I’m writing about NaNoWriMo – the national (although now international) novel writing month – of November. And no, I haven’t flipped the pages of my calendar too fast. Because NaNoWriMo is now virtually a year-round event, and the warmups have already begun!
To bring WriMo newbies up to speed – NaNoWriMo is designed to get writers off to a running start on a novel by asking them to put 50,000 words down in a single 30-day period, from November 1-30. The point is to juice up our creativity and turn off our nagging internal editors – those voices in our heads that tell us what we’re doing doesn’t make sense, our spelling/grammar/plot structure are terrible, that we’ll never, ever be able to write an entire book. Instead, put those voices to work spitting out words so fast our fingers can barely keep up with them.
You say you don’t hear voices in your head? Sure, you do. You’ve just been afraid to admit it. Until now.
So join the hundreds of thousands of participants yearly who make the NaNoWriMo pledge to make those voices earn their keep, starting today (October 25) at the free webinar, “How to Push Through to the End, with We Need Diverse Books,” from 11 a.m. – noon Pacific Daylight Time with authors Adam Silvera and Stacey Lee. Log into the website for details.
Yes, a free webinar. Because everything is free at NaNoWriMo, a bona fide nonprofit organization. (Although they love donations. Not to mention purchases of cool merchandise advertising the event!)
Then keep looking to the site for events with actual people in your region. In my part of North Texas, the Dallas Public Library’s central branch will host members of the DFW Writers’ Workshop, ready to provide help with outlining our books, creating characters, finding time to write, or whatever's bugging potential writers. Suitable for teens and adults (must be at least 13 to participate in NaNoWriMo), in the third-floor Conference Room B of the library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Still in North Texas, the DFW Rhinos will host a potluck lunch from 1 – 3 p.m. this Saturday, October 29, at Hurst Christian Church, 745 Brown Trail, in Hurst. Then on Halloween, Rhinos hold a midnight write-in from 8 p.m. October 31 to 6 a.m. November 1, also at Hurst Christian Church. See the DFW Rhinos Facebook page and the “regions” button at the NaNoWriMo site for more events.
Want more help? It’s OK to go outside NaNoWriMo. The Writer’s Garret, 10809 Garland Road, Dallas, has some in-depth workshops great for novelists. Consider “Developing Characters,” November 1, from 7-10 p.m. with writer Sanderia Faye (The Mourner's Bench) and/or “Never Let Me Go: How to Craft your Chapter’s Beginning and End,” November 13, from 1-4 p.m. with writer Weina Dai Randel (The Empress of Bright Moon). For each workshop, the early bird cost for Writer’s Garret members (through October 30) is $45. Regular price is $60 for members, $75 for nonmembers. See the site to join and/or register for classes.
You're probably wondering: is there life outside of NaNoWriMo? Strangely enough, yes, but some of it is moving along quickly. Today, October 25, (at 11:59 p.m. CDT) is the deadline for the Writers Guild of Texas flash fiction contest. See the WGT site for details and entry fee for non-WGT members.
Today is also the regularly-scheduled last-Tuesday scene read for the Dallas Screenwriters Association. Although only DSA members may bring scenes, the reading is free and open to the public, at Half Price Books, 5803 E. Northwest Highway, Dallas. Castings start at 6 p.m., readings about 7 p.m.
Finally (for now), I was excited to see that the Writers League of Texas from Austin will bring its Texas Writes programming to a couple of small-town libraries in the deep Piney Woods of my native East Texas in the coming year. Librarians interested in bringing a free half day of presentations and panel discussions by accomplished writers to their communities of less than 12,000 people may contact the WLT for an application.