ACW Episode 94 – Why November is the WRONG month for NaNoWriMo

Let me just say, November is the wrooooooooong month for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I thought this last year when I was working on PerNoFiMo (Personal Novel Finishing Month), which is my version of NaNoWriMo, only with the purpose of finishing a project I started but never got past the first few thousand words on.

The thing with both NaNoWriMo and PerNoFiMo is that you have to, HAVE TO, write every day, and not just a few hundred words either. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to complete a 50000 word draft of a novel in 30 days. The goal of PerNoFiMo is to come as close to finishing the first draft of that uncompleted project as I can get, and that usually means 30-40K words. That means on average 1000 words a night minimum for PerNoFiMo and 1700 words a night for NaNoWriMo. That’s a lot of words to write. And yes, they do have to be actual words! And of course, everybody is writing during the month leading up to the big holidays, and then there’s Thanksgiving when the kids are home for four days driving their hard working, frantically writing parents crazy. And then how can anyone possibly sit down to write after eating all that turkey?! Seriously, all I wanted to do after Thanksgiving dinner was curl up in a cave and hibernate for the rest of the year.

However, neither NaNoWriMo nor PerNoFiMo require that the novel being written be a perfect final draft. In fact, I think both events are ideal for banging out that very ugly first draft. You know what I’m talking about – the story so ugly only its author could love it, and even he or she might just set fire to it, it’s that bad? But that’s what first drafts are about, and you can’t get to the finished product without bringing that ugly 10 lb. baby first draft into the world.

Anyway, my sympathies and my encouragement to all you NaNoWriMo participants out there, and my congratulations to all you winners (including our dear friend Nobilis Reed!). I’ve reached a point in my PerNoFiMo project, The Little Death, where I’ve at least outlined the whole plot and I can see where I need to start doing massive rewriting. No, I didn’t really write out those final scenes. Probably about the last eighth of the book is only in very rough outline format. But it does have an ending now! Which means December is now PerNoReWriMo, or Personal Novel ReWriting Month.

And let me just say, December is a lousy month to be rewriting a novel…

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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  1. Cartoon up! Cynical Woman looks at why November is the WRONG month for NaNoWriMo –… #NaNoWriMo

  2. RT @Cynical_Woman: Cartoon up! Cynical Woman looks at why November is the WRONG month for NaNoWriMo –… #NaNoWriMo

  3. Today’s cartoon is all about NaNoWriMo, and why it shouldn’t be held in November!

  4. RT @Cynical_Woman: Today’s cartoon is all about NaNoWriMo, and why it shouldn’t be held in November!

  5. I agree with you, H. November is a horrible month…and what’s a bigger kick in the snarglies is February — you know, the SHORTEST month of the year — is considered by many to be NaNoEdMo or National Novel EDITING Month.

    Personally, I think October would be a better month for this, or March/April. But November?!

    Just nuts.

  6. *snork* My arms can reach the keyboard just fine, but my brain can’t think in anything but formulas!

  7. Tee,

    February around this house is brutal when it comes to accomplishing anything. We have two birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and the Farpoint convention. I get nothing done that month, except Farpoint.

    October would be great for NaNoWriMo. Kids have been back in school a month, schedules are settled, and only one holiday to worry about really, Halloween. But I have to admit, I’ve never really found the perfect time to write a novel, so I guess it’s simply best to write one… NOW!

  8. Mich,

    After swimming yesterday and karate classes today, I can at least see my feet again, but my brain is so tired. I am forcing myself to write every night, and am so scatter brained I need to start keeping a list of things I need to do. Otherwise, I forget it all. I keep stopping to think and then don’t start again, you know?

    It’ll be even worse come Christmas. I’ll have family here then. Ugh!

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