Flashback Friday: My First Nanowrimo

Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a writing challenge in which participants attempt to write 50,ooo words in 30 days, usually the month of November. I was introduced to Nanowrimo by my eighth grade English teacher. Her name is Mrs. Swackhamer. She is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.

I had never considered the possibility of writing a novel before. I loved reading novels, but I didn’t know how writing one would work out. Since we had to do it for class I figured it would be pretty fun and was willing to give it a try.

My premise for this novel was actually pretty dumb. It was about a trio of middle schoolers (I remember thinking I couldn’t make them any older because I didn’t know anything about being older). These middle schoolers found out that some of their friends were actually…aliens.

Yeah, dumb, I know. But I really liked my characters. I remember thinking I was really good at dialogue. (And in comparison to how my peers wrote, it actually wasn’t that bad).

Speaking of peers, that was one of the really fun parts about this first Nanowrimo experience. There was such a big group of people to do it with. All of my friends were in my eighth grade English class (or had the same teacher a different period) so we were all required to do this project. We all worked together, all brainstormed together, all struggled through writer’s block together. By the end of the month I was the only one who had really enjoyed the process (not to mention the only one of my friends who made it to 50,000 words) but it was still fun to have done it with all of them.

And now when I continue to do Nanowrimo they all remember what exactly it is I am doing, since they all did it back in eighth grade.

This first Nanowrimo was kind of life-changing for me. This is when I figured out that not only am I capable of writing novels, but that I love it. This is what helped me find what I’m passionate about and what I want to do with my future. The story I wrote was crap, I won’t be rewriting it or looking at it again (I think I lost it actually) but I’m so thankful for all that it revealed about myself.


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