Friday, October 31, 2014

The Eve of NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow! Every year since 2009, which was my second year of participating, my kids have written novels during November.

When I talk about NaNoWriMo, I encourage EVERYONE to participate. You may have a novel inside you and not even know it. And don't even try to tell me that you don't have time. We can compare schedules. ::::grins::::

If your CHILD will be participating:
You, the parent, will sign up your child at  If you, for whatever reason, don't want to affiliate with NaNo's YWP, that's ok; you can be local participants only. Students choose their own word count goals on the YWP site. Here's a handy chart to help you choose: I actually recommend higher numbers than these, starting with 1000 words per grade level. So a 7th grader could aim for 7,000. 

This year, my kids have these word count goals
Emily (12th grade) - 50,000 - that's 1667 words per day
James (9th grade) - 25,000 - that's 834 words per day
Suzy (7th grade) - 7,000 - that's 233 words per day

ADULTS can write too!
Moms and Dads, you can sign up too. Go to the main NaNoWriMo website at and sign yourselves up!  Adults all aim for the 50K word count goal.

So, my own word count goal is 50,000. I will be writing a middle grades novel entitled Ebenezer McCracken and the Saga of the Sphinx.

Come on! You'll be really glad you did!

Many resources exist on the website. They have written novel-writing lesson plans and FREE workbooks for your students (and they are EXCELLENT) as free downloads. Very cool!

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month happens every November!

It is a fun, seat-of-your-pants novel writing event where the challenge is to write an entire novel in just 30 days. That means participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by midnight, November 30. The word-count goal for our adult program is 50,000 words, but our Young Writers Program allows participants who are 17 years old and younger to set reasonable, yet challenging, word-count goals.

The only thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: you will be writing a lot of strange stuff, and some of it will be just plain bad. But that's a good thing! For 30 days, you get to lock that inner editor in the basement, let your imagination take over, and just create!

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants of all ages are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel.

In 2013, over 300,000 adults participated through our main site, and nearly 90,000 young writers participated through the YWP.

Let me know if you have any questions!

1 comment:

Jamie said...

I love NaNoWriMo! Thanks for being a great ambassador.