Lynne Stringer – Author & Editor

nanowrimo copyNovember is here, and apart from being told just how close Christmas really is, there is another event I’ve been hearing a lot about as I hobnob with my fellow authors – NaNoWriMo.

For those of you unfamilar with the term, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month (although it should probably be ‘international’ now, since authors all over the world are involved). Every November, many authors and aspiring authors commit to writing 50,000 words of a new manuscript or a current one they’ve got going. Authors can log onto and set up a profile, where they can enter the number of words they write each day. The site will add them up and give them a running total of the number of words they need to write every day in order to make it to 50,000 words by the end of the month.

I’m not participating this year because I don’t have a work in progress to use. I’ve found, also, that things like NaNoWriMo aren’t for me, as I don’t respond well to the pressure that goes with them. That’s just me, of course. For other authors, things like this are a wonderful help, as it motivates them either to get started, or to finally finish that project that’s sat too long on the backburner.

For all those participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you well. But remember, if you don’t make it to your total, don’t despair. Maybe you’re the same as me and this kind of thing isn’t for you. Maybe you still need that bit more work before you’re ready to go that far with your manuscript.

However, even if you don’t meet your goal, NaNoWriMo is still a great thing to be involved in. Experience is the most important thing in writing. If you don’t write, you will never learn the techniques you need, not to mention the discipline, to do it. Reading is another important thing to do, as this will help you to see what other writers are doing and it may help you hone your technique.

And make sure, when you’re done with that manuscript and basking in the glow of succeeding with NaNoWriMo, don’t forget to edit your work and make sure it’s professionally edited. Your book is not ready to be published after the first draft. It will take a lot longer than that before it’s honed enough to presented to the masses.

Get writing! 🙂


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2 Responses

  1. Good advice Lynne. I really enjoyed doing Camp NaNoWriMo in July. For that one, you set your own goal. I set it at 30 000 words and managed to achieve it. But November’s a bit too busy for me and it would have added too much pressure. It’s great if you have a good idea of what you have to write and just need motivation to do it. And that’s good advice about the editing that’s needed afterwards. I’ve heard of people putting their Nano novels up as e-books soon after finishing and that’s definitely not the way to go. But it’s great for getting that first draft down quickly without too much fiddling 🙂

    1. Yes, it is a busy time of year for it, though. And yes, I’ve heard of people putting their books up straight away as well!