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Monday, November 28, 2011


It's a big word. It's a confusing word. It gets the best of us saying, "NaNo--what?!" It causes even the greatest of authors to shudder with horror. (Or laugh aloud in joy, depends.) It's... NaNoWriMo.

What is NaNoWriMo? NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writers Month... (the first 2-3 letters from each word, not just NNWM. NaNoWriMo is just more fun to say.) But what IS it? It is a program that challenges writers nation and world-wide to write a novel in a month. The month of November, to be exact.

NaNoWriMo challenges writers, authors, and anyone with a novel in them to write that novel! For the adult program, (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) these writers must attempt to write 50,000 words in ONLY the month of November. 50,000 words, as far as I can tell, is about 200-400 pages long in a printed book. For the kids, us young writers get to choose and set our word count goal. Whether that's 10,000 words, or 45,000... whatever the number may be, we have to try and write that many words... in a month.

Why would anyone do such a crazy thing? Well, to be honest, I don't know. Maybe because it's a lot of fun! (With the right mentality, believe me, it is!) Or, maybe because it's a cool bragging right! Not many people can say that they've written an entire book in a month! Or maybe, for some, it is simply something to cross off of their "Wanna do" list.

As for me... I don't know why I did NaNoWriMo. I suppose because it sounded like a fun challenge. Maybe it was for the bragging rights. I don't know. But I did it... and I'm very glad that I did last year! Between the end of the 5th grade, to Christmas Break during 7th grade, I was rewriting one of my unpublished books out there. (It's still in the works.) When I finished, (on the winter solstice, actually!) it was over 550 pages long. Unfortunately, as I began to read back on this book during this school year, 8th grade, I discovered that my writing skills had become a lot better than when I had written them. I discovered that I needed to re-write the entire 550 page manuscript, one chapter at a time. I was extremely fond of this book, and wanted it to be the best it could be before I turned it in to a publisher. Wait... what does this have to do with NaNoWriMo you ask?

Well... nothing really. This just goes to show how NaNoWriMo changed my life. If it weren't for this crazy program, I would still be re-writing this long book. Because of NaNo, I was inspired to write another book. Eventually, my NaNoNovel was published, thus making me a 13 year old author. The Dreamers was the novel that I wrote in ONE MONTH last year. (I know, I still can't believe it!) It inspired me to take a break and write something else. Because I DID write something else, I have had a wonderful ride this fall and now winter season. (Thank you NaNoWriMo!)

For you writers reading this post... you really should look into NaNoWriMo! The adult NaNo link is above, the kids page for NaNo can be found at http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/. I found this program to be a ton of fun in 2010. Think of it this way: even if you don't complete the novel in a month... aren't you that many hundred or thousand words further along than you would have been if you HADN'T participated?

This year, so far, (the 28th of Nov.) I haven't yet passed 10,000 words. I'm being honest. My goal is 30,000 words. I still have to multiply my word count by 3 in order to meet my goal. In two days. I'll definitely be in Boise's "Last Minute Brigade".   : )

Dream on! Write on!
Sam Kullen
Oliver Dahl

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