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We’re officially into National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For anyone who doesn’t know, this is an international, Internet based event in which participants try to complete a 50,000 word novel within 30 days.It’s been going for 17 years now and thousands participate every year. I’ve never used NaNoWriMo as it’s intended, instead I usually use it for motivation to complete current works instead of starting a completely new project. It’s a demanding and very challenging process, requiring you to write nearly 1,700 words a day, every single day. To officially participate you’re allowed to plan, outline, etc. prior to November 1, but your first actual word of story cannot be written prior.

In researching for this post I discovered that there are actually quite a few books people wrote during NaNo that went on to become popular best-sellers. Water for Elephants by Saran Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Wool by Hugh Howey, The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough and Cinder, Scarlet and Cress by Marissa Meyer are the biggest books to come out of NaNoWriMo.

The thing that is different about NaNo is that the goal is quantity, not quality, following the concept that as long as there are words down you can always edit and change. There’s not much time to worry about anything when you’re doing NaNoWriMo, things like plot, character development, etc. are usually glossed over in the frantic march to get down the story and then after the month is over you go back and make sure that it all makes sense with a thorough editing round. It seems only about 5-10% of participants actually complete the challenge, but it’s always fun to try and test yourself to see what you can do.

It’s not too late if you want to try it out for yourself. Check it out here: http://nanowrimo.org/

Thanks for stopping by!

-Erin