Novel Concept

October 27, 2008 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

Did I mention that I’m running a National Novel Writing Month Young Writers’ Program at my school?

If you’re unfamiliar with National Novel Writing Month (better known, perhaps, as NaNoWriMo) then here it is in a nutshell: You have 30 days (the month of November) to write a 50,000-word first draft of an original novel. The idea is to get that crummy first draft written and to get past the monolithic “one day” that stands between most of us and our Newbery or Pulitzer. (I always envision a round tuit when I say that last bit.)

It’s an amazing program. I’m not, as it turns out, really cut out to write fiction. But I love the competitive feeling and all the camaraderie of the NaNoWriMo experience – and I love love the feeling of having accomplished something. I started NaNo’ing in 2004, when I “won” – that is to say, I met my word-count goal. I’ve technically participated every year since, although I haven’t won again. I’ve served as a Municipal Liaison for my region,  and ever since I heard about the Young Writers’ Program, I’ve been wanting to try it.

See, kids and teenagers have long been intrigued by the concept of NaNoWriMo, but they often found themselves set up for failure by the daunting task of writing 50,000 words. The Young Writers’ Program was developed to give young writers a more attainable goal while supporting them through a teacher-developed curriculum, lessons, workbooks, and activities.

I’m forcing my Advisory (basically a homeroom) to do the YWP. They will almost certainly hate me for it, but it will give them a vocation for the month, and that’s worth their displeasure. I’m hoping to recruit some kids from across the school; I’ve got enough materials to support up to 70 kids. (NaNoWriMo provides free kits to teachers facilitating the YWP through their schools.)

And… I think I’m going to try to write a novel myself. I say “I think” as if I haven’t already told people that I was, and having told them that, I find myself now committed. Of course, I don’t imagine that I’ll do very well. I can’t picture getting to the 50,000 mark, not with everything else that is on my plate.  Worse yet, I don’t have any ideas of what to write about. Whee! There’s a YA fantasy-ish novel bouncing around in my mind, but my heart isn’t in it. And I was thinking about meta-NaNo’ing, which seems like such a truly dreadful idea that it just might work. Any thoughts?

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Entry filed under: FUN STUFF, MISCELLANEOUS.

Loved Unpleasantly Small World

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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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