National Novel Writing Month: Join the Insanity

Posted by on November 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Last night at midnight, the clattering of computer keyboards and the furious scribbling of pens could be heard around the world. Thousands of stories and novels were born, and with so many births comes noise. You may have been wondering: What the Hell is that noise!?

This year started the thirteenth year of National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. An event that started out as a challenge between friends and grew into a non-profit phenomonan to encourage people to start writing. The challenge is to write a total of 50,000 words in the month of November which breaks down to 1,667 words a day. Depending on how fast you type, all you have to do is dedicate an hour or so a day to write. This is not the case when you buy papers online, of course. For those of you who’ve been dreaming of writing a best-seller, or have a brilliant idea that needs to be immortalized in print, the month of November is the kick-in-the-pants you need!

Don’t know what to write about? Neither do half the people (or more) that participate. Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo and author of No Plot? No Problem! Says that you can still write without a plot. As you write the plot will form itself. You aren’t really aiming for the next great American novel, not at this point. The point of NaNoWriMo is to say that you did it, you finally wrote that novel you’ve always wanted to. You and thousands of other people spent a month at the keyboard (or pen and paper you crazy old-schoolers) and proved that it was possible. Think you’re too busy? That’s one of the best times to write a novel! Stop making excuses, get your butt in that chair and write.

This month is no easy task and there is no prize – except for the prize of having a finished novel by the end of the month. Each week here on Flesheatingzipper I will be keeping up with the challenges that come with each week of writing and maybe some ways to beat the down times. This week’s challenge is to start. It’s not too late. Pick your writing method of choice: laptop, pen and paper, AlphaSmart, tablet, or anything in between and get to work! Forget about plot, for get about problems and write. If you need a program to stay organized during November, Yarny is a great recommendation. And if you need a place to “brain dump” before jumping into your novel, 750words is a great place to check out.

Now if you would excuse me, I have a novel to start.

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  • Anonymous

    I remember falling behind last year a few times and the guilt stacked on. I’d lock myself in my room just to get my quota done until, in the last few days, I stepped it up and caught up. Requires a lot of discipline!