November has been dubbed National Novel Writing Month and there are organizations out there promoting it. Nanowrimo.com sponsors the challenge and contest; there is a separate category and challenge for young adult writers (ywp.nanowrimo.com) and that is the challenge set before my creative writing classes this month. We're going to take a whack at a novel.
That's write I said "we"...
The adult side of the contest requires that 50,000 words be written. To put into perspective for my 8th grade students I broke it down to equal writing a 500 word essay 3 times a day every day this month. To my surprise a few have taken that challenge on...and then they stuck their finger in my chest and said, "You should do it too."
The nice part of the Young Writers Program portion of the contest is that students can select their own word goal. My student's goals range from as modest as 5,000 words for the month, to 15,000. I'm going to give them points as they reach each benchmark. My benchmarks are broken down into 10% tiers...at 10% of their goal they receive x amount of points, at 20% they receive y, and so forth. So, yes, those who complete their own stated goal can achieve a score of 100%. However, at the end of weeks two and four they will submit their best chapter or their best 250-500 words for a more formally assessed score.
We begin in the writing lab today...I'll post random chapters or excerpts here as I move through my own.