Calling All Writers

Have you ever thought about writing a book instead of reading one? Ever come up with an idea you think would make a great story? Maybe you’ve started a story (or several) but never gotten past page five because you ran out of plot. Or maybe you never tried at all. Well, now is your chance to try – or try again, as the case may be. November is National Novel Writing Month, or “Nanowrimo.” The idea: changing novel-writing from a one-day project (as in “one day I’d like to write a novel…”) into a one-month reality. The goal: write 50,000 words (approximately 175 pages) of fiction, all within the month of November.

Yes, it sounds crazy. Not only does it sound like a crazy idea, it is a crazy idea. Something that long written in that short a period of time is doomed to failure, right? But that’s the beauty of Nanowrimo. Success and failure are measured not by quality, but by quantity. If you reach 50,000 words before midnight on November 30, you are a winner no matter how good or bad your novel is.

So what’s the point of writing a rushed and most likely not-so-great novel? Believe it or not, there is a very good reason Nanowrimo lasts only a month rather than, say, a year. With a deadline like that over your head, you will be much more motivated to just sit down and write, rather than worry about how every sentence – or word – sounds. Nanowrimo is a time to write whatever comes into your head. One of the mottos is “No Plot? No Problem!” Random tangents are great. Page-long descriptions work just fine. It’s all about starting and finishing a story; getting past that seemingly impossible threshold. At the end of the month, you’ll have written a novel, and, whether good or bad, it’ll make you much more confident about your writing skills. Then you can finally start on that idea that’s been going around in your head, but you’ve been afraid of writing for fear of ruining it. At the very least, every essay you write after this month will feel like nothing.

For more information, and to set up an account, go to www.nanowrimo.org.

~Amelia, 16

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