It's now October and and all too soon 2012 will be a distant memory (assuming the world doesn't end on December 20th! ). But don't go counting 2012 over just yet, there's still time for you to do something amazing, and only slightly insane for you are about to write a 50,000 word novel in just a mere 30 days! (Wow! You must be crazy!) Yes ladies and gentlemen it's time to stock up on your favorite caffeinated beverage and prepare your family and friends to not see you for an entire month because we are quickly approaching... NaNoWriMo!! If you are wondering what the heck you just stumbled upon in this thread read on. If you are an old hand at the lunacy then feel free to skip to the bottom for discussion! What is NaNoWriMo? At its most basic definition, National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo aka NaNo is writing a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. Many people get so much more out of it, some people don't, it's really up to you what NaNo is about. If you've always wanted to write a novel but never got around to it, this is your chance. You'll be doing it along with hundreds of thousands of other crazy people, so don't worry about being alone in your insanity! NaNo is not about writing the next best seller (though it has been known to happen) or writing the perfect story, it's all about the writing. Repeat after me: "It's all about the writing." The goal is to get it all out there, get your entire novel down and don't worry about editing, grammar or plot holes... those are things that can be taken care of once the writing is done. This is a rough (sometimes very rough) draft. I'll say it again, it's all about the writing. If you should decided to take on this challenge, I promise you this: you will write some utter crap so go ahead and turn your inner editor off now or it's going to be a long month. But in writing impetuously, you may find that giving yourself the freedom to just write -without worry- results in some truly amazing prose! How do I participate? You go to the NaNo website and sign up. Don't be alarmed if it takes a while for the site to load, it tends to be a little busy this time of year. Then starting at midnight November 1st (and no sooner!) write your heart out! You can write in a notebook, on your computer, heck, you could write on your walls, just as long as you don't write the same word over and over again! Don't forget to check out the official How NaNo Works and What is NaNo? pages. I've signed up, what do I do now? Well, you can start outlining your story, make your characters, do some research (but remember, no actual writing until November 1st!) or if your more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer you can check out the Forums at the official NaNo site and discuss pretty much anything with your fellow Wrimos! What Do I Get If I Win? Absolutely Nothing!! But seriously, you get to know you wrote a novel in 30 days. How many people can say that? Even if you don't make it to 50,000 words you've done more than the majority of people in this world will ever do! They also make some shiny web badges so you can show off to the the internet how awesome you are! There are also a few companies that give you discounts or something free when you win so I guess technically you could win something! If you've read this far and decided this isn't for you, just remember you'll never make it if you don't even attempt it. Many people don't make it to 50,000 words but there's still a lot of adventure and fun along the way! Still not convinced? Feel free to keep tabs on this thread and cheer on those who are participating. We will take all the cheering (and caffeine) we can get! So you've decided to tackle the challenge? Great! We are glad to have inducted you into the insanity... er, um... Welcome Aboard!! If you are planning on participating this year, post in this thread and if you use a different screen name at the NaNo site let us know that as well so we can find you and make you a writing buddy. Once NaNo starts keep us up to date on your progress and it will be shown beside your name on the part. Discussion: The obligatory first question: Have you done NaNo before? If yes: How many times? Have you won? What is your advice for someone who has never done NaNo? If No: How did you learn about NaNo? Do you have any questions for people who have done this before?