For the first time ever, St. Thomas University Library is playing an active part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, or NaNo for short). To support campus writers and writers in the community, we are joined forces with St. Thomas University’s Driftwood Literary Arts Magazine to host a series of talks and meet-ups for the national marathon-novel-writing event this November. We have several pre-November events planned to get you ready, and then we’ll host Write Ins at the Library, where you can write until the wee hours weekly with others on the same mission. And the coffee’s on us. Then we’ll get together to celebrate your accomplishments in early December at a TGI Over! Party.
How It Works
Write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. That’s it. But on a national scale in November. That’s 1,670 words (or 5.5 double-spaced pages) per day for 30 days. Why 50,000? Because it’s doable. Here are the basic steps.
- First, login in at NaNoWriMo.
- Next, announce your new novel. Starting October 5, the site will relaunch and you will be able to enter your novel. Choose “November 2015,” fill in the optional fields, and click “Create Novel.”
- Plan, prewrite, and prepare in October. Or, proceed to next step.
- Start writing on November 1.
- Update your word count on the NaNo site as you go. Daily is recommended.
- Validate your word count on the NaNo site beginning November 20 but no later than November 30.
- Once your novel is validated, you’ll be taken to a page with a congratulatory message, a certificate to print out, and social media badges.
- Now to revise. Participate in the Now What Months, in January and February.
How to Validate Your Novel
Paste the entire novel into a word counter on the NaNo site. From the NaNoWriMo FAQ: “To protect your privacy and rights to your work, none of the novels submitted to our site are read by another human. The text is submitted to our server, run through our word-count validator, and then immediately deleted.”
NaNo Tweet Chats
NaNo is hosting two Tweet chats:
- #NaNoPrep TweetChat is Sept. 29 at 2pm. If you’ll miss it because you are at our Info Session (see below), just search the hashtag #NaNoPrep to track the conversations.
- #NaNoCoach TweetChat is planned for Oct. 28 at 12pm. This will be hosted by the published authors who will be your coaches. More details will be available soon.
How do you participate in a Tweet chat? Type the hashtag #NaNoPrep into the Twitter search box and interact with people using that hashtag. See this blog post for a description of what Twitter chats are and tools to streamline the experience.
@ St. Thomas University Library
- Sept. 29, 2pm, NaNoWriMo Kick-Off & Info Session, Nina Rose, SEFLIN Room
- Oct. 13, 3:15pm, Plot Brainstorming Session, Hosted by Driftwood, SEFLIN Room
- Oct. 27, 11am, Author Valerie Valdes, NaNoWriMo Coordinator, Roadmap to NaNo: Navigating Your Way to Success, Library Atrium
- Nov. 3, 11am, Author Gricel Dominguez, Sparking the NaNo Fire: From Idea to 50k Library Atrium
- Nov. 4, 3pm-10pm, Join Other Writers at a Weekly Write In @ the Library, SEFLIN Room
- Nov. 11, 3pm-10pm, Write In @ the Library, SEFLIN Room
- Nov. 18, 3pm-10pm, Write In @ the Library, SEFLIN Room
- Dec. 1, 2pm, TGIO (Thank Goodness It’s Over) Party, Library Atrium
These events are posted on the flyer on the Library’s Facebook Page. Like the Facebook event, post your comments or questions, and keep up with comments of other local writers.
Online events include two NaNoWriMo webinars:
- 14, 7pm, Spreecast, A #NaNoPrep Workshop — Join authors Kami Garcia, Danielle Paige, Jonathan Maberry, and Ellen Hopkins for a preparatory and celebratory webinar.
- 20, 8pm, Spreecast, Diverse Characters — Discussing how to develop characters and worlds that are unfamiliar to you are authors Dhonielle Clayton, I. W. Gregorio, and Miranda Paul.
All you have to do is create a free Spreecast account. Click on the event links above, create an account, and click Remind Me to receive an event reminder. Here is a help guide for participating in a Spreecast.
Events for the entire NaNo Miami region are posted here.
Here’s the Library’s NaNoWriMo Calendar:
- 11 Ways You Can Start Preparing For National Novel Writing Month Now – Chart your course with these tips from Bustle.
- How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo: To Outline or Not to Outline – Tips from The Writer’s Digest include identifying the story arc in three acts and creating 30 chapter sketches.
- Six Questions to Ask Before You Even Write Your First Draft — Also check out the First Draft Checklist, all from the Writer’s Write blog.
- Top Mistakes Beginning Writers Make, Part I — And other posts on the Writing With Celia blog.
- A Character Profiler — Character-building strategies, tips, and tools from NaNo Blog.
- A What-if Builder — Make a list of What-Ifs to help you get unstuck in November.
- Plot Doctoring: How to Make Plotting Simple — Tips on constructing a textable plot summary.
- NaNo Prep Resources – An extensive list of resources to help you prepare for November.
- We have a display of fiction-writing books in the Library Atrium. Titles are listed here, and they include a few novels written during NaNoWriMo that went on to get published. Here is a complete list of published NaNos.
- Novel Writing Workbook – Prepared for high school students in the Young Writer’s Program, this workbook may be just the thing first-time-NaNo college students need to jump start the process. Save it as a PDF and voila, you have a personal workbook with fields you can type right into as you work you through your first novel.
- NaNo YouTube Videos and Playlists
- Try Something New for 30 Days TED-Ed Talk
- On Writing the Novel (Films on Demand, STU users only)
Pep & Inspiration
- Past NaNo PepTalks — Letters by well-known writers to inspire Wrimos (that’s you).
- Character Name Generator — Generate a character name and personality
- Hiveword Online Fiction Organizer — Web-based novel-writing organizer
- The Story Starter — Randomly generates story starters
Offers & Freebees
- NaNo page with tool discounts, freebees, and other offers.
Have some other great resources to add to the mix? Post them in the Comments section.