Those of you who sign up every year on November 1st to be a part of the month long writing frenzy known as NaNoWriMo...have you ever wondered why the goal is to write 50,000 words by November 30th?
Well, Chris Baty explains this in his book, No Plot, No Problem.
"I'd like to say that NaNoWriMo's 50,000-word threshold was achieved by a scientific assessment of the great short novels of our age. The real story is that when I started this whole month-long noveling escapade (five years ago), I simply grabbed the shortest novel on my shelf--which happened to be Aldous Huxley's Brave New World--did a rough word count of it, and went with that figure."
Chris continues by saying...
"Over the years, though, 50,000 words has proven itself a good goal for a month's labors. Writing 50,000 words in a month breaks down to about 1,667 words per day. Most average typists will be able to dispatch that in an hour and a half, which makes it doable, even for people with full-time jobs and chaotic home lives. Fifty thousand words is also just large enough for someone writing concisely to sketch an entire story arc within its borders. And yet, despite its short stature, a 50,000 word novel is no cakewalk. Only about 17 percent of National Novel Writing Month participants reach the 50,000-word finish line every year, and some have argued that the number should be lowered."
Chris concludes with...
"I think the number is perfect. Because you're covering so much ground, so quickly, the high number forces you to lower your expectations for your prose, to write for quantity over quality, and to stop being so hard on yourself. And this, for a first draft, is the pathway to genius."
So, there you have it...from the horses mouth, so to speak. From my own experience, I can tell you it's not easy to make the 50,000 word goal. You have to be dedicated to sitting in front of the computer and writing "something" every single day. If you get behind, it's not a easy task to get caught up and be on target with word count for each day.
As of this moment, I'm sitting at 18,620 words...slightly over where I need to be for day 11. So for the moment I'm ahead of the game, but I can't slack up now. In a few minutes I'll be pounding away on the keyboard to get a few more words on the page before the sun comes up in the morning. If any of you are NaNo-ing this year, I hope your word count is right on target...keep at it. Let's be winners this year.
Keep Writing, Ya'all,