Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
By Jericho Burke, Staff Writer
The sounds of fingers clacking away on keyboards filled the air. Students stumbled around campus with tired eyes and caffeine-laced drinks. Everyone was desperately trying to meet a deadline. This wasn’t finals week. This was NaNoWriMo.
November was National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. The month-long challenge tasks participants with completing 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November.
Sophomore education majors Sabrina Salay and Chelsea Rauch are two students who participated in the ambitious writing challenge.
Rauch discovered NaNoWriMo two years ago. “I happened to get sick on the first day of November two years ago, and saw people talking about NaNo starting online,” she says. “I have wanted to try to write a novel since I was little, so I thought it might be fun to give it a shot.”
Rauch worked on a “fantasy romance set on a planet in which demons and humans have been at war for the past 5 years”. She wrote more than 59,000 words in November.
Salay also discovered NaNoWriMo through posts about the challenge online. She wrote a 50,000 “a fantasy murder mystery set in an alternate 1920s”.
College students face a unique set of challenges in their race to the word count goal, as they must balance life, work, and school on top of their desire to write.
When asked about how college students can strike the balance between writing and their responsibilities, Salay suggested carefully managing priorities and using teamwork.
“Find things in your schedule that you can cut out and replace with writing, like the time spent online or watching television. Write with a buddy, or at the very least ask a friend to pester you about how your writing is going.”
Rauch took a different approach in her advice, advocating a fearless attitude.
“Just sit down and write. Don’t worry about whether you used the perfect word, or if your character’s names are okay, or if you’re foreshadowing is subtle enough, or any other thing writers worry about when drafting a novel…Editing is for December,” Rauch said.
“Even if you don’t win the challenge, you still win at life just for taking a shot at this big, crazy challenge,” Rauch added.
Visit nanowrimo.org for more information.