I created my New Septembers blog today, though I don't know if I'm going to use it. I haven't figured out how to host it on my website and if I do that whether or not it's going to work the way I want it to. So in the meantime, something that belongs on there will appear here. God knows I can't add another writing commitment to November.
I've got one of my young students playing the write-a-novel-in-November game with me, and he's not generally big on writing. Loves books, and has recently taken great leaps in his ability to read them, and also loves creating stories, but can't stand the act of putting them on paper. It has proven for him, as for me, that the challenge of word count has unexpected power. I can normally count on him to generate a couple of pages of writing per week, at about 20 words per page, letters sized at around a half a square inch. Today he penned three pages, averaging 160 words per page. But that's not the good part.
As he neared the end of page three, he said, "Darn it. I keep using things from other books." I asked him what he meant, and he read a passage that used a construction he said he recognized as stolen from the Chronicles of Narnia. "The narrator's always talking like that," he said. He gave an example. He'd never before gotten far enough into his writing to catch himself borrowing from the stories he most loved reading. I can't even imagine what else is to come.