Rules and Regulations
Can I share writing duties with a partner?
No, unfortunately! Well, you can, but you’d do it as two NaNo Rebels banded together, which isn’t so bad, if you think about it. You will need to create separate accounts, though, and update your word counts separately!
What genres are okay? Can I write fanfiction? How about a memoir?
Any genre of novel is okay for NaNoWriMo. Yes, really, any genre. Fan fiction is okay. Steamy adult content is okay (as long as you are careful about where you post it!). Memoir is a sticky one; as long as it is fictionalized, it is okay, too. We just want you to be excited about writing. If what you’re writing doesn’t qualify as a lengthy work of fiction, we’ve set up a group for NaNo Rebels in the forums.
Can I write one word 50,000 times?
No. Well… No.
Do I have to start my novel from scratch on November 1st? Can I use an outline?
This sounds like a dumb, arbitrary rule, we know. But bringing a half-finished manuscript into NaNoWriMo all but guarantees a miserable month. You’ll care about the characters and story too much to write with the gleeful, anything-goes approach that makes NaNoWriMo such a creative rush. Give yourself the gift of a clean slate, and you’ll tap into realms of imagination and intuition that are out-of-reach when working on pre-existing manuscripts.
Outlines and plot notes are very much encouraged, and can be started months ahead of the actual novel-writing adventure. Previously written prose, though, is punishable by death.
Can I reuse an old idea I already started writing?
While you can’t continue an old work, what you CAN do is set aside anything you’ve written, do not refer to it during November, and start over completely from scratch, at word 1, on November 1! You can reuse characters, ideas, even settings. Sequels are fine!
What if I don’t finish? Or hit 50,000 words but I’m only halfway through my novel?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
And the 50,000-word goal is a threshold, not necessarily a stopping place. Reaching 50k and realizing you still have a lot of wrapping up to do is a good thing—it gives you something to come back and work on later. You will still win if you reach 50k but have not yet completed your novel.
Can I keep writing and adding to my word count even after I’ve had the novel validated and collected my winner goodies?
Where do I write my novel? Do I type it on the NaNoWriMo website?
You write your novel on any word processor, notebook, typewriter, pad of paper or napkin of your choice, and update your word count accordingly.