National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a month-long event that gets the fires burning in a writer’s heart—or fingers—or whatever other part of the anatomy needs to get a move on to meet their goal! It’s great for establishing an ongoing writing practice and for learning how to just let go and write, already! The fact is: nobody writes a great novel in a month. That’s GREAT because it allows you to loosen up and put stuff on paper. And that stuff you dump out in November is what novels are made of.
As Shannon Hale (Princess Academy, Book of a Thousand Days, The Bayern series) says, “…writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
NaNo has a special program for Teens, and Rogers Public Library is the place to get involved! We have a group set up that allows for socializing and support for this epic challenge. The NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program also allows you to set your own word count goal. (Adult Nano-novelists must write 50,000 words to win.)
You know you want to do this. Here’s how:
- Sign up for NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program.
Register as a “Young Writer.” If you’re signing up as part of RPL’s group—RPL Teens Write!—use the code provided by the library, and you won’t need an email. If you’re signing up on your own, register with either your email (if you’re 13 or older), or your parent/guardian’s email (if you’re under 13).
To get the code, do one of the following:
- Set up your profile. Share as much or as little as you like.
- Create a novel. Start by clicking “Yes, I accept!” from the “Take the Challenge” box on the dashboard. Don’t worry. Nobody but you will be able to see your novel. Only your title and the description you add are publicly visible.
- Get familiar with your on-site writing space.
- Have fun! Choose a font, add a cover photo, change your color scheme.
- Getting ready for a challenge? Add Novel Notes to brainstorm ideas, write character sketches, or pep yourself up. They don’t count towards your word-count goal.
- Use the Writer Resources. YWP—NaNoWriMo has workbooks, pep talks, videos, and NaNoWriMo flair to get you prepared and inspired to write.
- Connect with other YWP Nano-novelists.
- On November 1, your words start counting. Write in the on-site writing space for an autocount, or use your own method and add your count on your YWP-Nanowrimo dashboard. If you see this after November 1, 2018, relax! You can still join. Just go back up to Step 1 and jump in!
- Earn badges and track your progress on your dashboard.
- Stay motivated with Writing Sprints and the Dare Machine.
- Keep writing until 11:59:59 on November 30. If you meet your goal before that, you WIN!!
There are all kinds of websites on winning NaNoWriMo, but the most important thing is just to write! RPL will be hosting write-ins with the NWA NaNo Group every Saturday in November, 11 am-2 pm in the Glotzbecker Room. The group has invited Teens to come write with them.
The source for most of this great information is https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/. You can find more great stuff on their page! (Did you notice I used “stuff” three times in this post? If you did, shut that internal editor down!! It can come back online in December. For now, we’re drafting!! Good Grammar and Perfect Punctuation are not invited to this party! And that was a trick question. I used “stuff” four times. Wait! 5 times!)
For adults interested in NanNoWriMo, check out their website here.