Friday, November 03, 2006

It's a fine month for writing

I know a lot of readers of this blog are also writers -- I am, too! If you've ever felt like there's a novel inside of you dying to get out, this month is the time to write it. That's because November is National Novel Writing Month, and every year, NaNoWriMo puts out a challenge to all those budding novelists in the world to write a WHOLE novel (well, at least 50,000 words of it) in one month. This is my second year taking up the NaNoWriMo challenge, and I'm thrilled! NaNoWriMo even has a special section for young writers where you can feel right at home.

Feel nervous about writing a whole novel in one month? Me too. But since I did it last year, I know I can do it again. When you break down the words into 30 days, it means you have to write about 1700 words a day -- that's about 6 pages in a word processor. You don't have to worry about whether what you write is good (although I'm sure it is!) as long as you pound out enough words. So even though I'm an editor, I tell the little editor inside of me to be quiet during the month of November and let me JUST write. There will be plenty of time to edit during the rest of the year.

Not ready to tackle a novel? Or thinking, "been there, done that, now what about PUBLISHING?" Ah, I'm glad you asked. I've been wanting an opportunity to plug the fabulous book A Teen's Guide to Getting Published by Jessica and Danielle Dunn. I've read a lot of books that have tips for getting published, and this one is definitely one of the best. It's written by former teen authors and reading it is like having a conversation with an expert who just wants to share all her secrets with you. There are also whole sections about different markets that welcome kids' and teens' writing and there are tips for being a teen writer for adult markets as well. The book covers writers' guidelines, starting writing groups, copyrights, and more. It includes interviews with successful teen authors and editors who share their secrets. What's more, the book is so well organized that you'll find exactly what you're looking for without trouble. Check it out!

Happy writing and publishing!

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