10.30.2009

NaNoWriMo - A Perfect Excuse to Write

Ever say to yourself, "one day, I would love to write a novel?" Sunday is your day to start.

November 1st begins National Novel Writing Month. For the entire duration of November, your objective is to crank out at least 50,000 words (about 175 pages total) of fiction. The "upcoming month of literary abandon," to put it in the words of the folks over at NaNoWriMo.org, will be your chance to join the motivated masses that share the same goal. They have been organizing the event since 1999, which started as a noveling binge between 21 friends in the San Francisco Bay area. In 2008, the number of participants blew up to over 119,000, with more than 21,000 crossing the 50k word mark.

So, you have what it takes to commit to writing 1,667 words per day for an entire month? Sign up for a FREE account at NaNoWriMo.org where you will be able to update and track your progress as the month goes by. I won't go into the details of how the tracking works, but you may find the nitty-gritty details here.

I realize that since this is a blog about fine-writing, there will be a few Luddites out there who would opt to do this on pen and paper. There is a less-technologically advanced way of verifying your word count. According to NaNoWriMo's frequently asked questions page :

What you do is write your 50,000 words, then have someone you trust verify that it is, indeed, 50,000 words. Then using something like the Lorem Ipsum generator, submit a file of the exact number of words of your handwritten manuscript to our word count validator.
For people who prefer doing a little bit of both, load up a trusty fountain pen and write several pages and then transpose them into your word processor of choice. Not only will you get the satisfaction of putting pen to paper to write your novel, but you will also sharpen those typing skills. If you don't have the portability of a laptop at your disposal, this would be a good solution when you are away from the desk.

Besides the online social aspect of writing with others around the globe, there also local "regions" that you can join which can hold local "write-ins" where you can meet and write with other WriMo's.

If you would like to join and have a bit of friendly camaraderie, Tom @goldspotpens will be participating in the NaNoWriMo. Note: he will not be writing about fountain pens, although they may make a cameo appearance. If you would like to be his writing buddy, visit his profile here.

Happy Halloween!

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