I’m participating for the FIRST TIME in NANOWRIMO, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month and I am SO very excited about it.
Now I’ve made some half-hearted attempts at writing in the past but the more I’ve started beta-reading for authors, the more I’ve come to think that “Hey, maybe I could do this.”
Said every aspiring author, ever.
This time, I’m doing it. I’ve made my own calendar goals and outline and everything. But upon more digging and more NANO prep, I realized writing a real and intentional book is so much bigger than READING A BOOK.
But that also may be because I’m attempting to write something of the caliber of the Hunger Games right out the gate. What’s the saying—aim for the moon and land among the stars? I aiming for Naboo and hopefully I won’t land near Emperor Palpatine.
As a beta-reading editor though, I’ve learned a lot with and from my authors, whom I’ve come to care deeply for. One of my authors, recommended a book to me that has changed the way I look at commercial fiction writing, how I help authors and how I plan to write my next book.
It’s called STORY FIX by Larry Brooks.
I wanted to inhale it but I couldn’t. I’m a speed reader. But this I couldn’t speed read through because it was SO dense with actual writing insights that I had to go back and re-read and re-read with light bulbs going off ALL OVER THE PLACE.
I read the e-book version and made a TON of notes on my phone. I’m ordering the physical book because I want to slather it in sticky notes.
When I finished this book, I discovered that Larry has authored a couple of other writing reference books. I snagged those as well and was able to get through those a little faster.
Larry is verbose. He love analogies. Some of which are painfully long but intentional in driving a home a point. He used some of the same analogies in the books in case an author only picks up one, so I was able to skim those parts and therefore the reading was faster.
The reason I’m even raving about these books is because most writing advice out there is vague, unhelpful, un-actionable and often times, just bad.
Larry’s books offer actionable advice, filters through which to run your book ideas, principals and structures off which to hinge your creative story. He counters the idea that using a general model disrupts the creative process and in fact gives your creative lasting impact and the platform it deserves.
He explains the WHY behind certain writing strategies do or don’t work.
This is my realm. I need to know why and how. Everything else is unhelpful to my left-brain.
So needless to say, my NANOWRIMO story outline and prep work just got way more intense. I have excel spreadsheets with my outline of dramatic arcs, pinch points, Plot Points, and ending planned out. I’ve built the model after running my ideas through the filters. Now I just need to add the trimmings once November 1st rolls around.
If you can only pick up 1 or 2 of the books before Nov 1st, I’d recommend Story Fix and and Story Physics in that order.
You can get them here:
If you are looking for a community to discuss your #NANOWRIMO experience with, a place to receive encouragement, or if you are nervous you’ll get stuck along the way (like I am) then I would encourage you to jump into the She Would Read Society on GoodReads and Facebook. There will be specific NANOWRIMO threads in those groups. Just sign up for the newsletter to join them. It's free and I don't send spam.
I’d love to take this journey with you! You can find me on nanowrimo.org as shewouldread, of course. Reach out!! Let’s be buddies. We can whine about how much coffee and chai we’ve consumed and how hard writing is together!! Come on, it’ll be fun!
Are there any tools or resources that you are using that I’ve not heard of? I’d love to hear about them!!