If you read the title of this post and wonder if I’m trying out a new language, you’re probably not alone. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a time when aspiring novelists are encouraged to dust off the notebook, get a new chair for the office, grab a red-bull (or ten), and start writing that novel they’ve been thinking about and just never gotten around to. The goal is 50K words—which is lofty considering you only have a month.
Critics—there are a few—argue that NaNoWriMo only accomplishes one thing: The rapid production of several million poorly written words. There’s really no point in writing 50K words if those words are garbage. Right?
I do see where critics are coming from, but I don't entirely agree. In my experience, the hardest part of writing a novel is getting the first draft finished. The work isn’t done by a long shot. It would be a safe bet to assume you have another couple months of polishing and rewriting, but still, you've achieved, at the very least, a rough (perhaps VERY rough) draft. In fact, maybe all you've achieved is a very detailed outline. But if that's the case, you're still ahead of where you were, right? At the very least it's something to build off.
So if NaNoWriMo gets you sitting down to write, I say great!
But what about you guys? What are your thoughts? NaNoWriMo: waste of time, or effective means of getting a novel started?