50,000 words or bust


Staff Writer

Everyone at some point in their life thinks they should write a book, but how many of us actually go through with this “suicide mission”? Writing a book can seem long and tedious, carrying the weight of taking umpteen years to complete it. Luckily for myself and my fellow writers, Chris Baty, a freelance writer, had a groundbreaking idea back in 1999: to write a novel in one month. This one idea birthed NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. Beginning with himself and twenty-one other writers, books were being written in a length of time no one thought possible, where an old saying gets a rewrite, “quality not quantity.”

NaNoWriMo lasts from November 1 to November 31. Novelists are encouraged to write approximately 1,667 words a day which will then become a 50,000 word manuscript when the month comes to a close. The goal of National Novel Writing Month is not to produce a masterpiece, but to produce something- anything at all. It is a push that most writers need to start on the novel they have always dreamed of writing. According to the NaNoWriMo official website, participants are joining from over 100 different countries across the globe and well over 200 regions.

Most people lose motivation when writing a book and leave it for “later” in a concrete box in a corner of their mind. However, during NaNoWriMo, you’re able to create a profile on their official website stating who you are and what you want people to know about your future novel. Through this you obtain “writing buddies,” who help to encourage you and proofread your work if desired. There are also many libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops that during the month of November will open their doors to NaNoWriMo writers and let them inhabit the space as their own personal office.

Many notable novels have been produced through NaNoWriMo including “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen and “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell. Recently Kate Wyer, a Bridgeton native, had her debut novel “Black Krim” published which she had written during a previous NaNoWriMo.

Close to home, located only thirty minutes from Cumberland County College, the Bridgeton Public Library is hosting many events throughout the end of October and the whole of November to bring these courageous writers together by creating a workshop for those in need of help on their novels and those who just want to gloat over their progress.

Local poet, novelist, and teacher R.G. Evans who will run the NaNoWriMo workshops at the Bridgeton library had this to say about the quickly approaching challenge that is National Novel Writing Month: “NaNoWriMo is the literary equivalent of running a marathon. It’s an exercise in discipline that just might result in finishing, even publishing, a novel.” Whether you finish your novel or not, NaNoWriMo is the opportunity to begin working on something that could one day develop into a best seller.


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