November 6, 2012

Writing for pleasure through November




Students will be prolific this month even without writing intensive classes, as National Novel Writing Month — Nanowrimo — begins.

Many around the world are dedicating time and energy each day to reach a 50,000 word count by the month’s end. Queens College students are also getting involved in the annual tradition.

“It’s difficult to explain Nanowrimo to someone, but I generally define it as a writer’s marathon,” Meira Maynard, a senior participating for the fifth time, said. “When someone runs a marathon, the important thing isn’t if they won, but if they finished. The same proves true for Nanowrimo.”

Over the past years, Maynard has written fantasy novels and teen novels and is currently writing a post-apocalyptic novel.

Jessica Bette, junior, considers Nanowrimo a month-long journey of motivation, dedication and challenge, topped with the right to say, “I finished [writing] a novel.”

“This is my third year participating in Nanowrimo, and I don’t do it to sell the book once I’m done; it’s probably terrible,” Bette said. “But I do it challenge myself, to know that I can set a goal and accomplish it. And say that I’ve done something some people never will.”

Chloe Wendell, a senior, uses the month as a step forward in her writing process. She has written three full length novels, one novella and one unfinished play for Nanowrimo, over the past seven years.

“November is really the month when I write the most. What I tend to do is, I plan between September and October for what I’m going to write, then churn out the first draft in November. Then, I take a month off in December for finals and what I started doing last year was, using January break to edit the draft from November so, I can enter it into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest,” Wendell said.

The submission period for the contest is usually in the first week of February and has been running since 2007.

Wendell won the Bards and Sages 2010 Writing Competition for her novella “Lorcán,” which was later published in March of 2011.

There are also write-ins around the city for participants to meet and write together.

“It’s really inspiring to sit and write with other people who are doing the same thing. I’ve asked people at these write-ins for character names, help getting through writer’s block,” Maynard, who met Wendell at a write-in, said.

Writers agree: Nanowrimo isn’t just about the finished project at the end of the month, but about achieving a goal, meeting new people and having fun along the way.


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