Writers Aim for 50,000 Words
Hayley Nelson, an English 157 student, plans on finishing her latest novel this month. Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

Writers Aim for 50,000 Words

November marks the beginning of the 15th National Novel Writing Month. The idea behind this event is for writers to no longer have an excuse not to write. Writers who participate in National Novel Writing Month are obligated to write 5,000 words per day in order to meet a goal of 50,000 words in one month.

“The goal is to forget planning and to get writing and just get your ideas out there,” said University Writers’ designer Erich Maas.

To participate, students must visit the NaNoWriMo website, create an account and submit their work daily. Participants earn badges as they contribute more content to reach the ultimate goal of completing a novel. Amateur and professional writers can participate.

“You’re not allowed to submit any writing you’ve done before the month of November, but you can plan out your idea beforehand,” Maas said.

Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

University Writers’ vice president Danielle McCarthy is planning on participating in this year’s National Novel Writing Month.

“It’s obviously a very busy time for every student, but I hope to participate,” McCarthy said. “It will help me to be held accountable for writing the novel I’ve always wanted to write.”

McCarthy said she has had an idea for writing a science fiction/thriller novel for over a year, but had not set aside the time to get her ideas written out on paper.

“My novel is called ‘Déjà vu,’” McCarthy said. “It will be focused around a teenage girl who keeps having moments of déjà vu. She is one of the few people who can process these events and recognize that they keep happening.”

McCarthy said those who can see the repeated events go on to be recruited into a sort of governmental organization that creates these moments in order to have the future pan out the way they want it to.

“It’s a work in progress,” McCarthy said. “I am a very big procrastinator. I push things off until the last moment.”

Maas said finding time to write can be difficult for student writers.

“I think just having to work on class work and find the time to write is the biggest struggle for me, especially when you add in a social life,” Maas said. “That’s what National Novel Writing Month is supposed to circumvent, because it forces you to do a certain amount of work every day.”

Getting ideas flowing on paper is often the most difficult part of completing a large project. It seems establishing a deadline and getting support from fellow participants inspires writers to move forward to reach their goals.


Anna Welton

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