How the Girls Are Going to Write Novels in Only One Month

The girls can’t wait. They’ve been planning for weeks. There’s
only 7 days to go…. until… NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. I heard
about this yearly online event on Kari’s blog, Overflow, last year, when she announced her intention to write a 50 000 word novel in one month. Write a
novel in only one month?  Could I do that?
No way. But then Suzie Andres said she was going
to take up the NaNoWriMo challenge too. Was I going to join her and Kari on a
novel writing adventure? 
As soon as the girls found out about NaNoWriMo, unlike me, they didn’t
hesitate. They all signed up immediately, even 7 year old Gemma-Rose. (Children
have so much more confidence than adults.) The
older girls decided they could reach the adult goal of 50 000 words. The
younger ones were allowed to nominate their final word count. Sophie thought she
could write 10 000 words. Gemma-Rose opted for 1 000.
Suzie, Kari and all my girls were signed up. I decided to give it a go too.
Well, how did we do? Did we have 5 completed novels at the
end of 31 days? Yes! Well to be exact, we had 5 first drafts of our novels by
the end of the month. It just wasn’t possible to both write and edit in such a short
So we are all NaNoWriMo winners. So are Suzie and Kari. Kari
actually edited her novel.  Now she is a published author and has fulfilled a dream. Her book is called The Life I Dreamed. It’s the book
I‘m promoting on my Sue Elvis Writes blog at the moment. Please feel welcome to hop across and
enter my draw for a chance to win a copy.
For the last month, Imogen, Charlotte and Sophie have been
making notes for this year’s NaNoWriMo novels. I’ve seen them jotting down
their ideas at odd moments. They seem to have their stories all planned out.
After participating in 4 NaNoWriMo events, the older girls have decided that
novel writing goes more smoothly if you have at least some idea of where you’re going.
But you don’t necessarily need a plan. Last year, I had 7 character names and not much else when I
began my novel. Lots of ideas came to me as I was
writing (I love how that happens!) but my first draft did need a lot of additional work. (My first draft still needs lots of additional work. Unlike Kari, I
haven’t yet got my story ready for publishing.)
7 days to go and I have at last followed the girls’ example,
and started jotting down some notes for my novel. I have decided to write a
sequel to another children’s book I do have ready for publishing. I know my characters very well so it shouldn’t be too hard to get
them moving through another 50 000 words of adventures. And like the girls, I am
getting excited.
The focus of our November days will be writing. Other things
like piano lessons and practices will continue as normal. The girls will
probably insist I keep reading our current books. But everything else will be
forgotten while we type furiously, trying to make the required word count before
November 30.
I know that we’ll all be chatting NaNoWriMo over morning and
afternoon teas, and while we eat lunch…. like last year…
“How’s your novel going, Mum?” Imogen asks.
“I have a problem. I need a hiding
place for a key. It can’t be anywhere obvious…” I’m stuck and need some
Gemma-Rose has already solved a problem in her plot: “The mermaid escapes from the cave by rubbing two sticks together, and using the heat to melt the
metal bars.”
“You do know that wouldn’t really work?” I say.
Gemma-Rose grins. “Of course, but I’m writing a fantasy.” Fair
“I might use that online machine to generate a random idea or character
to make my story more interesting,” says Imogen.
“Will you read out what you’ve written so far, Mum?” asks Sophie.
“How many words have you written?” everyone asks, at regular intervals.
As I am writing this post, I can hear the girls chatting. Imogen is typing on her computer. She’s filling in everyone’s NaNo author profiles:
NaNo Magazine Interview with BattyPenderwick: (that’s
Gemma-Rose in disguise)
Q: What authors and
books inspired you to write?
A: The Penderwick
books, Enid Blyton, Meriol Trevor, Elinor Spence
Q: What is your
favorite music to novel by?
A: My own.
Q: What survival
methods are you planning to use to get through NaNoWriMo?
A: Clean socks every
morning, copious amounts of chocolate, plenty of water and my beloved teddy
Q: What do you do when
you’re not noveling?
A: Play Barbies, play
in the garden, read, draw, eat and dress up.
The fun has already begun.
Will you join us on a novel writing adventure? Perhaps you can take up the NaNoWriMo challenge as a family. Just think of all that English. Just think of all the fun.
What’s that I hear? You could never do it? I didn’t think I
could either. But I did. And children can do anything.
If anyone does sign up, please let me know. We could be writing
And if you’d like to read last year’s NaNoWriMo post, here it is: A Novel Writing Adventure.
Only 7 more days… We can’t wait.
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    • Kari
    • October 24, 2012

    I could not help but smile as I read this. It sounds like your house is a buzz with pre-NaNo excitement. I still keep thinking…..maybe I will try again this year?!?!?!?!?

    1. Reply


      You must have more ideas for further novels. Keep thinking… It will be a lot of fun! Just think how satisfied and excited you felt when you finished last year's NaNoWriMo novel. I'd love to share the adventure with you again!

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