This one is for all the aspiring authors, already-authors, readers who dream to write a book one day, and those of you who are just curious about how some authors write their books in a short amount of time.
When is it?
- Every November (the entire month)
What is it?
Camp “NaNoWriMo” which stands for National Novel Writing Month started in 1999 as a challenge for people to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. Nowadays, people from all around the world lock in for a month every November, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand new novel. You can finish your book there, or just have 50,000 started for your novel.
In 2006 it actually became a non-profit organization that supports writing fluency and education. NaNoWriMo tracks words for writers like Fitbit tracks steps and hosts real-life writing events in cities around the world with the help of 900+ volunteers in partnering libraries and community centers.
Some well-known books that were written during NaNoWriMo:
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress by Marissa Meyer
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
- The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan
- The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
- Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
- With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo
How do I participate?
It’s super easy. You just make a Camp NaNoWriMo account here and you can start joining writing groups, posting about your writing goals, and planning for your work in progress (WIP). You don’t have to join any groups or write in person if you don’t want to – especially during the pandemic, people all over the world have just been doing it in their favourite writing spot in the comfort of their own home. Everyday, you can log how many words you’ve written. By the end of it, if you logged 50,000 words, you will be deemed a “Camp NaNoWriMo Winner!” and get a certificate. As a winner, you can feel proud that you successfully wrote 50,000 words (not an easy feat to accomplish in a month!) and hopefully begin the process of editing your novel.
How can I be successful?
You need to plan! There is so much planning that goes into writing a novel – the characters, the world the story will take place in, the different scenes, the problems, the plot twists, etc. You won’t have a good time writing if you start off writing before at least knowing the gist of what your characters are like and what you want to accomplish in your story.
In order to be successful, you need to do some planning beforehand. It’s not cheating – everyone does it. The month before November’s NaNoWriMo is October so participants call it “Preptober”. The month of October is used for writers to prep and plan their story so that when November comes along, that entire month can be used solely for writing away.
What are some planning resources I can use?
- My FREE Novel Writing Workbook
- NaNoWriMo Prep 101 Handbook
- How to outline a novel
- So much writing advice and guidance here
Will you be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this year? Realistically, as a high school teacher that has loads of work to do even after work hours, I don’t know how realistic it will be for me to participate. I already have a YA fantasy novel that I’m working on so I wouldn’t want to start a new novel in November but I might modify it a bit and give some writing goals for my story in November! It’s always so motivating to know that authors around the world are really grinding together that month.
Did you know about Camp NaNoWriMo before? Does this interest you? Let me know in the comments below!