NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s free to join and any writer can participate. You can be a new writer, experienced, or somewhere in between. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month: November. Why 50K words? That specific amount is considered a novel, and the goal is to write a novel.
Are all novels 50,000 words?
No. Most novels are considerably more than 50K, unless you’re writing for a Middle-Grade audience. But nevertheless, reaching 50,000 words will mean you’ll have tackled most of your story. Below is an overview of the different book lengths.
3 Tips to Win
1. Pick a theme for your book. Sum up your story with one sentence. This will help you stay on track when creating your outline. It will also ensure that you’re not trying to tackle too much with one story. If your book has too many themes, it threatens to become weak. There should be one central theme, with maybe one or two sub-themes.
Examples of 6 themes (pulled from A Wordy Woman’s Guide for Writing a Book):
2. Create your protagonist and antagonist. Understand who your main characters are and develop a solid conflict for your protagonist to overcome throughout the book. There should be tons of conflict from your first chapter to your last, but what is the primary conflict? What/Who stands in your protagonist’s way of accomplishing his/her goal? This is will be your antagonist.
3. Outline your book. Outlines help keep you on track with your goal: 50,000 words. If you know where chapter one is headed, it’s easier to write chapter two. You’ll also spend less time rewriting chapters. How do you create an outline? First, begin with theplot structure. If you use the 3 Act Plot Structure, then your story will be divided into three parts (each with 9 chapters). For a personal outline that includes a guide of who and what to include in each chapter, purchase A Wordy Woman’s Guide for Writing a Book. It will help you outline your entire book before you begin writing.
What do you get if you win?
As you reach specific lengths and goals, you'll receive digital badges from the NaNoWriMo site, and these badges will be added to your profile. But other than that, you don't receive a physical trophy. Instead, you win so much more: connections with other NaNoWriMo writers, a first draft of your book, and the personal success of participating in a national writing contest.
Will you be participating in NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments!
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