National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts in just two more days! This annual internet phenom challenges participants to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. The goal is quantity, not quality—that can come later, and many participants do go on to refine their NaNi-produced work, but for the first draft, the intent is simply to get your story out! Want to play? Here are some resources to help get you started and to ensure that you get the most out of your NaNo experience.
1) The Official Website. This should be your first stop. You can ‘officially’ sign up (there are no prizes, but signing up allows you to track your word count and verify it at the end so you can download the badge or completion, good for bragging rights everywhere) and to sign up for emails and pep talks from the higher-ups and from some celebrity guests!
2) The Official Store. NaNoWriMo is a licensed charity whose efforts support both the website and November effort, and also some programs for young writers. As well as the expected NaNo ‘swag’ you can also get some more practical stuff such as a novel-writing workbook, and an autographed copy of founder Chris Baty’s how-to guide (which is currently available at the Kindle store for under $2!). [easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B0045OWFE6″ locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GoxEKuJSL._SL110_.jpg” width=”81″]
3) The Official Message Boards. The boards are useful not just for the usual chatter and help forums but also for the regional areas. I am blessed to live in one of the most active ‘municipal chapters’ and can partake in a variety of local in-person events such as a launch party, writing sessions and social events. See what your area has to offer. I am still friends with people who did NaNo with me that first year!
4) The Young Writer’s Program. This NaNo spin-off area has downloadable workbooks, resources for educators and their own age-appropriate forum and message board area.
So, are you in? If so, happy writing!