Wednesday, 26 October 2011



Do you know what Nanowrimo is short for? National Novel Writer’s Month, which is now international. You try to write a 50 thousands words of a brand new novel in one month, November. It sounds like a tremendous undertaking, but every year many people from all over the world complete it.
When you do Nano (Nanowrimo) you have to switch off the internal editor inside your head. You must write without editing. It doesn’t matter if what you write is no good, it forces you to get that word count up. It isn’t really that much it is 1776 words per day.

The first few times I tried Nano, I didn’t get it done. I got a few thousand even once up to 15 000 but never the 50 000. But now I have a few ideas of novels that I have started. Even if that is all you do, is get a novel idea. And 50 000 doesn’t have to be your top limit.

It feels so good when you accomplish that 50 000 word mark. You see it tick over on the bottom of your word document. To know you had a simple idea and it turned into a story. Last year I said to myself I can’t really do Nano, I have too many unfinished novels to work on. Though I got talking to someone and said if I did do Nano I would name my character Jet.
Now I had no idea what Jet’s name was, I knew it was his initials but that was it. So I used Google to find names starting with E, I could only think of a few. The first name that came up was “Eagle”. That name gave me the whole heritage and idea of who Jet was going to be.
I had an idea of how my two main characters would meet (I write romances). Apart from that I had no idea where is was going to be headed. More have come out, so it has turned into more of a mystery than I had expected.

Nano can be great, I made myself a word count goal for the first day last year. 5 000 words, the next day was over 4 000. It gave myself a bit of buffer which I think is helpful and I ended up winning Nano a day early.

Your days get busy and I made sure I had a few meals ready, that I could just take out of the freezer. It is also good to have support and hope that your family won’t mind if you neglect them and the house for just that one month.
I went to a Nano meeting in my area. That gave me close to 4 000 words on that day. There are support groups. I know this year there is a meeting about writing a novel in my area, but it’s on a day I can’t go.

This year I most likely won’t attempt it, but my goal this year is to finish one or two of my novels, one of my previous Nano attempts. There is still a few more days and things can change.

Consider Nano, get your character names and their features straight, the setting. Maybe write a brief outline. You can do all of this, just not start the writing of the first chapter until the 1st of November. The website has more information on it.

Good luck if that is what you want to do
Melanie Carter Winkler


  1. Great inspiration. Thanks, Melanie. I didn't know about this challenge as I don't write novels, but this concept might be worth a private attempt at something else :)

  2. Oh, Melanie, if only I could find that spare month!!!! In our evangelistic ministry, time for services of all types, plus rehearsals etc are the priorities. yet somehow the Lord has enabled me to squeeze in the time to write, just when the ideas start coming. Actually many's the night I get them, but I'm too groggy to rise. I just pray I'll remember them.

    However, I believe the idea of making yourself write is a good one. It's work to be done, and like many other things in life, you just get in and do it! Cover those blank pages girl, and ask the Lord to help you through.

  3. I do think there is a script Frenzy in April/March (can't remember)
    Though you won't win, you could assign yourself the same challenge for another month. Especially if you have a deadline you have to meet,
    As of just yesterday things have changed and I now have a project that I will try for Nano. that wasn't planned but if you do decide to attempt it good luck

  4. That was so interesting, Melanie. I have never heard of Nano but it sounds like a great inspiration for fiction writers. Good luck in turning those half-started novels into complete ones.

  5. Thanks for updating us about NANOWRIMO, Melanie. I didn't know what it meant before. I can't see myself finding time to write 50,000 words of a Novel this November but who knows perhaps it will be my turn next November. This November I hope to get on with my latest non fiction book and who knows but that I will get 50,000 words on it! :) Thanks for the challenge!
    Blessings and happy writing,

  6. Melanie I am so grateful for this reminder. I was writing a novel earlier this year and managing a minimum of 1,000 words each morning before I did anything else (after praying and journal writing). It was amazing how much I managed to write and it felt very meaningful and life affirming. Then something happened and I stopped and haven't been able to bring myself to revisit it, but the characters live on in my mind. One especially. So perhaps it is time for him to start a new life in a new novel. This might just be the motivation I need.

  7. I just found out there is a Nano rebels area for those writing non-fiction

  8. Sounds interesting and almost exciting. I am soooo tempted, but have never even finished a novel. Hence why I think authors are great. The first step is to finish one!
    But the rewriting... is it worth it? Good luck all those who are going to try, rebels or not!

  9. Ah now that rebel thing is very appealing!

  10. Hi Mel, good luck with Nano this year :) I haven't done NaNo before because November is way too busy a month for me. One day I'd love to give it a go, or do a Book in a Month challenge. I'm less than 10k from finishing my current wip, and I hope to finish the first draft in the next few weeks :)

  11. Clearly, completing this challenge would give authors such a powerful boost in their spirit and feeling that they can accomplish anything. Everyone who decides to take it on, I wish you God speed - you'll need it.

  12. In theory I love the idea, but in practice it's not going to happen for me. Good luck to those taking it on, and thank you Melanie for letting us know about it. It's an awesome idea.

  13. Nanowrimo is a great boost and goal if you find it difficult to get a full first draft done. I've done my own version of writing a book in a month and it was very useful for the discipline to keep going. I hope you achieve your goals this month.

  14. I love the idea of writing a novel in a month. I had a week last year to edit and rewrite one of my books and I loved the opportunity to write from morning till night, with nothing else to think about. But that's not going to happen for me in November. I have very few spaces left in the month now. I wish all of you who can do this a wonderful and blessed experience. I'm going to plan myself such a month before too long.

  15. I love love love NaNo!
    I love the adrenalin rush.
    I love that I've written 2 novels since discovering NaNo
    I love that I'm in again this year.
    ... but until then... I'm off to work on the other 2!

  16. I did Nano a few years ago and I take my hat off to anyone who does it once and then goes back to do it again!! You're super star writers as far as I'm concerned! Nano's a wonderful tool to show a writer just how much can be produced in a short time. If only I could bind and gag my internal editor ..... :) Good luck to all participating this year!