At midnight on Halloween one of the strangest and most prolific events in fiction writing will begin – National Novel Writer’s Month, known to participants as NaNoWriMo. From November 1 to November 30, thousands of participants around the world will attempt to write a 175-page novel. The goal is 50,000 words, which works out, roughly, to 1,667 words a day for 30 days. It is a free, nonprofit, open contest whose sole purpose is to help writers realize their dream of finishing a novel. The very first NaNoWriMo was in 1999 and had 21 participants. Last year (2008) there were over 120,000 participants, and more than 20,000 of them crossed the 50K finish line by midnight on November 30th.
My own writing has been dwindling in throughput since the last meeting of my writing group, WashU-Fiction, at the beginning of the summer. In the absence of a writing class with hard deadlines, I need a strong motivator. As most of those who’ve read my short stories (5 completed so far) can tell you, I have a larger story to tell. It will be something of greater size, scope, and length than I’ve ever attempted.
Thus, I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring. Tonight, at midnight, I’ll begin a 30 day journey that hopefully will culminate in my first novel. Wish me luck! You can follow my progress on the Dan Koboldt NaNoWriMo page.
Even though it’s my first NaNoWriMo, already I can feel the excitement of this event taking hold. NaNo attracts a cult-like following, thousands of crazy writers who stay up all night, laugh, cry, scream, and pound their way to 50,000 words. Will I join the esteemed ranks of the victorious? We’ll know in 30 days.
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