Tuesday, November 19, 2019

NaNoWriMo: A Novel Challenge

* IMHO, anybody who writes 50,000 words
in any kind of narrative is a winner,
no matter how long it takes!
Every November brings with it a "contest" of sorts -- the National Novel Writing Month challenge.  Anyone can enter, and the way to "win" is to write at least 50,000 words of a planned novel. No referees, no penalties, and no prizes (of the extrinsic variety, at least).  Any and everyone who crosses the word count finish line WINS!*

As a librarian who is woefully unable even to consistently write blog posts, I'm highly unlikely to jump into this contest, but I'm a great cheerleader for those who do.    After all, writers usually hope for readers, and this librarian plays a great audience.  I read a friend's NaNoWritMo novel a few years ago, enjoyed it and offered some experienced editorial tips.  I continue to be impressed by the former Paideia student (and faithful book club member) who had written 2 or 3 November novels by the time she was a senior (Hazel, you know who you are!).

Ask good writers for a helpful tip, and they'll all say "Read, Read, Read!"  The Paideia Library can definitely help there -- literary novels, literary non-fiction, action/spy/mystery novels, YA romance, long and complicated fantasy, short and fast-reading novels-in-prose-poetry -- we've got it all.  The more you read, the better you can identify better and worse writing, and hear your own writing in your head.  For writers looking for more concrete, actionable writing advice -- see the books in the display photo below.

November is drawing to a close (our Thanksgiving Feast is one week from today), but it's never too early to start planning for next November.  Historical fiction needs research and planning, complex fantasy needs outlining (and likely a glossary of characters & names).  Maybe you need to warm up by writing a short story or novella (apparently, under 40,000 words doesn't count as a "real" novel). If you want to procrastinate, you can even research all the steps you'll need to take to get your novel published once it's finished.

Check out a book, or check out one of these NaNoWriMo sites online, and get your game plan together.  Let me know if you want an audience come December 1.