Try Writing A Novel in A Month With NaNoWriMo

Try writing a novel in a month with NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month.

Always wanted to get that cool story that’s been kicking in your head down, flex your creative muscles, or just want to challenge yourself?

Do you cringe when people give the example of “write a novel” for a pipe dream or “you’ll now finally have time to do it” thing?

Well, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is something that challenges you to “Just do it”.

What you do is that you pick a genre and a title, write a summary, and write your novel off-site while recording the new number of words written down on the website.

The goal is to try to get to 50,000 words in a month, or about slightly more than 1,600 words a day, 1,667 to be more exact.

Even if you don’t get a full 50,000 words in, it’s still better than nothing.

Even if it’s not your final draft and there are some major revisions you want to make, it’s still better to have it in front of you and being able to see what works and what doesn’t rather than having it in a nebulous form that you think is good but you can’t really see.

Even if you don’t have one big story, you can focus on writing multiple short stories and poems. If you have something that’s partly written, you can use this time to finish it. If you have one big idea that’s more than that than it will at least get you part of the way there, which will help leverage you to finish it. If you really have no idea on what to write, try writing your version of a story that had a good idea but bungled it, or even your own autobiography. "The unexamined life is not worth living", as one has said.

Here’s some advice I want to give: try sketching out the broad things of the story that you want to write, as well as some nuggets that you can’t quite straighten out before you write your novel. It can be demoralizing to have realized that you skipped a couple of days to figure out a plot hole or someone’s motivation and you now will miss the deadline unless you pull an all-nighter.

Another is to block out some time for you to write, even if it’s four blocks of fifteen minutes rather than an hour. Another is to just write. If you don’t know what to write, then write away a scene won’t go, or just give a preliminary view where you go with a rough idea and see it if works. Perhaps it does, but just needs some refinement, and since you’ve written out the scene, you can see in front of you what works and what doesn’t.

In short, the most important thing you should keep in mind is to write and have fun. Worst comes to worst, you have a bad rough draft. Best comes to best, however, and you have a novel and finally fulfilled your dream of writing a novel.