Wordsanity: Typing 50,000 Words in 30 days
Ivan Kvapil/Sun Star Contributor
Nov. 5, 2013
Every year, during the month of November more than 341,000 people participate in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The concept of it is simple: write a 50,000-word novel in a month.
This will be my third year participating in the event and even as this article is being written, participants are frantically trying to think of new ways to increase their word count.
I found out about NaNoWriMo from an unexpected source–my mother, who had for the most part written mostly magazine articles prior to participating in NaNoWriMo. My mom participated in the event three years ago and managed to actually complete it twice. So I thought that I would try my hand at it, since I had been writing a lot of short stories and wanted to try to tie them all together. My first novel never made it past 15,000 words. The next year, when I tried a historical fiction story, I barely got to 10,000 words.
As another fellow Nano participant, Travis Veazey, pointed out, its not always about completing the novel.
Even just participating is something to be proud of because, “Even if you write just 20 words, that’s 20 words more than you would have written in the first place.” For me, that is what NaN0WriMo is all about, because, personally, in between school, work and social activities, I would never get any writing done, and, in fact, I never do. All I ever get is half-written stories that have no ending because something distracts me, and I have no reason to finish it.
With NaNo, I not only have a strict deadline to meet and a challenge that seems close to impossible, but if I succeed, I get a major sense of accomplishment. Not only did I write a novel, but I did it in a month. I mean, imagine being able to put that on a resume.
On top of this, NaNo allows me to explore and create new characters and worlds that I would have no reason to create without this. In fact, I thought up my current NaNo two months ago during work while I was vacuuming something and listening to an Alestorm album, and I gave myself a challenge–that my novel this year would include pirates.
Not only is this kind of spontaneous thinking encouraged when writing your novel, I think NaNo helps that kind of thinking prosper. The kind of spontaneous thinking that gives you ideas you would have never thought of before or brushed aside because you may have thought it was stupid, but instead creates something awesome that not only changes your story drastically, but has the chance to change you drastically.
NaNo is not just something I do every year to slowly kill myself; it’s about fostering creativity and spontaneity in my life. NaNoWrimo allows me to create and learn things that I would have never known had I not attempted to write a novel.
If you’re interested in participating in National Novel Writing Month, go to www.nanowrimo.org or if you want to meet other people in Fairbanks who are participating in NaNo, we have a Facebook group that anyone is welcome to join. Through this group, we organize get together and events designed to make the novel writing process easy and fun.