The Write Time for A Novel Idea

NaNoWriMoWe’ve always found boys like a challenge and some competition — who’s fastest, strongest, and scores the most points. Here’s a program which plays right into that trait: See how much you can write in a month.

Several years ago I ran across a peculiar little project. The National Novel Writing Month is a tongue-in-cheek challenge to everyone who has an idea for a story: take the month of November and see if you can pour out 50,000 words.

The sponsors of “NaNoWriMo”, as they call, it say the first job of a writer is writing, and most people get stuck at the first blank page. The challenge is meant to break that mental log jam, knowing very well that the result will be just an eruption of uncorrected, first draft material. The goal is not to write well, but to write a lot. Once you have something on paper, then you can decide to edit and revise it, or declare victory and move on.

Fifty thousand is the grown-up target.  For comparison, both our books, Raising Real Men and My Beloved and My Friend, ended up with something over 60,000 words, which makes a 250-page paperback when it’s properly typeset and published. If you’re not in the habit of counting, a single-spaced page is about 500 words, which means 50,000 will print out something like a hundred pages.

Just think – if you could write just three and a half pages a day, you’d reach 50,000 words with two days off for Thanksgiving!

But for younger writers, NaNoWriMo has a student competition which encourages the young person to set a more reachable goal–remembering that great literature like The Old Man and The Sea and The Great Gatsby were both less than 50,000 words. Every novel doesn’t end up like War and Peace or The Lord of the Rings.

We have friends who take part in NaNoWriMo every year, cranking out a new story every season. A couple of my sons have done it, including one who struggled with writing for years but produced a 24,000 word story in a burst of creativity. So why not give it a try? You may surprised at the result!

Hal Cityscape Web


In Christ,




first-time-author-seminarIf you’re planning to launch your own effort at the great American novel, we’ve got an exclusive event coming up Tuesday November 1 — our First Time Author Seminar, live online!  This will give you a boost at starting your book, or finishing your book, or best of all, getting your book published!

CLICK HERE to find out more … but don’t delay!



BackToSchool-HOPEDon’t think your young person can write something worthwhile? Let us introduce you to an award winning young novelist who started her first novel when she was thirteen!

Hope Auer’s debut novel A Cry From Egypt is an exciting story of faith, love, danger, and deliverance, in a Hebrew family in the days leading up to the Exodus. It’s Biblical, realistic, and you’ll come away with a new appreciation for the hand of God in the life of His people – and the kind of faith it took for them to trust Him when they couldn’t read the end of the story!  Named Book of the Year by the Christian Small Publishers Association – and now part of three different curriculum programs!

And the sequel, A Stand At Sinai, will take you from the banks of the Red Sea to the foot of Mount Sinai – and the turning point in the life of the nation!  Find out more, or order yours (below) now!