North Texas Daily

Month-long NaNoWriMo challenge begins

Month-long NaNoWriMo challenge begins

English sophomore Bina Perino shares about her passion for writing in an interview on November 3. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

Month-long NaNoWriMo challenge begins
November 10
18:53 2015

Matt Payne | Senior Staff Writer


After several months in the hospital last semester recovering from three heart attacks, English senior Stu Hollowell unearthed a love for standup comedy after being whisked into the art of comedic schtick by one of his friends.

Performing in front of crowds has helped the English Honor Society officer stay focused on the production of written material. He said he dreams of one day being published in academic journals and eventually wants to be a language arts teacher. Already an avid writer and reader, Hollowell credits his venture into standup comedy as a major influence in his writing, saying the two practices go hand in hand.

“Nothing prepares you for hormonal teenagers like inebriated adults,” Hollowell said. “Comedy and writing are one-and-the-same for me and have definitely saved me in many ways.”

Hollowell has established a connection with several other local writers who also wanted to produce more pieces and improve their writing. They are part of a national effort called NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month.

Throughout the month of November, participants each work to produce a novel within the 30-day period. The goal is to reach 50,000 words. On average, writers working toward this goal have to stack more than 1,000 words a day to keep up.


This is the first time English sophomore Bina Perino has participated in NatNoWriMo but it is not the first time she’s written a novel. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

In order to keep up with the rigor NaNoWriMo demands, Hollowell said he encourages participants to cut out their “internal editor.”

“Once December comes, by all means, we can start to polish them,” Hollowell said. “The focus right now is to produce as much content as humanly possible, and simply being in the company of fellow writers has been a joy.”

Whether they write for utility or recreation, novelists come from varied backgrounds with different inspirations that fuel them to press through November. Keystrokes late in the night and into the wee hours of the morning serve as a therapeutic release.

Some write collections of firsthand experiences. Others write fictional novels for pure leisure or their own enjoyment—one writer wove a tale of a nonsensical coming-of-age adventure among lesbian pirates.

Whatever the focus, participants collectively take time each week to share excerpts of their novels-in-the-making, shelling out as many words as they can muster through meetings in earnest curiosity, criticism and competition.

Hollowell described the novel he’s producing during NaNoWriMo as smut that takes place during a Renaissance fair festival among the employees. Time travel will also be a literary element featured in his romance, entitled “A Discourse on Fried Onions.”

“I’m sort of writing in the vein of postmodern writers I enjoy,” Hollowell said. “My comedy has permeated my work, and it’s the glue that keeps all the wackiness together.”


English sophomore Bina Perino writes every day in order to keep up with the goal of completing her novel before the end of November. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

English sophomore Bina Perino has accepted the challenge of NaNoWriMo for the first time, but is currently on track to produce her second novel, “The Infinite Possibility of Tomorrow.”

She described it as “Pulp-Fiction-esque.” The main character, while struggling to cope with the death of her parents, is thrust into a gangster-like lifestyle for a day. Perino said she was inspired by her monotonous summer cashier job at Dollar General, when she often spontaneously thought of what would happen if someone were to break in and seize her.

“The novel challenges depression, and in its planning I was pondering reasons to be alive,” Perino said. “One of the reasons I came up with was the infinite possibilities of tomorrow.”

Since a young age, encouraged by the praise of elders and peers, Perino said she has used writing as a release of language. She said she has a special love of poetry and the expressive word and seeks to reflect this in her writing, as well as impart certain ideals.

“Something crazy could happen at any moment, and you need to be alive to know what it is,” Perino said.

Criminal justice senior Moriah Crowley has also joined the ranks of the Denton NaNoWriMo participants for the seventh consecutive time, having participated since 2009. With the exception of 2010, she said, she has completed every 50,000-word trial since her debut.

Crowley has studied abroad extensively and said she has visited over 48 states in the U.S. Title still pending, her latest work will feature the universality of morality and how social expectations through different time periods tend to challenge ideals. Her novel will also draw elements of time travel in a historical sci-fi adventure and explore various cultures from a firsthand perspective.

“I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to explore several different places, and I think it’s important to write about what you know about,” Crowley said.

Throughout her experiences, Crowley assessed her life’s happenings and writing as two factors that affect each other in turn.

“With my years of living and experience has come knowledge and words I didn’t know before,” Crowley said. “And writing allows the opportunity to keep scenes in physical form for the opportunity of visiting them years later.”

Featured Image: English sophomore Bina Perino shares about her passion for writing in an interview on November 3. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

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