Wednesday, October 18, 2006

NaNoWriMo - write it yourself novel month

November is NaNoWriMo month. That's when people sign up to write a novel in one month. It's eminently doable; thousands of people do it every year. The results aren't always much good, but they are novels, and since they have 50,000 words in them they can be edited into shape without the angst of having to write and edit at the same time.

The editing is what tends to cripple writers. The inner editor gets to work on your first sentence and by the time that's polished up three months later you've lost interest in the other 89,980 words you have still to write. The NaNoWriMo people liken it to bicycling uphill with a rhino in a trailer behind you. Leave the rhino at home and get up the hill; with NaNoWriMo, you put more than half of the words you need down on paper and then stop to think.

But don't take my word for it. The NaNoWriMo website is at and it will give you all the details. How to sign up, how to contact others in the same boat, how to post your progress, how to get your novel counted as finished at the end of the month, and how to boast about it to all of your friends.

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