Welcome to National Novel Writing Month

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Yes, folks, it’s officially NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month. If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, November is the month to give it a try.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo when I read Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project (which was also part of the inspiration for this blog). The idea of writing a novel in a month seemed kind of crazy to me at the time. But great books have come from NaNoWriMo projects, books like Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, which began as a NaNoWriMo project.

nanowrimoSo for the first time, I’m giving it a try. As of November 1st, I had 43,000 words of a novel I’ve been working on since spring. I’m using NaNoWriMo to finish up that first draft. By the end of November, I’ll have written an additional 50,000 words (the official word count goal of NaNoWriMo) and I’ll have a finished draft.

The advantage of participating in NaNoWriMo is that you become part of a community of people writing together. The website allows you to monitor your daily word count and calculate exactly when you’ll be done. You can sign up to receive pep talks and tips on craft. It’s like a big national, writing party, and this year, I’m in. You can join by going to the NaNoWriMo website, and it’s still not too late.

In a few days, my NaNoWriMo essay in Small Print Magazine will be out, which gives you tips on surviving the month acquired from years of watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, that’s right, Buffy writing tips. Joss Whedon is a master storyteller so I look at what he has to teach us about crafting a novel.

Next week, I’ll be posting my interview with Ellen Airgood, author of South of Superior and the middle grade novel, Prairie Evers. We talked about the behind-the-scenes story of writing Prairie Evers and she also offers some tips for writing a novel. My favorite piece of advice which came from her agent–Love your character.

Happy NaNoWriMo!

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