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Unofficial NaNoWriMo FAQ

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The NaNoWriMo website has a great and extensive FAQ section. Some questions aren't in the FAQ but get asked often enough that they should be, or there's no official answer to the question in the first place. Sometimes the question is in the FAQ, yet it's still frequently asked in the forums and beyond. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers.

Does this count as a novel?

The NaNoWriMo FAQ defines a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you think you're writing a novel, they do too. This obviously leaves a lot of room for interpretation, especially among people who aren't writing the traditional novel. Generally, if your work is fiction and has some common theme, it can be counted (see short story collections with a common theme as an example). Cobbling a bunch of unrelated works together would not count since the point of NaNoWriMo is to write a long work of fiction. Nonfiction and non-novels make you a NaNo Rebel, but you're still welcome.

Does this count in my word count?

If you typed it in the file (or files) that you're writing your novels in and you wrote it in November, you can include it. This includes your title page, your chapter titles, epilogue, prologue, and of course, the actual prose. If you need it for your novel to make sense, include it in your word count. You probably shouldn't count things that aren't part of your novel like page numbers, which will get stripped out when you put it in the validator. Don't include anything written outside of November. This includes planning.