- At midnight on Halloween, something more frightful than all the ghosts and goblins sweeps in to haunt fiction writers. National Novel in a Month (NaNoWriMo) presents a challenge worth its weight in words—1,667 of them every day for thirty days (50,010 words).
According to Chris Baty, founder and author of No Plot! No Problem!, he says jump in and begin with the first word. His advice has been my motto for three years. My first word at one second after midnight eased into an opening hook. That sentence became a paragraph. More paragraphs filled a page. Pages flowed until I crossed the finish line with a first-draft manuscript. I printed my winner’s certificate and framed it on my kitchen wall as I have for the past three years.
Less than two days from the starting time, I tried a practice run. My mind blanked at less than 200 words. Looks like I’ll need a hefty push from the ghost of past NaNoWriMo wins to jumpstart my fourth mystery novel.