What is NaNoWriMo?

Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 in Writing | 0 comments

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWri- Wait, what?

We’ve done posts that gave away a NaNoWriMo planning worksheet and we’ve written posts on how to plan your novel with Pinterest. But what I didn’t expect were the several emails I recently received asking me  to explain exactly what NaNoWriMo is and why someone would want to join in. So, here it goes.

NaNoWriMo essentially, is a 30 day challenge where one tries to complete an entire novel, or at least 50,000 words of fiction during the month of November. It must be written from scratch and not include anything you’ve written before. It cannot be co-authored.If you want the official list of how it works and the rules, you can see it here. The contest starts November 1 at midnight and ends November 30th before the clock strikes midnight.

As for the history of NaNoWriMo, it started back in July of 1999 by a gentleman named Chris Baty and 21 others who wanted to try their hands at writing novels. There were only 6 winners. But the important thing to come out of it was the fact that it was actually possible to write a passable novel in one month. And as Chris Baty said, he knew that if he could do it, “anyone could do it.” Cut to a year later and a friend that offered to make a free website for the event, the participant number jumped to 140. Unlike the year before, Chris didn’t know all of them. Rules were developed and people in multiple countries jumped on-board. Year three, Chris was anticipating 150 participants. 5,000 showed up. And the rest is history. Of course, there’s a lot that I left out and you can find it here.

NaNoWrimo is currently put on by The Office of Letters and Light. They are a non-profit organization that plans events allowing “children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential”. Check them out. They’re pretty awesome.

by Monda. Click the pic for the website.

There are a zillion ways to participate in NaNoWrimo. In addition to working on your 50,000 word novel, there are a ton of forums to participate in and meet other writers. There’s a NaNoStore to purchase some writing swag. There are even write-ins, where you can meet up with people in your area also participating in NaNoWriMo. Even more exciting, if you love NaNoWriMo and you’re hoping that there are more activities out there like it, there are! Camp NaNoWriMo takes place over summertime. The Young Writers Program is made especially for kids and teens that want to novel. You can participate in the Night of Writing Dangerously on November 18th 2012. There’s also Script Frenzy in April where you try and write 100 pages of original scripted materials such as screenplays, stage plays, web series, TV shows, short films, and graphic novels.

So, little NaNo-ers. Set forth on this journey. Start planning. Get pumped! And remember, NaNoWriMo is about finishing! Don’t worry so much about editing. That’s for after November is over! Don’t forget to upload your word count too on NaNoWriMo’s site when you’re logged in. And if you finish, there are participant certificates and blog buttons to put on your site.

There’s a zillion things you can find relating to NaNoWriMo if you just google it. I found some awesome wallpapers for your computer today. One of them is already set as my background! You can see them here, here, and here.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may still have about NaNoWriMo. I’m here to help.

Happy Noveling,

Jolene Haley, Jolene Haley, @JoleneHaley

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