News: National Novel Writing Month

2012-11-05 21:09:PM ago by nicole.boyce

To some, the only thing spookier than Halloween is the notion of writing a novel in a month. But for the thousands of people who participate in National Novel Writing Month each year, November means just that: a whole book (50 000 words) written from start to finish in thirty days. And sure, this sort of challenge comes with a brand of creative Misery that makes Lent look like Mardi Gras, but along with late nights, early mornings, weird similes and forgotten characters, there are some cool benefits to this exercise. When you’re chained to your third week, wondering why your nagging ambition sounds so much like Kathy Bates, remember these motivating factors:
 
There’s value in trying something new.
Chances are, you’ve never written a book in a month. You’ve also probably never eaten a pie in an hour, but both these things are possible, and half the joy of a challenge is discovering what you’re capable of. En route to NaNoWriMo victory, you’ll discover new sensations like finger cramps and verb cramps. You’ll convince yourself that ‘’dragon fly” counts as two words. You’ll wake up confused at 4am with a keyboard print on your face, but you’ll pick up where you left off, because 50 000 words won’t write themselves.
 
There’s value in finishing something.
Let’s be honest: you probably won’t write Eunoia in the next four weeks. But you might write one of the lesser Goosebumps novels, or a meandering romance about rival donair cooks. Even if you end up with hodgepodge that makes your childhood collages look orderly, NaNoWriMo is your chance to take a gamble. Embrace non-sequiturs, brainstorm for later projects, or write that Gilmore Girls mystery novel the fan-fic world is begging for. Whatever you choose: it’ll feel great when you finish.
 
There’s value in community.
In the words of high school counselors everywhere: you’re not alone. And since community is as important to novels as it is to cafeterias, you’d be wise to take advantage of NaNoWriMo’s networking opportunities. Chat online, attend a write-in, or post encouraging comments on other writers’ profiles. At the end of a 5000-word day, a kind remark can make the difference between pushing through and calling it quits. Share the love, and you’ll be at 50 000 words in no time.

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