Terrouge E-zine Archives
By: Eulalia & James
“I’m going to write a novel.”
You’ve said it scores of times. You’ve promised yourself that one of theses days you’re going to make like Brian Jacques and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write the thing. But somehow, it never gets done. Your characters lay undeveloped. Your plotlines collect dust. And that quirky bit of dialogue you thought up remains as a note on steadily yellowing paper.
The people of (Inter)National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, for short) have set out to remedy that. Starting this month, NaNoWriMo is hosting its fifth annual contest to see just how many people can crank out a 50,000-word novel. There is a hitch, however: It must be written, from beginning to end, in one month.
Winning is simple. Write a novel of at least 50,000 words between November 1st and midnight on November 30th. Have your novel verified by the official word counting strip, and voila, you're a winner.
Don’t laugh. Don’t snort. Don’t spit your drink all over the computer — you’ll need that machine to enter. It’s true: thousands of people worldwide have entered and won the NaNoWriMo challenge; three winners have even published their speedily written creations, and now hold that enticing and much-sought-after title of “Author.”
The daunting goal is made much more accomplishable by the fact that your novel’s content is not actually judged. Placing “quantity” over “quality,” NaNoWriMo adds yet another out-of-the-ordinary twist to their competition. There is no need for editing, fancy phrases, or ingenious plot twists; just a plethora of words and some discernible story.
The people at NaNoWriMo didn't just start either - this is their fourth year to organize the contest. In fact, two of our very own from Terrouge Forums participated last year: Tiberuvsky (previously Shytalon) and Tsarmina.
"[I enjoyed it] immensely," says Tiber, "It was one of the zaniest and most fun things I have ever accomplished. And even though, in my opinion, my story is garbage, I'm still proud of it. And seeing my name among the Winners was... it was exhilarating,"
Why? Why spend the time writing a 50,000 word novel that will probably be junk?
At the very least, it's good practice. Tiberuvsky commented, "Well, garbage is better than nothing. But seriously, among the stuff that I did write, I found out that I'm decent at making a fight scene believavble, and I can make neat monsters as well. 50,000 words can hold a lot of learning value." Tsarmina added, " It's a good experience if you have the time [...] It's a good motivational helper. You might be putting out some not-so-great writing (it requires lots of last-minute cramming of writing and the like), but it gives you something to go back and edit later on and have a good piece of writing."
Registration starts October 1st, and continues throughout the month. [NOTE: I could have sworn there was a cutoff date for signups listed, but now I can't find it, so I'm assuming they just go throughout October]. There’s no fee, but a donation is asked if you can offer it. For those who actually submit their 50,000 words, the prizes are a winner’s certificate and the all-consuming, giddy thrill of having written an entire novel, however poor or praise-worthy it may be.
Drop by (Inter)National Novel Writing Month’s official website at http://www.nanowrimo.org for more information about registration, FAQs, and how to meet up with fellow NaNoWriMo writers. And to those who are entering: May you have good luck, better inspiration, and the greatest of alacrity!