By Courtney Clark, MLIS, M.Ed., Sangaree Branch Manager
Do you have the next great American novel sitting in your head, waiting to be written? If so, consider joining NaNoWriMo in November. If you’re not familiar with the organization, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. You can learn how it works here or follow the step below:
- Sign up for NaNoWriMo before November 1 and get your profile started. You’ll earn virtual badges to help keep you motivated as you’re writing.
- Get Prepared. The NaNoWriMo website has lots of resources to get you ready to write your novel, including blog entries, videos by famous authors, and writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
- Start writing on November 1. You can update your word count on the NaNoWriMo website as often as you’d like (or not at all).
- When you get a case of writer’s block, use NaNoWriMo’s inspiration, your BCLS writer’s groups, or any of the BCLS resources on writing to help you get un-stuck.
- When you’ve finished your novel (or at least gotten 50,000 words in), upload it to NaNoWriMo’s word counter to join the winner’s circle. All winner’s circle members are entered to win prizes!
If you have any questions about NaNoWriMo or how to use their website, visit their FAQ section.
Books on Writing provided by BCLS
The library is a great resource to help get you started on writing your novel. There are many titles available through BCLS, including:
- Writing fiction for dummies by Randall Scott Ingermanson
- Steering the craft : a twenty-first-century guide to sailing the sea of story by Ursula K. Le Guin
- How to write anything : a complete guide by Laura Marie Brown
- Wonderbook : the illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction by Jeff VanderMeer
- Writing fantastic fiction by Jennifer Joline Anderson
- Writer to writer : from think to ink by Gail Carson Levine
- Just write : here’s how! By Walter Dean Myers
- Your story : how to write it so others will want to read it, a guide to writing memoir by Joanne Fedler
- Story genius : how to use brain science to go beyond outlining and write a riveting novel (before you waste three years writing 327 pages that go nowhere) by Lisa Cron
- The Jane Austen Writers’ Club : inspiration and advice from the world’s best-loved novelist by Rebecca Smith
- Crafting dynamic dialogue : the complete guide to speaking, conversing, arguing, and thinking in fiction by Writer’s Digest
- The art of songwriting by Andrew West
- The Word Rhythm Dictionary: a resource for writers, rappers, poets, and lyricists by Timothy Polashek
There are several writer’s groups around the Lowcountry to assist you in the writing process and get helpful feedback from other writers. There are also several writing groups taking place at your local Berkeley County Library branch.
- Oct. 21st – Sangaree Library, 10 am – 12 pm
- Nov. 1st – Daniel Island Library, 4:30 – 6:30 pm
- Nov. 18th – Sangaree Library, 10 am – 12 pm
Other organizations also host writer’s group meetings, including the Lowcountry Creative Writing Forum and the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts Writing Groups.