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NaNoWriMo is an annual event in which, over the course of November, people all over the world buckle down and try to write a 50,000 novel (or novella, really). I’ve been a participant in this event every year since 2005, winning twice and losing once. (Damn sophomore slump!) Perhaps it goes without saying that I’m planning to participate again this year.

I never doubted that I was going to participate this year. I contemplated taking a year off for year twelve — since, you know, I’ll have five exams that November and all — but this year? I’ve only got one year twelve exam, and eternally optimistic as I am, I figure it can’t be too arduous to study for. Not arduous enough to preclude me from writing a novel, at any rate. In fact, writing a novel might even be beneficial — I’ll get to take a break from studying once in a while and return much refreshed. Right?

See, as I thought about it, I realised that writing 50,000 words in a month really isn’t a great challenge. I came to this conclusion after thinking about how fast I could actually write a story. I know that, when I know what I’m writing and am happy to write it, I can write over 900 words in half an hour ((This is 30wpm, which isn’t really fast at all, but keep in mind that I still have to work out the best way to phrase all the sentences! Oh, and since I don’t plan things SENTENCE BY SENTENCE, I also have to work out what the sentences are. 30wpm is totally respectable under those conditions. Really.)). 50,000 words over thirty days is only 1,667 words a day — less than an hour’s work, so long as I know what I’m writing. Since I can tell you here and now that I’m not going to spend my every waking minute studying for this exam anyway, an hour is no big deal.

Writing 50,000 words in a month is very, very doable. More doable if you type quickly, of course, and more doable again if you have an outline to work from and know where to go next. (That or an imagination excellent enough to render such outlines unnecessary, I guess.) Do you have an idea lurking in the back of your mind that you’d really like to get out? NaNoWriMo is a great opportunity to do that! Draw up an outline of what you’d like to write — or not, if that’s what you prefer — and when November rolls around, write it. Sounds simple, right?

NaNoWriMo is a great deal of fun. Well, writing in general is fun, and NaNoWriMo is motivating! You can’t say, “Well, but I have other things to do, and I don’t have to write today anyway.” Suddenly, you do have to write today, or at least compensate for it later on. It gives you an excuse to write down the things you’ve been pondering for a long time. If it’s not very good, so what? You can edit, and you can rewrite. At least you have something concrete, and something to work from, not just, “Oh, well, I thought about it…”

If you have an idea handy and the hour or two a day required, try it! Sign up and just do it! Now!

I guess I’ll be posting another entry in the not-too-distant future about what I’m actually writing.

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One Comment

  1. Yay! I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year – with a great idea. I actually found the novel I wrote ages ago – the one called “Zodria’s Protectors” – and I literally laughed my face off it was so bad. But this time = different genre. I call it “Matters of the Heart”. ^_^


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