NaNoWriMo 2011 Launches

Dear Readers,

Welcome to National Novel Writing Month!  NaNoWriMo, as it’s commonly called, is a 30-day challenge in November to complete a 50,000-word novel.

This year, I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo!  Along the way, I’ll post excerpts from what I’m currently working on – no excerpt longer than 500 words long – as well as a few words of encouragement for my fellow writers as you work on your own one-month masterpieces.

Today, I’ll start the month off right by sharing my favorite NaNo tips for college students.

  1. Don’t think.  This may not be so easy for some, but a lot of writers I know can write on autopilot.  Don’t concentrate on how your sentences look in terms of grammar or spelling: that’s what Microsoft Word Spellcheck is for, naturally.  Focus on just spilling your guts on the story.
  2. Use extra bits of your day to write.  I haul a notebook around with me and work on my novel before class begins or while I’m waiting for a friend to eat lunch with.  If you have a tablet PC – or don’t mind getting out your laptop all the time – you can work on the computer anywhere.
  3. Speaking of computers: If you don’t have Microsoft Word, use Google Docs.  Google Docs can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection and a computer – so if you’re using that tablet PC I mentioned, you don’t need a program.  Just a browser.
  4. Band together!  Just like with any writing group, a NaNo group (or partner) makes the challenge just that much more fun.  You can even place a bet.  My favorite bet with my writer boyfriend?  First one to reach the goal buys the other one a sushi dinner.

Remember: you need to write 1, 667 words per day to reach that 50,000-word goal.  You can also hit up some write-ins in your region to dig deeper into your goal.

And never forget the cute barista in your local coffee shop who you can see every day if you write for a couple hours there.  Peace, quiet, and cute baristas – what more could you want from NaNoWriMo?

Happy writing!



Published by Feliza

Feliza Casano is a writer and editor with a love of speculative fiction, graphic novels, and good books. She writes and edits at Girls in Capes ( and contributes to other websites on science fiction and fantasy topics.


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