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Updated on July 15, 2015

Is Writing a Novel on your Bucket List?

NanoWriMo could be the push you need to author the next great novel. Do you dream of writing the next smash series? How about writing the next Twilight saga, Harry Potter or even an Eragon? Stop talking, stop dreaming and commit to NanoWriMo this November and start writing!

The rules are simple, write as much as you can with no editing for one entire month until you hit 50,000 words. It's a very freeing exercise, because beyond that there are no other rules.

No editing allows the ideas to flow out of you without caring about if what you are writing is making any sense. Explore where the story goes. Take an off beaten path just to see what might happen. You can do the editing and polishing after the month is over and you have 50,000 words to sift through.

What is NanoWriMo

and why is it called that?

NanoWriMo is a contest held for National Novel Writing Month, which just happens to be in November.

The group has just one goal, write as much as you can as fast as you can to make the 50K word count by 11:59pm on November 30th. That's how you win. Those 50K words must be written during the contest month of November and you must cross the 50,000 word finish line before December rolls in.

What you write about is all up to you, but know that this contest isn't about quality. It's focus is quantity, which many writers find very freeing. No room for writers block here, just write what you feel, your paragraphs may feel disconnected now, but when it's all said and done you may have discovered a theme to polish your dribble into a really great novel.

Here's a recap right from the source

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.

Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins 12:00:01 November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at 11:59:59. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Books on Writing Books! - Need an idea, these tools will help!

The Writer's Block: 786 Ideas to Jump-Start Your Imagination
The Writer's Block: 786 Ideas to Jump-Start Your Imagination

Sometimes all you need is a simple idea to get your own creative juices flowing. That's what this book is meant to do. You'll be off and writing in no time. Part of NanoWriMo is just letting the ideas flow.

Write: 10 Days to Overcome Writer's Block. Period.
Write: 10 Days to Overcome Writer's Block. Period.

You don't really have 10 days to spare when writing a novel in a single month. Better start this one early in October, so you are well prepared for NanoWriMo come November.


Suffer from Writer's Block? - NanoWriMo can help you get past it.

The number one cause of writer's block is fear. You may have doubts that your writing is good. You may be concerned that you aren't living up to the exceptions you've set on your self or your friends and family expect. You may have a specific plan for your story but are having trouble getting there. Or you may have just simply have run out of ideas.

Let go of those notions with NanoWriMo. If something isn't working, abandon it and start writing something else. You never know when you're done writing you may find a way to link it all together or have written something much better than what was originally intended.

Photo used under Creative Commons from photosteve101.

General Writing Tools & Tips - Not just for NanoWriMo

  • Daily Writing Tips

    This blog is for all types of writers, not just novelists. Find tips from grammar to online writing styles to vocab tests.

  • Quick Story Idea Generator by Seventh Sanctum

    Is your mind going blank for story ideas? Try this ideal generator as a tool to get the creative juices flowing. Here's an example of a spin you could craft a story with:

    The theme of this story: metaphorical revenge.

    The main character: withdrawn daycare employee.

    The start of the story: flashback.

    The end of the story: addiction.

  • Random Name Generator

    Great for inspiration when your heroine's name isn't quite right.

Self Help Books on Writing a Novel - Brush up on skills before the contest

The Everything Guide to Writing Your First Novel: All the tools you need to write and sell your first novel
The Everything Guide to Writing Your First Novel: All the tools you need to write and sell your first novel

Need to know everything about writing your very first novel, well this book is the book for you. It also goes into how to sell your novel once complete.

Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days
Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days

A strategy for surviving NanoWriMo and coming out on the other side with a novel you are proud of.

When Every Month is NaNoWriMo
When Every Month is NaNoWriMo

Wow, can't imagine doing NanoWriMo more than once a year, but if you have it in you, why not create 12 novels a year?


Take a Novel Writing Poll - Have you partipated in NanoWriMo before?

Photo used under Creative Commons from smittenkittenorig.

Have you ever won NanoWriMo?

See results

Share your story! - Is writing a novel one of your life goals?

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    • Carterpants profile image

      Carterpants 7 years ago

      We should make a point to do this in 2011. I think it would be fun!