November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo (Nah Know Ree Mow). It is a time when aspiring writers throw caution to the wind and attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. “That sounds like something a crazy person would do,” you think to yourself. “How could one possibly complete an entire novel in a month, even one as short as 50,000 words?”
If you break it down, that comes out to 1,666 words a day. That is a much more reasonable goal get your brain around. It is equal to a book about 175 pages long. See? Short. No one expects you to have a fully complete and edited novel in just a month. The goal is to complete the first draft of your book. Editing can always come later (and it must).
Remember, the goal is to motivate yourself to write every day. It’s not an easy goal to have, but one that every writer should aspire to.
So why are we bringing this up here on SideQuesting, a site mostly about video games and geek culture? Because several of the Editors here have decided to participate. We wanted to make sure our readers were aware of the event and encourage anyone that is interested to post about it here in the comments. You can add friends from around the internet as your “writing buddies” on the NaNoWriMo site. My profile can be found right here.
We also have some recommended reading and a few resources that will help you succeed in the month to come!
You should check out this article about a fantastic way of outlining your story called The Snowflake Method. Author Scott Westerfeld has posted several tips on his blog in NaNo years past which you can check out here. There is no end to the amount of content you can find on getting your story written. The trick is to not get so hung up on reading about writing your story that you never get around to actually writing it. Trust me, I’ve fallen in that trap in the past.
As for software, I have been using a combination of Evernote and Scrivener. Evernote lets you take quick note, photos, and audio notes and syncs them with your account. You then have quick access to them on both your smartphone and your writing computer. It even has a feature for snapping photos of your handwritten notes at high contrast so they are readable later in digital form. The best part is, you can do a lot with their free account.
Scrivener is writing software that makes organizing all of your character sheets, outlines, and the actual novel easy. It is your virtual corkboard, as well as a formatting tool. There are templates built in for novels, novels in parts, short stories, scripts of various kinds, and even multiple styles of academic papers and non-fiction writing. The software has a 30 day trial and there is currently a 20% off coupon code for a license in honor of NaNo. The code, unsurprisingly, is NANOWRIMO. There is even a chance to get 50% off the license if you finish your novel. More details can be found on their website.
NaNoWriMo starts in just over a week. Hopefully I have been able to help give you a push in the right direction, however small. Let us know in the comments if you are going to be a NaNoWriMo participant.