Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program

October always seems to be one of Those months.  Busy, busy, busy.  Tack on lots of solo parenting and sick days, and it gets a lot easier to work on letting go.  But this is October, and October means prep for National Novel Writing Month.  I haven't written any fiction in over a year, and this feels like a good time to get back in the game.  Ella has decided that she would like to join the writing frenzy, so we'll be writing novels together next month!  We're looking forward to lots of mom-daughter coffee shop writing dates.

I know a lot of you might be thinking, "There's no way we have time for that," but remember . . . the novel is the project.  Focus this time on allowing your child to fully immerse him/herself in the creative writing process.  Spend the next 15 days drawing character sketches, creating lists for characters, drawing setting maps, and maybe take a look at how some of their favorite stories (books and movies) are structured and what makes them great.  Then, in November spend your normal lesson or project time writing that story.  Or just left them have at it whenever creativity strikes.  When we tackle a massive project like this, we don't do much else.  A little nature study (hopefully we'll actually have a taste of fall next month) or gardening, lots of reading, and maybe some Life of Fred and times tables practice.  That's all I plan for.  The rest is writing.  Notice I didn't say writing lessons . . . just writing.  First drafts are supposed to be messy . . . let your child create a beautiful mess next month.

 If you aren't sure where to start, visit the NaNoWriMo Young Writer's Program website for more information, novel prep ideas, pep talks, a forum for students, and plenty of other resources.  And don't forget to let me know if you or your child are participating this year.  Half of the fun of NaNoWriMo is cheering each other on during the month!


  1. How fun to delve into such a project for a full month! None of my kids has ever been tempted to try NaNiWriMo. My almost-11-year-old might have been intrigued, but he's just started a new story and has been writing away. He has no interest in setting it aside until November. I guess we could have worse problems!

    I got Seize the Story from the library. It's good! It's more sophisticated than Spilling Ink, since it's geared to teen writers. Yet avid younger writers might get into it. I've read sections aloud to my kid, and he enjoyed talking about what we read. Could make for a great NaNiWriMo read-aloud! (I know you were interested in it, Michelle, so if you have any questions about it, let me know!)

    Can't wait to hear how November goes for you and Ella!

  2. My 9 yr old decided to write a script for a horror/ghost story this month to keep her busy until November. Love those creative minds!

    Thanks for the tip on Seize the Story! Our library doesn't have it, so I'll probably order it in a couple of months. She's reading Spilling Ink in tiny, daily bites, so that will probably keep her busy through a good bit of next month.


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