National Novel Writing Month occurs every November. I’ve never fully researched it, but as I understand it, the point is to write an entire novel (the first draft, anyway) during the month of November. Basically, it’s a nationwide Get Off Your Butt and Write That Novel You Keep Thinking About campaign. It is referred to, almost exclusively, as NaNoWriMo, and it is pronounced exactly like you thing it would be.
Years ago when I decided to be a writer, I jumped feet first into non-fiction, freelance writing because I knew that’s where the money was. At least, that’s where the consistent, pay your mortgage, money was. But, like most writers, I’ve always had various ideas for novels and fictional stories floating around in my head. Some of them are a little more serious and flushed out than others.
However, in the years since, I’ve pretty much stuck to just writing professionally. I’ve started NaNoWriMo on several occasions but bailed out when it just didn’t work out. This year, I’m going to dedicate a little more time and effort to it to see how it works out. Part of that is getting some planning going.
So, on it’s face writing a novel means cranking out somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 words. November has 30 days, so some simple divisions says that to succeed one would need to write between 2,300 and 2,600 words per day.
But, November is tricky in that it includes Thanksgiving. For a lot people that involves travel, or family, or whatever in such a way that some of those days get eaten up in a way that will make it unrealistic to write. For me, that means the kids are out of school for a whole week.
On the one hand, that would be easy enough to work around, but the professional world does not shut down for that whole week (although it certainly comes close enough for Wed thru Fri). That means that my work around time will need to be at least partially dedicated to filling in some work time that I would normally get while the kids are at school.
So, let’s call it two days totally wasted, and three days partially wasted.
That means we are really looking at say 26 days to write with.
That makes close to between 2,700 words per day and 3,100 words per day.
Throw in the fact that there will be some cool snow days, I’ll be sick at least one day, and so on, and really, I should be shooting for 3,500 words each day in November. I think that is totally doable.
I’m writing a zombie novel, which in one way is sort of embarrasing, but in another way, it is going to avoid the all the things I HATE about most zombie stories. The thing that drives me nuts about shows like the Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead is when the creators say things like, “It’s really a story about family,” or “It’s really a story about human interaction.” My book will really be story about FREAKIN ZOMBIES, thank you very much.
Prepare to get a zombie novel with none of the zombie novel cliches. It should be fun.
If you are interested in NaNoWriMo, check here. I’ll also get some updates going as it gets closer.