Battening Down The Hatches For November
2005 October 14 18:18 CET

Unlike the title may seem to suggest I'm not expecting any particularly bad storms next month. No it's much worse, I've been bitten by a bug, and it's going to show next month. Yes, the dreaded November bug strikes. It's nearly time for NaNoWriMo!

What, some poor uninitiated souls may ask, is NaNoWriMo? Well NaNoWriMo is what I do in November, to the exclusion of not everything else, but many other things nonetheless. It's also one of the greatest writing experiences ever. NaNo (for short) sets a goal for you: write a novel, or the first 50,000 words of one, in 30 days. That's roughly 1667 words a day for the month of November. It officially stands for National Novel Writing Month, but it's national to wherever one happens to be.

NaNo also makes a competition out of it, sort of. There aren't any special rewards for first or second place, or anything like that. Anyone that makes it to (or past) 50,000 words before the deadline gets the right to a winner's icon (like the ones at the bottom of the main writing page) and a cool PDF certificate. But more important than the competition is the spirit of NaNo, provided by the NaNoWriMo forums and the knowledge that a lot of other people are doing the same thing at the same time (and quite possibly as crazy as you are). Giving and receiving encouragement drives you forward toward that magical number 50,000.

In a way NaNo has already started. I'm busy doing the worldbuilding for the fantasy novel I plan to write and the NaNo forums are already alive and kicking. I'm especially concerned with the worldbuidling this year since lack of worldbuilding caused me some delays last year. Nothing catastrophic but it did make my 50,000 a closer call than I would have liked.

While I wouldn't dream of telling anyone they should do NaNo, but I certainly think anyone into writing should check it out. There's very little to lose if you do participate and you're almost certain to have more words at the end of November than you would have had if you hadn't participated, whether it's 50,000 more or not.

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