November marks National Novel Writing Month, article by Kayla Solis

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The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has commenced, but it’s not too late to get started.

According to nanowrimo.org, “National Novel Writing Month is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (formerly known as the Office of Letters and Light) that believes your story matters.”

NaNoWriMo happens every November of the year. It’s an “internet-based creative writing project [where participants] attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1st and November 30th.”

If you have ever simply thought about writing a novel, but don’t know where to start, this is the challenge for you.

NaNo-Shield-Logo-Web EDITEDI know 50,000 words seems daunting, but this challenge has nothing to do with finishing the piece and has everything to do with effort. Think of it this way: NaNoWriMo is a writing marathon and you only have to go as far as you believe you can go.

NaNoWriMo is a place where you can let your creativity run wild. “[They] provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.”

This is how you can get started for anyone who is interested: first, go to www.nanowrimo.org, create an account, and fill in your profile. Filling in a profile will connect you to writers who think and write like you, which will make the writing process much easier.

Second, start brainstorming your novel early. Although the rule is that you can’t start writing your novel until November 1st, that doesn’t mean you can’t start creating characters, plot, and the central idea of your story in October.

Third, select your home region. This will connect you to any NaNoWriMo events that are happening near you that you can participate in to help with the process.

Fourth, get some inspiration from the website. There are various pep talks from published authors, prepping advice, tips and tricks, and more.

Lastly, start writing. The website will keep track of your progress every step of the way.

NaNoWriMo also offers other programs that may be more fitting for other individuals.

The Young Writers Program promotes writing fluency, creative education, and the sheer joy of novel-writing in K-12 classrooms. We provide free classroom kits, writing workbooks, Common Core-aligned curricula, and virtual class management tools to more than 2,000 educators from Dubai to Boston.”

The Young Writers Program is more ideal for a younger audience and can be useful for teachers to implement into their classrooms. Resources for this program are provided and listed on the website.

“Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writing retreat, designed to provide the community, resources and tools needed to complete any writing project, novel or not.”

Camp NaNoWriMo caters to individuals who seek smaller writing projects and who aren’t in a rush to finish their project.

“The Come Write In program provides free resources to libraries, community centers, and local bookstores to build writing havens in your neighborhood…with [your] local NaNoWriMo participants (or Wrimos).”

Come Write In is great for people who like to take charge and initiate their own space with friends and the local community to get together and work on writing projects in a safe, friendly environment. Resources will be provided for this program and are also listed on the website.

I personally believe NaNoWriMo is a fun and helpful resource for those who love to write short stories, essays, novels, and everything in between. It’s an opportunity that you can’t miss.

For more information, go to the National Novel Writing Month website. Happy writing!

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