National Novel Writing Month

The month of November is known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), it is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in writing novels to take the plunge and see if they can write fifty thousand (50,000) words (the length of a stardard novel) in 30 days.

Now any writer will tell you that the hardest part of writing, it writing. As a blog writer and someone who trying to right their first novel I can vouch for this. So let’s just be clear on a few things when writing a novel in a month. This is not about you writing a polished novel ready for sale to the world in 30 days. This is about encouraging as many people to write as possible, old and young. However if you are someone who would like a manuscript to be published, and you have been saying for too long ‘I’m going to write a book’ then this is the perfect opportunity to get your first draft of that story down on paper. The thirty day challenge should give you the motivation to get it done as you can record your word count on the NaNoWriMo website (see below) and measure your own success against others.

NaNoWriMo is a really great way helps with work ethics as you have a word target each day of about 1,667 and then the deadline to finish by the end of the month and with prizes up for grabs there’s an incentive (as if you don’t need any more of one along side wanting to be published). Can you hit your target by the end of the month and still have a manuscript that makes some sort of sense?

Whether a story is classed as a novel is determined by the word count. For works under 7500 words this is a short story, between 7500 and 17499 is a Novelette, works that are between 17500 and 39999 are classified as Novella’s and a Novel is 40000 upwards. So the target for NaNoWriMo pushes writers to achieve above the minimum word count for a novel, there are writers who set their word count to over 100,000; but the choice is your own.

National Novel Writing Month is not only a great way to bring out the writer in you, but it is also a great opportunity to spent time writing with other people. The writer’s career can be very isolated at times when you are sat at the computer all day wrapped in the world of characters and the wolrd you have created.

Writing a story of any length needs some level of planning and those who participate in NaNoWriMo usually take the month of October to prepare. This way writing becomes a lot easier and getting the 50000 words is like a breeze (they wish).

But preparing for this month long challenge involves things like getting a title, an outline of the plot, character profiles, a chapter and scene break down and anything else which could be classed as essential to the writing. If you are writing fantasy then maybe a map of the world you plan to create, and any rules or laws that that readers would need to know about.

There are many variations of the event with camp NaNoWriMo earlier in the year, which is a chance to camp with other writers as you complete the writing marathon. These all happen in April and in June.

So if you are planning to take part this year’s NaNoWriMo then let us know, we would love to know what you are writing and how you get on.

World Book Day 2018

Today is World Book Day which is the celebration of authors, illustrators, books and most importantly reading. It’s the 21st year of this celebration that was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide event which is marked in over 100 countries.

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So I thought I would write a little about the history of the books:

Writing has been developed over many year along with materials like paper and other materials, but the art of storytelling has always been part of the human heritage for as long as they have roamed the earth as a way of passing on traditions and methods of living. The recording significant events would have first been through drawings on the walls of caves.

The preservation of stories and instructions would have originated with the use of stone and clay tablets in 3rd millennium BC and were used right up until the 19th century in some parts of the world.

From the first Dynasty the Egyptians had begun to use papyrus to record their information these were books in the form of scrolls where sheets of papyrus were pasted together and were 10 metres or more in length. The books were rolled out horizontally with text written in columns, many were found in tombs with prayers and sacred texts such as the Book of the Dead which was the funeral text for the ancient Egyptians used at beginning of the New Kingdom around 1500BCE

In China writing on wood, shells, bones and silk was practiced long before 2nd Century BC. Paper was invented in China in 1st Century AD with block wood printing used for the Buddhist texts where the scrolls were folded concertina style.

The Codex appeared from as early as 1st Century AD they were an expensive, hand bound and elaborate form of book. They developed and evolved over the centuries until about 1440 when Johannes Gutenberg invented press printing which marked the entry of the book into the industrial age.

Then what we all know as ebooks hit the commercial scene and seem to be threatening the concept of publishing onto physically paper and have been blamed for the decline in use of libraries and bookshops closing. While shift to the use of electronic devices to read books and magazines has been recent, the actual concept of ebooks was first hatched in 1930 after the first movie with sound was viewed.

But however we chose read books today is the day we should enjoy and celebrate the gift of books, the talent of writers and joy they continue to bring too many.

No doubt there will be many events in all parts of the world to mark the celebrations, go online and find out how you can get involved. For more information on World Book Day you can visit the official site at: http://www.worldbookday.com/