posted on November 19, 2018 by Ana Brazil


It’s November, which means it’s NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth!

Every November, anyone who has ever wanted to write a novel (which seems to be just about everyone at some time in their life) can join a free, online community dedicated to writing 50,000 words of a novel in 31 days.

It can be your first novel, your “next” novel, or a novella. It can even be a collection of short stories. But it’s definitely 50,000 words written over 31 days. You write, write, write without any concern about revising or editing.

But can you write 50,000 words? In 31 days?

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

Yes, you can! Because the brilliant team and participants of NaNoWriMo excel at offering support, ideas, guidelines, gripe sessions, and just about anything else (except the time) to cheer you on to 50,000 word victory.

If you do complete your 50,000 words by midnight November 31, you get a cool Winner’s Icon for your social media sites. And if you absolutely can’t participate this year, put a tickler in your calendar for October of next year…because that’s the month to begin planning your November NaNoWriMo adventure.

Good news…every March—three months after NaNoWriMo ends—National Novel Editing Month (aka NaNoEdMo) provides online support for editing your NaNoWriMo novel. NaNoEdMo is also free and provides a Certificate of Completion when you complete 50 hours of editing in March.

Image via National Novel Editing Month.

More good news…if you can’t participate in NaNoWriMo or NaNoEdMo, you can use the ideals of both of these events in your own writing. When I started writing the sequel to FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER, I created my own personal NaNoWriMo. I gave myself 31 days to write, write, write anything I wanted about Fanny, poisons, patent medicines, and the French Quarter. I didn’t have “a novel” after those 31 days, but I did have 50,000 plus words that led me on to a novel.

Maybe someday, I’ll have my own Winner’s Icon for completing THE FRENCH QUARTER LAUDANUM LOVERS, the second book in my FANNY NEWCOMB trilogy. But for now, I have NaNoWriMo and NaNoEdMo to cheer me on.

Ana Brazil

Ana Brazil

A native of California, Ana Brazil lived in the south for many years. She earned her MA in American history from Florida State University and traveled her way through Mississippi as an architectural historian. Ana loves fried mullet, Greek Revival colonnades, and Miss Welty’s garden. She has a weakness for almost all things New Orleans. (Although she’s not sure just how it happened…but she favors bluegrass over jazz.) The Fanny Newcomb stories celebrate the tenacity, intelligence, and wisdom of the dozens of courageous and outrageous southern women that Ana is proud to call friends. Although Ana, her husband, and their dog Traveller live in the beautiful Oakland foothills, she is forever drawn to the lush mystique of New Orleans, where Fanny Newcomb and her friends are ever prepared to seek a certain justice.

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