I am writing a series of blog posts about NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program, but it made sense to start with more opinions than just mine. So here, without commentary, are reflections and advice from students who wrote their first novel in November, 2010.
I think that writing a novel was great because it taught me that I can be a writer if I want to be a writer. The most rewarding part was when I was finished and had a published book! I think that the hardest part was probably getting the story going, but once I did, I easily wrote 1,000 words a day! If I had time, I would love to write another novel, but I wouldn’t know what to write about this time. If I had to tell a younger student advice on this it would be to just type. It may not make sense, but that is what the editing process is for at the end. Set your goals high every day, and over-achieve the total word goal you have!! All in all, just have fun, and enjoy the time while you have it! 🙂
Author of Midnight Sky
The best part of writing a novel was to know I wrote a book and have it so I show people what I accomplished. The hardest part was getting all my words and having it make sense. I liked working every day in English class. It helped me get all my words. The Dare Machine really helped too. From this experience, I learned that words add up and you really need to stay on task to finish it. I liked writing my novel because it took up a lot of class and I got to spend every day on the computer, but sometimes it got old writing because I was sick of my story. It was really hard at first but you can always switch your story a little bit so it’s a lot easier to keep going.
Author of Country Strong
My experiences with NaNoWriMo were good and bad, but thinking back I really enjoyed it. I liked having the choice to write about whatever I wanted, and having total freedom with it. It was great! It was tricky sometimes, like when I couldn’t think of what to say. Then I just wrote something totally random. If I could do it again, I probably would because I know what I did wrong and could fix those things and make a great novel! If I would give any suggestions to the student who is going to be writing a novel, I would say to be very creative, and it’s okay if you want to add some crazy stuff in it. It makes the novel creative and fun! 🙂
Author of Betrayed
I thought that it was pretty fun and you got to chose what the story was about.
Author of The Revenge to the Death
Writing our novels was a good experience because we got to learn how to think of our own stories and to come up with our own ideas. The hardest part was probably having to come up with an idea to start your story. Once you got your idea, all you had to do was write. There was no right or wrong, you just had to do what you thought sounded good. Getting my book published was worth it. Even though it took awhile to edit and come up with a title and a cover. Now I can say I’ve written a book and gotten it published. Some suggestions I have are make sure you have a good topic and you can write a good, long story about it. If you don’t have a good topic, then you’ll be stuck on what to write the whole time.
Author of Sophie Ann and Maria
Getting to write about whatever I wanted was the most rewarding part. It didn’t matter what I wrote about; it was my idea and I’m really happy how it turned out. Writer’s block was the hardest part. When I couldn’t think of anything to write, it was hard. Then, after a long period of not knowing what to write about, I got tons of ideas. If I had the class time, I would not mind writing my own series. I seriously would not mind at all. I learned that if you want to write a story, it takes a long time of thought and preparation. Advice I would give other students is “Don’t hold back. Just go at this book with determination and ideas and you will have a good outcome.”
It was worthwhile doing all the revising and editing because if I hadn’t there would be tons of mistakes (spelling, spacing, punctuation). It was hard to revise but it was worth it because now I have a ‘real’ book that I wrote. I would have liked it if my teacher could have let us take our time and think about what we’re writing, not just write it down really fast just to make the deadline. Make sure that you use every day of November even if the first day is on a weekend.
Author of The Attack of Saffrondo II
NaNoWiMo was a lot of fun. At first, it was difficult to figure out how everything was going to fit together, but after you started typing it kept getting easier and easier. Filling out the packet [Young Writers Workbooks] really helped come up with ideas to include in your story.
Author of The Long Road Back
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