November is National Novel Writing Month, and this website above is dedicated towards giving novice writers, and even veteran writers a push towards having a productive month. According to the About Page on the website, “The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.”
The About page is really funny, mostly because they push quantity over quality, but then again, that could possibly be a good thing. “Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.”
If you’ve ever wanted to take that leap into writing, or if you’ve been dealt a hefty load of writer’s block, this is the challenge to just over that obstacle, to throw away all excuses, to pull out that pen and paper and write, write, write those run-on sentences, those cheesy opening sentences and to have fun while you do it. =)
The website also offers a lot of cool features. There are forums for group discussions (writing tips, plot ideas, etc), a daily blog, various word count scorecards and widgets, and programs for young writers. There is even going to be a write-a-thon on November 15th that involves fund-raising, and an all day writing and awards fest in San Francisco, CA. I have to work that Saturday, and I’ll be attending this years California Library Association Conference this year, so I won’t be going to the write-a-thon, but it sounds like it will be a lot of fun. =) I hope someone in the blog world reports back on that event.
Plus, the added perk is that there is a Neil Gaiman pep talk, albeit from last year, but still relevant. Though it is recommended to save this spiel for the 3rd week of writing.
The recap of the challenge rules:
What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.
Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.
Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.
When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.
Still confused? Just visit the How NaNoWriMo Works page!