Jump start writing the great American novel at library

  • Friday, October 25, 2013

Maybe you’re going to write a novel this November. Maybe you’ll even publish it. I’ll grimace when I see you, feeling inferior and wonder (for the 686th time) if I should have become a hairdresser.

But my jealousy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

If you’re a writer who has always dreamed of drafting, polishing, submitting and publishing a novel, I’m going to smile and wish you luck - without even crossing my fingers or sticking out my tongue.

In fact, I’m even going to help you. My co-worker Susan McSwain and I have planned a lineup of writing programs in November just for you and other futurely successful authors.

If you’re ready for adventure and possess a little bit of the crazies, National Novel Writing Month is for you. “National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On Nov. 1, participants begin working toward the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.” – from www.nanowrimo.org

Because writing alone may drive you past the land of sanity, Mount Pleasant Regional is hosting four NaNoWriMo write-ins during the month of November.

No registration is necessary.

Just bring your pad or laptop, and type (or pen) it all out with your fellow WriMos. Mount Pleasant Regional’s write-ins are on:

Mondays, Nov. 4, 18 and 25 from 5:30-7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 13 from 5:30-7 p.m.

I’ve written three novels. Three sodden, cliché-filled wrecks. It’s always easier to start something new than to revise, edit and polish the messy first (or second or third or fourth) draft.

And why bother, if there’s no hope of success?

Wait a minute, I’m supposed to be encouraging you…

On Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m., join local writer Susan Sloate – published author of over 20 books – for “I’ve Written a Novel – Now What?” an overview of the editing process and what it can do for your book, from the end of the first draft to the moment you send the final polished novel to your publisher.

She will be available for a short time after the program to answer your questions.

The Second Saturday Critique Group follows Susan Sloate’s editing program at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 9.

For two hours every month, group members take turns critiquing each other’s submissions. If you are serious about writing and ready for feedback from your peers, consider sitting in for one of our sessions to see whether Mount Pleasant Regional Library’s Second Saturday Critique Group fits your needs.

While you’re in the library, check out some writing books, like “Is Life Like This?: A Guide to Writing your First Novel in Six Months” by John Dufresne, “Writing Fiction for Dummies” by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy, and “Fiction Writer’s Workshop” by Josip Novakovich.

November is almost here, so get ready, then go crazy and write. I’ll practice smiling to prepare for the day I hear your success story.

Other interesting library programs, which may distract from your writing:

One Book Discussion: “Divergent” by Veronica Roth (grades 6-12)

Thursday, Oct. 24 from 4-5 p.m.

Afterschool Movie (all ages)

Friday, Oct. 25 at 3:30 p.m.

“Super Buddies.” Rated G; 130 minutes.

PLAY: Halloween Fun (all ages) Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Create a scary Halloween craft.

One Book Movie (adults)

Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.

“Sleeper” (1973). Rated PG; 87 minutes.

Giving Thanks to Our Veterans in November (all ages)

Nov. 1-30

In support of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, the library will collect the following items for donation to the Center: ground coffee, CARTA one-day bus passes, nail clippers, reading glasses and more. Pick up a list of desired items at the Information Desk, or email MtpReference@ccpl.org.

Visit us in person, at mtplibrary.blogspot.com and at ccpl.org.


Jen McQueen is Children’s Services Manager at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road. She can be reached at mcqueenj@ccpl.org or 849-6161.

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