By the time you read this, we’ll be entering the second weekend of NaNoWriMo, and hopefully I’ll be on track with my word goal or ahead of the game. Right now I’m ahead. It’s true it’s a little late in the game to join in the fun, but not too late if you already have a draft started (yes, technically that’s cheating) or if you can write really, really fast. Still, I wanted to tell you about a few fun and interesting perks and activities the folks over at the OLL—the non-profit behind NaNoWriMo—have cooked up. As if there weren’t enough benefits of participating in NaNoWriMo, check out these treats.
Free Writing Software Trials (and Discounts!)
One of this year’s corporate sponsors is Scrivener, a piece of software designed for writers. Scrivener has developed a special trial run of its software just for Wrimos, and if you win (i.e. if you reach the goal of 50K words by November 30) you’ll get a code for 50% off to buy the software. I think this is a wonderful idea, so I’ve downloaded my free trial and am working my way through the tutorial. So far, this is looking like an easy to use and incredibly helpful tool for organizing working files, resources, and more while writing a novel. I can even see how it would be useful for article and blog post writing. I’ll report more about this after I play with it a while.
A Crash Course in Cover Design
The forums for NaNoWriMo.org are featuring the 30 Day 30 Covers challenge, in which 30 professional book cover designers (many of whom seem to work on staff or freelance for major publishers) select 30 works-in-progress from Wrimos and create covers for them. There’s a new one featured each day along with the novel’s synopsis. For those of you who are considering self-publishing and may or may not attempt your own cover design, this is a great way to study the connection between a story line and a cover concept. I wish the designers would chime in on their respective threads to talk a little more about how they arrived at their concepts, but maybe they will as time goes on. In the meantime, many other Wrimos haven’t been shy—the discussions on some days have been eye-opening with regard to critiquing the covers, and you can learn from this intelligent feedback.
Creative Challenges for Fun and Bragging Rights
I’ve noticed a variety of “word challenges” going on. Maryland and Texas, for example, have challenged each other to a word duel in which the state with the highest average word count at the close of NaNoWriMo will win. If you follow @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter, you can join in live “word sprints” (brief bursts of uber-productivity) and challenges throughout the day. The organizers also encourage you to challenge your buddies and yourself. All of these challenges use the spirit of competition to make you write harder and faster, and most important of all, to keep going!
Now For My Special Treat…
With all these added goodies for Wrimos, I’ve decided to create one for the Wrimos among my loyal readers. All Wrimos who contract with Ambitious Enterprises for a manuscript consultation or developmental edit for their NaNovel in 2012 will receive a complimentary query letter review. But you have to sign up to get it! I’ll be posting the rules for this special offer only in my newsletter as a gift to my subscribers, so click on the link under Subscribe over there on the top left of the page. The only things you need to know now are:
- Subscribe to Your Ambitious Enterprise by using the link under Subscribe (over there on the top left of the page!)
- Connect with me on NaNoWriMo.org as my Writing Buddy (I’m listed under FXDaniels).
- Look out for my newsletter in your inbox this month. It goes out on November 11 and 25. I’ll post further details there.
Founder of The Writer’s Ally, Ally E. Machate is a bestselling book collaborator, award-winning editor, and expert publishing consultant who loves using her insider knowledge and experience with the publishing industry to lead serious authors toward success. She and her team live to help make great books happen, whether that means showing a writer how to improve a manuscript, get an agent, or self-publish; or coaching an author on growing her platform to sell more books. Since 1999, she has supported hundreds of authors on their publishing journey and takes pride in serving as their books’ best ally.