November ends, NaNoWriMo along with it


Art by Ellie Stitzer

Ashley Tanner

[tabs active=”3″][tab title=”NaNoWriMo”] [heading size=”19″ margin=”10″]National Novel Writing Month is over, what’s next?[/heading] The monthlong novel writing challenge has come to an end, leaving some students triumphant and others hopeful for the future of their book.
“I think I finished out of sheer pride and willpower; I got…unmotivated at one point towards the end,” junior Javan
Art by Ellie Stitzer
Art by Ellie Stitzer
Whitney-Warner said. “I knew that if I didn’t finish what I’d started, I’d regret it.”
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which started Nov. 1 and ended at midnight Nov. 30. During the month, people of all ages write a novel of their choosing. The only rules are it has to be written in November and has to be at least 50,000 words.
If the writer gets to 50,000 words by Nov. 31, their prize is three free print copies of their book and discounts at self publishing companies. The rewards of NaNoWriMo are great, not only for receiving a print copy, but also for feeling accomplished for writing a novel in a month.
Not everyone who took the challenge completed it. Junior Megan Watts’ book Nano Nanities totaled about 32,000 words by the end of the month, but it’s not the end for her book.
“I am very proud of my book. It may not be a bestseller, but it’s not a grammar and spelling error riddled monstrosity either

“I am very proud of my book. It may not be a bestseller, but it’s not a grammar and spelling error riddled monstrosity either””

,” Watts said. “There will definitely be more editing, revision and always more added to the stories themselves.”
Even though Whitney-Warner’s book Mary made it to the 50,000 words required to complete NaNoWriMo, she isn’t finished yet. Her book topped out at 50,040 words when she turned it in on Nov 30.
“My book will likely stay in the works for at least another year,” Whitney-Warner said. “Despite reaching the word count goal, however, my book definitely has a lot farther to go before the story itself will be finished.”
Finding an open spot in their busy schedules to work on their novels was difficult for the participants, no matter how much they wanted to, Watts said. Prioritizing leaves NaNoWriMo last on the to-do list. Watts has been spending a majority of her time at school in preparation for her various class performances, which she said left her with little time to write.
“A large part of why I didn’t make it and was so far behind is time,” Watts said. “I’m in show choir and the advanced acting play.”
Junior Molly Sparkes had high hopes for a perfect novel. She loved the plotline and characters she created, but school work and a holiday break took writing time away and prevented her from finishing her novel.
“It’s really, really, really hard to break out of writers block,” Sparkes said. “I’m a perfectionist and if I can’t do it right, I don’t want to do it at all.”
Whether or not the contestants reached 50,000 words, the preparation alone that NaNoWriMo requires is an accomplishment. Creating characters and a plotline from scratch takes time and preparation. No matter what a contestant writes, they put a huge effort just in the preparation of creating their books, Watts said. Even if the author doesn’t finish, that doesn’t mean their book doesn’t have value.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? According to, even if you end the month 49,000 words short, that’s 1,000 words you wouldn’t have otherwise.
By Ashley Tanner
[/tab] [tab title=”Mary by Javan Whitney-Warner”]This is and excerpt of NaNoWriMo participants books.
“Mary.” He finally said. The breath breaking between us. I didn’t even know I was holding mine. “How do you know my name?” He only looked at me, with the continued gentle, concerned expression that he had had before. “Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed are you among women.” I furrowed my brow, taking back slightly on the bench, suddenly troubled, almost realizing that I should have been this whole time. Who is this man, how does he know my name, and what kind of a greeting is that? Is this some kind of joke? Am I actually safe here? My mind became dizzy with worry. But he saw the worry upon my face, immediately softening his expression, he saw the fear, appearing to want to ease it. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace with God.” There was a pause between us, barely a breath, I looked with confusion and he looked with duty, my mind unable to comprehend the words he was saying. I had heard those very similar time and time again throughout my life, raised a Catholic, and growing up as a child who had always been hungry to read. I had made many of these choices myself, had always been drawn to my faith like many kids were drawn to Legos. Had always been put down for those beliefs, had always been considered a freak. And maybe I was, with this man sitting across from me now, speaking as if he was from thousands of years in the past. And what if I had truly found favor with God? Wasn’t that what I had always prayed for, what I had always tried for? I finally allowed myself to breathe.
By Javan Whitney-Warner
[/tab] [tab title=”NaNo Nanities: Melody/Favors by Megan Watts”] I have grown used to wandering the halls of the house I have lived in my entire life on days like today, the days I feel restless, and unable to focus on any task at hand, or even centered enough to hang out with my friends. The sun is shining outside and the weather is still comfortable for being outside all day, even in the shade. Despite this I can’t bring myself to open the door and go out. Wandering aimlessly I don’t really pay attention to where it is I am. As I approach one of the doors set in the wall I feel compelled to go inside. Quietly, so not to disturb anyone, I pad over, walking on the balls of my feet. The leather soled boots I have on make it nearly silent, the only sound is the creek of the wood floors underneath my weight. Resting my hand on the door knob I took a deep breath and let it out, gently I try to turn the knob, but it is jammed, if it had been locked it would have had a little wiggle room, but it would not move at all. Carefully I force the knob upwards and try again, this time it smoothly turns and releases the door with a slight click. Stepping in the room beyond the door, I carefully locate and light the lamp just to the right of the door frame, closing the door behind me once the flame is lit. I removed the shawl I keep tied around my waist and laid it on the floor, covering the crack, preventing some of the light or sound from traveling out into the hall. Turning around I surveyed the room before me, several layers of shelves lined the walls around me and large tables stood randomly around the room. Everything was covered in a thin layer of dust. Taking care not to disturb it I walked the perimeter of the room. The shelves held odd mementos of someone’s past, the tables are littered with nick-knacks of some long forgotten project or another. In the far opposite corner from the door a staff is propped against the wall. It almost seems to have a pull, like that of a magnet, drawing me towards it. Picking it up the smooth wood seems to hum with energy, flowing from the staff into my body.
By Megan Watts
[/tab] [tab title=”By Molly Sparkes”] Fireest was a very large valley and the deeper you went, the taller the trees became. The larger the animals were, and the less sun there was. You could become lost very easily in the forests of Fireest, if you went in far enough. It had been almost seventeen years since the last disappearance. A girl by the name of Gina. She had been persuaded to enter the depths of the forest, and bring back honey from the bee nest that was said to be about a ten minute walk into the forest. The bees were said to be the size of your hand! She entered the forests of Fireest on July 18th and did not return. Well, everyone was quite nettled by the whole thing and her parents were simply disconsolately. However, there was a vote and no restrictions were put on the forests of Fireest. It’s a forest, anyhow, so it wouldn’t follow any rule they tried to establish. They found that no rule was needed. The legend of Gina and the Bees would be enough for most generations to come to regard the forests of Fireest with reverence and a calm apprehension. A good mix that allowed them to both respect the forests, without wanting to actually enter them.
By Molly Sparkes
[/tab] [/tabs]