The Roar

NaNoWriMo’ Writing, Mo’ Problems

Novel Writing Club members take on the National Novel Writing Month challenge by drafting 30,000 words from Nov 1 to 30

After school everyday throughout November, a group of 20 dedicated students sit in silence with only the sound of typing filling the air. These students are members of the Novel Writing Club and each one of them has a goal in mind – finish and potentially publish their books as a part of the NaNoWriMo challenge. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is an internet-based creative writing project that challenges participants to write 30,000 words during the month of November.

For people like senior Sydney Wollmuth, that means bringing characters she made a year ago to life.

“I took an online writing class and wrote this story about sisters for a prompt, and it was them carving a pumpkin. I ended up really liking those characters and made them the main characters of my novel,” said Wollmuth.

Her book follows the story of these two sisters a grade apart who are trying to cope with the absence of their mother. It is a story of self-discovery for both of them and has huge potential. However, the process has not been without hardships.

“Being consistent and finishing [is really hard]. I still haven’t finished yet, but I’m very close,” said Wollmuth.

Wollmuth recommends writing all the time in order to truly be motivated to finish. This is advice that junior Dalia Gokce, also a member of Novel Writing Club, has been using since the formation of the club three years ago. Gokce is currently editing the novel she started writing in eighth grade, which hasn’t been easy.

“[Editing is] painful and slow,” said Gokce. “You have to reread everything many times, fix inconsistencies, craft and write in sentences that have been changed completely or been left out,”

Her book is a traditional fantasy story about a girl named Sapphire trying to stop an all-powerful, immortal being from completely taking over her homeland. Gokce has added a 30,000 word part to her story for the last three years, so it has been difficult to edit. However, Gokce is determined to see her book come to life and hopes to be able to use her experience to advise first time authors to avoid the mistakes she has run into.

“[Always] have a solid plot before you start writing. It will save your life,” said Gokce.

As November came to a close, so did the NaNoWriMo challenge, however the work for these students did not end. Wollmuth hit the word count, getting 30,000, but has not finished her book. Gokce is still working to edit the 90,000 word piece that she has been putting together since eighth grade.

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