Nanowrimo. The madness.

“Madness?” I almost hear you think, dear reader. Please, fear not. Even when there is madness involved, I am still in reasonable control of my abilities.

But you said madness!
True. I did. Let me explain. Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is an exercise for authors, or rather anyone who likes to write, to let go of standards of proper writing. Instead, you engage on a lunatic journey to produce a novel of at least 50,000 words in one month. In other words, you write an average of 1666 words each day. The month chosen for this is November. And November is about to start.

Words… words…
Oh, I understand your confusion. How much is so many words? It is difficult to give an exact number of pages, but for 50,000 words you should think of a book of about 120 pages. Yes, that makes for a lot of words. Due to the speed of writing, there is no time to make sure the writing that comes out of this month is something very nice and pretty. The produced writing will be horrible; there are typos unfixed, ideas and plots that take all kinds of turns without making sense, names of characters can occasionally change at will. But that is not a problem during Nanowrimo. It is based on the challenge to do this, to write so much, to let go of the built-in editor who wants to go back and make things look so much better.

But that leaves us with a mess!
True. The end result is not something to be proud of when you look at it as a book, dear reader. But for that there are the dark winter months. Then there is the time to re-read the novel (once the author has gathered enough stamina to face that monster again), and go over the typos, the bad grammar and all the mistakes and “unguided missiles” in the text. The only pride that is in that monster is the satisfaction of having achieved this mad dash to the end of the trail, the 50,000 words (or more) written in one month.

And what does Nanowrimo to your life?
Ooohhh… that is a nasty question… November is a month that traditionally means retreating from selected bits of human interaction. After all, there is still a part of normal life that has to happen as well. Think of work, sleep, laundry and all such forms of entertainment.

Nanowrimo is a strange thing. One hardly thinks of it through the year, but at a certain point it pops up. There is the need for an idea, a plan, a plot, a story. And from that moment on the experience is already building, which finds its culmination in November. The month that tens of thousands of people all over the world attempt to write an average of 1666 words a day, to reach that goal of 50,000 words after the 30 days of the month.

Nanowrimo online.
If you want to know more about Nanowrimo, you can visit the Nanowrimo website.

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