‘NaNoWriMo’ finishes with a bang

NaNoWriMo finishes with a bang

Alice Kogo, Contributing Writer

nanowrimoStarting November 1, around the world, participants from various backgrounds united, equipped with pens and keyboards to begin a journey that would last the rest of the month and result in 50,000 words: NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is an event that takes place every year, over the course of thirty days in November. To win, 50,000 words must be written, all of it fiction, and though it’s possible to plan in advance, all of the words must be written in November. Several people have done what is called ‘pantsing it’, and written on the seat of their pants for the entire month, writing whatever comes to mind the fastest and typing or writing it down on paper as soon as possible.

The deadline for the event is at 11:59 pm on November 30, and after validation, if won, novelists can receive sponsor offers, such as three paperbacks and one hardcover copy of their book. In the city of Chicago alone, 2,194 authors participated in NaNoWriMo, and in Naperville, the cumulative word count for all that participated in that region was 11,684,282 words this year.

Olivia Apostolovski, a freshman at Joliet West who participated in NaNoWriMo this year, said a friend suggested it to her. Thinking it would be fun, she tried it out, and wrote 51,020 words with her partner. “It was hard, but I was challenged,

and that’s what I liked about it,” Olivia says. “It was really rewarding at the end to be able to say, ‘Yea, I wrote a freaking novel in a month. Fifty-thousand words, all in November.’ I got a sense of accomplishment, and it was really fun.” Though there’s an enjoyable aspect to writing with a partner for a whole month, instead of writing solo as most people do, patience and good communication has to be gained in order to get anywhere near the finish.

“It took a lot of patience, but it evened out, because I would write, and then she would write,” Olivia says.

“So you’re writing off of each other, and if they wrote crap, you wrote crap, and if they wrote good, then you wrote good.” Over 250 of the winners of NaNoWriMo have had their novels traditionally published, and some have become popular bestsellers, such as the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell, “Woool” by Hugh Howey, the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, and The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve written in the past, or have published five novels already—what you end up with at the end of NaNoWriMo is a work of art that only you could have created.