National Novel Writing Month


It’s November, and that means it’s officially is National Novel Writing Month! Whether you’re a published mystery novelist or you’re trying to break into crime fiction writing, this inspirational program is the perfect opportunity to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) and get writing. With plenty of organized activities and resources, this program has everything you need to get inspired and finally get started on that “great idea” you’ve always had for the next big thriller.

Now in its 15th year, the National Novel Writing Month program, known better as NaNoWriMo, is an annual novel writing competition that challenges writers to complete a 50,000 word novel by November 30. If you’re writing your first mystery or thriller or you simply work better under pressure, this online writing resource is sure to give you a little extra motivation. Sign up on the web site get encouragement as you write, set daily goals, earn badges, and chat with fellow participants in the forums section. You’ll also find lots of tips, including a rough guideline on how to map out your progress to meet your goal, along with resources like word counters and apps to help you on your way. After your 50,000 word rough draft novel is submitted at the end of November, you’ll also get help with what to do next to revise your rough draft – along with tips on how to get it published as the next bestselling thriller.

In addition to the 30 day competition, NaNoWriMo also hosts the Night of Writing Dangerously fundraiser in San Francisco. The first 225 program participants who create a fundraising web page and raise $275 are invited to this write-a-thon in San Francisco to eat, drink, and write all night. Participants gather at the Julia Morgan Ballroom for cocktails and dinner to meet each other and NaNoWriMo staff, share excerpts, offer feedback, and most of all, write during designated word war competitions. With special performances, speakers grand prizes, it’s one of the highlights of NaNoWriMo.

The National Novel Writing Month program started in 1999 and has grown from just 21 participants to over 200,000 in the last 15 years. With a goal of getting as many writers as possible to “get something down on paper,” there are no prizes awarded for submissions. Instead, every participant who reaches the 50,000 mark is considered a winner.

If you’ve always dreamed of writing thrillers like the Lou Mason books, join the National Novel Writing Month program today! There are more than three full weeks in November, and the Thanksgiving holiday break will give you a few extra days to dedicate to your goal. Even if you don’t complete a 50,000 crime fiction novel by November 30, you’ll have tackled the hardest part: getting started!