By Maria Kimble, Contributing Writer
Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Well, this will be the time to do so. November is National Novel Writing Month. This is an annual creative writing project that began in 1999.
“NaNoWriMo” encourages people to write 50,000 words from Nov. 1 until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30. The purpose is to encourage creativity worldwide. NaNoWriMo focuses on the length of work that allows writers to finish their first draft. Writers then can go back in to complete their work for perfection.
Writers who wish to participate can register on the project’s website at nanowrimo.org. There you can create a profile to keep yourself accountable. The website first tells you to fill out your profile. After completing your profile you can then meet like-minded writers to connect with.
This is the perfect time to emerge as an author. Once you are signed up you then can start earning badges for completing specific milestones. You can also participate in online forms to collaborate with other writers.
A major fear for all writers is writer’s block. The NaNoWriMo has an inspiration tab filled with resources for you. During September and October, they provided links to inspire, challenge, and prepare you to write your novel. They also encourage you to look at their blog, forums, Facebook and Twitter for new updates. With resources like this, it’s impossible to be stumped. If you are feeling discouraged, take a look at their Pep Talks. They are inspirational letters written by well-known authors during NaNoWriMo just for the participants.
There are only a few stipulations to this process. Writer’s novels can be on any theme, in any genre or fiction, and in any language. This includes everything from fan-fiction to novels in poem format. This allows you to have complete and total creative control.
Novels must reach a minimum of 50,000 words before 11:59:59 p.m. on Nov. 30, local time. Planning and notes are permitted, but no earlier written material can go into the novel. Also, no one is allowed to start early and finish 30 days from that starting point.
To win NaNoWriMo, participants must write an average of approximately 1,667 words per day. NaNoWriMo aims to simply get people to start writing, using deadlines as encouragement. There is no fee to participate, and registration is only required for novel verification.
Anyone who reaches the 50k goal is declared a winner. On Nov. 25, participants can submit their novel to be automatically verified for length and receive a printable certificate. Other than that, there are no official prizes for winners, just the satisfaction of writing a novel.
The last step is to stay updated with NaNoWriMo’s blog, where support is offered by authors, editors, and agents. February through April are considered “Now What?” months; the main goal is to get novelists’ works published. If you are interested in taking on the novel challenge please visit their website at nanowrimo.org.