50,000 Words in 30 days: National Novel Writing Month Has Begun!

By Madeleine Munn '19, Communications Intern

As a lovely fall has turns into a (so far) unidentifiable winter, National Novel Writing Month has begun! A lovely way to spend those cold winter nights, National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo, is an exciting challenge in which participants work from midnight on November 1st until 11:59 pm on November 30th to finish a 50,000-word novel.

Other than the word count, the process is extremely open! Some participants set word counts by day or week, some just do what they can to reach 50,000, but it is an altogether difficult task and takes concentration, discipline, and dedication.

NaNoWriMo is an internet-based organization and began in July 1999 with only 21 participants. By 2010, it had 200,000 participants who wrote a combined total of over 2.8 billion words, and it has only grown from there.

Students and faculty at Norfolk Academy have participated in this month of novel writing in past years, sometimes meeting in the early morning or evening for group writing events.  This year two eager students, Cabell Jones and Alexandra Kerr, are working toward 50,000 words. I talked with both of them about the beginning of this journey. This is Cabell’s second time doing NaNoWriMo and she told me, “I’m doing NaNoWriMo because I’ve been trying to write a book for three years. It’s a good way to motivate me to write, even if it can be painful.” Cabell plans to string her four books together once she gets each draft finished. On average, one would have to write 1667 words per day to reach the 50,000-word goal- no wonder she needs extra motivation!

Our other participant, Alexandra, is a first time NaNoWriMo participant, and she has an idea for a novel about, “an adopted girl and boy who are pen pals and their stories are told through emails.” Such an interesting idea!

William Faulkner said, “If a story is in you, it has to come out.” We hope Alexandra’s and Cabell’s stories come out magnificently and we offer the best of luck to these two audacious novel writers as they work toward 50,000 words. Norfolk Academy is cheering you on!