Morgan is finally leaving the hotel and driving to Iowa from Denver.
It is cheating if you start now. If you start now, then that means you’re ahead of everyone else. It isn’t really a race, but in a way, it is. But the official start date is November 1st. Everyone starts on November 1st. You can start outlining now, but no more than that. Good luck!
Agree. Near as I can understand, you can’t put words to paper until Nov 1. Doesn’t mean you can’t think about it, but no drafting any of the novel itself until the starting gun.
I liked the challenge of not really having any notes prior to Nov 1, but I could see how that wouldn’t work for everyone. I’d say notes are fine as long as they don’t contain stuff you’d cut and paste into your novel.
Good luck! It’s an awesome journey!
it really will be. Thank you to you and Mochan 4242.
NaNoWriMo officially starts at midnight on November 1st. Actually writing anything before that (or after 11:59pm on the 30th) is “cheating”. So, nope, no starting now. But you can outline and plan and brainstorm all you want beforehand.
I’m going to give a slightly different answer:
The point of NaNoWriMo is to write a novel in 30 days or less. You can start whenever you like, as long as your goal is to reach the finish line in 30 days or less. So if you start on October 29th, you wouldn’t be cheating so long as you finished by the end of November 27th, because that would be 30 days of work.
Now, if you’re going to be comparing your word counts to anyone else’s, then yes, starting early could be considered cheating. But the real point of NaNo isn’t to compete with anyone but yourself.
However, having said all that—if you start early, whether you finish early or not, you’re depriving yourself of a lot of the camaraderie and encouragement that comes with running the race alongside your fellow writers. So in the end, I agree with everyone else here: wait until November 1st to write the first words. Plan all you want until then, of course! :D
Well, you’re entitled to do it anyway you like, but what you say above is contrary to the rules of NaNoWriMo. You ARE cheating if you start on Oct. 29. Doing it your way, yep, you’re writing a book and that is a worthy achievement, regardless of when and how it happens. But you’re NOT doing NaNoWriMo.
Based on Wendy’s answer, I went to the FAQ on the NaNoWriMo site, and guess what? She’s right. Here’s what it says:
“I have a lot to do in November. Can I start in October and end early?
No. One of the best things about NaNoWriMo is the way it spreads the agony of creation throughout a large community of co-sufferers. For the pain to be properly distributed (and thereby diminished), all participants must be working on the same deadline.”
Fair enough. I think I was basing my answers on what I remember reading in the “No Plot? No Problem!” book, but be that as it may, according to the “Rules” of NaNoWriMo, you’re supposed to start November 1st, no earlier.
Sorry for the misdirection.
As the first few commenters said, it’s cheating to start writing your novel before midnight on the 1st of November. (It’s become a Halloween tradition for me that I know I’m going to stay up and start as soon as the clock strikes twelve, even if I just write for a few minutes).
You can make outlines and brainstorm notes to yourself, and if you’re doing something historical, do all the research you want to do ahead of time. (Well, even if you’re not doing something historical, there’s probably research you can do right now). If you start writing prose, though, it is cheating, according to the rules of NaNoWriMo. Not that there aren’t other ways of writing a book (obviously :D), but why say you’re doing NaNo if you’re not?
Everyone’s answers have been completely helpful.
What a cool tradition!!
I’ll take your advice very seriously.
Exactly is what i thought… but i was confused as to why they let us sign up before november if that was the case… But now I see why… :)
(I’m a newbie to NaNo first year ever!)
Good question. The answer is two-fold:
(1) No actual writing of the novel before November 1. That would be cheating.
(2) Compiling notes, developing characters, doing research, etc. is allowed. That is not cheating.
As melvinwalker stated above, writing the actual novel is cheating. Anything else (outlines, character sheets, worldbuilding, etc.) is a-okay and in fact recommmended. Good luck with NaNo!
you’re supposed to start by november first.
you can use the time now to plan your novel, do research, build a skeleton, ask for help, etc.
i reccomend visiting the NaNo forums, you can talk to others and its pretty fun
Thanks to everyone who answered this question…
Now, it is just what used to be a question. :)
Thank you all so much! I will get to my outlines and character sheets and worldbuilding and all that fun stuff as soon as i can! Thank you! Thank You!
It means a lot.
Newbie Katie. xxxxooooo
Okay, you didn’t ask for it, but I have a few things that may help you. The first year, I didn’t finish – I got to 38,000 words and gave up. But I figured some things out in the process and have finished the past two years, usually a day or two ahead of schedule.
1) pace yourself (at least 1,667 words per day) and whenever you have the drive to do more than that, do it. That will make up for the times when you get distracted, blocked or frustrated.
2) This is a first draft – it does NOT need to be perfect. What you have written does not need to be revised or edited unless it’s wildly out of place and you just can’t stand it.
3) Always leave a little unsaid – stop writing each day just before you say everything. That way, when you sit down to write again, you will have something to start with and are less likely to get ‘blocked’ or frustrated.
4) BACK UP YOUR WORK DAILY!!! If you are hand-writing or typing, make copies as you go and put them somewhere safe. If you are writing on a computer, back up to a thumb drive and, if you are being paranoid, also email a copy of the file to yourself periodically so that a copy of your work is sitting on a mail server in your account. That way, even if the house burns down and takes your computer with it, your project is accessible. I had my laptop hard drive die and luckily had just backed up. I was annoyed by the setback, but not crippled by losing 17 days of work.
Free advice is ordinarily worth what you pay for it, but I hope you find some of this useful. Good luck!
mejaka is on the preferred substitute list--for Project. Weird.
Kate—good luck! And to any others here who are planning to do the 50K dash. I’ve participated twice and finished twice, was a municipal liaison last year as well, but have grounded myself from NaNo until I tackle the revision of my 2006 NaNovel, which is decent and will be marketable once it’s cleaned up and polished over.
CHEATING. Prewriting is legal, but no writing of the actual novel until 12:00 a.m. on November 1.
Good answer about the research by Wendy.
Last year I bought Holly Lisle’s world making kit, and designed my entire world, and most of a language, before the actual start. Large maps, dictionary, even a pre-history.
Come time to write I was off like a bullet. Got in almost 70,000 words, but didn’t quite finish the novel.
Got my certificate though :-)
Looking forward to participating this year. I’m sending my non-fiction book, The Bunko Book, off to the printer this week. I’m so psyched to be writing for fun again, and not going through endless revisions and edits!
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