Friday, November 30, 2012

Goodbye to NaNoWriMo

Happy November 30th and congratulations to everyone who passed the 50,000-word mark today (or earlier)! Have any of you finished your novels this year? If so, how did they come out? And how do you feel about finally being done?

If you're searching for something to do with your manuscript and your new-found free time, Writer's Relief has an article that goes over the next steps needed to publish your work. There are four steps:

1. Take a break.
2. Use your break to do some research and prepare for revisions!
3. Roll up your sleeves and revise, revise, revise.
4. Be patient but determined when trying to get your work published.

Writer's Relief reminds us that the process of getting published "takes longer than one month, or even one year. There is no shortcut if you want to get paid up front for your writing by a traditional publisher."

For more about writing, editing, and publishing try one or more of these books:

So, You Want to Be a Writer?: How to Write, Get Published, and Maybe Even Make it Big! by Vicki Hambleton & Cathleen Greenwood.

Writing and Publishing: The Ultimate Teen Guide by Tina P. Schwartz

A Teen's Guide to Getting Published: Publishing for Profit, Recognition, and Academic Success by Jessica Dunn & Danielle Dunn

To Be A Writer: A Guide For Young People Who Want to Write and Publish by Barbara Seuling

Congratulations, writers! Now it's time to relax!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A big day for author birthdays!

Today is a big day for author birthdays! Three very famous children's writers were born on various November 29ths throughout history-- Louisa May Alcott (1832), C.S. Lewis (1898), and Madeleine L'Engle (1918). Those are some big names!

Why not check out a book by one of those big names? Here four by each author to get you started:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

The Chronicals of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle
The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L'Engle

...or stop by the library for lots more recommendations.

Happy November 29th!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Fault In Our Stars Movie Update

Hey The Fault In Our Stars fans! Remember the talk of a movie adaptation a few months ago?

This Hypable article, contains a video of an interview with Wyck Godfrey (the producer of the film, who's also responsible for the Twilight movies) who says in it, “It is the best book, it makes you rip your guts out, it makes you want to go out and live a better life. I love it, I can’t wait to make it” and “I’m producing it, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, who wrote 500 Days of Summer, wrote the script – it’s brilliant. I’m getting ready to hire a director, we’ve got all the actresses you would ever want to be in it, want to play Hazel Grace. So I’m excited about that.”

This is big news! Looks like it's really happening! Yay! Be sure to read the full article here!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NaNoWriMo! I almost forgot!

Today is the halfway point for those of you currently participating in National Novel Writing Month!

Because life is a little too crazy already this year, I have taken 2012 off from NaNoWriMo for the first time since 2005. While I am certainly a little upset about it, as a long-time participant, I'm still happy to be celebrating the novel-frenzy fun with any of you who are writing a novel this month.

For those not in the know, National Novel Writing Month is a "fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing." The goal is to write a 50,000-word (or longer) novel by 11:59:59pm on November 30.

"Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved." In November, you have permission to do a bad job and write only for the sake of finishing.

A little of my personal NaNoWriMo history:

Year #1 (2006): I was awesome at developing characters but terrible at keeping any kind of plot going for 50,000 words. The end product was mediocre (all things considered) but I wasn't about to go showing it off. Either way, I was DONE. I had just written my first novel!

Year #2 (2007): This year was a flop. My plot literally didn't exist. My characters just went to work, had lunch, and hung out with their friends. I would never let anybody even come close to reading this novel, and I think I may have actually deleted it from my computer. However, on November 30th, I'd finished, and I was now a two-time novelist!

Year #3 (2008): I didn't fully outline a plot but I knew I had to plan out some kind of direction for my story because I did not want a repeat of 2007. I had good characters (based on people I knew in real life, which was probably the best thing I could have done) and a lot of funny scenes, but I had only planned out a basic, overall idea for the plot and I had trouble stretching it all the way to 50,000 words. Because of this, I wound up with a lot of silly and sort of random scenes for length. But again, I finished and was now a THREE-BOOK AUTHOR!

Year #4 (2009): This year I did so much prep work. I typed up a 10-page outline with every scene I planned to include and I also decided to change genres! I moved from realistic fiction all the way to children's fantasy (maybe because I'd just read The Golden Compass and felt inspired). This was kind of fun and allowed a lot of creativity but was weird and kind of unnatural for me.

Year #5 (2010): This was a good year for NaNoWriMo. Even though my life seemed hectic, I had lots of writing time and, while I didn't create a masterpiece, I did an ok job in the end. Five time novelist!

Year #6 (2011): I took the same story idea from 2010's novel and completely re-wrote it, changing characters, scenes, setting, and developing ideas better and more deeply. This was probably my best novel of all, but around November 28th, I lost enthusiasm and had trouble wrapping it up and tying together loose ends. I started to feel bitter toward the novel and thus, with only two days left of NaNoWriMo, I called it quits.

If you're writing a novel for 2012, I'd love to hear about it! We're having a NaNoWriMo discussion at the library tonight at 7pm! Come down and talk about your struggles and successes! I'd love to chat!
Copyright 2009 Laura Druda