National Novel Writing Month is a great way for writers to form connections with and to meet other writers who share genres of interest that live within the same community. National Novel Writing Month is geared towards those who want to write and publish their own novels, though writers of all types will benefit from the community found in National Novel Writing Month. The connections formed during National Novel Writing Month can be kept up after the event is over if both parties agree to it. National Novel Writing Month gives those who want to get their name out there a chance to with a book published without going through a company and the chance of the novel being rejected.
What is National Novel Writing Month
National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short is a month long writing event where participants are invited to attempt writing a novel or 50,000 words in the course of November which leads the event to be known as a “crazy writer thing”. Participants can create a free account on the NaNoWriMo website to keep track of how many words they write, how close they are to the goal, and to earn badges with each new achievement as listed on the website. This will also unlock the ability for participants to earn a bound copy of their book if they meet the 50,000-word goal by the end of the month. Participants will be directed to a partner website to complete this.
Participants will also be able to join a community that corresponds with their location within a state or country. That community will hold events known as write-ins throughout the month in a centralized location. The community is put into place to allow for writers to have a support system and to ask questions or get feedback. Participants are also invited to post in the forums to get questions answered and any number of other road blocks that arise when writing a novel. The best part of the forums is that participants will meet writers from other countries or communities.
How to Get Involved
- Go to the NaNoWriMo website
- Create an account or sign into an existing account
- Follow the instructions to create an account or create a novel for existing accounts
- Create and save a novel on website for new accounts or save novel for existing accounts
- Open Microsoft Word and create file for novel
- Plan novel, research, or create a list of ideas (DO NOT begin writing)
- On November 1st start writing and work towards the 50,000-word goal and try to reach at least 1,667 words per day
- November 30th pat yourself on the back because you made it through November even if the 50,000-word goal was not met
- On December 1st, start planning and researching the NaNoWriMo novel for the following year
A Brief History
After completing NaNoWriMo, it is interesting to see where and how the event was started. Read on for a brief history of NaNoWriMo and learn about the event that non-writer minds call a “crazy writer thing”. NaNoWriMo was started in July 1999 with a group of twenty-one people. The following year, NaNoWriMo took the form that it is today and moved to take place in November instead. As the years progressed, the amount of participants rose steadily far past the point that any of the original twenty-one ever expected. As the popularity grew, the event had to grow and change with the amount of participants. After a few rough years once popularity increased, the behind-the-scenes part of the event started to run smoother and those who ran the event fell into administrative positions. As with everything invented, it took many years to get the website and other aspects to run smoothly without crashing. Now, participants are able to access the website without worrying about it crashing or it being overloaded and not being able to access it at all.
Other NaNoWriMo Features
NaNoWriMo has a Young Writers Program (YWP) where participants who are seventeen and younger can set a word count goal that they feel more capable of achieving. NaNoWriMo has a goal of 50,000 words where the YWP part of NaNoWriMo could have a goal of 30,000 for the month. Those who are seventeen and younger can take advantage of this especially if writing is not as strong as some other areas of interest, but it is a good way to strengthen writing. Like NaNoWriMo, this program is free to participate in.
NaNoWriMo also offers a camp version of the big November event. In Camp NaNoWriMo, participants will write during the course of either April or July for one month following the rules of
NaNoWriMo. Camp NaNoWriMo allows everyone of any age to set their own word goal for the month. There is not a prize for winning during Camp NaNoWriMo. The event is meant to get kids through adults writing and allows participants to set aside time if they have been wanting to complete a novel. Like NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo is completely free to participate in.
If there are any questions that come up regarding previously published content with a copy right and the content in the NaNoWriMo novel, check out this article on Fair Use to make sure the content being used is not breaking any laws.