Looking at ourselves and the world through the lens of the 21st century.

Monday, October 31, 2022

National Novel Writing Month

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope our readers have safe Halloween plans for this evening. Today, I dressed up as a literary character for my school’s spooky celebrations; I am dressed up as Elphaba from the book and musical Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. The novel is a reimagining of the Wicked Witch of the West character in Frank L. Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Speaking of novels, this week on the podcast we are talking about National Novel Writing Month, which begins on November first. As a writer, National Novel Writing Month is one of my favorite writing “holidays.” Sure, other cool things happen in November (such as Thanksgiving and my birthday), but this time of year always makes me inspired to sit down and write! Getting the motivation to do it is another story.

What is National Novel Writing Month? According to NaNoWriMo, a nonprofit dedicated to helping struggling writers and education programs, National Novel Writing Month started in 1999 as a challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. As of last year, the writing event spans 671 regions and hosts 427, 653 participants. NaNoWriMo even has a Young Writer’s program for students and educators. 

Popular novels that have spawned from National Novel Writing Month:

This year, I hope to participate in the event myself. I try every year, but I never complete 50,000 words and sometimes I don’t complete one word. So, I’m going to start small and write a short story. That’s not hard, right? I think the biggest problem for me is getting started, the result, when I write, is always so satisfying. 

So, I am issuing a challenge to our readers and my co-hosts, and I will also be issuing this challenge in my classroom: start small and write one short story (at least a page in length) that has an element of Magical Realism. What is Magical Realism? It is a style of fiction that depicts a realistic view of the world but adds magical elements. Magical realism often crosses the lines between fantasy and reality.

I want to hear from our readers. Do you participate in National Novel Writing Month? Do you complete the challenge? What other writing challenges do you participate in? Let’s continue the conversation below.

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