Writing 50,000 words in 30 days

By Meg Dowell

How did you spend this past November? Excessive pie consumption? Doing homework?

For about 200,000 people, November was all about writing.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an online writing frenzy in which writers take on the challenge of constructing a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.
“It really gives budding authors experience on writing with a deadline,” said sophomore Olivia Zimmer, who participated in the contest last month. “You don’t have to finish your novel in 30 days, but getting to 50,000 words is a huge challenge.”

Sophomore Heather Mead, who participated in NaNoWriMo as a freshman, agrees with Zimmer.

“It’s hard, writing over a thousand words every day while having to keep up with classes and go to bed at a decent [time],” Mead said.

Several popular books, including Sarah Gruen’s “Water for Elephants,” were born from NaNoWriMo.

Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean the process is easy.

Writers do have to push themselves and stretch their ideas in order to meet the deadline.
“I actually brought [YouTube video series] “Llamas with Hats”  into my novel last year because I couldn’t think of anything good,” Mead said.
With a daily goal of 1,667 words, NaNoWriMo challenges students to push past writer’s block and create something new.
But NaNoWriMo does more than just challenge individuals to write. Writers who complete the challenge receive a certificate of completion and a free proof copy of their novel.
Some students wonder if the quality of fast-paced writing is good enough to be printed.
“I would be interested to read a book that was written during NoWriMo,” junior Kelly Carey said. “I’m always curious about the quality of the books these writers turn out.”
Students interested in participating in NaNoWriMo can visit nanowrimo.org. for more information.

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