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NaNoWriMo a valuable learning experience, even if a few thousand words short

After spending an entire month writing and re-writing, crafting plots and developing characters, the three students profiled for National Novel Writing Month have finally made it to December with varying results.

Junior Raphaella So reached 20,000 words before she found the combination of schoolwork and writing a novel were too much, but she said the experience helped unify her and other students who attempted the endeavor.

“It was intense; having to write 50,000 words over a month takes a lot of determination and persistence,” So said. “It was a great chance for my friends and I to work hard together towards a common goal, even though some of us didn’t make it in the end.”

Senior Julie Elfin also found that there were other demands on her time that made it impossible to finish her novel. Though she wrote over 42,000 words, she was ultimately unable to finish the novel the way she wanted to. She plans on working on it more next semester.

Elfin said she learned more about her own opinions and values while writing.

“I absolutely loved it, even though it was definitely stressful,” Elfin said. “My characters told me some things about my outlook on life which I was unaware of. I sort of lost control of them near the end; the end product is nothing like I thought it would be.”

Though So and Elfin were unable to finish their books within the one-month period, junior Pablo Ramirez exceeded the 50,000 word goal in his novel, writing 51,000 words. He attributes his success to time management skills and persistence.

“It was amazing, really,” Ramirez said. “I mean, it feels strange not writing 2,000 words after finishing my homework nowadays. I think fun doesn’t describe the exhilarating ride that this ended up being.”


Junior Pablo Ramirez is a graphic artist for the Black & White. If you also participated in NaNoWriMo, feel free to post your results as a comment below.

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2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo a valuable learning experience, even if a few thousand words short”


    I sputtered out around the 25th. I’ll finish it, but I missed the challenge.


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