Nanowrimo is an international writing effort by authors united with one purpose: individually write and submit a 50,000 word+ novel draft beginning on 1 November and submitting by end of day 30 November. An ominous task for first timers, the project is infectious as the number of participants yearly has grown phenomenally in the writing community around the globe. It is such a powerful experience that authors become repeat participants year after year. Some highly successful works have come out of Nanowrimo including best seller Water for Elephants (and I am sure after many re-writes and edits).
Tamara Sellman of Writer’s Rainbow is a two time successful NANOWRIMO author. She has some solid words of advice for first time participants:
- Create your free Nanowrimo account now and make a commitment to your writing schedule.
- Write 1669 words a day and you will make your word count easily
- Create an outline or storyboard ahead of time (no actual story writing as that is cheating) so you star with the end in mind.
- Know your story question before November 1 so you can just focus on the writing and not worry about getting stuck.
Nanowrimo entries are always raw and unpolished work. The idea behind the event is to force writers to get the work down on paper, learn about their characters, and noting areas where you are stuck or need to go back and do research but to just write on and capture your story in the first pass.
Editing comes later. If you really get caught up in the craziness you can join in on Nanoedit month in February. So you have Dec and Jan for your re-writes and research on your Nanowrimo novel!
If you need a partner or a formal setting to support you in your first attempt at Nanowrimo there are all types of local and online groups to join. In Seattle there are sessions devoted to Nanowrimo at Hugo House, most writing organizations and public libraries have similar sessions offering support. Join a team and get ready to join in on the fun.
I’ve already signed up, am committed and have my pencils sharpened…Go Team Seattle! We are going to rock the writing world!