Every year, toward the end of October, I try to remind Teen Ink Weekly readers that November is National Novel Writing Month. It did come up briefly last week, but I won't blame you if you've forgotten to sign up so far. Confession time: I have, too! I won NaNoWriMo in 2008 and 2009, and I've been feeling major guilt for not starting yet this year. Have no fear, though: even if you're as behind as I am, there's still time to write a 50,000-word novel by December.
The first thing you're going to want to do is go to NaNoWriMo.org and sign up for an account. From there, you can make a profile for your soon-to-be novel, much as you might make one for yourself on FaceBook (or TeenInk.com!). Tell us about your plot, your characters, and all the craziness you're looking forward to writing down.
Next, you can connect with other novelists. There's a whole forum just for teen writers, and I'm guessing you'll find other fans of Teen Ink there. Just remember to be safe any time you go online--anyone who bugs you for personal information probably isn't someone you want as a friend. That said, there's a great community of fellow writers and word-count optimists on the NaNoWriMo boards, and you might well find a great writing buddy or two.
Third, and most importantly: get writing! People who start on November first have to write 1,667 words per day to get to 50,000 by the end of the month. We're a few days behind, but it's not so bad...right? Once you hit your stride, you'll probably find that writing a few thousand words a day is a piece of cake. Trust me: getting started is the hardest part.
So get out there and start noveling! You never know what might happen. I'm trying to publish my last NaNo novel right now, and I've actually made some progress. I can only imagine what the wonderful writers at Teen Ink (that's you!) will create this month.