LynneaThis November, students who are interested in putting their creative writing into use are challenged to write a novel with the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

NaNoWriMo is a non-profit international annual creative writing project during the month of November. Students across the globe are challenged to write a novel with a minimum of 50,000 words altogether from Nov 1 to Nov 30.

Writing around 1,700 words a day is a huge challenge and requires much dedication and motivation. Anyone who achieves the 50,000 word count by the end of the month is declared a winner and is eligible to receive two free paperback copies of their novel. Organizers of this event say that the aim of this project is to simply focus on people to start writing rather than just the quality of their work.

Some Riverside students are participating in this event this year and are determined to reach their goal. Riverside’s Grade 12 student, Lynnea Chan, is participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. This is not her first time participating in this project, but it is her first time committing to writing and finishing her novel. “I remembered the first time I signed up; I only wrote 70 words so I wanted to beat that record,” said Chan. Like every written novel, many challenges are faced during the process of writing. “When you get to a point in the story where you haven’t exactly planned what you want to do or where you want to get to but you can’t find a way to transition to that plot point,” Chan said, of her biggest challenge in writing.

NaNoWriMo started 16 years ago with only 21 participants, but has amassed over 400,000 people participating in this project since then. Their website, offers the chance for participants to interact with the online community for tips for writer’s block and, “pep talk” to support writers.

More than 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been published through official publishers, including some popular ones like Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.

Feature image designed by Eric Nyffeler – courtesy of Google/Nanowrimo website.