For all of you writers out there, amateur and professional alike, this is your mission, should you choose to accept it: complete a novel in November.
New Times apologizes we didn’t get this information to you sooner, but better late than never, right? Plus, you all endure the 55 Fiction contest every year, so why not?
The goal of National Novel Writing Month in November is to encourage writers to, simply, write, and don’t stop until the clock strikes midnight on November 30. By then you should have 175 pages of freshly typed—with no completed editing or re-writing in sight—lovely prose. Just stream of consciousness, or stream of whatever crap comes out of your head and onto the keyboard, only stop for pee breaks, kind of writing. It is about quantity, not quality. The latter will be dealt with later.
According to their website, National Novel Writing Month “wants you to force yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
“As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.”
“Last year 100,000 writers took part, with more than 15,000 crossing the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.”
This online community of renegade writers also offers pep talks and word-count scoreboards.
Come March, get ready to edit, as March is National Editing Month. Pick up that red pen and fly.
For info and to register (registration is free but donations are accepted), log on to: www.nanowrimo.org.