NaNoWriMo is coming up. One month, one novel, 50,000 words. Spouses to be ignored, kids to feed themselves, emails to go unanswered, Internet temptation to be resisted, hours with butt planted firmly in chair at keyboard. That is1666.67 words cranked out each day. Are you up for the challenge?
There is a site for it: http://www.nanowrimo.org/ The way it works is you go to the site, sign up, and begin writing on November 1. Oh, there’s one other step before you write, according to the NaNoWriMo site. “Begin procrastinating by reading through all the great advice and funny stories in the forums…. Get excited. Get nervous. Try to rope someone else into doing this with you. Eat lots of chocolate and stockpile noveling rewards.” Not sure how the chocolate part words, but I believe you have to provide your own.
During the month, the goal is to write daily, 1666.67 words. Then you login and update your word count. If you’ve met the 50,000-word goal by the end of the month, you win. They put you on the “hallowed Winner’s Page” and send you an e-certificate. I think the chocolate can be used as either a reward once your 1666.67 are done or as a crutch during the process.
The thing began in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1991. There were 21 of them who concocted this idea because, among other reasons, they figured getting dates, as novelists would be easier than as non-novelists. Whatever the motivation, as long as it works. The next year 140 writers participated and it has grown annually. By the end of last November 36,843 writers had met the word count among the 256,618 writers who had signed on. Competing against that many people, no wonder I haven’t been published.
Chuck Wendig’s terribleminds blog had an interesting article last year on NaNoWriMo. The blog is entertaining though, be warned, spliced with expletive deletives. He mentions the sitting-down-and-actual-writing requirement. Chuck can write about 1000 words an hour. You can determine how long it takes him to meet 1666.67 and figure your own speed as well. If you give yourself weekends off, that means 2300 words daily for the rest of the week. He warns that after 50,000 words, you’ve only just begun the novel. It’s not even your fist draft, but your zero draft. You’re placing quantity above quality and come Dec. 1, you’ll have all the sticks but will still need to build the house. October Wendig declares should be NaStoPlaMo, national story planning month and December becomes NaEdYoShiMo in which you edit what you slapped down in November. The full article is here: