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National Novel Writing Month

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  • October 20, 2014 8:44 am

    Road Trip to NaNo: A Guide to Finding and Preserving Writing Inspiration

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    NaNoWriMo is an international event, and the stories being written every year reflect our hundreds of participating regions. We’re taking a Road Trip to NaNo to hear from our amazing volunteers and writers all around the world. Today, Megan and Kortney, our Municipal Liaison in the USA :: Arkansas :: Hot Springs/Little Rock region shares where to find inspiration… and how to sustain it:

    Megan: If you’re not from the area, you probably don’t realize that Arkansas is a beautiful state. We may not have big cities teeming with skyscrapers, but we make up for that with natural wonder. We have waterfalls, caves dripping with stalactites, and large stretches of deep, green valleys contrasted with tree-covered mountains. Even if you live in the capital, Little Rock, you can drive about thirty minutes in any direction and find yourself lost in nature.

    Growing up in Arkansas, I lived in a town that was as rural as you can get. I had thick forests on all sides of my house. Deer and bears would wander onto the lawn from time to time. I had to watch out for snakes hiding in high grass or even slipping into the house. Everyday I was surrounded by natural wonder. So what does living in a place like that do for the imagination of a child?

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  • October 18, 2014 9:00 am

    We Need Diverse Books: A Guide to Spotting and Growing Past Stereotypes

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    Throughout October, we’ll be partnering with We Need Diverse Books to bring you a series of blog posts full of helpful advice, tips, and suggestions for writing diversity convincingly and respectfully in your fiction—from people who know what they’re talking about. Today, Ellen Oh shares how to identify, then expand beyond stereotypes:

    One of the most common mistakes I see when people try to write diversely is that they fall into the practice of writing a positive stereotype. After all, if it’s positive, it can’t be a stereotype, right?

    Wrong.

    A stereotype is a positive or negative set of beliefs about the characteristics of a group of people. Just because it is positive, doesn’t make it any less problematic.

    Why?

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  • October 17, 2014 9:00 am

    Road Trip to NaNo: Flock with Writers of Different Feathers

    NaNoWriMo is an international event, and the stories being written every year reflect our hundreds of participating regions. We’re taking a Road Trip to NaNo to hear from our amazing volunteers and writers all around the world. Today, Gloria, our Municipal Liaison in the USA :: Texas :: Corpus Christi region shares why it’s important to flock with writers:

    Corpus Christi, Texas, is the “birdiest” city in the U.S. I know, it’s a very strange claim to fame, isn’t it? My hometown has more individual species of birds than any other city in the nation. Maybe it’s the warm waters along the Texas gulf coast that draw them here. Every autumn, the power lines, branches, and roof tops fill wing to wing with black birds.

    I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve never learned what species these black birds are. I just know that I’ve always loved their raucous din of chirping in the shopping centers. The seagulls, sandpipers, and hawks that stay here year round, soaring across rainbow sherbet sunsets to tease slow-draw photographers, will play host to all manner of hummingbirds and cardinals from up north.

    Truthfully, I don’t know if I’ve got the specifics right. I’ve never learned which birds are the ones who migrate here in the autumn. I don’t know if they get here in November or December. This is a great shame to me as I consider myself an obsessive researcher…

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  • October 16, 2014 11:55 pm

    Road Trip to NaNo: Writing Is an Adventure Into the Unknown

    NaNoWriMo is an international event, and the stories being written every year reflect our hundreds of participating regions. We’re taking a Road Trip to NaNo to hear from our amazing volunteers and writers all around the world. Today, Andy, our Municipal Liaison in the Mexico :: South region challenges you to venture into the unknown:

    Welcome to Mexico City! As one of the Big Cities of the world, we share many similarities with other, perhaps more fashionable destinations, like New York, London or Tokyo. But what we lack in popularity, we make up for with this: there is always something in Mexico City to pique your interest.

    Music? I’ve heard orchestras and rappers in opera halls. Plastic arts? We have more museums than any other city in the world. There are dancing halls dedicated exclusively to Charleston and swing, themed bars (like the one based around the Cthulhu mythos), book signings, board game tournaments, farmers’ markets and pretty much everything in between.

    How can I manage to know so much about this city? I don’t. Mexico City is, if anything, a place to get rid of the fear of the unknown.

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  • 8:41 am

    30 Covers, 30 Days: An Introduction

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    Attention, Wrimos! Ye Olde 30 Covers, 30 Days event is commencing as we speak! In fact, update: it has already commenced. It’s happening. You are a part of it now. Surprise.

    What is 30 Covers, 30 Days?

    Thirty lucky Wrimos will be selected to receive a shiny, unique cover for their 2014 NaNo-novel, designed in just 24 hours by one of the talented professional graphic designers that our amazing 30C30D coordinator, Debbie MIllman, has recruited this year.

    Then, every day in November, one of these covers will be posted for all the world to see here on the blog. You can take a gander at some of our past covers here.

    Tell me more about Debbie Millman. She sounds cool.

    Very astute. She is cool! Debbie Millman is a writer, educator, artist, brand consultant and host of the radio show Design Matters. She has been president of Sterling Brands for the last twenty years, President Emeritus of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and has run 30 Covers, 30 Days for the last two years.

    She’s rad. You can follow her on Twitter here.

    How do I get involved?

    Nominate your own novel, or the novel of a fellow Wrimo for a cover here. Authors are chosen from the pool of nominations we receive, so it can never hurt to try your luck.

    This year, the Young Writers Program will be sharing the nomination form with the NaNo participants. As you sally forth, please keep in mind the following things:

    • You do not have to share your real name on the nomination form. You are always free to offer a pen name.
    • Read over your form carefully before you submit it to make sure all the information appears the way that you want it to! You cannot edit your information after submitting it.
    • Want to design a book cover for a Wrimo? Can’t take the suspense of waiting to see if your novel will be receiving a cover from Debbie’s team? We highly suggest checking out the NaNo Artisans forum!

    I’ve nominated a novel! Now what?

    Give yourself a high five for us! We will make sure to let you know if your synopsis is sent to a graphic designer, and then again if it’s picked by that designer to get a cover!

    So sit tight, novelists. You’ll be hearing from us soon. We’ll have our people call your people; it will all be very official.

    Good luck! 

    — Gwen

  • October 15, 2014 9:24 am

    Road Trip to NaNo: The Right Way to Plan for Your Novel

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    NaNoWriMo is an international event, and the stories being written every year reflect our hundreds of participating regions. We’re taking a Road Trip to NaNo to hear from our amazing volunteers and writers all around the world. Today, Alejandro, our Municipal Liaison in the Central & South America :: Argentina region debates whether you should plan or not:

    Every year for the last five years or so, I’ve been getting an itch around October. I’d call it NaNoItch, but that sounds like a Russian illness, and it’ll probably get printed on a T-shirt or something… I digress.

    That itch gets scratched (a lot!) during November. But as I get older (and closer to marriage and fatherhood), finding the time to do NaNoWriMo gets more difficult. You know, it would be so easy to cheat and say I wrote that mammoth fantasy novel in just one month. But we don’t want to do that, right? The right way to cheat is to do all your planning months before. Piece of cake, right?

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  • October 14, 2014 9:01 am

    Road Trip to NaNo: Writing Requires Committment Without Excuses

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    NaNoWriMo is an international event, and the stories being written every year reflect our hundreds of participating regions. We’re taking a Road Trip to NaNo to hear from our amazing volunteers and writers all around the world. Today, Alyssa, one of our Municipal Liaisons in the South Africa :: Pretoria region shares why writing requires committment:

    Come closer to the heart and rhythm of Africa. You are welcome here for we are a rainbow nation brought together by a dream of freedom and equality for all. Being at the southernmost tip of Africa, we carry the continent on our shoulders and we do not shrug under its weight. This is South Africa and you are welcome. Here you will find ferocious writers and dancing women. You will find humour and comradeship. This is the spirit of not just my region, but of my country as well…

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  • October 13, 2014 1:12 pm

    Road Trip to NaNo: Uniting Description, Plot, and Motivation for Your Novel

    NaNoWriMo is an international event, and the stories being written every year reflect our hundreds of participating regions. We’re taking a Road Trip to NaNo to hear from our amazing volunteers and writers all around the world. Today, Sonia, our Municipal Liaison in the India region shares how to unite the diversity of description, plot, and motivation to write a great novel in November:

    India is a land of diversities: physical features that range from the Himalayas to the oceans, weather that traverses the extremities; and cultural differences that encompass dress, food and language. These dissimilarities aside, there are three topics that make most Indians’ hearts beat faster: Bollywood, politics and cricket.

    Bollywood, or How to Fill Your Novel with Song and Dance

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  • 9:01 am

    NaNoWriMo 2014: The Site Is Live!

    NaNoWriMo 2014 is finally live and ready for your novel! We are heart-stoppingly excited, and so thankful that you’ve been patient with us this year. As participant Kris Bower said, “NaNoWriMo always helps to bring the fun back.” So, in case you weren’t sure, it’s true! The fun is back!

    You have stories to tell. And like the very best of trusty sidekicks, we’ve been preparing all year to help you tell those tales. Here are just a few things we’ve gotten ready for you:

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  • October 12, 2014 9:00 am
    The new NaNoWriMo 2014 site is here and ready for your novels!
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  • October 11, 2014 9:00 am

    We Need Diverse Books: Novels that Get Representation Right

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    Throughout October, we’ll be partnering with We Need Diverse Books to bring you a series of blog posts full of helpful advice, tips, and suggestions for writing diversity convincingly and respectfully in your fiction—from people who know what they’re talking about. Today, Aisha Saeed spotlights great diverse books, and what you can learn from them:

    With all the important conversations about diversity happening among readers, writers, and the publishing industry, the number one question most authors have is: how can I write diversity—and do it right—without falling back on tired tropes and stereotypes?

    While there are many ways to prepare before diving into writing diverse characters, one of the best methods is to read the works of authors who have written such books successfully. Below are five books that feature diverse characters. Some are written by diverse authors, some are by people writing from outside their experiences, but all are done fairly and respectfully:

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  • October 10, 2014 9:30 am

    Road Trip to NaNo: Make Your Novel Waterproof

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    NaNoWriMo is an international event, and the stories being written every year reflect our hundreds of participating regions. We’re taking a Road Trip to NaNo to hear from our amazing volunteers and writers all around the world. Today, Liana, one of our Municipal Liaisons in the Philippines region shares how you can make your novel waterproof:

    Hello from the Philippines! We’re a country of over 7,000 islands, and though we lay claim to the title of “Typhoon Capital of the World,” we also have some of the richest coral reefs in the world, a culture where our way of saying “How do you do?” is asking whether you’ve eaten, and a festival somewhere in the country virtually every week of the year.

    So you can imagine that we’re all about living up the good things in spite of the bad. “The Filipino spirit is waterproof” has been our rallying cry every year once monsoon season starts. In fact, when Typhoon Haiyan hit us during the first week of NaNoWriMo last year, many of us kept chugging on, pounding out scenes and chapters in between sessions volunteering at relief centers or raising money to send to the affected provinces.

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