I like to call it NaNo (because it’s shorter and I definitely learned how to say the “Wri” part incorrectly so I’m always self-conscious about saying the full name).
Either way. You sign up on NaNoWriMo to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
It’s expected that you start NaNo with a new novel idea; you can do all the planning you want in the months (or days) before, but not actually write anything until the 1st of November comes around. It seems a little daunting at first and it’s not for everyone, but it’s a fun challenge.
This is my first year competing in NaNo. I actually won Camp NaNo (same thing as NaNo just in July) and finally finished off that manuscript on Halloween night at about 88k words (entirely driven by the fact that NaNo was starting the day after so I could finally write my new novel for NaNo). Then on November 1st I started writing full speed ahead.
Honestly speaking, I write rather quickly. I don’t mull over the right words and never edit as I go which is why I love NaNo. It more of less gives me an excuse to write as quickly as I want and not feel so guilty about it. I thought NaNo would be a breeze….boy was I wrong.
I never had to juggle school on top of writing 50,000 words in a month and let me tell you, it isn’t easy. At one point I was nearly 13,000 words behind schedule due to having all my exams the first two weeks of November. Good news is, I finally caught up by writing 10,000 words in one day! They’re probably not the best 10,000 words and I will most likely only end up keeping 5,000 of those words that I wrote after I revise this manuscript, but that’s the exact point of NaNo. It doesn’t matter how crappy your draft is. It’s Draft Naught*. It’s Draft Zero. It’s Zilch. It’s just to get all of those ideas in your head down because you can’t revise without a manuscript. That’s why I love NaNo and recommend it to any aspiring writers/authors.
My first NaNo, I’m writing a story I referenced before that I call GUARDIANS. My small description of what it’s about is below.
Seventeen year old Tamar’s life as a member of the elite 44th consists of guarding her best friend Akira, the Princess of Ellaria. It’s a simple duty that Tamar has trained her entire life for and yet it isn’t as simple as it appears, especially when there’s the threat of the Sect, a rebellious group of individuals that support Catain, a neighboring nation that Ellaria has always been at odds with. The threat is large enough to influence Tamar into breaking her oath and duty by joining the Sect and forging relationships with her enemies. She has the best intentions at heart, but none of that matters when the Sect puts their plans into motion. How far is she willing to wade into the politics reserved for the leaders of nations when all she was meant to do was protect Akira?
I would love to hear what you think! Also add me on NaNo as a friend if you’re participating—AshInOurMinds is my name over there.
*This is my name for Draft Zero because I have taken far too many science classes where the naught symbol was used as initial—like Vo (V naught), etc.