Society Wide Writing

The NaNoWriMo Pulse-Check (or Lack Thereof)

By Katherine Williams
Southwestern Region Associate Student Representative, 2011-2012

So far, the development of my novel for NaNoWriMo has gone as slowly as expected. A mere couple of weeks until graduation, all my professors have made an unwritten, unbeknownst agreement that a) English majors don’t have a life; b) all English majors have too much time on their hands; and c) students must not have jobs or something, so let’s assign them more work! Oh yeah, and they all came to this decision without the consent of their students. So here I am, three days late on keeping everyone up-to-date the next “great American novel” (actually the next great American dystopia, more on that), while my creative endeavor gathers dust.

However, I won’t make excuses (because I’m sure everyone has got one); I managed to add two new chapters so far, and I’m working on the tone that will guide the novel and the series of books I want to write after these. Here’s my story in a nutshell: it’s a dystopian/apocalyptic setting with more animal characters than human ones. Try to imagine Gulliver’s Travels, Oryx and Crake, and Watership Down in one room, and that would be my novel. I’m not usually a fan of apocalyptic literature, but I’m managing to incorporate several artistic and literary references to flesh out the story and the significance of setting for the characters. I’ve also decided to include images from World War I into the novel, although most of the novel takes place one hundred years in the future. In short, it has an epic scope, which means I need to brush up on my history; I’m currently taking a class called Literature of the World Wars, which has come to influence my writing quite a bit.

Since a good chunk of the story is in screenplay-form, I’ve got most of the dialogue already written down, which turns out to be very helpful because now I can focus more on setting and tone rather than trudging through what characters are saying to each other.
All in all, I have not made much more progress this November than I did last year, but the holidays are coming soon, so maybe I’ll get a chance to catch up?

Total word count: 6,414

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