November Is National Novel Writing Month!
October 25, 2011
If we aren't reading to deal with reality, many of us are reading to escape from it, which ultimately makes it a bit easier to deal with sometimes! Think about it. What percentage of books in the typical public library do novels comprise? How many patrons would deign to visit the library in person if they weren't made available? More and more non-fiction is being taken out of print, or only added electronically due to the overwhelming dependence of our population on electronically generated resources. Some have protested this transition, but should a similar solution be suggested for novels (which are also being provided digitally)? We might very well have a riot on our hands! We interact with novels differently, I think. To some, turning pages in a bound volume brings a feeling of comfort. E-book lovers cuddle up with their Nooks and Kindles too though. I've seen it a million times. I'm willing to bet that those who find themselves utterly absorbed in their reading are, for the most part, lovers of story. People have told stories far longer than we've had the invention of writing. Often-times those stories manifested themselves in mythos about the creation of the world and what it means to be human. We continue to reflect on ourselves and our world through story.
Most of us have had a strange dream or a series of thoughts that might form part of a riveting plot. Our lives often present us with characters and scenarios, or fragments or half-finished versions of them. The difference between writers and the rest of us is that writers act on their musings. They record them, think about them, and expound upon them. Anyone can be a writer. Sure, there are tricks of the trade. Certain individuals will need to work more on certain aspects of the process. But deep down, we've all got what it takes. It's a matter of taking the raw ore and converting it into something glorious, usable, and consumable.
November is National Novel Writing Month. It's the perfect chance to dig out that old disregarded manuscript or start something new. Inspiration can come from anywhere. The Beatles were often inspired by what was in the news. If you want to take that approach, you'll have more than enough to work with already. Music also speaks to us on a very basic level. The right combination of notes might jump-start something amazing in your brain.
If you're like me, there's too much input to be processed rather than too little. You have to determine what you want to write and how best to approach your subject. The best way to do this is to take a look at what others who have written in your genre or on your subject have done. In other words, READ. Read, read, read, and when you've finished, read some more. You don't want to mimic what's already been done. You want your work to seem fresh, but inspired.
Want more tips? Sign up for a free account with Nanowrimo today. The site offers a wealth of writing tools, posting opportunities, and even a reference desk where writers can ask logistical questions about plot elements and determine whether or not certain things make sense in certain contexts. You'll also be able to browse a list of meet-ups and find one that fits your individual needs. Participate in a wide range of discussions addressing all stages of the writing (and marketing) process.
This article also provides some useful insight.
I also recommend Stephen King's On Writing. It offers a witty, interesting, and fairly concise look at the writing process and how King himself approaches it. And really...what's better than taking the advice of a world-renowned novelist?
And don't forget to utilize the library's resources as you work on your new novel...and the library's meeting spaces. Writers benefit most from sharing their work, learning from their mistakes, and considering feedback from others as they revise their manuscripts. The newly remodeled North Independence Branch has 4 free study rooms and a conference room available for use that make it easy to get together! Call us or come in to reserve a room today!
North Independence Branch