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Students Get Experience Trying to Write a 50,000 Word Novel in One Month.

Written by Lauren Hesse

Kaylie Crawford '14, President of IC NaNo club, sometimes does her writing in IC Square.

What does it take to write a novel? An innovative plot, some serious character development, and years of hard work? Well, turns out the latter may not be necessary. Writers from all over the Ithaca College community spent all of November working for, and celebrating, National Novel Writing Month.


They call themselves the IC NaNo and the ultimate goal of each member was to complete a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. Crunch those numbers and that equals over 1,600 words a day!


Started in 1999 in the San Francisco Bay Area, the National Novel Writing Month organization (NaNoWriMo) set out to encourage writers to at least try for the goal of completing 175 pages of fiction -- in one month. The results aren't always best sellers, but the mission of the organization is to motivate aspiring writers to finally complete their ultimate dream: write a novel. The organization started with just 21 members and now has expanded nationally to libraries, after school programs, and colleges.





IC NaNo club president Kaylie Crawford '14 (left) and vice president Amanda Del Sontro '14 (right) brainstorm edits for their novels in IC Square.


While the college is not an affiliated member of the national organization, they work as a campus group in association to follow the national rules and regulations. This November marked the first year for the on-campus group, starting with 15 members. At least three of these members reached their goal of 50,000 words, but everyone came out strong just attempting to finish a novel. Founder Kaylie Crawford '14 explains that the start of the club marks a triumph for the community of writers at IC. Crawford explains, “It's not the end result that matters, it's the actual trying.” 


Even if students don’t finish their novels, IC NaNo works year round to foster a community of supportive writers. From SciFi storytelling to creative nonfiction, Crawford ensures that students keep writing. As longs as pen is to paper, or fingers are to keyboard, students can work together to create some great works outside of their classes. Crawford explains, “People have this thing about writing, [that] it's something other people do, something that other people are good at. It doesn’t take a special gene to make you a good writer, it's the effort you put into it.”





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