Tag Archives: Writing

NaNoWriMo – Update

Its been 5 days since the National Novel Writing Challenge began, and I only have about 2,000 words to my name. Things have been pretty hectic these past few days, so I haven’t had the time or energy to really sit down and right. Nor have I had any inspiration or thoughts to write about. That is the frustrating part. RIght now, I’m just jotting down any idea that comes to my mind, but I know that in December I’ll be deleting over half of everything I”ve written so far. But I suppose its best to have too much and cut back than to not have anything written down and try to fill in the gaps.

I wonder how other people are doing with their challenge?

Oh, here is something quirky I saw on the New shelf at the library the other day:

A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days

A full-fledged book written by Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo. Its full of tips and tricks to get through the month long challenge. The key is to lower your expectations “from ‘best-seller’ to ‘would not make someone vomit,’ ” says Baty.

Hah. Not make someone vomit. That’s something to aim for, I guess. =) Good luck writers!

Footnotes of the Internet #2

www.nanowrimo.org

November is National Novel Writing Month, and this website above is dedicated towards giving novice writers, and even veteran writers a push towards having a productive month. According to the About Page on the website, “The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

The About page is really funny, mostly because they push quantity over quality, but then again, that could possibly be a good thing. “Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

If you’ve ever wanted to take that leap into writing, or if you’ve been dealt a hefty load of writer’s block, this is the challenge to just over that obstacle, to throw away all excuses, to pull out that pen and paper and write, write, write those run-on sentences, those cheesy opening sentences and to have fun while you do it. =)

The website also offers a lot of cool features. There are forums for group discussions (writing tips, plot ideas, etc), a daily blog, various word count scorecards and widgets, and programs for young writers. There is even going to be a write-a-thon on November 15th that involves fund-raising, and an all day writing and awards fest in San Francisco, CA.  I have to work that Saturday, and I’ll be attending this years California Library Association Conference this year, so I won’t be going to the write-a-thon, but it sounds like it will be a lot of fun. =) I hope someone in the blog world reports back on that event.

Plus, the added perk is that there is a Neil Gaiman pep talk, albeit from last year, but still relevant. Though it is recommended to save this spiel for the 3rd week of writing.

The recap of the challenge rules:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.

Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Still confused? Just visit the How NaNoWriMo Works page!

The reader becomes a writer…of sorts

At what point does an avid reader decide to take up the art of writing?   Good writers aren’t always the best readers. Good readers aren’t always the best writers. But at some point, don’t you get fed up with reading so many frustrating books, with a disappointing characters or endings that just aren’t doing what you want them to do?

I’ve been a little bit burned out from reading so much this past year. I’ve read more books this past year than I did the previous 3 years combined. My head is swimming with so many different concepts, characters and plotlines, that the only way to clear up my mind is to start writing some stories of my own. Naturally, writing is a real challenge, but I wonder if its really something that you can fine-tune with creative writing classes, or if good writing just needs good editing and good reviews? Since I still have limited access to the Internet, I’ve been spending more time writing than reading. Its very therapeutic, and if anything, helps me appreciate the books I read, now that I can understand just how difficult the writing process is. I don’t think I’ll complain so much about the amount of time it takes an author to finish a novel (although 5 + years is still excessive). There is a lot to be said for the amount of detail spent over each word. Particularly in short stories where motifs and symbolism has to be consistant from page one.

I’ve also been busy with work lately. I taught my first computer class at the library yesterday. I taught Intro to Blogging. It was great being able to share my experience with blogging with curious students. I hope they all have successful blogs and get the same joy and feeling of accomplishment that I do whenever I hit the “publish” button. Story times are going great as well. I love it when the same kids come each week, and I can see them open up a little bit more, feel a little bit more independent.

Guest Post – Reading and Writing by a Reader and a Writer

Terry Finley, author of; Love Stories? and The man in the Trees: (and other Short Stories), discusses his views on reading from a writer’s point of view.

Reading and Writing by a Reader and a Writer
by Terry Finley

http://theterryfinleysite.blogspot.com/

Which one do I love more: reading or writing?

First, I wish I had (took) more time to do both. Reading is essential to writing. A writer must stretch to write better than what he reads. A reader must stretch to get the most from what the writer states. A writer who does not read is not much of a writer.

Second, I love to read. I enjoy adventure authors: Jack Higgins, Ernest Hemmingway, Clive Cussler, etc, etc. I get high on closing my eyes and seeing myself in the story. I hear the boat motor. I smell the smoke. I taste the coffee and the ice cream. I feel the sand and the heat from the sun. I sense the fear and urgency. I love the good guys, and I hate the bad guys. I love to win, and I dislike with a passion to lose.

I love to read.

Third, I love to write. I am the god in a world of my creation. However, most of my stories never end the way I thought they would; the characters take on lives of their own and write their own stories. Still, by far, it is my story. I am Jack Higgins, Ernest Hemmingway, Clive Cussler (and others of my heroes). I am a man of my own making. I am my very own hero. I create the boat motor, the smoke, the coffee and the ice cream, the sand, the sun, the fear and urgency, the good and the bad guys. I always win, with a passion.

I love to write.

Last, my personal goal is to write the perfect short story. I plan to retire from my JOB in a year and a half. I have already written fifty short stories. I am almost through my own self-paced apprenticeship. If I can become half the writer my writing champions are, I will be a good writer. Then I may be a great writer, and then I have a good shot at writing the perfect short story.

While I love to read, I suppose I love to write more.

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Thanks for your interest in my interests.

Terry