Website Review: July Novel Writing Month


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Website Review:

July Novel Writing Month --


J. A. Marlow


Copyright © 2013, J. A. Marlow, All Rights Reserved


Many people in the writing world are aware of the November event known as National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short (link: It's a simple challenge: write 50,000 words in 30 days.


It's a lot of fun, is a great way to write a first draft, work on something out of the ordinary, learn how to deal with the internal editor, and do it among the camaraderie of fellow writers who are doing the same thing with you. However, November is not a good month for a lot of people, especially with a major holiday in the middle of it.


Enter one of the alternative writing challenges!


July Novel Writing Month, JulNo for short, is one of the alternatives that has been running since 2005. For those who have summers off, or summer vacations, this is a great alternative to NaNoWriMo. Or, if you are a crazy writer, it's a great addition to the November event.


The goal is the same. Write 50,000 words in 31 days (1613 words a day), but from there the rules differ. Start a new novel, continue one in progress, or do a series of short stories. They don't care. It's all about writing 50,000 words in one month!


The website is clean in design and usage. Participants sign up in the forum, and update their word count from the User Panel. There are no daily graphs or daily averages, but the statistics page is a good substitute (see below). At the moment the word count ability is disabled, and so not seen on the site, but it will go live July 1st.


The forums are fun to chat in, and have plenty of specific boards for genres, writing help, and other subjects. The help board is answered quickly by both the mods and other participants.


As for fun and motivation, the site provides several aids. Not only is there the forum, where a participant can find support and help, but there is also a chat. The chat is old-fashioned IRC that you can connect to with your own IRC client, or you can use their web-based java chat.


The site includes a Statistics page for each year. The statistics list instantly reflects word count and ranking when a user updates in their new word count. Not only is it fun to see where you are on the listing, but it also allows one to participate in a fun motivational game.


The Word-Jump Game. It's a very simple game. Look at the word count of the person above you. Write write write, then update the word count in your profile. JUMP! Then do it again. It's addictive and fun. Word-warring with people you don't know, and sometimes you do, allows the story to advance fast in an enjoyable way.


I have participated in the July challenge for several years and the owners have done a good job in keeping the website stable, updated, and functioning smoothly.


If you are interested in a writing challenge, need a little motivation to finish a project, or just want to have fun writing with a bunch of other equally enthusiastic writers, they you may want to consider giving July Novel Writing Month a try. I'll see you there!