In our last blog post, “Turning Your NaNoWriMo Piece Into a Sellable Novel – First Steps,” we outlined the first two steps that a NaNoWriMo author should take upon completion of writing 50,000+ words during the month of November. The first step is book editing to ensure that the novel reads smoothly and to detect any spelling or grammar errors. Book editorial services can also include indexing and translation if the book will be published in multiple languages. The second step is to select a book cover design. A book cover design should be created by a professional designer and needs to catch the potential readers’ eye and give them a glimpse of what’s inside the book. Continue reading
So you decided to finally get going on that novel that you’ve always wanted to write by participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and you’ve succeeded! You created a NaNoWriMo account, attended in-person writing events, joined the online community to receive encouragement, and wrote 50,000 words during the month of November. Even better, you are pleased with the result and think that it’s a story that’s worth sharing! While writing those 50,000 words might have been challenging, when it comes to publishing a novel, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Your piece isn’t just going to magically turn into a sellable novel. Just as important as the work you put into writing the novel are the next steps that must happen for the book to be successful. Continue reading
NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, happens each year during the month of November. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was established in 1999 that encourages participants to begin writing a 50,000 word novel on November 1st to be completed by 11:59 p.m. on November 30th. NaNoWriMo welcomes anyone who has ever considered writing a novel to join them during the month of November.
National Novel Writing Month, formerly known as the Office of Letters and Light, operates an office in Berkeley, CA and National Novel Writing Month is its main program. NaNoWriMo is the biggest writing event in the world and it’s expected that 500,000 novelists will participate in the event this year. Continue reading
I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious. – Vince Lombardi
The battle that Lombardi was referring to probably had nothing to do with writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days but each year many enter NaNoWriMo and few succeed, so this is very much a battle of will.
What is NaNoWriMo?
The best way to explain National Novel Writing Month is to look at what their website has to say.
Occasionally, participants write in to ask about the rules of the event. We don’t have many! But because we’ve found that creativity is often heightened by constraints (and communities bolstered by shared goals) we have evolved a handful of rules over the years. The rules state that, to be an official NaNoWriMo winner, you must…
- Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
- Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
- Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
- Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
- Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
- Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.
Have you accepted the challenge? If so, here are a few questions to keep in mind:
Do you have a plan?
Before starting NaNoWriMo, decide if your goal is to write a book or just write 50,000 words. Or in other words, decide if you are a “Panster “ or a “Planner”. A panster writes by the seat of their pants and the planner will plan everything first. There is a big difference considering the time and effort you are going to put into the challenge. If you plan to write a book, then you need to be aiming for a finished product that can be edited by a professional before being published. If you choose this route then you could join about 70 other authors who have published as a result of participating in NaNoWriMo. NaNo is good for more than creating novels. It is also used as a way for you to put all of your ideas on paper where you can revisit when writing your next bestseller. Type plot ideas, character descriptions and how you want the book to feel, so everything is planned and waiting for the right time.
Do you have your sword and shield?
You have a shield of time but this shield can only take so many hits. You have 30 days to complete this challenge which comes out to about 1,667 words per day that you have to write. This number might not look too large, but skip a day or two and you could be facing a long night.
Grab your sword and help cut down on time. Are all of your devices integrated to share your work? This may be the geek coming out, but there are tools that can help you succeed. Try Evernote – which allows you to tie your computer, tablet, laptop, and smartphone all together so you can update on one and it shows the update everywhere else. Work on your NaNo project on your lunch break or while your child is at gymnastics but know that your work will be there on your computer when you get home. As another option Google Docs does this as well.
Do you have an army of support?
Most enter the NaNo battle as a lone soldier but it takes an army of support sometimes to come out victorious. Friends and family make the best support, also letting them know you will be cooped up for the next month writing will spare the search teams looking for you. Feel free to reach out to Bookmasters for motivation on our Facebook page or one of the various NaNo support groups. NaNoWriMo has local chapter groups as well, so ask your local bookstore if they have information on the nearest group or click here to find a group near you.
Claim your victory!
With one day left to prepare for this NaNo battle of will, remember what Lombardi said because you will be exhausted from pouring your heart and soul out in no less than 50,000 words but don’t surrender. Your battle could lead to a huge victory like it did for Sara Gruen and her book Water for Elephants. So, everyone prepare for battle, grab your laptop, glasses, and our secret weapon…coffee, and lets hit that 50,000 word mark. Let me hear your battle cry…I’M IN! Oh, and don’t forget about the Thank God It’s Over Party!
Written by Lee Drugan, ePublicity and Social Media Coordinator, with the help of our newest member of the team and NaNo participant Allie Trumpower, Marketing Coordinator.