Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NaNoWriMo at the library

Our local libraries support aspiring writers who participate in NaNoWriMo by setting up sessions in which published writers talk with them.  Last year, I led two of these sessions.  I hadn't planned to do any this year, but when Sue Scott very nicely asked if I'd come to the lovely Cameron Village Public Library for one session, I agreed. 

I showed up five minutes late last night due to traffic being way, way worse than I had anticipated. That's no excuse, though, and I was quite embarrassed, so I began the session by apologizing to the folks there.  We then launched without hesitation into a story-creation game I call "Ask the next question."  (I borrowed the basics from sessions Orson Scott Card described and then customized them a bit.) 

Courtesy of Gina, and only because readers keep bugging me for photos, here I am talking to the group early in the process. 

As always, click on the image to see a larger version.

As you can see from the words on the board, we're starting by creating a character and have only just begun to dig into his background.

I'm never sure how much anyone can help another writer, so I don't know how useful this was for the folks who came, but our time together ran to nearly 90 minutes and passed quickly.  We created characters, from whom a story began to emerge, for about 50 minutes, and then I answered a variety of questions. 

I wish all of them well in their writing. 

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