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Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Mentioned it just a little while ago, and I got my welcome to 2005 email last night. What, one might ask, the hell is NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month and it lasts for all of November. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write, from scratch, a 50,000 word novel within the month. For some, it's just a convenient reason to get some ideas down on paper. For others, it's a much needed deadline to force some serious production. All in all, for me it's a bit of both. I was an English major in college (after a Psych major) and I used to write volumes. Now that programming is my mainstay, though, typing fiction sometimes feels a little weird. Fortunately, though, I seem to be a bit hypergraphic ... so NaNo really wasn't that hard for me.

This year I'm likely to participate ... but only to edit my previous entry. That means that anything I've written previously can't be added to the word count, only new text added to the old manuscript. So, I'm unlikely to get to the goal ... but I'd rather try to make the old story better than just keep stacking up bad novels.

How would one join in the fun? It's easy. Just go to and register. Then you hang out in the forums, discuss plots, etc. You can take notes or make outlines, but no words to paper until November 1st. Once that day rolls around, most people use the forums to talk about progress, make challenges, etc. There's a great social aspect to the very unregulated contest. In fact, most would say that just writing anything and talking about it is the real goal.


Corvus said...

I just signed up. I'm probably moving this November, but we'll see how it goes. *eltrohc* If I can't toss off six pages of BS a day, every day, for a month, then I'll have to toss off twelve some days.

Brinstar said...

I'm going to shoot for at least finishing last year's novel. I don't think I will reach the goal, and I don't even think what I will write is allowed, since aren't you meant to start fresh? Anyway, I'll sign up again!

Josh said...

Purists would probably say you are supposed to start fresh and seem to frown on novels which were started before Nov 1 and people only counting the words after Nov 1 ... but since most people frown on the purists I say full speed ahead.

I'll probably be very picky about my word count, but just for academic reasons really. I ended up rewriting and adding anew at least half of the short I sent into Upload, so I'm predicting I'll hit about 25k.

Good to see you'll be there, C. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but I found my old writing teacher's idea of daily exercise to work. Even if you don't want to work out that day, it's healthy to get something down. I pulled a couple long nights to get over a hump.

There are also counter scripts which people use to help keep track and also to set daily goals.

Hieronymus @ The Game Chair said...

Thanks for the pointer, Josh. Not that I really need even more work, but maybe this is the sort of push that will actually make me put down some words for once!

Brinstar said...

If you all read the NaNoWriMo forums, I'll be hanging about there (though lurking more than last year). You know which handle I'll be using. ;-)

Jeffool said...

Woohoo! I'm not the only NaNoWriMo-er I know!