Students take up a novel cause

With the start of November, the dawn of National Novel Writing (NaNoWriMo) quickly followed. With its arrival, people interested in creative writing were offered the chance to write their own original novel. The non-profit organization offers participants the tools they may need to assist them with their writing needs. Some of these resources include word counts, progress tracking, milestones, and access to a huge community of other writers. With all of these available resources and a challenge, Torrance High students began writing, marking the school’s first time participating in the event.

As aforementioned, the face-front challenge initiated by the organization is to write and complete a novel in November—however—this does not entirely embody the event’s purpose.

“It is a fun way to allow students interested in creative writing to try it out with freedom that isn’t homework” commented Mrs. Christian, an english teacher at Torrance High who hosted the program for the school.

Students in varying grades arrived to Mrs. Christian’s tutorial sessions. The classroom was rather lively on the first day, as numerous students visited with an interest in the event. While the number of students per tutorial session varied, in a room with like-minded individuals, the ideal environment is created for writing: constructive criticism, collaboration, and inspiration.

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“I was surprised by how many students from all grade levels joined even if only for one meeting,” added Mrs. Christian. 

Additionally, the work of the registered participants from the school was amassed to form a total word count for the school. Before attempting the challenge, students were recommended to set a desired word count for their novel. This word count could range anywhere from ten thousand to twenty-five thousand words. Collectively, the school achieved a word count of 57,706. Many individuals found themselves with an incomplete novel by the time December had arrived, but the program had still allowed them to push through and write.

“I participated in it along with my students, and even if I didn’t complete my word count goal, I’m very proud, and other students are as well,” remarked Mrs. Christian. “Nanowrimo’s goal is to build the habit of writing, and writing every day.”

While many works did not come to fruition, the experience fostered creativity and allowed participants to simply express their minds. During an average day of school, students commonly find themselves writing every day, but it is not very often that they hold the liberties of free writing. Generally, such an opportunity could be beneficial to anyone.

While there has not yet been confirmation as to whether or not the school will participate in NaNoWriMo next year, it would be certainly welcomed if it made a reappearance.

“I would be interested in hosting NaNoWriMo at THS again next year. The only change I would make is to advertise the event so more students hear about it.”

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