Local writer types way to goal for National Novel Writing Month

Jodi Abazoski and Jodi Abazoski

Bowling Green resident, Jenn Boyd has written nearly 68,000 words this month.

Boyd is participating in a movement for writers through NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month.

Writers are encouraged to start their novels, with a goal of completing 50,000 words in November. Boyd finished 15,000 words on her first day.

The group has been around since 1999, and famous novels like “Water for Elephants” started at one of NaNoWriMo’s “write-ins,” said Liz Tousey, the Toledo NaNo municipal liaison.

Write-ins are set up to give people all across the nation a place to write, with Bowling Green’s official write-in being hosted at Grounds for Thought, and one of the Toledo region’s write-ins hosted at Jerome. Serving as support and companionship to Boyd, three students are working on novels.

This is Boyd’s eighth time doing NaNoWriMo, but it’s the first time she has met the word count.

“I took [writing] a little more seriously,” Boyd said. “This year I started coming [to write-ins], and it makes me feel more accountable to other people, which is good motivation.”

Tousey said this is the first time there has been a write-in hosted at the University, and they “wanted to start small.”

She said the music library in Jerome is the perfect space because they recently got new furniture, a large writing station and 48 outlets for laptops.

“What we’re doing is encouraging people to come in and write,” Tousey said.

Jeanne Berry has been facilitating the city write-ins at Grounds for Thought as the black swamp region’s unofficial liaison for Bowling Green.

Berry is also working alongside Boyd on her third novel.

“It helps to go to write-ins because your friends are there for support,” she said.

Boyd has “won” this year by meeting her word count writing a story she said has been in her head since high school.

“I’m more of the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type,” she said. “I started out with a general idea, but my characters have taken me in different directions than even I planned.”

Both Boyd and Berry have the same advice to give to students interesting in starting a novel: just start writing.

“Just throw everything on the page and purge all of your ideas,” Berry said. “It will take time later to polish, but realize a rough draft is just a start.”