Archive for October, 2013

NaNoWriMo prep

October 27, 2013

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? It starts in just 5 short days!  Have you plotted everything out yet?  Have you figured out a schedule so that you can get in your word count every day? Are you stocked up on your caffeinated beverage of choice? 

You haven’t?  What is wrong with you?  Panic!

Well, not really.  I haven’t yet prepared for NaNo yet either! Ok, so I started a little.  I have an idea in mind and have fleshed out the characters a bit, but that was because it was the story I was going to do last year. (I switched stories at the last minute)  It might be a good time to sit down and at least get an idea for your story.  Maybe think a little about your characters and a little about the plot so you have someplace to go when you sit at your keyboard on November 1st.  You don’t want to sit down and freeze– drool is not very attractive!

One suggestion I have is write a little bit in your character’s voice so you are not just meeting them for the first time when you sit down to write.  This does not count towards your word goal, but it sure will make it easier to get into your character’s head when you are writing about them come November.

Another suggestion is to come up with a plot and some major plot points.  Having an idea for a world or some characters in difficult situations is all well and good, but that is not the same as having a plot.  I discovered this 2 years ago when doing NaNo.  I had a vague idea of some characters and the word they lived in, but so what?  I didn’t know what these characters were going to do with themselves or what the point of my story was.  If I were a discovery writer that would be all well and good, but alas, I am not.  Not knowing where I am going makes me freeze up.  Doing a writing exercise without a main plot in mind to start with is all well in good, but for me 50,000 words without a plan is a daunting task!

Here is a quick rundown of a few of the places that I go to for writing information (with a few duplications from my earlier NaNo post)

Writing excuses podcasts:

These are just 15 minutes long and include various topics (you can hear all of the archived podcasts) by published authors.

 *You can listen to these, get great advice, and get all excited to write!!


Jim Butcher’s Livejournal:

It has been a while since he has posted, but the advice that he gives on plotting is great. I also think that Jim Butcher is my favorite author, so if I could write anything close to as well as him I would be so happy!


Michael Stackpole’s 21 days to a novel (ebook):

This ebook leads you through character development and plotting before you start your novel.  It may be a little late for this now, but this is what I am using to get ready.  You could do this in fast forward if you have time, or maybe take the main points.


Terribleminds by Chuck Wendig:

Author Chuck Wendig blogs about writing and writers.  Warning, he is also very good at swearing, often in creative, but entertaining, ways.


David Farland writing tips:

Author David Farland (Dave Wolverton) gives writing tips that can be delivered to your inbox daily.

Get yourself into a writing state of mind.  Work on your writing every day of the week until Nano starts and then write every day for a month!  I need to take my own advice, so this evening I will sit down in my local cafe and work more on my story and characters.

I intend to make this more than just a mental exercise.  I want to make NaNoWriMo productive!  The wonderful thing about it is you can make it whatever you want it to be!  Write fanfic! Write a memoir!  Retell fairy tales! Write that novel you have been jonesing to put down on paper!

Just write!


Buying books vs. borrowing from the library

October 10, 2013

I posted before about ebooks vs. print books but now I want to focus on buying books vs. borrowing from the library.  I am a librarian, so I obviously want to encourage people to use the library (it is good for my future employment) but I feel as though I can write on this subject based on my patterns as a reader.

Cost: The library itself cost money and is funded through taxpayer dollars, so you do not have to pay for the books (yay free!)  If you want to look at it another way, you have already paid for the books so you might as well take advantage of what you have paid for. Of course, if you get the book used or get a good deal on an ebook it might be worth it to grab it while you can so that you can add it to your collection.

Availability: Unlike the bookstore or an ebook provider, the selection at libraries can vary greatly depending on the library system (though the bookstores have less variety these days). I have lived places with great libraries and some places with not-great libraries.  If you live in a place with a great library, like where I live now, the books you want will be available for borrowing within a day or two.  If you live where I used to live the library may not have everything you are looking for or they may take a long time to deliver a book that you ordered.  Also, if a book is new it might take quite a while to get your hands on it for one of two reasons: everyone else is trying to get it or the library has not ordered it or processed it yet.

Space savings: My husband and I used to buy all of the books we wanted and rarely went to the library, which is a shame because we were poor college students. (We also should have known better because we were in library school students) This has lead to our current status of owning way too many books. If we had utilized the library more then perhaps we would have less (but that is not a guarantee)

Limited Risk: I mainly use the library to get books from authors I have never read or am unsure of (I do not want to buy a book if I am not sure that I will like it). This may seem as though we are not supporting the authors but the book was purchased by the library and if it is popular then the likelihood of the library purchasing the future books by that author will probably increase. If I find an author that I really like where I have read their books from the library I usually purchasing a book from them.

If there are books that we know we are going to want we just go ahead and buy them. Books by Jim Butcher or George R.R. Martin are bought automatically on their release date.   Lately, if we see that we can get the ebooks on special we buy those as well.

My husband and I utilize both the bookstore and the library to feed our addiction.  What about you?