NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is right around the corner. Starting November 1, writers around the world will have 30 days to write 50,000 words. On the one hand, that’s a very short novel (too short for some genres in fact), but on the other hand, November is a short month, and (for American writers) who wants to sit down and write on Thanksgiving day? But what a great opportunity NaNoWriMo is. By the end of November, you will have a large portion of a novel’s rough draft ready to go. Then while you’re hibernating during the winter, you can take that NaNoWriMo rough draft and polish it into something special.
Here is a brief article by Wired Magazine’s Geekmom, Jenny Williams, to give you a better idea of what you are in for. Williams does say that writing ahead of time is forbidden. While I agree as far as it comes to prose, I don’t see anything wrong with outlining before November, especially if you prefer to have a solid skeleton in place before you flesh it out with thousands of words of prose. Hence the heads up today.
Take October to work on your outline. Then you will be good to go come November. It will be easier to make your word count if you know where you are headed before you sit down. You may even get a little ahead, so you can take the occasional (Turkey) day off.
Oh, and when you’re done with NaNoWriMo, it’s time to switch gears and get your short stories ready, because applications for the Clarion Writers’ Workshop open on December 1. Fun times!
If you are planning doing NaNoWriMo, let me know below. I’d love to hear what kind of story you are thinking about writing.