NaNoWriMo started in July 1999 with a group of writers in San Francisco, California. By 2000 the date was changed to the month of November to take advantage of the colder weather. Writers sign up on the NaNoWriMo website to participate. Milestones are given to help writers achieve their writing goals. After November 20, writers can choose to submit their work for a check-in to see if they have reached their goal of 50,000 written words toward a novel. The work is not checked for errors or content, only for word count. To be declared a winner, you need to show a word count of 50,000 words. Your prize? Although prizes can be purchased on the website, your prize is a written novel! https://nanowrimo.org/
How do you reach 50,000 words for your novel?
The word count has been broken down to 1, 667 written words per day, in order to reach the goal of 50,000 words by November 30th. It is also suggested that you prepare ahead of November 1st, beginning with an outline and that you should also start a new novel, or completely revise an older work that you haven’t completed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Novel_Writing_Month
What should you do if it’s already November and you haven’t registered with the NaNoWriMo site and you haven’t begun writing your novel?
Will you need to play catch up all month to achieve your goal? Will you need to wait until next year? That’s up to you, but I say No! The criteria and the time element will not fit in with everyone’s writing style. For instance, I know a picture book author who took the challenge of NaNoWriMo as a time to write rough drafts for eight picture books, and she met that challenge.
The receptionist at my work always seemed to be writing something in her notebook. I asked her what she was writing and she said she’s working on NaNoWriMo, and trying to complete 50,000 handwritten words since she didn’t have a computer at work. Her handwriting was so small that it was like using 14-point font on a computer. She would later go back and type the whole novel into her computer at home.
I mostly write middle grade or YA books and most of my books are not novel length. When November comes, I’m usually in the middle of a work-in-progress. What do I do for NaNoWriMo? I set my own writing goals and work toward achieving them. For now, I plan to finish my work in progress during November and set things up with my illustrator, Kerah Diez. I also plan to write two blog posts per week, so that’s will be eight posts for the month of November.
What am I working on now? This is the second book in The Path You Choose series: On The Rock: The Path You Choose #2–this one is about underage drinking. My first book in this series just won the Mom’s Choice Award a few weeks ago. https://jillvanderwood.com/books/off-target-the-path-you-choose/
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