Friday, October 16, 2015

Get your write on this NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party
  • What: Tips and tricks for writers; light refreshments
  • When: 5:30-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19
  • Where: Bay County Public Library, at 898 W. 11th St., Panama City
  • Details: or call 850-522-2120
PANAMA CITY — Writers, it’s time to limber up those typing or scribing fingers, bulk up the brain muscles (or whatever) and get ready for the best month of the year.

November is just around the corner, and that means you’re invited (in fact, encouraged — nay, required!) to set your mind to writing a novel during the 30 days of National Novel Writing Month, or “NaNoWriMo.”

“NaNoWriMo challenges people to write 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November,” said Regina Burgess, Community Relations and Marketing Coordinator for the Northwest Regional Library System. “Crazy? Yes. Doable? Absolutely!”

My recent novel of zombie survival, “This Mortal Flesh,” began as a NaNoWriMo project. I’m planning to write the bulk of a new steampunk novel in November.

As Regina notes, more than 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published, including Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants,” Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus,” and many more. Last year, NaNoWriMo welcomed 351,142 writers from around the world. Of those participants, 58,917 hit their goals, completing a 50,000-word draft of a novel in November 2014.

If you’ve always said you wanted to do so too, then now’s the time.

To help locals get the ink flowing, the Bay County Public Library will host a NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party from 5-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19. I will join local authors Michael Lister, Sharman Ramsey and others during that period to share some helpful writing tips and prompts. Friends of the Bay County Public Libraries will supply light refreshments.

Attendees may also enter a drawing for three gift boxes, each of which includes goodies and the book that started it all: “No Plot, No Problem: A Low-Stress High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days” by NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty.

The library will also host “Come Write In” sessions 5-7 p.m. each Monday in November, with library staff on hand for support and encouragement; participants are welcome to bring their own refreshments.

Finally, the library will have a “Thank God It’s Over” party 5-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 to celebrate finishing (or at least attempting to finish) your novels. Again, Friends of the Bay County Public Libraries will supply light refreshments.

 “We have some staff members who are going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year,” Regina said. “I’m one of them, and I am both looking forward to it and scared out of my wits! So far, I have no idea what I’m going to write about or even what genre I’ll attempt. But the unknown is half the fun!”

In writing, it’s about the journey as much as the destination. Come with us into the trackless unknown.

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