A full slate of preparatory workshops for 2014

Every year people around the world take the plunge and become an author during the month of November. If you’ve always wanted to write a novel, or try to write a novel, then this is the year to take advantage of National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). It is a free, annual challenge that takes place every November, where novelists strive to start, write and complete the first draft of their 50,000+ word novel in just 30 days.

Last year over six hundred and fifty thousand people worldwide took up the challenge. In the Naperville region, which serves the western and southern suburbs of Chicago, 148 participants completed their novels in 2013. They were bolstered by online forums and local events, and had fun along the way.

The Naperville region of NaNoWriMo has partnered with area libraries to offer four preparatory workshops. The first one of these will be 7-9 pm, Thursday, October 2nd at the Aurora Public Library. In this first workshop, “The Stone Soup Method to NaNoWriMo Success,” Tim Yao and Kaden Patrick will help you explore some of the essential ingredients of any successful novel: plot, narrative, setting, and a good ending. Bring pen and paper or your laptop to this interactive session.

The other three workshops, all in October and at the Nichols and 95th Street Libraries in Naperville, are: “Genres – Tropes and Cliches,” by Frank Dahlman (October 4th, 1-3 pm, Nichols Library); “Fiction Improv,” by author Todd Hogan. (October 11th, 1-3 pm, 95th Street Library); and “Surviving NaNoWriMo With Your Sanity (Mostly) Intact” by Jen Moore (October 18th, 1-3 pm, Nichols Library).

The October 4th preparatory workshop at the Nichols Library will focus on genre and the creative process. Frank Dahlman will lead this workshop and talk about key characteristics and common tropes found in the most commonly read genres, discussing what works, and identifying common clichés to avoid. After this brief discussion, participants will brainstorm a possible plot line in the genre of their choosing. This workshop is designed to fill the well of creativity in preparation for NaNoWriMo. Be sure to bring paper and pen, or laptops.

The October 11th workshop at the 95th Street library will be led by Todd Hogan. Todd will be leading a Fiction Improv, and discussing NaNoWriMo’s goal of 50,000 words in 30 days, finding your story, overcoming challenges in telling your story, and miscellaneous ideas to succeed. Participants should bring paper, pen and/or other writing devices and a willingness to explore some personal ideas. There will be time for questions and discussion during the presentation.

The final preparatory workshop will be October 18th at the Nichols library.  In this preparatory workshop for NaNoWriMo, Jen Moore will talk about ways to prepare yourself for this epic endeavor. You’ll determine your goals, establish your support strategies, and psych yourself up for the challenge ahead. Bring all your last-minute panic – and leave it behind when the session’s over. Also please bring pen and paper or a laptop.

The Naperville region of NaNoWriMo, representing the cities and suburbs west of Chicago, is partnering with many area libraries to offer write-in events in November for people to use to work on their novel while others around them are working on theirs. These libraries include: Aurora (the Main branch and Eola Road branch), Batavia, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Helen Plum Library (Lombard), Indian Prairie, Naperville (Nichols Library and the 95th Street Library), Messenger Public Library (North Aurora), Warrenville, Wheaton, and Woodridge.

There will also be a pot-luck kick-off lunch Saturday, October 25th from 11:45am – 3pm. For more information, see naperwrimo.org/events.

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