National Novel Writing Month
November. The magical month where writers everywhere write a book in a month. Every year, I take part and I have only finished once, and I have to say it’s the worst story I have ever written.
I can’t even call it a novel because I was so goal oriented to meet the word count that it’s just a mush of 50,000 words.
So, what did I accomplish during this magical month of novel writing? I wrote 50,000 words and won the challenge of writing 50,000 words. However, winning the challenge produced nothing but jumbled words.
I’m glad I’m not alone. The statistics for the number of people participating in the NaNoWriMo challenge and the number of writers who actually complete and publish their novels from the challenge are minimal.
Besides the fact that November was a horrible month to choose for the challenge because it is a holiday month, and you lose at least a week of time. I suppose Christmas would be worse.
But worse than that is it’s encouraged to write an outline before November, which is an underline meaning that you are more likely to succeed if you have an outline.
What about the Pantsers?
It was 2004 when I first heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I bought the book that the founder Chris Baty wrote, No Plot? No Problem–what I discovered after reading this book and winning the challenge is that if you’re a plotter (write an outline), it’s no problem. But if you’re a pantser (write by the seat of your pants), like me, it’s a tremendous problem. For plotters, this is the challenge for you.
There are many people who say, I want to write a book; they try but fail. Mostly because it is hard work and people don’t expect that. If you think being a novelist and inventing a storyline and characters is simple work, you’re in for a rude awakening.
This is my experience with NaNoWriMo and I am sure not everyone shares the same tragedy I do and did. It’s still fun and I advertise it on Twitter for my writer friends to take part because even though it doesn’t work for me, it may work for another writer. If you’re interested in checking it out, here’s a link to their website Welcome | NaNoWriMo.
I still join the NaNoWriMo challenge every year, but I don’t stress over the word count anymore. When I produce 5,000 legible words in a month, I’m happy.
Here is a blog post I found from one of many bestselling authors I follow. Jerry Jenkins shares his view of NaNoWriMo. Participating in NaNoWriMo 2020? Caution! – Jerry Jenkins.