For the purposes of NaNoWriMo, a novel is defined as 50,000 words of prose. Participants may start writing on November 1st and must finish (i.e., submit their novel to a word-counting routine at the NaNoWriMo site) by 11:59 pm Pacific time on November 30th.
If you wrote 1667 words a day, every day for the entire month, you'd make it with ten extra words to spare. If you wrote 2500 words a day, you could just write on Monday through Friday and take weekends off. Or, you could take weekdays off and write five thousand words a day on Saturdays and Sundays. (November begins on a Saturday and ends on a Sunday this year, so there are twenty weekdays and ten weekend days.)
See, it's easy. *grin*
[The NaNoWriMo people apply the term "winner" to anybody who hits the 50,000 word target -- according to their website "We had six winners in 1999, 29 in 2000, more than 700 in 2001, and around 2100 in 2002. This November we're hoping for around 4000 winners." As you can see, this thing is growing.]
When I told my daughter that I had signed up, she immediately went to the NaNoWriMo web site and tossed in her ten bucks. (The "contest" is absolutely free, no charge, but they suggest that it would be nice if entrants would use PayPal to donate ten dollars to defray the cost of the website, software, etc. Oh, and there is no prize other than knowing that you succeeded in writing fifty thousand words by the end of the month.)
I know (mostly that's "know" via reading online journals via the Internet) people who have entered NaNoWriMo in previous years. I was thinking that Emily Weise entered it last year, but I just checked her archives and discovered that she had entered in 2001... I sent her an email last night suggesting that she should sign up for this year and she replied that she might.. (I've been reading Emily's journal for seven years now, she started hers several weeks before I started mine! And, actually, I've met her twice in real life.)
This was beyond all possibility in past years, but this year -- with my job changes that means my schedule will (probably) not be as subject to sudden change as in past years and I am not going to be in the regular teaching rotation at work now that I've moved over into the editing and quality assurance side of things. (Uh, okay, there still is a sllim chance I might have to teach or co-teach a regular class in November and also I may have to visit our Pittsburgh and/or Toronto sites to do an explanation and demonstration of some new templates and tools for courseware development that we are going to be using -- and if that happens, it will be rough cranking out the needed volume of words.)
This is all the fault of the authors of two other journals I read... "Piper Dane" (although she keeps renaming her journal, changing it to "ElbowGlitter" and then "The Station" I keep thinking of her by her old webname) was musing in her Oct 1st entry about entering NaNoWriMo -- and then Jennifer (hmm, who has also just renamed her journal, now calling it "Speak, Memory") mentioned (in an email discussion) that she had entered NaNoWriMo last year but didn't get very far due to lack of time (she was in college, studying nursing, a very time-consuming major) said she had just signed up for this year and sort of dared me to try it.
And did I mention back in August or so that my daughter and I were thinking about co-authoring a novel? This would be in the fantasy adventure genre, pseudo-medieval, swords and dragons and mages and cat-people... we did spend a couple of nights designing the background world and society, roughed out some general groups of peope (and creatures), created a city and a few characters and a couple of possible plot threads.... and then the fall semester started and she was very busy with classes in the day and working three to five evenings a week (she left her 3rd shift supermarket job to work in a restaurant, combination of dish-washing and deep-fry cook)... plus there were a couple of weeks in September when I was rather busy (racked up around 65 hours one week)... so we have not worked on it in a while. I've suggested that NaNoWriMo will be good practice at writing under deadline and then we can get back to working on our co-authored novel in December.