by Matthew Deboer
November has come to a close, and some student writers at Las Lomas have good reason to feel relieved. This is because National November Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, has come to an end.
NaNoWriMo is a writing competition in which participants have to write a 50,000-word novel over the course of the month. Creative writing teacher Ami Zensius is familiar with the event and has seen other teachers implement it into their curriculum.
“Every year I have a couple of students doing it,” Zensius said. “I’m always impressed when a student can complete it.”
One of her former students, senior Kajsa Forden, participated in NaNoWriMo this year and met her 50,000-word goal.
“It is a completed story,” Forden said. “Success feels amazing, long story short. It’s such a good feeling because you put so much effort into it, and now it feels like it’s some sort of baby you created.”
Junior Samantha Maddox participated this year as well, and though she found the experience fun, she fell short of her 20,000-word goal.
“I think I got a little more than halfway, about 13,000 words,” Maddox said. “I always write little stories for my friends, but I’ve never written a whole book. I’ve always started things and never finished them.”
There is a plethora of available online resources and websites for aspiring NaNoWriMo participants, which offer everything from planning materials to organized events for writing. Both Forden and Maddox used the official website, which offers pep talks from well known authors, groups to chat with other participants, and even a comic series following characters participating in the event. There is also an official word count for all participants of NaNoWriMo. This year, thousands of participants tallied over 3 billion total words.
Though it was an arduous task, both Forden and Maddox look forward to the next NaNoWriMo. Forden feels an obligation to her story to participate next year.
“I will continue doing NaNoWriMo probably because the novel I wrote this year kind of ends with a cliffhanger ending,” Forden said.
Although Maddox didn’t meet her goals this year, she is determined to try again next November.
“Heck yes I will!” Maddox said, “I’ll do all the practice stuff before November.”