Sunday February 25

NaNo Support 2017

on November 1st, 2017 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

I’d love to encourage you as you work toward writing 50,000 words of your novel this month. Come to this page to visit and ask questions, share your successes, and let us know how you’re doing.

Writing prompts are available.

Looking for a write-in to get those word counts up? Or maybe you just want to be challenged to write nonstop for thirty minutes. Although I’m not participating in NaNo this year, I plan to host at least one write-in during the month.

I’ll post the day and time here, but if anyone is looking for a particular day or time, let me know.


Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month


5 Responses to “NaNo Support 2017”

  1. Ian Modjo says:

    This looks like fun….please count me in

  2. Darien says:

    Beth, my Internet is messed up, but I am doing nano. I’m already thinking of your prompts. Did a ton of plotting in October. So far so good! I’m at 14223 so far, lots of late nights, lol!

    Thanks as always! You’re the bomb!!!

  3. "Pete Moss" says:

    As a recalcitrant writer I would suggest would-be writers worry firstly about writing something intriguing, interesting and different. As a former newspaper editor, feature writer and political op-ed columnist, I tell those who come to me for advice just to sit down and write — and realize it’s only the first draft. and when you think you’re done, read it aloud to yourself before putting another set of eyes on it (always). Don’t worry where commas belong according to the elitist English so-called experts. Some of the worst, most boring articles I ever read were submitted to me by high school English teachers. They took me 30 minutes or an hour to clean up. I have recently started my second novel (spy thriller). Don’t tell me where commas should be. You weren’t there, I was much of the time. You have no clue where the pause should be. Don’t tell me where semi-colons should be. I know where I want that break to be. Does Cormac McCarthy use many quotations? Did Jack Kerouac or Lawrence Ferlinghetti follow your accepted rules? The most imperative trait a writer can possess is originality and imagination above all else. Don’t let elitist “writers” beat you over the head with their rules. Don’t let them browbeat you with their condescension. AGAIN — be original and different … unlike current Hollywood screenwriters.

    • Phil H says:

      Whoa, I made it through the part that made sense before the elitist bashing. Elmore Leonard will tell you not to let the rules get in the way of story telling. Vonnegut will tell you where to put that half a colon. Write to write, indeed. But one must have some sense of the rules to break them. McCarthy and that lot rejected quotation marks, However he didn’t invent it any more than Joyce or Williams or Eddie Van Halen invented tapping. I am in complete agreement with not allowing the “rules of writing” as put forth by famous writers who do not heed their own advice to color one’s work. But reviling condescension with condescension? It buries the good advice in the manure of opposing elitisms. Picasso couldn’t have been Picasso if he had no grasp of technique, nor Monet nor Debussy. And therein lies the issue. When does self indulgence and/or trendy-ism, the urge to be different for the sake of it, rather than add to the artistic vocabulary become a visible line? As DeBussy said, “Works of art make rules. Rules do make works of art.” But one should appreciate other viewpoints. Boring, academic or otherwise.I raised a lawyer who will tell you in some writing the comma is legally inclusive or exclusive. And Boring as hell. But it has to be where it is. Write like you mean it. Amen. But leave criticism off the table in discussions of style. Wars have been fought over less. And we can do without all that.

  4. “Pete,” I don’t imagine that you’re saying that good content and good mechanics are mutually exclusive. For readers to enjoy a piece of writing, the content has to be interesting and the mechanics have to be clear enough to communicate the content. For fiction, story is important, but it certainly isn’t everything. You mentioned having to clean up boring articles. But many editors have to do that as well as clean up incomprehensible passages. If readers can’t understand the text, the exciting topic isn’t so exciting to the reader.

    Yes, writers shouldn’t worry about punctuation on an early draft, but eventually it does need to be addressed. And while creativity is crucial, so is clarity. Throwing commas and semicolons in willy-nilly—or withholding them when they’re needed—can do great harm to a story. As Phil pointed out concerning the comma in legal matters, punctuation can be critical. It can also ease flow, it can create or influence mood, and it can keep readers on track.

    Telling writers, especially those new to the craft, to sit down and write is good advice. But it’s not the only advice writers need. They also need to learn their craft, and punctuation and grammar are part of that craft. Maybe grammar and punctuation rules are lessons for a different time, but they’re necessary lessons all the same. A pilot doesn’t learn only how to put his plane into the air—he learns how to bring it back to Earth. Writers need to learn how to manipulate their words to create effects, to inform readers and to stir emotions, and punctuation and grammar rules help us to do those tasks. A cool plot or fascinating topic needs supporting elements to make it effective.

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