By Mrs. Sarah Erb
By ninth grade, our students have read and analyzed a vast amount of literature. Whether it is analyzing the characters and motivations in Wonder, considering the influence of society on the Socs and Greasers in The Outsiders, or picking apart the many themes in To Kill a Mockingbird, they have discovered and witnessed well-developed characters, engaging dialogue, and vivid settings. Each student demonstrated his or her literary expertise as they embarked on the grandest task of the semester: writing a creative novel.
November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Students across the nation devote this time to crafting an original novel. At YCDS, the ninth grade English class took on this challenge. As stated by ninth grade student Emily Lambert, “The NaNoWriMo unit in English class made the journey of creating a novel fun and easy. My classmates motivated me throughout the long writing process by lending creative sparks and ideas, leading me to write more than I ever had of one plot line.” Students spent countless hours brainstorming, drafting, and self-editing their own novel to have a completed product by the end of the month. The students pushed themselves to choose a word-count goal for their novels: some as lofty as 30,000 words. “Participating in NaNoWriMo was very fun. We set our word-count goal and were given time to work on writing our novel. It was very helpful because it gave me the experience of writing my own novel,” said Greg Evans. Following the completion, students engaged in an editing workshop, peer-editing and reflecting extensively on other’s novels.
Finally, students had the opportunity to share their finished novels with classmates. They read a chosen excerpt to an audience of their classmates. This month illustrated the passion and dedication we see in YCDS students. They read their novels feeling pride in their accomplishment, as well they should.