Written by Olivia Studdard, Staff Writer
One thing many people aren’t aware of is that November is National Novel Writing Month, often abbreviated as NaNoWriMo.
On Nov. 1, writers who participate will begin working towards the goal of completing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30. There have been over 250 published novels that were spawned during NaNoWriMo, one of the most famous being “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen.
This year, Odum Research Librarians Samantha Paul and Catherine Bowers decided to join in the fun by hosting a preparation party on Oct. 26. Students were invited to come to the party to read and gather plot ideas and more for their potential stories.
This wasn’t just a night for novel writers. The night also included instruction for students to come work on any academic papers they might have to complete. One of these students was Sara Barrera, a graduate student who came to the preparation night to work on her thesis paper.
“I’ve been working on it, but this is like time where I actually have to sit down and do it,” said Barrera. “I’m here to work on a paper, but I want to write it as a story. Academic writing is so boring; I want to spice it up a little.”
The class was two hours long and consisted of seven minute intervals where participants had the chance to rotate through stations set up throughout the room. The stations had various books set up to spark inspiration about the details of writing a novel including who, where, when and why.
After an hour, Paul and Bowers took the reins and gave pointers on how to quickly develop a plot for your writing.
“The two types of writers are the plotters and the planners,” Bowers said. “The planners are the people who map their entire story out before writing it, probably a very effective method if you actually want to complete your novel in a month. Then there are the plotters, who basically ride by the seat of their pants the entire time they’re writing.”
The two librarians used their time to brainstorm and show how much writing and libraries should be valued.
“I think people underestimate what the library is,” Paul said. “It’s a community helping each other, supporting each other. You get what you need to be more successful along the way.”
Odum Library will host three more events for NaNoWriMo during the month. However, these will focus more on intense lightning writing, or “getting it done,” as Paul said. These three sessions will be held on Nov. 10, 16 and 28.
“I think if more people knew about this it would have so much potential,” said Barrera. “It’s about expanding your creativity, organizing and getting ideas for whatever you’re working on while getting support along the journey.”