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Word count bar
The word count bar is the visual element of measuring a Wrimo's progress during National Novel Writing Month. It was introduced by Dan Sanderson in 2002 when the NaNoWriMo website moved to NaNoWriMo.org.
At site relaunch in October, the word count bar is at zero words for everyone and features only a blue stub. The exciting part comes in November when everyone begins to write. The blue bar grows in size as you update your word count, eventually turning green after reaching 50,000 words. The bar stays green until validating, after which it turns a delicious shade of grape with WINNER! emblazoned across it.
The different statuses of the word count bar are often referred to as simply the blue bar, the green bar, and the purple bar. The purple bar is the visible sign of victory for Wrimos; upon seeing a purple bar on the NaNoWriMo forums, you know you're facing a NaNoWriMo winner. The word count is frozen after November ends, so Wrimos retain their current bar until the site relaunch in October.
Over the years some Wrimos have suggested different colors for different word count goals or reaching different progress goals on the way to 50,000 words. None of these ideas have been implemented, possibly because the blue, green, and purple bars are so ubiquitous to NaNoWriMo culture.
From 2002 to 2006, the maximum word count one could enter and have shown by the word count bar was 200,000 words. This limit was upped to 999,999 in 2007 until being reduced to 500,000 in 2010 and increased to 1,000,000 again.
Script Frenzy had a similar mechanism that counts pages. The bar is orange while the page count is below 100 and turns red with WINNER! across it upon validation.