Happy NaNoWriMo! NaNoWriMo is the moniker for National Novel Writing Month, when hundreds of thousands of writers worldwide commit to a daily writing practice. You can sign up to join the fun at nanowrimo.org. As the website states, “National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days.” It’s a delightful if grueling schedule that gives you permission to generate writing without being too fussy about it—and famous titles have emerged from the effort, such as Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and many more. But don’t do this to pen a bestseller: Do it for the sheer joy of storytelling.
Whether or not you’ve signed up online to write the requisite 50,000 words this month, we’re offering two Silent Writing Parties for writers needing a boost in their writing practice. The first will take place at the Shadle Park Library on Tuesday, November 15th at 6:30 PM, and the next will take place at the Liberty Park Library on Saturday, November 19th at 10 AM. Bring your favorite writing instrument (computer? pen and paper? quill and scroll?) and prepare to write uninterrupted for an hour and a half. It’s fine, too, to drop in and write for a shorter length of time, or to come and go as needed: The only rule is that you need to be quiet.
There’s nothing quite as inspiring as writing in a community of writers—the togetherness alone gives us creative permission and energy. If you’re an introvert, this will be the gathering of your dreams.
In addition to coming to the library to write, it can be helpful at almost any stage to peruse a writing manual. The list of titles below can help with grammar woes, novel structure, editing a manuscript, securing a publisher, self-publishing, and more.
Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner
Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer
Storyville!: An Illustrated Guide to Writing Fiction by John Dufresne, Illustrated by Evan Wondolowski
Elements of Fiction by Walter Mosley
Just Write: Here’s How by Walter Dean Myers
Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promotion and Surviving Your First Book Deal, by Courtney Maum
Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts by Matt Bell
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
The Book Bible: How to Sell Your Manuscipt—No Matter What Genre—Without Going Broke or Insane by Susan Shapiro
Masterclass: Get Your Book Published by Katherine Lapworth