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Blog, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2023

NaNoWriMo 23 is here!

November is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo 2023 is an international creative writing event in which participants try to complete 50,000 words of a brand new novel during the month of November. I’m taking part this year. Starting with a rough outline of an idea on November 1st, I’m hoping to have at least 50,000 words of a new novel completed by midnight on 30th November.

A Dash of History

The NaNoWriMo challenge was thrown down by freelance writer Chris Baty in San Francisco during July 1999 with 21 participants who hoped to write a book in a month.

NaNoWriMo Winner's certificate, Christina Hollis 2024
My Winner’s Certificate from the last time I took part in NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo grew fast, and in 2005 was registered as a non-profit organisation. In 2019 almost half a million people took part. The NaNoWriMo website supplies all kind of support, from motivational articles by well-known authors, hints and tips, and progress badges. There are also local groups all over the world.

A Rush of Inspiration

I began my project (which is so new it doesn’t have a name yet) first thing on 1st November. I’m writing this blog on 3rd November, and I’ve written 5,702 words so far. I spend all my spare time in the afternoon and evening thinking about my story. Then I sleep on my ideas. Next morning, I’m ready to start work with at least one scene pretty much fully-formed in my mind.

Neos Smart

My Alphasmart Neo is key to my success. It’s basically a keyboard with a memory. It has a tiny screen which inhibits looping back to edit as you work, and most importantly of all as far as I’m concerned, it has no access to the internet. There’s no room for procrastination or web surfing. I take my Neo somewhere quiet,  hammer out a stream of consciousness first draft, and then upload it to an open word document on my Mac at the end of the day’s writing session. By November 30th I should have at least 50,000 words of my novel. It may be garbled, but as the old saying goes, the roughest first draft is much easier to work on than a blank page.  

My Alphasmart Neo, ready for  NaNoWriMo 23
My Alphasmart Neo

Follow My Progress

For a weekly report on how I’m getting on, sign up for my blog (see the box on the right of this page). I’ll be including an extract of what I’ve produced in my November newsletter, which goes out in three weeks’ time.

To be in at the birth of my next book, sign up for my newsletter here. Subscribers can enter a competition to suggest the title of my NaNoWriMo project. Once you’ve read the excerpt that will be appearing in my November newsletter, send me your idea for a title. You’ll be in with a chance of winning a gift token as a reward for your creativity!

Buy my latest book, Royal Passion, here. You can find out more about me here, and see some of my books here.

2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 2023”

  1. Go Christina! I wanted to do NaNoWriMo this year but my hand operation on 17th Nov made it somewhat pointless. So…next year. I am interested in the idea of your Alphasmart Neo. It reminds me of my electronic typewriter in the early nineties. You can’t go back and edit more than a line or two. And no internet. Who’d ever have thought that no internet was a good thing back in those days lol. Good luck with your novel. I look forward to further updates.

  2. Thanks for your good wishes, Julie. I had an electronic typewriter back in the 90s, too! My Neo had been languishing in its backpack because I thought it was broken, but couldn’t bear to throw it away. I had been writing on paper and then dictating into a Word document and editing as I went, but that felt awfully slow. With the Neo, all I do is plug it into my desktop at the end of a writing session and it uploads automatically. It feels like magic!

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