November is National Novel Writing Month.

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National Novel Writing Month

Are you ready for it?

National novel writing month is also known as NaNoWriMo. It is a month-long novel writing challenge that occurs every November which participants from all over the world take part in a challenge to write a 50,000 word rough draft of their novel.

It started in 1999 as a challenge between friends, but NaNoWriMo has now developed into a global writing challenge with hundreds of thousands of participants taking part in it every year.

Those of you who have read my other blog posts such as overcoming Writer's Block, and Plotter VS. Pantser, are already well prepared for this writing challenge.

You may discover a Facebook group, or two, that embraces the challenge of NaNoWriMo, and encourages you to keep writing to complete the goal of writing 50,000 words of your novel.

I R.G. Ramsey do hereby declare my intention of completing the task of writing 50,000 words to complete a rough draft of my novel. Are you ready to declare your intention to do the same?

Writers who wish to take part in the NaNoWriMo challenge register on their website. After registering you can create a profile, and provide details about your novel such as the plot, or a summary if you choose to. They validate word counts on their website after writers submit a copy of their novel to be counted.

This challenge focuses on word count, save editing until after the challenge is finished.

The rules are as follows:

  • 1: Writing starts at 12:00 a.m. on 1 November and ends at 11:59.59 p.m. on 30 November.
  • 2: Starting early is not allowed and finishes promptly on time.
  • 3: Writing must reach a minimum of 50,000 words by the end of the challenge in order to win it.
  • 4: Planning and note taking are allowed, but no content written before the start of the challenge can be used in the novel you are writing.
  • 5: Your novel can be in any genre you choose.

To be declared a winner of NaNoWriMo participants in the challenge must write an average of 1,667 words per day, 69 per hour, 1.2 per minute during the month of November to accomplish the goal of writing 50,000 words of a novel.

They provide winners printable certificates of completion of the 50,000 word writing goal, and winner’s T-shirts are available for purchase in their store to show everyone that you won NaNoWriMo.

Winners will have a 50,000 word rough draft of their novel ready for self-editing and be able to hold their heads up with pride knowing they took action and completed their goal.


Why should I take part in NaNoWriMo?

You are a writer, or you would not have found this page. Taking part in NaNoWriMo makes you part of a large group of people, all with the same goal, to write 50,000 words in a single month. If they can win the challenge, so can you.

If you feel that you don’t have the time, skills, or motivation to complete writing your novel, than NaNoWriMo will give you the motivation you need to make time to write your novel.

Being a participant in this event helps you to focus on writing quickly to get the ideas in your head written down without the hesitation caused by your desire to edit your writing as you go. Stopping to edit your work will break your train of thought and interrupt your creativity.

Tips For Winning NaNoWriMo

Pick a story idea you are passionate about. Create a story that keeps you up at night thinking about it, not one that seems like a good idea in the present moment, but doesn’t grab you and hold you.

If you are a Plotter, creating a detailed outline for your story to follow will help your story flow more smoothly, and prevent you from hesitating as you think about the direction your story is going.

If you are a Pantser then give flashlight outlining a try. This is an outlining technique where you only outline one chapter at a time. When walking in the dark with only a flashlight to guide your way, you can only see as far as the light beam goes.

You can outline your story the same way, just outline the portion that is right in front of you, before you write. You can do this on your mobile phone while you are lying in bed the night before, then the next morning you already have an idea about what to write about.

Write for you first. Tell yourself the story, and write it out to complete your novel, or let your characters tell you the story, and write what you visualize them experiencing.

Treat your 50,000 word writing goal as a second job, or a primary job. Let your friends and family know how important it is to you to complete this writing challenge, and you are not available for non-emergency situations during the month of November.

Remember to take breaks as you are writing. Get up and walk away from your computer to give your mind a break, and your body some much needed exercise. It will surprise when you discover your increase in creativity when you return to your writing.

Don’t worry about writing the perfect novel, your goal is to write a 50,000 word rough draft of your novel, even if it is not completely finished, write 50,000 words.

Keep focused and keep writing.

Good Luck!

R.G. Ramsey

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