Sunday, September 6, 2009

Know A Young Person In K-12 Who Likes To Write? Free Contest!

Send your young friend or relative to
http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/
Or, tell a teacher!

 National Novel Writing Month gives all sorts of freebies to a classroom that participates, to encourage young writers and teachers who adopt the project in class. If the class isn't participating, a youth can still sign up! It's free, and fun! Parents, would you like to see your child learn to like writing? There might be motivation in the number of young people that write 50,000 words every November.

 For you adults who always wanted to write a novel and never got around to it, join about 250,000 people who will attempt it [or more] in 2009! Like, me!

 "You?!" You might say. "Ah, but Dannis, you finished a book. You wrote 13 horse-chokers in one series, 6 in another, and no publisher will read 'em because they're so THICK!!"

 Well, er, I just keep on writing. So why am I doing it? For fun!!! But, most of us have never written one, and it's our first time. Most of us won't have a clue how to do this thing. But, we'll be doing it together with people from all over the world. Isn't that romantic? 250,000 of us, writing away after midnight on Nov 1st, 2009! There are forums, so if you get frustrated, there are plenty of folks who can give you that little bit of encouragement... "Oh, don't give up! I felt that way yesterday, but today I figured out how to get Mary out of that swamp...."

 If you try and don't make it, well, there are a lot of people who will try and not make it. Some decide they don't like the writing life [that's ok]. Some end up with a short story they thought would bloom into a book [that's happened to me, plenty of times! It may happen in November, but let's think positive, ok?]. And, some get a huge case of the dreaded Writer's Block. But, you'll never know if you don't try.

 Nobody has to read it. You can verify your word count by using Find/Replace to gibberize your manuscript before copying it into the Word Count Machine at http://nanowrimo.org, so even though the Word Count Machine forgets about it after it counts, you won't have any fears of someone mysteriously reading/copying/revealing your manuscript to All Those Who Might Laugh. [We're all scared of THAT crowd, aren't we? Even if they probably only lurk in the imaginations of writers].

 But, what if you do it? You stick it out until Nov 31, and voila!! The Word Count Machine tells you that you wrote exactly 50,000 words!! Then, Amazon [you know....http://www.amazon.com, that HUGE online bookstore that also sells about everything else, but they started with books]-YES, Amazon, they'll email you instructions on how to get a FREE proof copy of your new book!!

 What's a proof copy? It's a real, perfect-bound [like a paperback book] book you can show to people and hold in your hands! There's no thrill like seeing it, holding it, and YOU wrote it! That feeling of awe, disbelief, and...pride [heaven forbid! Sin!!] washes over you, and you go around whistling and smiling all day until everyone who knows you thinks you went daft. If you like it, you can say yes and Amazon will put it on their web site. People can buy it. If they do, you get a percentage. You set the price your book will sell for.

 Now, if you do this, will you make a million bucks like a movie star?! No. I've made about $5 in royalties so far, including eBook sales on Amazon Kindle [another way to get seen for free]. But, if you do it, you can tell your friends and family about it, and they might buy it. My doctor and several local libraries did! I'm still traveling around to more libraries, and I plan to do a book tour in independent bookstores in a couple weeks! If I can do enough promotion, I might make some money, after all. You can, too!!!

 But, what's money? GET A MISSION. How can you help people with your writing? There is a very real need for CLEAN WRITING. Every librarian I talk to is hungry for good books with no profanity, especially in small towns. You don't have to get all sappy and preachy, just don't use profanity. If you ever want to sell overseas, no profanity and no graphic sex will help you. Also, skip the gore. Even if it doesn't make you sick, it does a lot of us. If you can tell a story about something that happened when you grew up, and your friends like it, write about it! Write about what you know. Grow up in a small town? Many people grew up in the city and never heard a cricket in the evening. Grow up in the snow? Some people have never seen any. Live in the city? People in the country have probably never taken a city bus. And, do you have your own little world populated by things/places that don't exist? Stories your grandparents told you? Imagine the romance that almost happened? There are more stories than there are huge numbers to number them. What do you wish your kids were reading?! WRITE IT DOWN!!

 NaNoWriMo is the chance to write for fun. No editing. Don't worry about your spelling, your grammar. You can't start until midnight Nov 1, but you can come up with a plot and an outline now, characters, define your universe, there's a lot you can research so you can just write in November. Save editing and polishing for Dec or Jan. You can get experimental. Some people write fan fiction [someone else's universe and characters]. You can't legally sell it or post it, but your family can read it, if you want them to, or you can just write out your fantasies. This is writing for the sheer fun of telling a story in words. You might have a writer in you yearning to write something fictional. Now's the time to find out.

 Go to http://www.nanowrimo.org and read in the forums. See who's doing it and why. There's a free eBook and one for sale on how to do this. Writing is a great catharsis, a way to get your feelings out in a safe and non-hurtful way. It makes a great hobby, whether or not you ever sell. But, it also makes a fun career if you find you can do enough of it. Nano is a good way to try it out, see if it fits, wear a different set of clothes, travel to a new place, be a different person! Characters you create take on a life of their own; it's something you have to experience to know what it feels like. They are not you. They are not people you know. They may have traits from you or from people you've known, but I have never created me or anyone I know. I get to know these 'new people' through writing about them and the decisions they make, some that I would never make. It's a great psychological experiment. What will they do next? If you're a religious person, you might pray for guidance so you write in a way that helps others.

 I invite all of you to join me, or encourage others to join me. The Dothan, AL Region is already planning some social events. Your local area may have others who are doing this, and may meet near you to discuss how it's going. I'm in the Georgia - Statewide area, so I might have to join the Dothan folks to see someone who's writing nano, too. But, the point is, you won't be writing alone. There's support, a mouse click, or a little drive, away.

 Hope to see you on the Nano forums! Spread the Word!
Dannis

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

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