It's official. Only two more weeks until the most glorious month of the year: National Novel Writing Month, also known as November. NaNoWriMo (in order to save four syllables) is a month-long writing fest for anyone who wants to write a novel.
To participate in NaNoWriMo, you must first create an account on one of two sites: the NaNoWriMo Young Writer's Program (for anyone under eighteen) or... just... NaNoWriMo. To win all you have to do is meet your word goal during the thirty-day period. It's great for both kids and adults, and being able to chat with other crazy awesome authors over the forums for a whole month is priceless fuel for the other 335 days of the year! Another thing that makes it great is the pep-talks given throughout the month by published authors. They're sort of like blog posts, only targeted to the writing-induced exhaustion phase you're likely facing at that stage of the NaNoWriMo journey.
And if that's not enough, let's not forget the winner goodies. ;)
For me it's great, but some people argue that it's just a waste of time. I disagree. If you love writing (or maybe even think you might), then you can't go wrong with NaNoWriMo.
Now let's review why participating in NaNoWriMo is a good thing:
1.) You get to bring a whole world to life over the course of thirty days... and even if what you wrote isn't any good, you'll learn a lot just by doing it.
2.) Fellowship with other writers over the forums. It's a very supportive community full of fresh new ideas and all things books and writing.
3.) It may just be the "oomph" you need to get that long-thought-about story idea written down. I didn't start writing with NaNoWriMo, but it's one of the reasons I've kept at it.
So give it a shot! NaNoWriMo is for everyone.
It's a necessary but unfortunate task.
Lately I've been editing Fires in the Night—the third book in the Warriors of Aralan series. Editing is probably my least favorite part of being an author, because as I'm sure some of you know, editing your own work is ten times harder than editing anyone else's.
My current method for editing goes as follows: I print off the first draft so that I can read and mark it up with a red pen while someone else (namely, my mom) reads it out loud. Hearing my writing read out loud helps me to pinpoint awkward sentences or places where I could have chosen better wording.
That's the way I edit, but there's other ways:
• You can change the font it was written in to make the manuscript look different, so errors are easier to see.
• Going with the above, you can then print it off and read it in a different environment (say... a coffee shop. I hear they're great for writers). Editing it somewhere other than the place you wrote it will help you see mistakes.
• I've also heard reading it backwards helps, but I can't attest to this fact. If you're the kind of person that writes chapters out of order, this might be a really good idea.
• This is more of a tip than a way to edit, but be your own toughest critic. I'm always asking myself, "Is this necessary?" If it's just a detail that makes a sentence too wordy and in no way advances the plot, then cut it. Oftentimes whole sentences or even chapters have to go when I ask myself that simple question. No, I'm not heartless. I know how much it hurts, but in the immortal words of Nike: Just do it. Your future readers will thank you!
Now, attack that diamond-in-the-rough and make it shine!
Any questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you!
Welcome to Katelyn Buxton Books! I'm a Christian author and blogger, with a passion for writing stories that are not just enjoyable, but also lead people closer to Jesus. Feel free to look around, and enjoy your stay!