Tucked within the pages of this romantic novella is a NaNoWriMo pep talk by character Shepherd Knight, bestselling author. Following is what he had to say to a group of WriMos on October 31st waiting for the clock to count down to November 1st.
“When I started writing, I got a lot of different advice. I was told to write a lot and read a lot. I heard the road to hell is paved in adverbs. Then I heard there’s a place for every kind of word, as long as you practice moderation. Some people told me I should study style guides and learn every rule. Others told me to throw the rules away.
“One thing I can say for certain, with over twenty years of writing and thirteen years of publishing experience under my belt: never let anyone tell you you’re not good enough. If you have a story inside you, it deserves to be told. It doesn’t have to be the next Harry Potter to be worthwhile. Every story will find its fans, whether it be millions of them or just a handful. What matters is putting words on the page, because if you’re anything like me, it’ll kill you to keep your stories inside. Every time I write, it’s a catharsis. Even if I never got paid for it, I’d feel compelled to do it. And that’s what makes a true writer. It’s not how many readers you have or how many publishing contracts. Do you love to write? Then you’re an author. No one can take that from you.”
…”I know some of you are thinking, ‘How in the hell am I going to pull off writing fifty-thousand words in a month?’ Right now that number may seem insurmountable, but it’s entirely possible, and before we get started, I’m going to tell you some of my tips for cranking out high word counts in short periods of time. …This is my number one rule: do not go back. You’re going to want to read over what you’ve written. You’re going to want to tweak and polish and obsess. Don’t. In the words of Jack Drake, ‘Don’t step in your own shit.’ Keep moving forward, and save the editing for December. Trust me, guys. You can always revise a first draft once it’s finished, but you know what you can’t do? Edit a blank page.”
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