Let’s Write a Novel: It’s Time for Nanowrimo

Nov 1, 2017Pat's Chat

Anyone can write a book. I firmly believe this. That doesn’t mean that it will be a grand novel or best-seller right out of the gate, but a novel crafted by your own hard work is a huge accomplishment. 

November 1st launches National Novel Writing Month – or Nanowrimo. The challenge: TO WRITE 50,000 WORDS IN 30 DAYS.

This will be my fifth year participating with my good friend, and I plan to hammer out another novel. This journey began five years ago after I was urged by my friend to undertake this daunting mission. We read NO PLOT, NO PROBLEM! by Chris Baty, and this fueled the fire. Anyone can write a novel, and if pushed with a deadline, you are more likely to succeed and reach your goal. Leonord Bernstein said, “To achieve great things two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”

The key to Nanowrimo is word-vomiting. You must turn off your internal editor brain and put words on the page. When the goal is reached and you have something in the shape of a book, then you shape it, mold it, and revise it into something worthwhile. The first time I sat down to write for Nanowrimo, I had only a hint of what my subject would be, but as soon as I started typing the story flowed and developed on its own. I was carried into my story and escaped inside my pages. 

And I loved it. 

After you have completed your novel, you may never look at it again, you may not let anyone else read it, or you may start digging into it deeper to make it shine. The creation process is the fun part. Let your imagination run wild and create fun characters with quirky personalities. Need more words? Throw in more conflict! Maybe someone gets malaria or abducted by aliens. There are no rules in your own book. 

But there are rules to Nanowrimo: You cannot start writing before November 1st and you must stop on November 30th. You can register at https://nanowrimo.org/ and even connect with other writing buddies (my buddy name is pmccaw if you need to vent) and we encourage each other. The website will plot your progress and encourage you. At the end of each day or week (if you prefer), you type in your word count totals. It will set goals to help you finish. About word 30,000 you will hit a wall and pull your hair – contact your buddies!! You will need a pep talk – then keep going! When you have reached 50,000 words or November 30th – you submit your writing. The “people” out in computer world do not read your words at all. You copy and paste the novel for word count only, but it is not kept. If you WIN, you get a whirlwind of satisfaction and a paper certificate you can print out. 

I encourage anyone with the little inkling or itch to write to – DO IT! Writing has changed my world and helped me discover myself. Good luck to everyone in Nanowrimo!! 

Thanks for visiting Pat’s Chat.


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