NaNoWriMo Time

Since 2003, I have participated in National Novel Writing Month. Since its inception in 1999 with 21 participants, to last year’s 200k participants, writers have used November (or originally July) to attempt to write a 50k (or more) word novel.

The rules are pretty simple: write a work of fiction, at least 50,000 words, do not edit, finish in 30 days, it’s about quantity not quality.

For me, some years, the novel ends up somewhere unexpected. Some years, I’ve found my novel switching genres from what I planned. Some years have been a disaster.

NaNoWriMo is about finding the motivation to write something within a given amount of time, with a deadline, alongside of others with the same goal. For five years, I have been the Municipal Liaison for SLC. It is my job to help motivate everyone in the region, as well as plan the parties and the write-ins.

Technically, I was a rebel last year, but unintentionally. My novel crashed and burned right from the start and I ended up writing short stories, fan fiction, and counted newsletter articles and blog posts. I wrote 50k during November, but it wasn’t a novel.

This year, I am a rebel, deliberately. I have a Rosenthal Book and a Halpert Book, each originally compiled years ago. I bring these to weddings and bar mitzvahs and such to share with my relatives. I started rewriting the Rosenthal book to contain fewer charts, more content, and lots more pictures. I never finished. So instead of writing fiction this year, I’m going to rewrite my family books, and create the other two. In the end, there should be one for each grandparent.

I see several challenges in this attempt.

  1. Even with four books, can I write 50k words?
  2. Can I count pictures? A picture is worth 1000 words, after all, so how much do they count? ;-)
  3. How much reading will I have to do to be able to write all the history parts?
  4. Can I do this without constantly editing?
  5. Can I write these in a text editor and go back to insert the photos and do the page layouts later?

It’s a new challenge for me for NaNo this year. I’m sure it will work itself out in the end.

Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo, or considered it?

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