Saturday, December 4, 2010

Guest Interview: Hallie Claire Waltezko

November was National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. This year, my 14 year old niece, Hallie Claire Waletzko participated. She started on November 1, 2010 and on November 29, 2010, she completed a novel, 1 day early, writing a total of 50,289 words!

If you've ever written a novel, you can appreciate what it takes to get 50,000 words down on the page. But in a month? So far, with my new novel, it has taken me 2 years and 3 months to complete that much! If you've never written a novel, try to picture yourself doing it. It's remarkable, right?

I'm so impressed by Hallie, that I asked her to let me interview her about her NaNoWriMo experience. Read on and be inspired!

Here's what she had to say:

KB: What was your process like--ie what did you do to be able to get 50,000 plus words written in the month of November?

HCW: Going into it, I didn't actualy expect to hit the 50,000 word goal. But the NaNoWriMo website sets daily goals for you, and I would always be really determined to meet those goals. As well as word count goals, I would set time goals, like "Okay, I'll write without stopping for the next 15 minutes." Or I would set plot goals, where I would write until something happened in the story so I wouldn't lose the thought.

KB: Did you ever want to quit?

HCW: I wouldn't say I ever really wanted to quit altogether. There would be days when I got home from school really late, and would stop before I got to my goal of the day. There were times when I had computer issues, and get really frustrated, but overall, I just kept going.

KB: Did anything surprise you while doing NaNoWriMo?

HCW: Yes, everything surprised me! By the first few days, I realized that my characters were making their own decisions! At the end of October, the NaNoWriMo website sends you an outline of what should be happening every few days. By Day 3, they say, "Realize this isn't the novel you were intending to write, and that's okay." And that's totally true.

KB: Any advice for novelists?

HCW: I guess my only advice is to just write. Don't worry about whether or not what you're writing is any good, that comes later. But getting the words out of you is really important, and a program like NaNo is really helpful with that.

KB: Thanks so much, Hallie!