SAIT student ready for novel-writing challenge
Writing 500 to 800 words is no tall order, especially for a journalism student, but how about scribbling 12,500 words a week? Now take that sum and make sure you hit 50,000 in a month with at least some logic and correlation to the tale you’ve managed to weave. This is the challenge that SAIT journalism student, and Weal editor, Cordell Blanchette has voluntarily entered in to.
November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, where aspiring writers attempt to hammer out a novel within 30 days.
“It’s about pushing yourself to write. A lot of people stop and they stumble because they go back and say ‘this isn’t good,’ but that isn’t the point,” Blanchette said.
The point, according to the second-year writer, is to challenge one’s self and never allow the initial passion for writing a potentially great story to lose steam. He said he found the concept refreshing considering students rarely hear of events that would challenge them in this manner.
“You hear about technological and physical challenges, but you rarely hear about specific mental challenges that we encounter, so something like this, which is an English challenge, is unique and fascinating,” he said.
Starting Nov. 1, each writer has until midnight on Nov. 30 to reach their 50,000 word quota. The young writer’s program allows writers 17 and under to set their own individual word counts. According to the official NaNoWriMo website, 20,000 participated in 2010 along with 40,000 in the YWP.
On Monday, Nov. 7, 1,788 people had registered to participate in Calgary.
Blanchette will likely veer his work towards fantasy, a genre he has become increasingly interested in. He said his introduction to writing was similar to countless others — he had a natural inclination to put pencil to paper and often wrote whatever came to mind.
Despite preparing to write his first book, Blanchette currently doesn’t see himself writing novels upon his completion of journalism school. He explained that he feels best suited for a position in communications.
“Writing is a very chaotic process. So for me to crave stability in my career is very ironic,” he admitted.
For Blanchette and other competitors, the Calgary library has opened the fourth floor in its central downtown location exclusively for those participating in the hectic trial. Community outreach librarian Julia Keefe said the Calgary Public Library looks to actively support the Calgary writing community and this was just one way of doing so.
To follow Blanchette on his journey to penning his first project, visit his blog at CordellBlanchette.com or visit The WEAL website for updates.
For more information on National Novel Writing Month visit nanowrimo.org.
Want to improve your writing? Check these out:
1. Writer in Residence at Memorial Park, Naomi K. Lewis has been selected as the Calgary library’s Writer-in-Residence for 2011. She ably fulfills the requirements for a published writer with teaching experience and is able to critique a wide variety of genres in both fiction and non-fiction writing.
2. Writers’ Weekend 2012 – Saturday February 4th 2012 10 a.m-4 p.m. in the John Dutton Theatre at the Central Library. Join the CPL free presentations all day long and network with other Calgary writers and writing groups. Registration starts soon.
3. Writers’ Nook blog – calgarypubliclibrary.com/blogs/writers-nook. Ideas, inspiration and information to keep your writing projects moving forward.
4. Creative Writing club at the Central Library – Lower level, meeting room 1. Meet aspiring writers, engage in fun exercises and share your writing. Mondays from 6-7.30 p.m. – Upcoming dates are : November 14, November 28 and December 12. Register online at calgarypubliclibrary.com or call 403-260-2620.