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NaNoWriMo rule change: you CAN use an existing project (just only count words written in November)

by Oct 20, 2014Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)0 comments

You may NOT be a NaNoWriMo rebel after all! 

Participant-2014-Twitter-ProfileThere’s been a change in the rules and they’re subtle so you might have missed them. Let me address your attention to this page from the official help:

Do I have to start my novel from scratch on the first of the month? Can I use an outline?

Traditionally, NaNoWriMo works best when you start a brand-new project. It may be an arbitrary distinction, but we’ve seen that novelists do better (and have more fun) when they’re free from the constraints of existing manuscripts. Give yourself the gift of a clean slate!

That said, we welcome all writers at any stage. Outlines, character sketches, and other planning steps are encouraged. Just be sure to only count words written during the month.

I’m actually really excited about this change because it’s what I’ve been recommending all along! But what do you think?



  1. 6 productive writing things to do while waiting for NaNoWriMo to start - Hillary DePiano - […] start early! Seriously, it’s not even against the rules as long as you only count words written in November…
  2. Ask a NaNoWriMo ML: What is a NaNo rebel? Are you one? - Hillary DePiano - […] started your novel ahead of the start of the month. While this wasn’t the case in the past, they…

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Hillary DePiano is a playwright, fiction and non-fiction writer who loves writing of all kinds except for writing bios like this.

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