Ocober 1, 2007 (tonight) marks the first day for sign ups of the National Novel Writing Month contest. This is an annual contest held by the NaNoWriMo.org web site. Although you don’t technically start writing until November 1st, you can sign up to obligate yourself to crank out 50,000 words within a month’s time.
The word count of 50,000 might seem short, more of a novella than an actual novel. Being that you have 30 days, however, makes this challenging enough while also enough to be worthwhile to publish after the allotted time is over. The actual focus of this contest is working with deadlines so no prizes are given out other than being able to say “Hey, I completed the contest!”. Not impressed? Well considering in 2006 of last year, 79,000 people joined with only 13,000 reaching completion. Do you think you can survive the grueling ordeal and join the small percentage that make it?
Its the journey, not the destination. This is best described in Chris Baty’s (founder of NaNoWriMo) in his book No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. The book is an entertaining, motivational read, packed with valid tips and technique on writing. I highly recommend any writer to read the book. My copy is infested with post it note bookmarks for later reference.
For script writing authors, there is this alternative: Script Frenzy. An offshoot from NaNoWriMo, this site caters to scriptwriters. Another offshoot is NaNoWriMo for young writers. This site specifically caters to students to kids as young as 12, and as old as collage aged students. You can also set the deadline for yourself and crank out a certain number of words within an allotted time just to see if you can do it.
I, for one, will be joining this year and cranking out the required 50,000. Whether they are 50,000 good words or not will remain to be seen. lol