Despite the difficulties of publishing a book, from revising to finding an agent and an editor, most writers agree that the hardest part of writing a novel is simply sitting down and starting.
Many people have a “great idea for a novel”, but very few put in the work of writing one. Plotting, characterization, and generally putting together a cohesive story is time-consuming, and the thought of taking on such a project can be frightening.
The best way to overcome this fear is not by reading tips on writing, or studying books on publishing fiction. It’s by writing, even if it means forcing the words out. That is the idea behind National Novel Writing Month
November is National Novel Writing Month
Every November, thousands of participants sign up for an account at NaNoWriMo.org. Membership is free, and donations are welcome (and tax deductible).
The goal is simple; writers begin the first draft of a novel on November 1st, and try to complete the draft (50,000 words) by midnight, November 30th. Those who make the goal are added to the NaNoWriMo Winner’s Page and receive a certificate and web badge.
Write a Book Fast With NaNoWriMo
Of course, one could decide to write a novel any month of the year alone. However, NaNoWriMo participants find the atmosphere is a huge motivational factor in finishing their novel.
During November, members can log in to their account and update their word count to see how much closer they are to their 50,000 word goal. The website includes a forum where members can offer words of encouragement and let everyone know about their progress. Doing something as intensive as writing a book in one month is much easier with a group.
The purpose of participating in National Novel Writing Month is not to have a salable book ready by December 1st. It’s to have something, anything, no matter how poor the writing may be. The focus here is on quantity, not quality.
This may be off-putting to some writers. However, it is true that many writers never finish a first draft for a variety of reasons. A few great scenes will not sell a book; the entire thing must be written first! Some NaNoWriMo participants have gone on to edit and even publish their books.
Join NaNoWriMo Today
New members are encouraged to sign up at any time of the year and get to know the program and other members through the forums. Sign up now, and get ready to write that novel that’s brewing!