Wednesday, March 9, 2011


In my blog travels I came across an interesting phenomenon. Apparently there is an event every year and has been for just over a decade where the common person tries to write a novel. Not necessarily a good novel. But a novel nevertheless. The idea is to write it over the course of just one month. The thinking is that to do it quickly will free the writer to just do it.

The event in question is called by an acronym of sorts - NaNoWriMo. This stands for National Novel Writing Month. It has gone viral in a big way. It is now truly an international "phenomenon". Edmonton's is called EdmoWriMo or something similar. The month set for this is November so this post is in no way especially timely. I am just mentioning it shortly after coming across it.

The idea has kind of dazzled me. Got me to thinking, "Could I do it?". "Would I do it?". The only "rules" are that it has to be done in 1 month only -November, and it should be 50,000 words. When you are done. You submit it before the deadline to the website and they put it through a word counting mechanism. If it "checks out" then you get a certificate acknowledging the feat.

The idea according to the site is not to try to write a great novel. Or even a very good novel. The idea is just to write. And write. 50,000 words in 30 days. Throw something at the wall and see what will stick. Even though the originators of this contest say to continue even if you think what you are writing is atrocious, it has had its share of success.

I believe the website said that there were something like 13 novels that were some past "winners" that have been professionally published! Remember to "win" means simply meeting the basic but not necessarily easy criteria. One that was specifically mentioned by name was a book that has been turned into soon to be out movie.

That book/movie is "Water for Elephants". I have not read the book myself so I can not attest to it being any good in terms of theme (from my standpoint anyway). But I do intend to see it. The film stars Reese Witherspoon, who is an actress that while I wouldn't call her a favorite is certainly someone who I enjoy in the average romantic comedy. I hope this falls in that category.

I just checked out the trailer for the movie and while Witherspoon's costar is Robert Pattinson(!) and I can't say I'm a fan it actually looks quite good. He even grew on me a bit in the trailer. The trailer itself is not one that "tells all". It's all a little obscure. It is basically a wordless 2-1/2 min. telling a story that seems to involve higher education, the circus, destiny & cruel love. Whew.

If you get a chance go and check out On the site there is a very detailed ... and very interesting telling of each of the first ten or so years of the event. I'd call it a summary but that denotes brevity. As I said each years telling is very detailed. Well worth reading though. I found it extremely interesting. Basically, the anatomy of the event.

Also, something to note is that NaNoWriMo has branched out to include a month in which people do the same type of thing with movie/t.v. scripts. The reason I mention this is because this makes this story a little more timely as the month set aside for script writing just so happens to be April. I think it even gives pointers on the site on how to do it or how to find out how.

So have I interested anyone in this event. Did I neglect to mention it "went viral" because it became the "darling" the the education set. Schools do it. Elementary's. Junior High's. Senior High's. College's. Literacy groups. Based on how the site describes it, it caught on like wildfire and just spread and spread. So who is going to join me this November (or possibly even April!).



  1. I have been a NaNoWriMo participant for the last six years :) It is great fun and it pushes you to write...even if it isnt good!
    I have sold a few of my 'mishaps' from the NaNoWriMo month :)

  2. Cool. Maybe it was your site where I learned about it for all I know. LOL. Where did you sell your stuff?


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