Month: September 2016

Contemplating NaNoWriMo 2016

Are you doing it this year? NaNoWriMo, I mean? If there is anyone among us who doesn’t know by now, I’m talking of National Novel Writing Month. It’s November by the way and almost at our doorstep. First of all, let’s hear it for the People at NaNoWriMo.org. They deserve the capitalization. They are smart, witty, and inspiring while coordinating thousands and thousands of volunteers and participants around the world. You’ll love the NaNoWriMo community. I have participated in other writing fora, but none of them reach NaNoWriMo’s ankles. There are actually pep talks worth reading and they actually leave you feel pepped. The statistics and motivational badges are addicting as is the acceptance that as long as you are putting pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard), you are doing something right. Then there’s the writing part. Yup, you still need to sit down and pound the keyboard, croaking out word after word. The result may or may not be a finished story – or the much coveted novel – but simply working …

Words, words, words

I often emphasize a book’s story as the primary feature of a given book. The story is the initial joy in a reading experience, especially when it draws the reader in and along for the ride. However, in deconstructing a book, it all comes down to words. A story is in essence one word after the other. In some stories, the words are simply the medium of communication, but in other stories, the words themselves are an art form. These stories beg to be read slowly with minute concentration or even read aloud. Many books that achieve that lyrical quality are written in bygone times, before the speedy writing on computer keyboards, before autocorrect, and without the competition of TV and the internet. The old-fashioned words and their voluptuousness are part of these books’ charm. The term ”slower times” is on my lips, and perhaps there is a modicum of truth to that term. There was no constant word count to strive for and perhaps more emphasis on finding that specific word with all the …