Wednesday Writing Spot – Calling all short story writers who want to write a novel?

If you’ve ever tried to write a novel and you’re on social media – particularly around this time of year – you have probably heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short).  It’s simple, you write a novel in a month. You start it on 1st November and you finish on the 30th November.

Of course you can do that any month of the year but the idea of signing up for NaNoWriMo is that you do it in November and you don’t do it alone. Thousands of other people around the globe do it alongside you. In 2012 341,375 people signed up for the challenge!

Once you have registered with NaNoWriMo, click here, i.e. made a commitment (very motivating – and quite scary) you upload your daily word count to the site. You can even scramble your words – look at their Frequently Asked Questions to find out how – that’s if you’re worried about someone plagiarizing your  potential best seller 🙂

To qualify as having written a novel in 30 days you have to write a total of 50,000 words 1666 words a day. Simples!

Well, we all know it isn’t simple, but clearly it is doable and actually the ethos behind NanWriMo is that you just write and you don’t stop to edit and beat yourself up over whether it’s perfect. This is great if you’re a procrastinator like I am.

Some Frequently Asked Questions (Della style)

Why would I want to do it?

Well, for the challenge, for fun? (depending on your definition of fun). Or maybe just to see if you can. That’s why I’m going to do it. I’ve been writing less and less fiction lately and I want to get back into the swing of it. I want to focus on my fiction writing and this seems like a great way to do it.

Where do I find the time?

I’m not sure.  Other writers I’ve spoken to say they give up television, or social media (yikes) or they get up an hour earlier  or go to bed an hour later.  How you do it is up to you. The point is that you do it – and it’s only for a month. So it’s not such a huge sacrifice.

What if I fail?

Do you know, I’ve already made up my mind that I can’t really fail. Because even if I don’t complete 50k I will sure as hell have a lot more words than I’d have had if I didn’t commit myself to writing 1600 words a day. There’s a very good chance I’m going to at least begin the challenge. So failing isn’t actually going to be a factor.

I usually write short stories – how do I write a novel?

This last question is in fact a shameless excuse to tell you about my new writing guide, The Novel Writer’s Toolshed (for short story writers).

This is the book I wish I’d had when I moved from writing short stories to writing novels. It’s available for kindle, just £1.88. Click here. A week from now it will be available in paperback. (Don’t panic – I’ll remind you)

So who’s for a spot of NaNoWriMo then? You can find my profile here.

While you’re here, please check out my two writing guides. How to Write and Sell Short Stories published by Accent Press and The Short Story Writers’ Toolshed published by


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7 Responses to Wednesday Writing Spot – Calling all short story writers who want to write a novel?

  1. Penny says:

    It’s certainly great fun, Della! Good luck. I’m not planning to write anything this year but I’m on the list, and will drop by if that’s okay.

  2. Della Galton says:

    Oh yes please do drop by Penny. 🙂

  3. Hi Della, I have signed up. It is my first time, so I am feeling a little scrambled.
    As you say, it is my intention to do 50k, if not I will have more words than when
    I started.
    I wish you good luck


    • Della Galton says:

      Hi Valerie
      Good luck to you too. Not long to go now. I think it will be excellent. We will definitely end up with more words than if we’d done nothing 🙂
      I’ve decided what I’m going to do. Will write another blog post about it on Wednesday. Watch this space. Do you have a plan?
      Della xx

  4. Miriam Drori says:

    I signed up for the second time. I don’t expect to manage 50k, but you never know….

  5. Wendy Clarke says:

    I thought about it and then decided not to as I think putting any more writing pressure on myself would be detrimental to the quality of my writing (if I signed up, I would MAKE myself stick to the weekly target and get stressed about it in the process). I’m pretty good at sticking to my own writing goals which don’t require number of words but number of stories per month. Having said that, I am not writing a novel – if I was, I might think differently.

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