View Full Version : Na-What-O?

July 12th, 2012, 04:26 PM
Sorry to be a pain, but can someone explain to me what national novel writing month is? I tried to find a thread but everyone seems to already know what it is and theres no sticky thread!

July 12th, 2012, 04:29 PM
Its a month (november) where writers around the world compete to write a novel within a month (50k words). It's more of a self achievement thing than an actual competition, but you register to the website and keep score of your word count each day and your word count goes towards the collective word count of your area.

Or something like that.

July 19th, 2012, 09:56 PM
^ What he said. There are "summer camp" editions now taking place in June and August, so there are three NaNoWriMo opportunities every year. You essentially get the opportunity to write recklessly for thirty days with other writers who are also writing recklessly and try to boost your word count. In the last week you have the opportunity to "validate" your novel and the site's word counter will check to make sure you hit the 50k mark (you can surpass it too!).

It's a lot of fun. I just wrote my first draft last month doing NaNoWriMo and had a blast with my "cabin mates." I definitely recommend trying it out. I plan to continue the novel I won with last month during the next month. It's a great challenge and it motivated me to get past the writer's block I was struggling with.

July 20th, 2012, 10:30 AM
So it doesn't have to be a best seller or anything? You just go for it?

July 20th, 2012, 10:31 AM
Oh, and what are the rules on drafting it up before the month begins?

July 20th, 2012, 10:39 AM
National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/)

Kyle R
July 20th, 2012, 11:09 AM
Oh, and what are the rules on drafting it up before the month begins?

Think of it like a big, community-organized race for fun. Everyone gets together and agrees upon a starting line (0 words) and a finish line (50,000 words).

On November 1st, the starting gun goes BANG! and everyone yells, "Woohoo!! Here we go!" and you begin to write your novel. You could work from a plot outline or you could just wing it. It's up to you. But you start with your word-counter at 0. Every day you can update your word-count as you go, and you shoot for 50,000 by the end of the month.

If you reach 50,000 words you win A MILLION DOLLARS!! Well, okay, not really. But you'll have a first draft of a novel! Done in a month, that's not bad at all!

I tried last year and I gave up after chapter two :( My problem was I kept going backwards and editing, and it killed my creative momentum. So, if I do participate this year, I'm going to just write, write, write!!

July 20th, 2012, 11:22 AM
So no stopping to go back and make it perfect, just a marathon of writing! Excellent. I predict i'll have run out of steam by the second chapter. But i'll do it anyway!

July 20th, 2012, 11:23 AM
So we do it as a group?

Kyle R
July 20th, 2012, 11:32 AM
You do it on your own, but you can "friend" others to watch each other's progress (it shows everyone's word-counter and whatever info about your novel that you put in). Also they have forums and group boards to post in so you can say, "I'm at 3,000 words and loving it! How about you guys?" or "I've got writer's block! Help!" or whatever. Last year there was a WritingForums.com group on there.

July 20th, 2012, 12:03 PM
Oh lovely, I hope there's one again so I can see how everyone's doing - massively excited now!

July 20th, 2012, 04:54 PM
Oh, and what are the rules on drafting it up before the month begins?

I know a lot of people that plan it out, but the only planning I did was for characters and some important story aspects.

When I began last month for camp, I went into it thinking "Here's to my first draft. I will not go back and read anything more than my last sentence, I will not delete any parts. That's what July is for." I'd attempted to do Camp last year and flopped at 23k, but this year I made it! I have a "Cabin" so to speak of friends who have helped me along the way and I found the program Write or Die to be EXTREMELY helpful. It allowed me to release any inhibitions I had, which would've held me back.

Edit to include this...:

Water for Elephants, The Night Circus, and Cinder are all works of prose that have been drafted during NaNoWriMo and hit a good deal success as a result. There's actually a page on the official NaNoWriMo website that lists a bunch of novels that have been written and published as a result of NaNoWriMo.

July 23rd, 2012, 12:27 AM
Hi Kay

Goto the NaNo site linked above and join the forums. From there you join your local group and / or your area. This is where you get a good community going during the month, you will usually find they arrange meetings etc to get people motivated.

It is a good experience and although I have tried for two years I have failed both times at around 12k words. I have started planning mine now as I do not want to fail again, I need to do it this time.

Good luck with yours.


July 25th, 2012, 12:16 PM
Good luck everyone!

And Primrose - thank you, that made my day seeing that! That people have made Novels from this is amazing!

July 25th, 2012, 12:55 PM
Wow. I hadn'tthought that published novels came out of that.

I'm up for a nanowrimo challenge. It would be interesting to try!

Hmm....if a novel is 50k words.....I think I might be able to make that...need motivation to do it. I'm geting bogged down by character summaries, describing my world, diagraming out the political ties., plot summaries....not geting much for chapter writing down

July 25th, 2012, 01:18 PM
I wish I could take a month off and do nothing but write, but i don't think the military or my husband would agree with it

(Also, this is me celebrating my 500th post, YAY!)

July 26th, 2012, 12:03 AM
Well, being married and in the military would certainly make it rather troublesome, but the whole point is to try to do it in spite of everything else you've got going on. Last November, I worked 40+ hours a week and got screwed with a jury duty summons, but I still managed. Granted, my job isn't exactly as taxing as military work. (There's an understatement!) I think the whole point, really, is to get people to sit down and just write. It's fun, whether you win or not though.

July 26th, 2012, 12:18 AM
One of our branch libraries held some Camp Nanowrimo Write-ins this summer. I wasn't able to participate but I heard that they were really fun. Maybe next year. :)

July 26th, 2012, 07:02 AM

National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/publishedwrimos)

That's the link to the published NaNoWriMo novels that have been reported. Some of the authors are repeatedly published too.

July 27th, 2012, 04:04 AM
I reached 18k in '10 and '11, this year I swear I'll get further. I might plan out some small tidbits this time instead of winging it, but I don't know for sure.

It's a blast, but the problem for me was that I didn't have a group of people I knew that were going to do it too, so I had no real encouragement and it made me kind of dwindle away after only four or five days of prodigious writing.

I'm sure I'll find a bunch of people at Uni I can rope into doing it though; that's if they haven't tried before already!

July 27th, 2012, 10:37 AM
A support group sounds like a good idea - i'll have to look out for one down here too. I think i already know what my story is going to be based on!

July 27th, 2012, 10:39 AM
And Prim - wow that is a long list! That definetely makes me more motivated to do this!!! Excited.

July 28th, 2012, 05:06 AM
And Prim - wow that is a long list! That definetely makes me more motivated to do this!!! Excited.

Gotta love the WriMos! If you have Skype and want a group to chat with this year, feel free to shoot me a PM. My group and I have a skype chat for NaNoWriMo and it's super easy to find writing buddies in WriMo season.

August 17th, 2012, 09:33 AM
Prim that's a brilliant idea! I always need extra motivation and that sounds like a great way to do it.

I always respond well to group peer pressure :)

February 23rd, 2013, 08:55 AM
I might as well join this activity when the next opportunity comes up.

February 23rd, 2013, 05:48 PM
I've nano-ed six times. Five complete novels, one I got so "into" that I forgot to validate it (last year). There's usually a writingforums presence. If there isn't and you want a buddy or cheerleader, come find me. I have the same handle there as I do here and everywhere.
It boils down to an average of 1667 words per day-that's duck soup. Novel writing isn't as hard as it's made out to be.
I use the nanowrimo period to try things that are out of my regular queue, or to experiment-one of the pieces, which has now grown to almost 700k, was an experiment involving no characters besides the narrator, that takes place on a frozen world where time moves at a glacial pace and nothing "seems" to happen. It's really not very interesting, but it sure is long, and I add to it from time to time.
Three of the nanonovels will be published, later this year and next.
You can do it too.

February 23rd, 2013, 08:03 PM
I'd really like it if instead of November (which seems to always be crazy here) the month was February or March, usually terribly grey and cold months here when I want to hibernate anyway. Yes, I do think that NaNoWriMo should be changed just for me!

(And I probably still wouldn't finish a novel)

February 23rd, 2013, 08:54 PM
I want to venture into writing contemporary thrillers, so I guess I'm taking part and nano myself in to test that.

March 20th, 2013, 12:51 AM
This sounds fun, I definitely want to participate in this this year! I told myself on Jan. 1st that my New Years Resolution was to finish a novel by the end of the year. Maybe this will motivate me to finish a little early in November, or even to finish at all! Yay!

March 21st, 2013, 02:16 PM
This is just a general NaNoWriMo announcement, but this year Camp NaNoWriMo will take place in April and July. It's no different than NaNo November, they just choose to put a summery spin on things. They did change one variable though: word count. You're allowed to set your own goal. I'm pretty sure they did this to increase the number of winners they see yearly.

So now you've got two opportunities to finish your novel this year... GET GOIN'!

March 22nd, 2013, 09:57 PM
Hi KayG that's exactly what I first said when I joined in the NaNoWriMo challenge last year. I had great fun and actually wrote my first book which I'm still editing. Observing my daily word count target was not always easy, but at least it kept me focused. I also had several buddies who were great, and when I lagged behind and saw their word count going up, it spurred me on. Please do not hesitate to contact me for the Nov challenge.

July 4th, 2013, 09:41 PM
I have a question about this. I know you are supposed to log from 0 to goal... but can you take an unfinished work and go from there, logging only the stuff you type after the comp starts?

I've wanted to do this for several years now, but have been in nursing school - brain is fried so crisply even thinking about anything other than studying hurts. But, yay me, I graduate in October, so this year would be the perfect time - sending out resumes and writing while waiting for the phone to ring!

Would love to be able to use the comp to spur me in writing further on my project, but already have a couple thou written.

I suppose if that's not allowed I could use one of my other seeds, but would really not like any excuse to not finish this one.

July 4th, 2013, 10:40 PM
NaNo is pretty much free game. Working off a project you've already started is called "rebelling." Lots of people do it! Some people don't even write novels. They write flash fiction, fan fiction and any host of other things. Sometimes even scripts.

Basically the only rule of NaNoWriMo is to have an insane amount of fun. You're pretty much at liberty to do whatever pleases you.

August 9th, 2013, 10:02 PM
When does this start and how do I join in? I am currently at 45,000 on my very first novel but need the extra push to finish it I think! This would be really helpful right now.

August 9th, 2013, 10:04 PM
National Novel Writing Month (http://nanowrimo.org/)

It's really good fun and the progress graph is amazing motivation.

August 9th, 2013, 10:35 PM
Thanks Gargh! :) I'm so excited, signing up now! Yay! lol

August 9th, 2013, 11:30 PM
When does this start and how do I join in? I am currently at 45,000 on my very first novel but need the extra push to finish it I think! This would be really helpful right now.

If you were doing it properly, you would have to start again, you can't start with your own 45k :P

1st November. I am determined to finish this year.

October 29th, 2013, 12:43 AM
If you were doing it properly, you would have to start again, you can't start with your own 45k :P

1st November. I am determined to finish this year.

Not entirely true, good sir! Working off of something you've already got is considered "rebelling" you're at liberty to write another 50k during the month. As an addendum to the original rules, I know in the months of April and July you can set your own word goals. Not sure if they intend to do that for actual NaNo this year, but I will only be writing 18k.

October 29th, 2013, 12:57 PM
But the idea is to write 50k in a month, so starting with 45k and getting to 50k would really be "completing" it, unless you wrote another 45k on something else.

I'm planning 2 novellas this year.

As long as you write 50k in the month, you have done it :)