November is National Novel Writing Month. National Novel Writing Month – that name’s not quite self-explanatory enough, is it? Let me tell you everything you ever wanted to know about NaNoWriMo, but were afraid to ask.
Firstly, it’s not exactly 'national' any more. Although it began in the USA in 1999, it’s now a worldwide, Internet-based phenomenon.
And now for the novel-writing bit. Are you really supposed to write a whole novel in a month? Well, for the purposes of NaNoWriMo, a novel is defined as a “lengthy work of fiction” that is at least 50,000 words long. That means reaching an average of 1667 words every day for 30 days. For most people, that means finding an hour or two to write every day. It is possible – but for anyone working or studying full-time, it’s a true challenge. Less than a quarter of those who sign up for NaNoWriMo will win.
But NaNoWriMo isn’t really about winning; it’s about making time to write. All around the world, millions of people dream of writing a book – one day. For one month a year, thousands of them come together to try and make that dream come true. And NaNoWriMo’s regional groups mean that they really can come together. The Oxford group, for example, organises three meetings a week throughout November. Participants don’t have to go to the events – but many people find that writing socially helps boost their word counts, as well as giving them a chance to discuss their novels with like-minded people.
Our write-ins (like NaNoWriMo itself) are open to writers of all levels, from complete beginners to published authors. The one thing we all have in common is the desire to create our own novels. If you’d like to know more, the best place to start is www.nanowrimo.org.
More details about NaNoWriMo Oxford's meet-ups can be found at this link.