NaNoWriMo inspires student novelists


National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an world-wide writing event which takes place every November. This year, several students and staff members took up the challenge.

National Novel Writing Month challenges people across the world to write an entire novel in one month. (Photo by Katie Fox)

Michael Felcyn, technical support specialist, worked on a novel he is calling The Wayward Prince.

“Basically the idea is how far down a path can a person go before they are unredeemable, or can they be redeemed,” Felcyn said.

There are also several students writing novels, such as Alana Mercurio, senior creative writing major. Her novel’s working title is How It Started, and it is about a troubled and grieving girl who goes to see a Broadway show and befriends one of the actors.

“It’s a really interesting process because you have an idea of a character in your head and as you write you get to know them, which sounds kind of funny, but the more you write about them experiencing things, the more you get to know about what their personality is like,” Mercurio said. “So it’s kind of like you’re finding out more about this character, even though you’re the one that’s writing them.”

Junior creative writing major Jon Grimo also worked on a novel. He is writing a fantasy series called The Banished Realm, and he calls his first book The Kingless Land.

“It is a made-up world where circumstances pit a boy and his criminal father against a girl and her martial father,” Grimo said.

“The rules are [that] you can plan your novel [before November],” said John Estes, assistant professor of English and director of creative writing. “You can have it outlined entirely; you just can’t start writing the sentences. A lot of people want to write a novel, but it requires a great deal of intentionality and discipline to do that, so by cramming it all into a seemingly doable span of time, it’s inviting to people.”

The NaNoWriMo challenge is designed to inspire and focus new writers.

“Just the achievement of doing it can be encouraging to a young writer,” Estes said.

Cathy Weyand is a staff writer for The Aviso AVW.




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