November seems to be the months of "challenges" and pledges (I see you, No Shave and No Spend), but the pledge I'll be making means I may not have the time to either of those things this month because I'm accepting the NaNoWriMo 2016 challenge!
What is it? National Novel Writing Month. Participants pledge to write 50,000 words, roughly a full-length novel, in 30 days.
When is it? November 1 - 30
Who can do it? Anyone can! As NaNoWriMo says, "The world needs your novel." NaNoWriMo just provides the platform and encouragement to get it done.
Why do it? Why not? It's a great way to focus and get that writing done.
Participation has exploded from 22 participants in 1999 to 351,489 participants last year, with an average success rate of 16.5%. I, unfortunately, have never "won" NaNoWriMo. I first tried in 2011 and made it more than halfway to my goal, but got caught up with work. Fast forward to 2014. I was resolved and determined to do it! I was going to write 50,000 words, come hell or high-water! More than halfway through November, I realized that I hadn't worked much on my story and was so demotivated that I stopped altogether. But if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!
So what's different this year? I've been outlining, plotting, researching, and planning well before the month of November. For NaNoWriMo, prep is essential! Over the years, I've learned that outlining a writing project makes it far more manageable, and a target word count of 1,667 words daily makes it even more manageable. For something more visual, that's almost seven average pages in Microsoft Word. Seven pages a day towards the goal of completing a full novel? Seems like a sweet deal if you ask me. That is, of course, if you can buckle down and focus.
My project for NaNoWriMo 2016 is an action-adventure concept I thought up while working towards my MFA at Full Sail University. I've been flip-flopping as to whether the concept would work better as a screenplay or a novel, so I figure this is the perfect opportunity to test the waters. The Queen's Dogs follows an elite group of government operatives, led by their inexperienced new leader, who must work together to thwart an attempt on Queen Victoria's life and the upheaval of the entire British Empire before the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
If you'd like to try your hand at writing a novel in 30 days or want more information, click here. Or, if you've already made the participant pledge and are looking for a writing buddy, you can add me here.