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I'm considering taking my first run at NaNoWriMo. 50,000 connected words of beginning-to-end narrative is a little more than I'm used to, so I was considering writing a series of novella-length pieces and tying them together with a common theme (say oranges, or plate tectonics).

I know the NaNoWriMo "rules" are loose, but I would like to understand if my 30-day investment is going to pay off in something that will be seen as valid by anyone who's done this before.

For a NaNoWriMo person, what could a writer who creates an anthology-form novel do that would make the work more or less novel-y? Would 10 5000 word short stories be considered a valid result? 2.5 20,000 word novellas?

I know, subjective question and the SE gang dislikes non-deterministic questions, but I am asking for anecdotes to help me answer a question: what is a valid "novel" form for NaNoWriMo?

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Who cares? Write! –  John Smithers Oct 22 '12 at 9:05
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My NaNoWriMo this year is just a set of short stories. Not even an anthology... just some stories I want to write. It's more important that you do it than that you obey the rules. –  JSBձոգչ Oct 22 '12 at 16:40

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

The rules say that if you think of it as a novel, it counts as a novel. If you don't think of the whole 50,000 words as a novel, it doesn't strictly fit the rules.

I've known lots of people who write 50,000 words of short stories and call it good. It may not strictly satisfy the rules, but so what? You wrote 50,000 words of short stories and had a lot of fun. If some sourpuss doesn't think that's valid, well, you have 50,000 new words and thrill of the experience, and they have a sour puss.

One way people make their short stories more novely is to connect them in some way. Maybe they share a time, place, character, theme, or object. Or maybe each one picks up on a plot point from another.

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That's two answers that anthologies are OK, so I'll call it good. Thanks. –  lonstar Oct 23 '12 at 18:07

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