It’s that time again. Soon we’ll hear the screams of football fans—oh, we’re hearing that already—the susurrus of gentle autumn rains, the rustle of fallen leaves, and the frantic clicking of hundreds of thousands of keyboards, as the NaNoWriMo community leaps into action, steadfast in our purpose.
What action? 1667 words of fictional prose per day, each day, through the month of November. What purpose? National Novel Writing Month.
The personal goal of each NaNoWriMo participant is to write a draft of a 50,000 word novel in a month.
The WriMo website has an application that lets you upload your masterpiece throughout the month, and counts the words. Don’t worry, the process is secure and no one can steal your work of staggering genius to pass off as their own. Each time you log on, the webpage shows you a bar with a graphical representation of how far you’ve come, as well as a numeric count of your words. If external stimuli help you, then this is a great tool.
If you are a gregarious writer—not quite the oxymoron it seems—many regions host Write-Ins during the month. If you are a gregarious writer who lives in an isolated area, you can read the blogs and posts, or listen to WriMo Radio. The project artfully combines community and competition. As an added bonus, established writers who support WriMo send encouraging and useful e-mails throughout the month.
If you complete 50,000 words, you get a certificate you can print out, and the word “winner” goes by your user ID on the website.
You might get a workable novel out of the deal, too.