National Novel Writing Month

by Jimmy Aaron

National Novel Writing Month, abbreviated as NaNoWriMo, is a challenge to write a 50 thousand word novel during the month of November.

There are no rewards for completing this challenge, yet enough people participated in NaNoWriMo 2012 to accumulate a total word count of over three million.

Freshman Nicole Steiner was one of the few participants to reach 50 thousand words. She has her own reason for undertaking the NaNoWriMo challenge: practice.

“I want to be an author, and I’d always have to do things in a certain amount of time,” Steiner said.

At the end of the month, authors paste their novels into a word count validator on the NaNoWriMo site. If they reach 50 thousand words, they receive a digital certificate confirming that they have beaten the challenge.

There are no regulations that prevent authors from using work they have already written, or copying the same sentence over and over until the 50 thousand word goal is reached.

Nicole feels that upholding the honor system is integral to the NaNoWriMo experience.

“It doesn’t feel the same. You won’t be satisfied, and you’re always going to have that dirty little secret,” Steiner said. “I can understand why somebody would do it, though. It’s scary.”

In addition to Nicole, a handful of Legend students accepted this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. They have had to balance school work, jobs, and social lives in order to complete their novel. To write 50 thousand words in a month, students have had to average two thousand words per day.

“There was one week where I had to write 20 thousand words after taking a week-long vacation,” Steiner said. “I’m glad I didn’t give myself an excuse. It’s something I’m able to carry with me with or without a big writing career.”

Nicole’s novel is entitled Goose Chase. Visit for information about next year’s NaNoWriMo challenge.

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