're not the type who looks to the future, I have good news. You can sit down and punch out your word count every day without doing a single thing to prepare beforehand.
There, don't you feel better?

Truly, Nanowrimo is the best of both worlds.


  1. I probably won't do Nanowrimo this year. I don't know how busy I will be between school and work. Oh well. Have fun :)

  2. I'm still hemming and hawing. I think maybe I'll just work on my story from last year.

  3. I'm behind you whether you choose to do it or not, but if you aren't doing it, do you mind making all our meals and doing all the household chores for the month of November?