Get hype! Nanowrimo starts next month, and now is the time to start thinking about whether or not you’ll participate.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month, where you start work on a novel November first and write 1,667 words per day to get approximately 50,000 by the end of the month. It’s free and open to anyone. You can go create an account to announce your project, join prep, and track your stats here.
Whether you’re a planner, pantser, or plantser, get a feel for what you want to make this month. Mull it over a bit. Your story is going to change directions in the writing process, there’s no avoiding that. My summaries change a lot between the start of Nano and the end of Nano. But nothing is worse than launching a full-steam-ahead Nano only to realize four days in you’re writing the wrong story and have to completely change directions. It always helps to know what you want from a project before you begin.
A word of advice!
For newcomers who are struggling with meeting Nano goals, here’s a secret: on the first day, I cheat at Nano. Just a little. Relinquish the tomatoes. Relinquish them, I said. Now, listen.
It establishes good momentum if you frontload your word count, so I allow myself to include one or two pre-written concept scenes as part of my “novel.” I did that with round one of “Lost and Found,” which became my first successful Nano (I’d already written a scene with all of the prototype characters fighting a kraken), but not with “The Stars Went Out,” my most recent successful Nano. Personal growth!
Whether or not you join Nano for the full 50,000, I encourage you to make the attempt. Any writing you do is progress! See you in November!
(I’ll be cheating again by using “Lost and Found” and pulling my word count out of the editing I do in each chapter. Expect the usual daily Nano writing updates.)