Hey Look! It's November! Time to Write a Novel in a Month!


November is here, and so, it is time for my yearly declaration that I'll be writing a novel in a month. Or more specifically, I will be trying to write at least fifty-thousand words in the month of November. It is part of NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month where many writers around the world try to write over fifty-thousand words of a novel.

I've been doing the contest since 2015, and somehow, I've pulled off a 'win' every single year. Last year was my best year ever with a little over sixty-six-thousand words, and so I hope to top it this year.

It has been a great event to push me creatively, but also has allowed me to connect with other creatives and writers. One of the major aspects of the program is that we support and encourage each other over what is a rather hectic and busy month (those are a lot of words to write in just 30 days). I have really appreciated some of the amazing people I've meant while participating for the past eight years.

If you spend every year wishing you could write. Or keep being hounded by this idea for a story that must be crafted into reality, then NaNoWriMo is terrific way to spend your month. You should consider joining me in writing fifty-thousand words of your story this year.

You can learn more about it by going to the site here. 

Then you can open a free account and declare the novel you are writing to the world. You can look to see what writing group is in your community and join that as well. One of the best parts is the community, groups, support, and even friendships that can be made during this time. Most groups have things called 'Write-in' where you meet at a location (or online) and you just write together, share your idea, and encourage each other.

It brings me joy that for the fourth straight year, Everett will be doing his own version with me. He is aiming for ten thousand words, and he has hit his goal every year. I am proud of the hard work he puts in every November, and he has been a great inspiration and motivation for my own challenge.

Why not join us in taking on the challenge of finally writing that novel that you've always wanted to create. It is also helpful in creating a writing habit, because if writing is something you've always had a passion but keep claiming you don't have time, then this forces you to manage it and slot it in every day. To win the challenge, you will be writing around 1,666 words a day, and you do that for 30 days, so it will start becoming a habit and a natural part of your routine. It will be a great exercise to turn you into a more prolific and daily writer.

This yearly declaration is also a warning that November may not be the most prolific month on the site. On top of my usual writing for clients and various other projects while still trying to be a good dad and husband, I now have novel that needs a few thousand words of attention every day to consume my time.

The plan is to keep you updated on the progress of the novel. I will share some of the challenges I may encounter or some magical creative moments that I will experience. As I write, I might even make a few discoveries about the writing process that I feel will be worthy to share. 

I'll be in a very creative writing mindset, so this is often the month that I am more prone to write about how I make the form work for me. That is the big thing about creative writing, my process is different that your own, and my way may not work for you, but it is always beneficial to see all the different styles and strategies from different creators and writers.

As usual, I didn't do much planning before I started to write my novel. I feel like too much planning stifles my story and characters. I like to have them take me in different directions and reveal the story to me. This of course means that there are many times that I suddenly discover the story is very different than what I have initially believed it to be or the narrative suddenly takes a drastic shift in direction, which means I have some work in December to clean up the story. 

I like making the discoveries during the creative process rather having a thorough structure beforehand. It is similar to Stephen King's writing style, so at least I have some great company. Many of the writers in my region are big on thoroughly planning out their novel before they start writing, and that is a good strategy too. You just need to find what works.

This year I am doing something very different. I usually write supernatural horror novels, but I decided to shake things up by writing a children's fairy tale novel. It was loosely inspired by some stories I've made-up off the top of my head for my kids on long car rides or before bedtime. It definitely has some roots in stories like Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz, which were some of my favourite stories as a kid.

It is a bit of a challenge as it demands a totally different writing style and tone. I am writing for a completely different readership. But it has been really fun so far, and I'm glad I took the plunge. I can already recognize that some of my ideas are shifting, and the direction of the story is likely to be completely different than what I initially started. It isn't as messy as last year where I kept shifting my focus and tone.

That will be my November, and I'd love for you to join me. If you do then feel free to let me know in the comments and tell me a bit about your novel. 

Happy writing!