Susan Midlarsky

author • consultant • tutor | inspiring excellence
Homeschool NaNoWriMo US Education Writing

NaNoWriMo Begins!


Yesterday was the first day of NaNoWriMo, and it began with a bang. My group has seven bright, eager children in it, and we all dove in to our writing projects yesterday.

NaNoKids 2010

Prior to that, we had a couple of meetings in which we worked on character development, understanding what plot is, setting expectations, and deciding on word count goals. I think my students from previous years underestimated their abilities yet again, if yesterday was any measure; they seem to grow their ability to write fluently almost exponentially each year. I’m impressed.

Even more impressive, one of our new members, a second grader, outstripped everyone in word count during a word war or two. This was the same little girl who couldn’t even get started at first. She was so excited and proud by the time her mother came to pick her up.

Like every year, I write alongside the students, and we all share excerpts from our writing in progress. Last year, however, I was writing a children’s book, while this year I’m writing an adult thriller. This means my word count will need to be higher, and I won’t be able to share all of it with the children. I’m also less enthusiastic about the subject matter; it was a plot idea that came to me months ago, and it’s just not as alive in me now. I started without any idea of characters, settings, or even specific plot ideas, so it was really stretching to get anything down.

On the bright side, though, I did reach over 1,700 words last night, the minimum to accomplish 50,000 words in a month, and the story wheels started spinning in the shower this morning. So maybe it will take on a life of its own yet again.

The write-ins are such motivators to get the ball rolling that I’m glad we held a meeting this Monday. We will meet again on Friday for those who want to get together. Be in touch if you’d like to join – it’s not too late!

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