November was National Novel Writing Month, and every year, students get a chance to try and write a draft of a novel in just 30 days. The young writers program, or YWP, allows participants 17 and under to set a reasonable but challenging word count goal for themselves.
Many schools such as Holliston set up a space a few days a week after school where writing could be done in a group setting among other peers who are also writing.
This year, Holliston’s YWP was run by Mr. and Mrs. Murphy and Ms. Meo on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the library.
Abigail PinterParsons, a senior at Holliston, said overall her writing is going pretty well but it’s “a lot harder than you think” and she was definitely more ambitious in October.
The hardest part for PinterParsons has been staying on track with her word count and writing everyday. PinterParsons added that “Once you start [writing] you get into it, but initiating it is hard.”
Jacob Peck, another senior at Holliston who has also taken on the challenge, said the hardest part for him is “picking up where you left off.” For him it’s hard to go to a page and continue what has already been started, especially when he has new ideas in his head he wants to add right away.
Both seniors are enjoying the process but both had very different reasons for starting their novels.
“A bunch of my friends were doing it so I decided to join in,” said Peck.
PinterParsons has had her novel idea in her head since freshman year and decided she might as well write it now.
Peck and PinterParsons both have great advice for anyone who is struggling. “Write at your own pace, write consistently and write what you enjoy, not what what others think is cool,” said Peck.
PinterParsons said it helps if you “set reasonable goals and just write; don’t question yourself; you can edit later.”
On December 5, PinterParsons and five other students informed the faculty of HHS of the results of NaNoRiMo. PinterParsons wrote 15,398 words, completing 51% of her goal, and Peck wrote just under 9,619, completing 53% of his. The highest word count was achieved by Junior Flannery Langton, with 28,048 words.