I love this time of year. The leaves are changing from green to brilliant reds, oranges and yellows. It's a bit cooler, especially at night and the air just seems to have a different feel to it. Plus the holidays are coming soon. The fall festivals and Thanksgiving will be shared with family and friends and Christmas will be here all too soon so we won't think about that yet.
One of my favorite things about this time of year is National Novel Writing Month. That's right...a whole month set aside just for novel writing. How wonderful! If I didn't know better, I'd think this was planned just for me. But before I get too excited...here's a bit of info for those of you who haven't heard of NaNo.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNo for short.) was started by a group of aspiring novelists as a fun way to get their novels written. That first year, 21 people started out and 6 actually completed their novels. Eight years later over 79,000 people took part in the literary madness with thousands of novels being finished.
NaNo's focus is on fun with only a few rules. It must be a novel, you must start from scratch on Nov. 1st (you can plan ahead though) and to "win" you must write at least 50,000 words before midnight Nov. 30th. NaNo's theme is "No Plot, No Problem!" and is for anyone who has ever thought they'd like to give novel writing a try.
As a multiple NaNo participate and "winner" I want to encourage everyone who's ever thought about trying to write a novel to check it out. There's no entry fee, it's all done in fun. If you don't make the 50,000 word count by the end of the month, (I actually didn't my first try.) no one will take away your birthday or say you aren't a real writer.
Here's what you get by taking part in NaNo. You learn about the way you write, whether you can take an idea and run with it or whether you need more structure and just what it takes to write a novel. No matter how many words you end up with at the end of the month, you have more than you started with and you'll make friends who have the same interests as yourself. Naturally, any novel written in 30 days is going to be a rough draft but you now have a place to start. After all, you can't revise what you haven't written.
Can't write 50,000 words in 30 days??? Don't think of it that way. Break it down into manageable bites of 1,667 words each day.
While NaNo's theme is "No Plot, No Problem", for many of us no plot is a problem. So, for those of us who need a bit more structure, check out our "Plotting the NaNo Novel" workshop. This workshop takes the month of Oct. to prepare for Nov. You'll work on in-depth character development, settings, plot & story arc along with researching. It includes worksheets and emails to encourage you through the NaNoing process. Plus, it also includes a one on one critique of your first 25 pages to help you get started on the revision process. You can email me for more info on the workshop.
You can sign up for your NaNo experience starting Oct. 1st. The NaNo site is being prepared for this year's event now so the forums aren't available but when they reopen on the first I'll set up a WOW! thread in the "Writing Group" area for all of us to gather and encourage each other so be sure to look for it. Cheerleaders Welcome!
Again, if you've ever thought about writing a novel, check out NaNo. You won't be sorry!