NaNoWriMo is Coming to Mess Up Your Queries

I love NaNo, but it does disrupt the submission system every year.

Jaxon Lee Rose

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Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

I think I’ve written a story like this every year since 2018 and I’ll keep doing it because each year someone has messaged me to say thanks.

First of all, this is not a dig on NaNo, I love this time of year. I don’t participate anymore, but I used to try it every year and I still love watching everyone come out of the woodworks and really get into fiction writing for a month. I love watching people make new friends and crit buddies. I love watching people get so fucking excited about the progress they’re making on this project they’ve been mulling over for however long. I love watching people accomplish something awesome.

However, there is a downside to NaNoWriMo, and it comes at the end of November and lasts until probably around January or February. At least, this is my estimate that I now abide by.

First, if you don’t know what NaNo is then let me explain it real quick. National Novel Writing Month happens every November and the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. The participants sign up to the website where they post their daily word count on their project. Regions compete against each other to see who writes more words. Camps are started to help people stay accountable to each other in smaller groups. There are prizes at the end for winners who hit the 50k, and they’re usually discounts for various writing programs.

It really is good fun.

Here’s the problem:

Those 50,000 words are not meant to be a final draft. They’re only meant to be a rough draft. NaNo is there to motivate writers to get their stories on paper. After that comes the rewrites and the edits and more rewrites followed by more edits — at least that’s how it’s supposed to go.

Very few people can smash out an amazing manuscript in 30 days of caffeine-fueled fury motivated by a need to hit an arbitrary word count.

Some people do! Every year there is a small handful of people who do land a publishing contract for their manuscript, and good for them. They probably spent a good chunk of the year planning their novel, or maybe NaNo was their rewrite of an…

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Jaxon Lee Rose

Dark Fantasy Writer | 3D Artist for Bella Nacht Minis | Narrative Designer for Ghost Moth Games