Category Archives: Junowrimo

The Six Guides

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So, you’re all signed up for JunoWrimo (or doing it on your own), itching to pants your way to writer fame and fortune, or maybe you’ve went a lil differently about it and charted out an outline. You know what you’re doing, you’re a writer dammit, and you will see this thing through! You’re all cozied in, drinks lined up, phone turned off, and you know just what you want to write. Hell, you blaze through the first fifteen days without a problem. You’re a regular Rocky Balboa of words. Day sixteen comes along and knocks your happy ass for a loop. What do you do? Where do you turn? You’ve never met a problem like this before, and never even imagined one of such horror even could exist!

Heather Sellers, Author of, Chapter after Chapter, suggests writers stop skimming a thousand books at a time to figure out how to write one, and instead choose six books (and no more) to bring along the journey of novel building. Just six books. Three books on craft, Three books of fiction similar to the one you’re trying to build. It sounds easy, right?

Try it for yourself and get back to me, ha!

Which book of the multitude that are out there are best to carry along on a 50,000 (or more) word journey of novelized glory? Which books are the most sound, the most inspiring, the most kick-your ass into writing mode are the absolute best to take with you? Any one you know, and know well:

“You are a book writer; not a book buyer. You are a book reader; not a book skimmer. To really know a book—how it’s built, its wisdom—is to read it several times. To go over and over certain passages.” Heather Sellers

Pick the books that have worked before, the ones with the most dog-eared pages, and most pop/whiskey stains, and smells vaguely of sweat and blood. Those books are stained with other things as well, namely the essence of your admiration, and the smear of your spirit upon their page. They are a fine offering to the muses and will help carry you through.

For practical purposes, what these books really offer you is a direct connection to age old experience that has been tested time and again. Need an answer? Turn to someone who has been there, who has done it, who has banged their head on the same wall and then figured it out. It works in life, it works in writing. Pick guides, good guides, and travel boldly!

My Challenge to you:

Make your list, start by picking twelve books and whittle it down to the six book goal. You have time still if you’re starting your novel in June for Junowrimo. If you’re writing on your own for another project, it’s always best to start early, give yourself time and figure these things out with truth and contemplation.

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