If you start seeing clusters of laptops in cafes or your writer friends get particularly surly this month, it’s because November is National Novel Writing Month (commonly contracted to NaNoWriMo).
The idea is the brainchild of San Franciscan Chris Baty who wanted to dedicate more time to his writing but couldn’t seem to find the time. In 1999 Baty devised a schedule with a few friends that would see them writing every day so they’d finish the month with a first draft of 50,000 words.
But there were a few other people around the world who needed a way to dedicate more time to their novel and today the NaNoWriMo has more than 150,000 participants. In the last couple of years the project has included a social networking element with writers creating their own profiles so they can link up with like-minded writers and compete over their daily word counts.
It all adds up to a month of frantic writing with participants scrambling to meet their daily word counts with panicked plot turns and long speeches by characters. So if you spot WriMos scribbling in cafes, you should freely give them anecdotes, adjectives and anything to boost the word count.