NaNo is Coming…

Next month is National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known by participants as NaNoWriMo or NaNo.  If you’ve participated, you already know what to expect.  If you haven’t, you have a little less than a month to decide if you’re going to give it a shot this year.

For 2013 I am planning to be a NaNo Rebel.  What is that, you ask?  I am planning to participate in NaNo, but I am not going to follow all of the rules.

(Okay, enough with the insincere gasping in shock.  I am a rule follower, I know, but this is an occasion when rule-breaking is okay.)

Before I explain how I am breaking the rules, I should tell you what they are: 50,000 words in November, work of fiction, started from scratch.  This year I am planning to use NaNo as a chance to work on Mara’s story.  I’m still planning to write at least 50,000 words in November, it’s still a work of fiction, but it is not something I am starting from scratch.

Is it still legitimate for me to claim to be participating in NaNo?  Is it okay for me to use the tracking on the NaNoWriMo site?  Should I validate my novel at the end and claim to be a winner?  It turns out that this happens on a regular basis and the folks at NaNo recognize it, at least enough to host a forum for the rebels and encourage them to utilize the site!  As for validating, well, they leave it up to each individual writer.  In fact, here’s the final verdict, straight from the “Am I a Rebel” forum over at

This is a self-challenge.  The REAL prize of NaNoWriMo is the accomplishment, and the big new manuscript you have at the end.  Everything beyond that is icing on the cake.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself!