Q&A: Nicole Kozel (10)


Nicole Kozel (10) writes in a notebook during lunch. She will be competing in the online competition NaNoWriMo during November this year.

Emily Gaines, Author

Q: What is NaNoWriMo?

A: NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and takes place every November. It’s a writing project that writers can decide to take on in order to complete a novel or to challenge themselves for fun. The project lasts for the entire month of November, and the novel created out of it must reach a minimum of 50,000 words.

Q: Is this your first year doing Nano? If so, why did you decide to start now?

A:  It is my first year participating in Nano, and I was encouraged to do it by a friend who has done it previous years. It took a lot of prodding, but I thought that it might be a fun activity.

Q: What are you writing for Nano this year?

A:  I’m writing a novel about how two young boys stuck under a curse must expel shadow spirits from the land in order to break the curse before they turn into shadows too. The boys run into bumps in the road along the way and receive assistance from benevolent spirits.

Q: What are you looking forward to in participating in Nano?

A: I’m looking forward to getting to unravel the plot as I write. It’s always exciting to go on a journey with your characters.

Q:  Have you written other books before?

A: Yes, I’ve written a few and am in the midst of many. I’ve got too many ideas to write everything at once.

Q: Why do you like to write?

A: It’s a fantastic way to release emotions and tension, and it enables me to do it in a creative way. My creativity has another outlet, and it’s something I can share with friends who enjoy reading my work too. My imagination has a broader area to extend to rather than confining itself to my mind.

Q: What kind of things do you do to get excited about your novel?

A: I also like to draw, so I draw my characters and develop their personalities as I do. I find music that reminds me of the story in order to help me plan and get motivated. Discussing my plans with friends doing Nano helps as well.

Q: How do you plan on staying motivated throughout the month of November?

A: I’ll talk out areas I’m struggling with in the plot with my friends, and make sure I have a written plan to keep me moving. Homework will be taken care of early as well, so I have time to focus. Music and drawing just get me excited to reach certain points in my novel, pushing me to write more in order to reach them.

Q:  Do you know any other students competing in Nano?

A: The only people I know who are doing it are Anna McCuaig (10), who convinced me to do Nano this year, and Emily Gaines (10).

Q: Do you hope to publish after Nano? Why or why not?

A: One day, I do wish to be published, but I don’t expect it in the near future. By the time Nano is over, my finished novel will be rough and need a lot of editing. When I do publish, I want it to be one of my longer, more complete novels I’ve worked on for a longer time. I want to publish stories that I think people will enjoy more and that I personally feel a closer bond with.