NaNoWriMo Looms…

Would you look at that. It’s October 24. Aka, there are 7 days until NaNoWriMo begins, which means that a lot of writers are scuttling around as if someone had just shined a light into a dark and humid crevasse, and I am right there with them. To be honest, this year’s NaNoWriMo has crept on me. Sure, I know the date hasn’t moved, but I am awfully unprepared. In fact, I still don’t know for sure what I’ll be writing! Maybe it’ll be a project I’ve been meaning to start for this here website. Maybe I’ll be working on a revision. I don’t have a single clue! But, that’s not what I wanted to bring up. On the other hand, I wanted to give a quick announcement.

For this year, I wanted to do something slightly different than my usual stuff. Rather than just put updates here every other day…or week…or never, I want to give back to the community with knowledge. You see, I don’t usually bring this up, but I’ve studied creative writing in college. In fact, I have an MFA in it. And contrary to popular belief, I didn’t sleep through my classes. Instead, I actually read and studied until I could not cram any more rhetoric on the subject anymore. So, this is my plan for this NaNoWriMo. Instead of just working on the regular stuff, I will create several “lectures” that I think everyone would benefit from.

Taking from my experience as both a teacher and student, I want to give everyone an easy approach to writing. Think of it as a creative writing course that you can take for free. As of now, I have a few topics I want to really delve into, and I also have some other tips and tricks to go over. However, I want to make a clarification:

The amount of writing blogs out there are overwhelming. The advice is even greater. It will not be my goal nor my job to give more advice and more rants on what a “good” story is, or anything on that sort. Instead, I want to work with the craft of creative writing. I want to teach what a creative writing teacher would focus on. I know it’s not the most creative approach, you know, for a creative writing class, but it’s incredibly important.

I’ve noticed over the years that a lot of writers often don’t know the craft of creative writing. Sure, we know the basic ideas. What is a character? What is a scene? What is conflict? Sure, a lot of people can pull up some wikis here and there and learn about that. But, let me be detrimentally honest; when I begun writing, and when I entered my MFA, I lacked some concrete ideas on how to write a lot of these aspects. My scenes where awful because of point of view. My characters seemed to work more like a plot device than actual people. And, to paraphrase a teacher of mine, the plot of my stories often overtook the story. In other words, I sacrificed way too many things…and I didn’t know why.

So, if you’re interested in some quick lessons on creative writing, specifically some ideas that you’d find in a freshmen to junior level classes at a college, come back here throughout the month!