I have to just start out by saying that very few people actually knew about this awesome event. Granted writing is not for everyone, and I understand that it takes a lot of work and patience and not everyone has that, especially in our fast-paced world. But I for one LOVE writing it forces me to slow down and take some time for me. Writing also helps me understand the world a little better and why I feel the way I do about various events in my life. So enough about me and more about Nanowrimo!!
The first thing I get asked when asking if someone is participating in Nano is, what is Nanowrimo?
It stands for National Novel Writing Month. Basically, you get together with other writers, ( this is essential but not necessary to “win”) and try to write a minimum of 50k words in a month. 50,000 words are considered a small novel BUT it is a novel none the less so do not let anyone tell you otherwise! Sorry about that… Anyways you do not have to get together with other writers but it really is a lot of fun. You go to nanowrimo.org and make an account then find your region. When you find and add a region to your account not only are you helping yourself you are helping to motivate others too! Usually, the region you are in will have a facebook group or free chat room and you can go there for motivational support, help with your novel, or ideas on how to keep your cat off of your labtop. Your regional leader is known as ML and they are very informative on Nanowrimo and on writing period. They usually have done Nanowrimo for a couple of years in a row so they have been around the block a couple of times. My ML worked hard setting up writing events at various places for us to get together. This helped me a lot because I could get away from the kids and family and spend time on just my writing. Personally, I always feel better after writing for a bit. My ML also had swag bags for us and prizes after we won a word war.
What is a word war you ask? It is like crack for a writer no seriously you will write a lot of words just to beat the next guy even if they did not completely make sense… okay maybe that was just me. Word wars are very motivational in writing it can force you to push past a writer’s block but also really get a scene you like flowing in beautiful detail. Basically you set a timer and write as much as you can before time is up, the time period does not matter but usually, people do no go past 20 to 30 minutes. When the time is up you count the words you wrote and then whoever wrote more wins and you get a prize. If it is just you and another person you can do a couple of word wars and then loser buys the winner a coffee or a special treat. In a larger group you usually win smaller prizes because there are a lot more word wars going on. Do not be surprised if you knock out 2 to 3k in words at a regional write up. I know in one day I wrote 7k, I wrote 2 k that morning during my usual writing time and then that night during the write in I wrote another 5k. Going to write-ins are always nice because you are surrounded by people who are doing just what you love. I now understand why there are scrapbooking clubs, which I will admit I found silly but now I do not.
How do you “win” Nanowrimo?
Simple you write! Even if you did not reach 50k you still “win”, you will not be able to get the goodies that those who do reach 50k will get but you still put pen to paper and wrote and to me that is winning. But to win the goodies offered by sponsors you write 50,000 words before or by November 30th. You then go to your account and up at the top update your word count and validate it by copying and pasting it into the box provided. Nanowrimo will not copy or sell your work the words get counted and then scrambled so no one sees it. Once your word count reaches 50k you will be sent to the “winners” page. This time was a pretty cute video from other nano’s saying congratulations and some pretty nifty NaNoWriMo winners gear that you could purchase. I personally am looking forward to the 50% off of the Scrivener program which I used, the free trial, to help write my novel this month.
Now you get to take a break and sometimes you will not want and other times you will be looking forward to it. But either way, I would personally take a break at least a week from your work. Once your break is over you can go back read through it and start editing it. You repeat this steps as many times as you think is necessary until is polished and all shiny. Then you decide whether or not to publish it or keep it for yourself. Finally, congratulate yourself on writing a book. Many people dream of writing a book but not many have the patience and stamina to go through with finishing it.
I hope my post helped you and I look forward to seeing you just us crazy Nano’s next November. Keep on the look out for my experience with Nanowrimo went this November.