Novel-writing month lights fire under authors

NaNoWriMo participants commit to wordsmithing challenge

Posted 11/5/18

A gray-walled basement room might seem like an unlikely wellspring of creativity. But for the writers who convened in Bemis Library’s community room on Nov. 1, it was the jumping-off point for a …

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Novel-writing month lights fire under authors

NaNoWriMo participants commit to wordsmithing challenge

Posted

A gray-walled basement room might seem like an unlikely wellspring of creativity.

But for the writers who convened in Bemis Library’s community room on Nov. 1, it was the jumping-off point for a month-long flurry of writing and storytelling.

About a dozen people — all women — attended the library’s kickoff party for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo to those in the know.

Littleton’s dozen join thousands of other writers worldwide who will spend November pounding out novels. The goal for each participant to write 50,000 words before the month is out — that’s 1,667 per day.

“Writers tend to be solitary people, so events like this help connect them with the larger community of writers,” said Emily McCabe, who became Bemis’ teen librarian this summer.

McCabe said she’s always wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo, but graduate school ate up her free time.

“This is a great event for writers of any age, because it teaches you commitment and the discipline of just sitting down and writing every day,” McCabe said.

For participants, though, NaNoWriMo is sometimes more about personal fulfillment.

“It gives me a sense of satisfaction,” said Cat Tapparo, a graphic artist embarking on her sixth NaNoWriMo.

Tapparo mostly writes fan fiction, she said — stories using characters and settings from other works. Much of her writing takes place in the “Star Wars” or “Lord of the Rings” universes.

“It’s such a fun escape to imagine my favorite characters going on these adventures I send them on,” Tapparo said.

For others, NaNoWriMo is a way to force themselves toward finishing big original works.

“I want to challenge myself to finish the novel I’ve been fleshing out in my mind for 15 years,” said Ally Palumbo, a front-end manager at King Soopers.

Palumbo’s novel is about a young man born with supernatural powers called “blood magic.” Palumbo said she’s been outlining the book for years, and is hoping that writing a draft will help resolve some of the plot changes she struggles with.

Others in the room eagerly pitched their own ideas: a nonfiction exploration of the nature of opinion, an epic verse poem about the apocalypse, a children’s book set in the Victorian era, and a biography of Johnny Appleseed.

McCabe said though most of the group’s writing will likely be done alone, she hopes Littleton’s NaNoWriMo participants see Bemis as a place to write.

“Inspiration abounds in a library,” McCabe said. “And we have free wifi. That’s important.”

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