Starting November 1st, hundreds of thousands of authors will begin a mad dash to complete a 50,000+ word novel in only 30 days. It is blissful, awful madness, and it is NANOWRIMO – National Novel Writing Month.
NaNoWriMo was founded by Chris Baty and other writers in 1999 and is run by a non-profit organization, The Office of Letters and Light, who also run the Young Writers Program and Script Frenzy. But NaNoWriMo is the big event, and November is when it happens.
I did NaNoWriMo in 2010, and it was a wonderful, horrible experience. I completed a terrible raft of a novel, Find My Baby, and have since redrafted it twice, but have not finished it. I didn’t do NaNoWriMo last year because I couldn’t put my family through that two years in a row, and I’m going to have to miss it again this year due to other responsibilities. But you – YOU can do NaNoWriMo, and I am behind you 100%
And what do you win if you do complete a 50k word novel in 30 days? The first draft of a novel you wrote - and that’s an amazing thing. Yes, you also get a NaNoWriMo Winner certificate, but that is a distant second to accomplish the first draft.
The rules state that, to be an official NaNoWriMo winner, you must…
- Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
- Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
- Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
- Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
- Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
- Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.