NaNoWriMo 2013 — The First Check In

Welcome back, writers! Today is November 1st, which means it is also the kick off for NaNoWriMo 2013.

An image of the NaNoWriMo logo.

Unfamiliar with the acronym? National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a program run every November in which the participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Established in 1999, last year the program boasted 341,375 registered participants and can now claim over 250 published titles that began their life as NaNoWriMo projects. So if you’re interested in taking on this challenging project, you’ve got some company.

There are no real “rules” to NaNo, except that you are aiming for 50,000 words by the end of November. Mathematically, that means you need to write 1,667 words per day to meet the goal. They encourage you to start new works every year, but no one is going to rat you out if you decide you wanted to add 50,000 words to your epic Logan and Veronica fan fiction that you only managed to get a chapter done on. Memoirs, short story compilations, fan fiction, and novels — they are all eligible for the challenge. I know several people who have used NaNo to work on their thesis.

So that was all the info for the newbies. There are several PMaggers who annually take on the challenge. We hope you join our ranks. Throughout the month, I’ll host a weekly check in thread every Friday to commiserate, complain or brag about how well you’re doing. This is our first check in, so you’re not too late to get started. The wonderful @bryndonavan provided us with three pre-writing exercises to help plan out your novel that you can review and use as you go along. You can find them here: Characters, Plotting, What’s Your Novel About?

NaNo’ers — how’s your word count going? Did you have any first day bursts of creativity to sock some extra words in the bank for the inevitable second week “what the hell am I doing” days?

(NaNoWriMo shield logo used with permission of National Novel Writing Month.)

Inspiration: Honest to gawd, real life NaNoWriMo published novels:

The cover of "Sole Possession" by Bryn Donovan.

Cover of The Deception Artist by Fayette Fox

Cover of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

12 replies on “NaNoWriMo 2013 — The First Check In”

So I’m checking in as well — I stayed up until midnight Friday to start Nano and went to bed with 561 words. I did double that yesterday and feel comfortable today that I’ll be able to get into the right word count vibe today or tomorrow. I’m not going to stress about it. That was my vow this year.

I have a project that I started in one of the Camps NaNoWriMos this summer (about 15K), and I was planning on picking up where I left off to see if I could wrap it up this month. I’m not sure I can do it, but I’m trying to let go of my perfectionist tendencies enough to recognize that not winning =/= failure. Any writing is better than no writing at all. By the way, if anyone wants a writing buddy, I write under the username Gears_n_Cogs. :)

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