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Reverse NaNo

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Reverse NaNo (originally known as the Reward System) is an approach to NaNoWriMo that encourages higher goals in the beginning of the month, with the daily quota lowering slightly every day throughout the month until left with a single word on the last day. This approach takes advantage of starting out strong and losing the will or time to write as the month goes on.

In early October 2010, txteclipse created a thread in the Reaching 50,000 forum titled "The Reward System! One Word on Day 30!". This thread featured a different approach to NaNoWriMo than writing the standard 1667 words every day:

If you're like me, you start out strong when writing a new story but immediately begin slacking as ideas cease to flow and the concrete past constricts the once-fluid future. Therefore, I developed a NaNo writing technique to accommodate this writing style! Each day, you write a few less words than the day before, until finally ending with only a single word on day 30! Here's the breakdown:

Week One

Day 1: 3346 (It's day one! Hell yeah, go for it!)
Day 2: 3216
Day 3: 3101
Day 4: 2986
Day 5: 2872
Day 6: 2757
Day 7: 2642

Week Two

Day 8: 2527 (This is the hard part. Week one is out of the way, but you've still got some painful quotas left. Just do it!)
Day 9: 2412
Day 10: 2298
Day 11: 2183
Day 12: 2068
Day 13: 1953 (Almost there...)
Day 14: 1838 (Almost there......)

Week Three

Day 15: 1724 (Halfway point! After this, you'll be writing less every day than everyone else!)
Day 16: 1609
Day 17: 1494
Day 18: 1379
Day 19: 1264
Day 20: 1150
Day 21: 1035 (Less than a thousand words a day after this!)

Week Four

Day 22: 920
Day 23: 805
Day 24: 690
Day 25: 576 (That's a single good Word War! Feel free to laugh at the people with over three times this quota today!)
Day 26: 461
Day 27: 346
Day 28: 231

Week Five

Day 29: 116
Day 30: 1 (Aww yeah! One word left! Make it a good one!)

Txteclipse credits fellow Wrimo an-chan for their assistance in creating this approach.


Upon its creation, several Wrimos suggested names for this system when it was originally posted, including the Eclipse Method (or the TxtEclipse Method, after its creator), the Downhill Method, and The Incredible Shrinking Daily Goal. Reverse NaNo (or Reverse NaNoWriMo) and Backwards NaNo have stuck the most.

Someone reposts this approach to the NaNoWriMo forums each year, often a different Wrimo each year.

Wrimo Cernhat created a Google document in July 2020 that calculates a Reverse NaNo for any goal and number of days. The spreadsheet is available to copy and edit on Google Docs.

External Links