Four Mount Elizabeth students undertook a massive challenge in November: attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in just a month.
The 7th grade students Amelie Hrynkiw, 13, Mya Anthony, Madisyn Robinson, and Taylor Finn, all 12, took part in National Novel Writing Month, or, as it’s colloquially known, NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo is a writing exercise that encourages participants to dedicate the month of November to writing a full fledged novel in 30 days, with an aim of 1667 words a day to keep them on track for the final word count. (For comparison, the December 7 edition of the Northern Sentinel contains just under 5,000 words of written content.)
The students are part of the French Immersion program at Mount Elizabeth, taking English Language Arts classes every other day with their teacher Caroline Collins. She gave the girls time to write in class as a bit of an exemption to the normal curriculum, but most of the work was done on their own time. All of the students in the class were offered the opportunity, and those who didn’t participate carried on with regular assignments.
“It was kind of just something new that we got to try, instead of doing the regular school work,” said Hrynkiw.
The girls wrote on a variety of topics, including their lives and whatever came to mind during the writing process. They said they typically enjoy reading action novels, and list J.K. Rowling as one of their favourite authors.
All four girls said they would do the challenge again, even though it was sometimes difficult to come up with the required amount of words each day.
“The first day it was going great, we wrote even more than we had to, and then the second day it was like, ‘oh no,'” said Anthony.
The sheer amount of work hasn’t deterred them from writing though, with some of them saying they were thinking about writing a second book now.
“We were thinking about continuing stories maybe, like making a second book,” said Hrynkiw.
There were 264 official NaNoWriMo participants in BC in 2016, with an average of 23,733 words per novelist, according to the NaNoWriMo website.