NaNoWriMo: Write a Novel in 30 days

National Novel Writing Month kicks off for its tenth year. Entrants (you could be one of them!) commit to completing a 50,000-word novel in one month, completing the effort by midnight on Nov. 30. The rules are simple: start your oeuvre from scratch, meet the the minimum novel length, and submit your entry at the end of the month. That's about all there is to it.

What a great idea. The writing window for the event is ludicrously short by design. Rest assured that your novel will probably suck, and take solace in the fact that most other entries will equally suck. Who cares? And that's the point: it's OK. Just write. A deadline imposed by an outside force may help you to finally start that great work of fiction lurking in the shadows of your mind. Focus on quantity, worry about the quality later. Starting the writing process is often the hardest part, and this yearly event is a clever, fun way to get you started.

So, if you're up to the challenge, why not try out a couple of writing-focused Mac tools? Here's a couple of good deals tied to the event:

Scrivener. Download the trial version of this excellent writing tool for a special extended period that runs through Dec. 7 (longer than the usual 30-day trial period). Use Scrivener to research, organize, and write your breakthrough novel. If you reach your 50,000-word NaNoWriMo goal, you can buy Scrivener for 50 percent off the regular price ($40). If you don't make your goal, but still want to buy Scrivener, take advantage of a 20 percent discount by entering the discount code 'NANOWRIMO' in the coupon text field in their online store. Good deal. I've used Scrivener since July 2007, and I'm quite fond of it. It's a great creative writing tool, and adapts well to a variety of research and writing tasks.

Storyist. Here's another novel-focused app that aims to serve your research, word processing, and storyboarding needs. If you want to buy a copy to help you through NaNoWriMo, you can get 25 percent off the purchase price of the boxed ($79) or download ($59) version of the app by entering the coupon code 'NANOWRIMO' in the coupon text field in their online store. If you want to try out Storyist for the duration of NaNoWriMo before you buy, send Storyist a message to get a trial copy that'll keep working through the first week in December. If you decide to join the NaNoWriMo challenge and can make it to San Francisco for the kickoff event, you can get a free copy of the app. Lastly, Storyist is giving away two Kindles with $50 gift cards for those who raise the most money for the event — similar to a walk-a-thon, you can line up sponsors for your NaNoWriMo effort via Giftool.com if you're so inclined. Proceeds go to creative writing programs around the world.

Troy Kitch @troykitch
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