NaNoWriMo — The Adventure Begins!

Just a gentle reminder that National Novel Writing Month begins today.  If you want group support, visit NaNoWriMo and get started.  You need only bang out 50K words (in a month) to be a winner, not to mention well on your way to being published! All for a mere 1,666 words a day! Easy Peasey!

Wondering how it works?

1) Sign up for the event by clicking the “Start Here” button at

2) Follow the instructions on the following screen to create an account.

2.5) Check your email for the account validation email and click on the link included.

3) Log into your account, where you’ll be prompted to finish the sign-up process.

4) Start filling out information about yourself and your novel in My NaNoWriMo.

5) Begin procrastinating by reading through all the great advice and funny stories in the forums. Post some stories and questions of your own. Get excited. Get nervous. Try to rope someone else into doing this with you. Eat lots of chocolate and stockpile noveling rewards.

6) On November 1, begin writing your novel. Your goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by midnight, local time, on November 30th. You write on your own computer, using whatever software you prefer.

7) This is not as scary as it sounds.

8) Starting November 1, you can update your word count in that box at the top of the site, and post excerpts of your work for others to read. Watch your word-count accumulate and story take shape. Feel a little giddy.

9) Write with other NaNoWriMo participants in your area. Write by yourself. Write. Write. Write.

9.25) If you write 50,000 words of fiction by midnight, local time, November 30th, you can upload your novel for official verification, and be added to our hallowed Winner’s Page and receive a handsome winner’s certificate and web badge. We’ll post step-by-step instructions on how to scramble and upload your novel starting in mid-November.

9.3333) Reward yourself copiously for embarking on this outrageously creative adventure.

10) Win or lose, you rock for even trying.

That’s all there is to it! Occasionally, participants write in to ask about the rules of the event. We don’t have many! But because we’ve found that creativity is often heightened by constraints (and communities bolstered by shared goals) we have evolved a handful of rules over the years. The rules state that, to be an official NaNoWriMo winner, you must…

  • Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
  • Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
  • Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
  • Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
  • Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
  • Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.
Published in: on November 1, 2012 at 2:13 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

If you break the sound barrier, no one can hear you scream.

(Mike Vogl / AFP / Getty Images )


Today, in tribute to Austrian daredevil (that’s actually printed on his business card) Felix Baumgartner, we want to take a moment to applaud the adventurer in everyone.

Sure, you many not wish to jump from space,  you may just want to pay off your home loan, or make a trip to Hawaii, or publish that manuscript that’s been in the closet for the last decade, but whatever your dream is, go for it.

And for those of you who have always dreamed of writing that novel . . . National Novel Writer’s Month is right around the corner — beginning Nov 1st.

Nanowrimo has, as usual, some great perks  and some wild events for participants. In addition, you’re bound to receive the love and support of your fellow writers. So, visit Nanowrimo today — and, like Felix, start plotting your course for the stars!

So, how did your NaNo WriMo Go?

Big Congrats to everyone who finished the 2011 National Novel Writing Month project today with 50K words (and their sanity still intact). And to those that won’t finish with the requisite wordage, a very good effort!

Over the past month we’ve seen several postings on the Office of Light  & Letters blog, we’ve though, wow, wish we could run out and by thatbook.  Most recently our favorite “wish I could read it NOW!” was

When Pink Hippo Fell by awesome speller

Lizzie returns to the small beachside town of Eastbourne, trying to put aside memories of her family’s abrupt departure from there ten years earlier when she was a girl. But no sooner does she start working in her granny’s rock candy shop than she comes across the stuffed pink hippo she left behind…and she finds that whatever it was trying to tell her as a child, it is trying much harder to tell her now. The more she becomes involved, the more Ryan, her ex-boyfriend’s twin brother, does, too, despite her best attempts to keep him out of the increasing danger that threatens to take her life.

Anyway, we want to take this moment to pass on this important message from the NaNoWriMo organization . . .

An Important Message about NaNoWriMo’s Future

Dear Writer,

National Novel Writing Month needs your help.

This year, we’ve spent nearly $1 million to put on NaNoWriMo and the Young Writers Program. With that money, we’ve provided a free creative writing adventure to over 2,000 classrooms, supported 500 NaNoWriMo chapters and 400 public libraries, and inspired 300,000 participants around the world.

We’re a small, grassroots nonprofit, and most of our funding comes from people like you—writers who make a tax-deductible donation through our online Donation Station.

We’ve received contributions from 7% of this year’s writers. Those donations have covered half of our expenses, and we thank everyone mightily who has contributed. We now need to raise the rest to avoid cuts to NaNoWriMo and the Young Writers Program in 2012.

We believe in you. And we believe passionately in our programs. In my 13 years with the organization, there’s never been a moment when those programs have needed your support more than they do right now. Please donate today.

Chris Baty

P.S. You can see how your donation will be spent in our annual budget, or in this animated short about the Office of Letters and Light.

National Novel Writing Month — this november

Ok, probably the worst acronym ever, but  NaNoWriMo is a great idea. In case you don’t know this is an organization that encourages people to write a 50,000 word novel in just one month: November.  Scary, exciting, encouraging . . . all that and more.

If you’re thinking, what’s the point?  Allow us to inform you that many people have become published as a result of NaNoWriMo, most recently the author of Water for Chocolate.

If you’re wondering, can I do that? It never hurts to try, and NaNoWriMo sponsors lots of events around the country to get people started and keep the encouraged.

You may ask, are there prizes? Kind of. They’re more like offers.

Last year it was a free printed copy of your work (courtesy of Create Space) and a 50% discount on Scrivener (which you heard us yak about the other day, as the easy way to ePUB). And some other great things.

There’s yet to be an update on the website, but  as far as the 2011 for Scrivener goes . . . . They’re offering a special trial version for NaNoWriMo (Mac or Win) participants.  (Special NaNoWriMo trial version here!) How cool is that? And 50% off Scrivener for all NaNoWriMo winners, and 20% off for all participants. So even if you muck it all up, if you tried . . . 20% off.

Published in: on October 3, 2011 at 6:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,