I’m not participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this time around. I know my limits. I can’t write a novel in 30 days AND homeschool three kids.
Last time, I went so deep into the story that I had trouble communicating in the real world. I stopped conversing with the people around me. My story dominated my thoughts and swallowed up my life for an entire month.
The Adventurer (now 13) is hard at work. This is her third year participating in NaNoWriMo’s Young Writer’s Program . Her word count is set. She’s on a mission.
For the past two weeks, she’s been lost to me. She doesn’t come out from behind her computer unless she’s hungry or thirsty. Her computer joins us at the dinner table. I try to get her to interact. She’s not interested.
She is lost in the world she’s creating.
I struggle to resist the urge to tell her to shut down the computer and take a break. I know from experience that she doesn’t want to be disturbed. She wants to go deeper into the story, further into that world.
Still, I couldn’t resist the urge to make her take a break. I made her go spend time with a friend for three hours yesterday. I was worried she was too consumed. She enjoyed getting out. As I turned the engine on in the car to head home, I glanced over and she was logging into the Young Writer’s site from her iPhone.
I’m learning to allow her the time she needs to get lost in it all and enjoy the flow of the creative process. Maybe everything else can be put on hold for a couple of weeks. I want her to be able to give this her all and meet her goal without distraction.
Here’s an excerpt from her novel Silver Mask:
I walked swiftly and silently down the hallway. I wanted to get it done with as fast as possible. The feeling of hatred from being within five feet of that evil man was just so indescribably horrible. He was still riding that uncivilized litter, being carried by those oppressed people. He went on and on about what a fabulous entrance he made and how superior he appeared compared to everyone in the that famous ancient marble throne room. It sickened me the way he talked about everyone and everything in my kingdom being better if he had control of it.
A worn out man who was carrying the litter stumbled to the ground. The procession stopped. I could see his muscles and veins bulging and pulsing as he hyperventilated, a look of pure fear was on his sweat covered face. He struggled to get up, but he was obviously suffering great pain in his limbs. A boy a little younger than me ran to his side trying help him up. It was useless. This man couldn’t stand.
Siromos whispered something into the ear of a royal adviser who quickly brought him a knife which looked like a dragon tooth. It probably was a dragon tooth. He walked over to the suffering man, who could possibly have been healed.
“I am afraid you have not met your employment expectations.” Siromos’s horrible voice echoed through the hallways. “I’m afraid I must relieve you of your duties.”
I’ll stop there, right before the action really takes off. She doesn’t want me to give it all away. 🙂
I’m not going to lie. I’m a proud mama.
A few weeks ago I was worried about grammar and SAT prep and whether I needed to drill her on rules and force her to do something just in case. Instead, she has the freedom to follow her passion and explore her creativity.
I think it’s working out.
The Young Writer’s Program is a free program available to aspiring novelists everywhere. In addition to providing a space for kids to write and participate in an international creative event, they also provide forums for kids (homeschooled or not) to discuss their writing and connect. There is a curriculum guide available for teachers and parents to assist students in designing their first outline (if the choose), creating characters and developing plot lines.