National Novel Writing Month: Can You Pen 50,000 Words in 26 Days?

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Paul Hackett / Reuters

Come on, it’s easy: That’s not even 2,000 words a day. NewsFeed knows you can do it!

Aspiring mystery scribes, celebrity authors, sci-fi wordsmiths, and romance dramatists, it’s time to stop procrastinating. Why? Because November is National Novel Writing Month, and if you’ve got a clandestine freelance assassin, a spurned lover seeking new affection, or a time-traveling World War I pilot swirling around in your head, now’s the time to put them on paper.

Coordinated by the non-profit Office of Letters and Light, NaNoWriMo, as it’s called, challenges potential novelists to write a 50,000-word novel from scratch, and so far 172,000 people have signed up to put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard). Participants are offered forums to communicate with other writers and trade tips.

The rules simply state that writers get a certificate from the group for penning what the organization defines as a work of original fiction by midnight Nov. 30. So anyone interested in writing the Great American Novel — or maybe a really good story based on a quirky sibling, roommate or co-worker — is encouraged to visit the National Novel Writing Month website.