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Where did National Novel Writing Month come from?
"Life resembles a novel more often than novels resemble life." - George Sand
NaNoWriMo is an event that lasts the entire month of November and challenges authors to write a 50,000 word manuscript during those thirty days. It must be a newly written item, although you are allowed to outline the novel beforehand.
Where did it begin?
In July 1999, Chris Baty gathered 21 of his friends together to "make some noise" and each write a novel in one month. That month was November and it is where NaNoWriMo was born. The next year, a website and countless forwarded email invites later, the count ballooned to 140 people across the United States and Canada. The third year, the originators expected 150 people and were stunned when over 5000 showed up. Skip forward to last year in 2013 and over 700K people joined together to write a novel in 30 days.
As East Bay Press said so eloquently:
Once mention of NaNoWriMo hit MetaFilter.com, an online clearinghouse for issues being discussed by "bloggers" -- people who keep online diaries known as Weblogs -- it spread like a literary Ebola.
Some facts about NaNoWriMo 2013:
310,095 participants started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
89,500 students and educators created worlds through the Young Writers Program .
In 2014, 55,774 Campers participated in Camp NaNoWriMo 's online writing retreat.
Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder. You can see a full listing of all published works at the NaNoWriMo website.
Are you considering participating this year? Then let's go over some tips.
Set a daily word count target that’s more than the minimum.
This is important to keep yourself ahead of the game. There will be days when you can't write for whatever reason. You won't have to worry if you're ahead of the game.
Plan ahead and schedule your writing time.
Life takes precedence so don't neglect your responsibilities. By scheduling in your writing time among your regular duties, chores, ... life in general, you will have a better chance of success.
Inspiration can strike anywhere, so be prepared.
Never underestimate that little detail that pops into your head while you're at the office, school, doctor's office or even in the bathroom. Jot it down in a notebook or use a voice recorder if that's more your style.
Don't delete anything.
No matter how much that inner critic wants to edit, don't. Just keep writing. When it comes down to it, every single word counts so remember, no deleting!
Stop while you're ahead.
One of the best pieces of advice I've ever seen was when you know you are going to stop writing for the day, choose to stop writing mid-sentence. That way when you start up the next day, you're in mid-thought and know exactly where you were headed and can jump right back in.
And now I'll sign off with the words of Chris Baty himself.
"Here is my promise to all of you: It's going to be easier than you think," he said. "You all by virtue of being humans are born storytellers and yakkers. I'm sure 50,000 words will be no problem. Just remember all of you have it in you, all of you are ready to go. Just wait until the deadline, and then we start writing."
Write and Review on! ~ Brooke
Full of helpful lists, plot maps, character Q&As, field trips, writing exercises, inspiring quotes, and plenty of space to write and outline, Ready, Set, Novel! provides ample inspiration and guidance to first-time novelists and more seasoned scribes alike.
This month's links are items relating to NaNoWriMo and novel writing.
"NaNoWriMo Write-A-Thon" by Jeff
A NaNoWriMo fundraiser... compete as a NaNo writer or donate by sponsoring one!
"October NaNoWriMo Prep Challenge" by Brandiwyn🎶
Prepare for NaNoWriMo and win prizes!
"Mid-Novel Blues" by Joy
A few suggestions to continue writing the novel, if you get stumped at midpoint
"The WDC NanoLounge" by The StoryMaster
A nano place to chat about NanoWrimo 2014
"Thinking about NanoWrimo - Rebelliously!" by ruwth
For those "writing a memoir, a script, a nonfiction book ... or something else that's not a novel."
This month's picks are from authors that have filled out their bio-blocks. Let the other members get to know you by sharing something about yourself in yours today.
Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!
Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!
Don't forget to support our sponsor!
I received some wonderful feedback to my last newsletter [#6528] "Help! I have so much to do!" and I'm proud to share it with you.
Thank you Brooke for listing ways to curb stress. I read these suggestions over and over, but it is a healthy reminder to take each item and invest a moment to care for ourselves. I especially appreciate the timeliness of your Lucky 7 because I am between several deadlines at work and deciding to write my next book. I tend to use one to escape the other. I sit at my desk at home and try avoiding my writing by looking at work projects, then I find myself at work wishing I could be at home writing. I must now learn to balance the both if I am to really get anything done.
Thanks again, - K
I've been scrolling and speed reading some of the stories and you guys and dolls are fantastic. I'm a bit nervous cause I haven't had the chance to write anything yet, but I promise change is coming.
Thank you for featuring my contest in your newsletter! Hopefully everyone is not too busy with birthday activities to enter!
Thank you for featuring my article "Invalid Item" in your newsletter, Brooke! I hope some newbies had a chance to check it out. The more often we can think the best of others in our online world and not resort to paranoia, the better communication and understanding will be.
From Lynda Miller
HI Meridith! I really enjoyed your article. It can be used for so many different things in our life. Goals, commitment, working, etc. I have found list really do work! Your article reminded me to start using them again.
Thank you for writing it!
Lynda~Wishbone Laughing Tree
From Elfin Dragon - contest hunting
You are so right about Music being important to creative people. I will often sit and write (or draw) with the music on instead of TV. It really does inspire the soul, especially when it's a piece of music I really enjoy. Like something from Tartanic, or a piece of music from the soundtrack of Conan the Barbarian. Yep, I said it Conan the Barbarian. There's some really good rock out Operatic pieces on it.
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