Author Archives: thatwordsmith
Carol and I promise that we haven’t forgotten about the blog. Life has just been high maintenance recently, complete with moving, visits from friends, and working extra shifts as retail nears fourth quarter. But what I’ve been planning to write about has been lurking in the back of my mind all the while. Between another book review, writing about the correlation between writing and music, or the steadily approaching Nanowrimo, I’ve been pretty indecisive. I want to keep things fresh, so I wanted to veer away from another review for at least another post and my thoughts on music/writing are still forming into something organized. Due to my last post being about not overworking yourself into writing, I wanted to steer clear of Nanowrimo, which is sort of the exact opposite of my last post. But in the end, I feel that Nanowrimo might prove to be a fun challenge to some. So, my apologies for jumping from one end of the spectrum to the other.
If you’ve never heard of it, you’re probably wondering what Nanowrimo is.
It stands for National Novel Writing Month. It has a few events spaced across the year – Script Frenzy in April, Camp Nanowrimo twice in June and August, and Nanowrimo in November. Each event challenges writers everywhere to write a piece of fiction 50,000 words in one month.
No, my finger didn’t get stuck on the zero key. 50,000 words.
Thus the reason why I was hesitant to mention it. That’s a lot of words, especially to produce in thirty or so days. I went in with only two weeks of preparation, and while I was happy that I beat it, I never cashed in on the prize I wanted so badly because the story still wasn’t close to being ready. I want to tell people about it while they still have a little bit of time to prepare something if they’re interested, especially because the November prizes are pretty sweet.
I can’t say much for Script Frenzy because I honestly haven’t looked much into it. But Nanowrimo in November is so far the only event to reward you with a paperback version of your book if you’re able to get 50,000 words down before the month is up.
For the few years that I’ve known about it, Nanowrimo and CreateSpace have been awesome enough to award the winners of Nano a free paperback copy of their finished product. After you complete the challenge and verify with Nano, they give you until June to take your first draft and tweak and polish it to perfection and find a cover. Once you’re ready, put the code Nano gives you in the CreateSpace website and you’re all set to go.
In the past you weren’t supposed to sell that copy (and if it’s the only one why would you want to?), but I’ve been glancing through the articles and it seems like they’ve decided to be even more giving. Last year they gave five free copies and advice on self publishing. So far, I’ve been unable to confirm what this year will be like, but I’m sure posts will appear on their website the closer to the date we get.
For anyone who has a novel or a super long fiction piece they’ve mapped out but haven’t actually started on, this might be the time for that story to shine. If this year won’t work for you or you’re simply not interested, I would suggest swinging by the site around that time of year just because it’s so much fun to talk to a bunch of writers all gathered and active at once. People can exchange information like tools that help them write. It was in the forums there that I found out about Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die site; I’m a person who is all about trying to beat timed goals and so it’s perfect for breaking me out of writer’s block and getting first drafts done.
For more solid, official information: nanowrimo.org will be where you want to go.
For “putting the ‘prod’ in productivity,” check out writeordie.com for a little tough love.
November is about three months away. It’s a nice chunk of time to get the mental ball rolling, if nothing else. Whether you participate or not, keep calm and keep writing!
[Image Credit: Geograph (by NZ5048)]
Just last week, I found myself huddled in the dark and watching the sci-fi movie Chronicle, which came out this May. The movie itself had an awesome concept – three teenagers stumble into a hole and make a discovery that gives them telekinetic abilities and changes their lives forever. It’s a great idea, but the execution wasn’t the best (I hear the film ‘In Time’ with Justin Timberlake suffered the same fate). Still, if you like everyday people becoming ‘super people,’ it’s definitely worth renting for a few bucks. I will warn you, though, it is shot from the first person camera angle (like Cloverfield). If you can get around both those things, I think it’s a decent hour and a half movie.
One of the conversations the characters had has been bouncing around in my brain for days now. While developing their powers, one of them mentions their abilities are like a muscle; they have to work it out gradually to make it grow stronger, but not to overwork it or they risk only hurting themselves.
As I sat on my couch and plugged numbers into Web Sudoku, I realized the idea can be applied to writing as well. While some people say it’s good to write every day, one must take writing advice as they would a dieting regime: you have to find something that works for you. Writing five hundred words every day religiously may work for you. It may also drain you and make writing a chore if you’re forcing yourself.
My suggestion? Start out small. A word, a list, or a sentence is just as acceptable as a paragraph or a page or two if that’s all your muses are throwing at you (or if they aren’t throwing at all). Don’t beat yourself up too badly if you have a few days where nothing comes to you; taking a break every once in a while to let your brain and creativity rest can do just as much good.
This is J.B. and I’m glad to be here, saying (hopefully) helpful, inspiring things and whatnot. I figured I’d start out with something easy. So for now, I’ll just talk a bit about Emily Giffin’s novel Something Borrowed, since I just finished it a few days ago. I knew about its movie adaptation first, which had the same title and its “iconic” ring on the cover. There were a few changes from the book to the movie, but from what I can tell, it’s just to make characters easier to understand without knowing all that extra background info you get from the book.
Although I felt it was overall a pretty good novel – the characters are believable, the sex scenes are classy enough and don’t remind you of a cheap romance novel from Wal-Mart, and it has its highly amusing moments – I probably won’t pick up the second book, Something Blue. I was far more interested in knowing how the story’s crisis would come to a conclusion than I was in the journey for a good while. Though I would love to tell you that it’s the best thing since sliced bread, I don’t like lying (most of the time, anyway). If you like chick lit and you like being in the mind of an underdog with a bossy friend you’d like to backhand, go ahead and pick it up. But if you’re only mildly interested, go and rent the movie. If you want to know more about the characters, pick up the book from Half Priced Books or Amazon (like I did, to save a few bucks 😀 ).
[Image credit: Wikipedia.com]