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Welcome back, writers! Today is November 1st, which means it is also the kick off for NaNoWriMo 2013.

An image of the NaNoWriMo logo.

Unfamiliar with the acronym? National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a program run every November in which the participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Established in 1999, last year the program boasted 341,375 registered participants and can now claim over 250 published titles that began their life as NaNoWriMo projects. So if you’re interested in taking on this challenging project, you’ve got some company.

There are no real “rules” to NaNo, except that you are aiming for 50,000 words by the end of November. Mathematically, that means you need to write 1,667 words per day to meet the goal. They encourage you to start new works every year, but no one is going to rat you out if you decide you wanted to add 50,000 words to your epic Logan and Veronica fan fiction that you only managed to get a chapter done on. Memoirs, short story compilations, fan fiction, and novels — they are all eligible for the challenge. I know several people who have used NaNo to work on their thesis.

So that was all the info for the newbies. There are several PMaggers who annually take on the challenge. We hope you join our ranks. Throughout the month, I’ll host a weekly check in thread every Friday to commiserate, complain or brag about how well you’re doing. This is our first check in, so you’re not too late to get started. The wonderful @bryndonavan provided us with three pre-writing exercises to help plan out your novel that you can review and use as you go along. You can find them here: Characters, Plotting, What’s Your Novel About?

NaNo’ers — how’s your word count going? Did you have any first day bursts of creativity to sock some extra words in the bank for the inevitable second week “what the hell am I doing” days?

(NaNoWriMo shield logo used with permission of National Novel Writing Month.)

Inspiration: Honest to gawd, real life NaNoWriMo published novels:

Cover of The Deception Artist by Fayette Fox

Cover of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan