Photo Credit: Jill Clardy via Compfight
What is a novel?
You’ve heard about it: Grade 8 writes novels in November. You’ve heard about NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month, and as an eighth grader, you’re wondering, “What will I write about? What is a novel?”
Is that a novel?
A novel is your story, your world you create for readers. A world that has a time and place, characters with problems, and lots of vivid imagery so your reader can imagine the world you create.
Let me try to explain. The following paragraph is from my first NaNoWriMo reflection:
My experience is this: I’m just writing. There’s a spark of story that ignites every time I start to add to the tale. It unfolds letter by letter word by word, sentence by sentence, dialogue by dialogue, image by image. That spark lights and spawns another spark. There’s been no real plan, only a glimpse that is fleeting to the real world and consciousness, but that explodes when my fingers cover the keys. Characters blossom. Setting stirs. Plot propels. With no plan, only a spark.
I will help you with planning– like the Plot Diagram — and many more from the #NaNoWriMo curriculum. We’ll think about setting, characters, problems, figurative language, action, suspense, and more.
But for your story, you will need to let your imagination guide you. Yes, we’ll map out some ideas, but once you start typing, your world will erupt into existence as your brain’s voice fills your mind with thoughts that zip out your pencil and zap your world, your story, onto the page.
In our Google Docs, you will share your novel with a partner for effect and feedback. How did your partner react? What suggestions did s/he make? Would those work, or did they suggest something else?
And you’ll type some more, like a writer, an author, of your world.
So. Have a go:
Let’s get started thinking about it: What is a Novel?
Comment back here with at least one idea for a story– an issue perhaps that affects your world. What issues do affect your world?…
I wonder if it will include dirt bikes? Navy Seals? a car accident? a football player? a volleyball team? Hmmm, I can hardly wait…for your comments [include your code name in your comment].