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Zokutou clause

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The Zokutou clause is an unofficial exception to the NaNoWriMo rules that allows veteran Wrimos to continue a work in progress. The clause predates the named NaNo rebel, which throws a broader net and allows newbies and non-novels; however, those who adopt the Zokutou clause are also rebels. The creators of the Zokutou clause, a group of writers in the United Kingdom, believed that veteran Wrimos likely have at least one unfinished novel and want to finish it instead of starting another novel that would remain unfinished[1]. Thus, the Zokutou clause was born.

Although the Zokutou clause remained unofficial but supported for several years, starting with the Camp sessions in 2014, those continuing previous works (as well as rebels of other projects) were officially sanctioned by Nano HQ. The official FAQ has been updated to indicate the trend toward the idea that while starting from scratch is preferred, it is no longer an official rule.

The Clause

The Zokutou Clause

You have to start your novel from scratch, unless you are a previous NaNoWriMo winner. If you have already attained the status of Winner, you do not need to start a new novel, as your main aim is now to finish one. You can now consider yourself a winner if, by midnight on the 30th of November, you have either:

  1. Written 50,000 words on one or more previous works.
  2. Completed your novel's first draft.[1]

Zokutou Miscellanea

The Zokutou website also introduced web badges for Wrimos invoking the clause and word count progress meters for rebels and non-rebels alike. These word count meters became popular in the writing community because of the lack of word count widget in NaNoWriMo's early days and because of their adaptability to non-writing projects. As of July 2010 the zokutou.co.uk domain is nearly devoid of content; as of October 2015, it is completely gone.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Zokutou Clause. http://web.archive.org/web/20080404224841/www.zokutou.co.uk/theclause.html Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  2. http://zokutou.co.uk Retrieved 22 July 2010; 5 October 2015.