I haven’t decided if I will join in the many other writers for the National Novel Writing Month starting November 1st. It’s a grueling test of writing endurance; writing 1700 words a day, reaching 50,000 within one month’s time.
The pros include;
Sets word count goals. Even if you were to match half the word count, you may find you’re writing more than you did before.
Forces you to write through whatever writer’s block. I found it rather cathartic, at times, to write through issues such as style and creativity. The idea is that you can always edit and clean it up later.
Gives you a 50,000 word novel at the end of the month. You may find you’re ahead with chapters and word counts than if you didn’t join the contest.
The cons include;
The word count can be grueling. My hands ached from all the typing, which I tried to get out of the way in the early hours of the day. Some days I had to double the count due to setbacks or other issues, but I still managed to complete the novel.
You may not be entirely happy with results such as quality. I realized when it was completed that I wasn’t happy with the quality of the story at all. Despite plotting beforehand, I found the last third of the story took a life of its own. The characters took over and led me in other directions I didn’t like.
The 50,000 word count is more of a novella than novel. This is around 200 pages, and some publishing companies might not want to look at it. However, you will have the bulk done, ripe for the editing process, and you can add more details and scenes at that time.
And what do you get if you reach your goal? You get a printable certificate and a graphic to post on your web site or profile. I would also suggest giving yourself a reward, such as a new book, a cupcake, a trip to the spa, or whatever else you deem worthy of the feat.