November is National Novel Writing Month. Put your leftover Halloween candy to use as midnight fuel for frantic writing sessions and gain an easy excuse out of an awkward family Thanksgiving dinner.
In the month of November, a few hundred thousand aspiring novelist attempt to write 50,000 words in a single month. But it’s not for the faint of art: over 200,000 WriMos attempted the Great American Novel last year but only 37,500 novels were completed.
The event has had its success stories though. New York bestseller Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen began as a NaNoWriMo novel, which transformed into a summer blockbuster featuring Reece Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. And author Erin Morgenstern became an overnight sensation with her fantastical book, The Night Circus, which earned a six figure advance, starred reviews and a movie deal as well.
NaNoWriMo is free to join at the website. The site is notorious for crashing and running sluggishly during the first week of November due to massive traffic. But the staff at Office of Light and Letters, the creators of the NaNoWriMo project, recently converted to Ruby on Rails to prevent these problems. Registering early is key, as it is hard to play catch up once the month begins.
Dayton has an active writing community and online forum board for its WriMos. There is an online meeting on October 31st at 11pm to countdown that last sane minutes before kickoff at midnight, where any questions can be answered.
The official launch party is on Saturday, November 5th from 1:00-5:30 pm at the Kettering-Moraine Library. The largest attended meeting, you can meet and greet your fellow Wrimos in person, brainstorm plot, snack on goodies and play Word Wars.
The rest of the month features coffee house meet-ups, word wars online, write-ins and TGIO (Thank God It’s Over) party in early December.
NaNoWriMo operates on an honor system where you log in your words online, to be verified at the end of the month. And whether you win or lose, any word count in the busy of month of November is an accomplishment to be celebrated.
You can join the NaNoWriMo adventure at www.nanowrimo.org. Log onto the Dayton forum to meet more aspiring and established local writers.