October has begun and now is the time to start planning, researching, outlining and brainstorming… no, not on your Halloween costume, on your story for NaNoWriMo! NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, begins November 1st, and unless you want to operate the way I did last year (i.e., deciding two days before November that I was going to participate with the barest idea of what I was going to write about with absolutely no clue where the glimmer of a story is going…) this is your jump start to begin planning.
What exactly is involved in NaNoWriMo? What are the rules? The idea of NaNoWriMo (from here on out shortened to Nano) is to write an original work of fiction in thirty days, November 1-30. The story should be started for the first time at the beginning of November and not be a piece that you have already started writing. Prior outlining and planning is just fine, just so long as it’s not actually part of the body of the story. While no one is really there to enforce these rules, let your conscience be your guide on this one.
The goal at the end of those 30 days is to have 50,000 words. I managed to get to 32,000-ish words, and if I learned anything, it was that prior preparation would have made a HUGE difference. That and time management. “Winning” Nano simply means that you can pat yourself on the back and know that you just completed the monumental task of writing what can very likely be at least Draft One of your own novel. Some affiliates even offer incentives for those who “win.” To find out more about that, you will have to check out the website, because they can change from year to year.
I’ll be posting weekly updates here with hints and motivators to keep you on track if you are participating. It is never too early to start outlining, researching, working on characters, or any of the numerous other aspects involved in writing. If you are planning to participate please feel free to add me as your writing buddy — my screen name on the Nano website is kellykinns. If you are not participating, you will still be able to monitor my progress by following that link.
I hope you will consider participating this year. Nano is a fun experience and if you have ever had the inclination or desire to write, it is an excellent exercise in putting pen to paper and getting those ideas out of your brain. Are you ready for November 1st?