Tolkien, artist

A Trip to the Library

 I am now the proud possessor of a library card. OK, I know - I read like a maniac, I write, I do research, why haven't I had a library card before now? Well, I have and I haven't. Throughout my life I have had either library cards for my local libraries or was a student accessing the student libraries of the various colleges I attended. The Denver Public Library was my friend, especially when I was researching various presentations that I made on World War II. The librarians were great and the collection was deep, they also had a 2nd floor room with typewriters (yes, this was in the dark ages before computers) where I could put quarters into a timed meter and type up my notes. Much easier, and it meant I didn't need to check out a bunch of books, drive them 90 minutes north of the City to the town where I attended college, and then have to return them back to Denver before their due dates. A pain, so the typewriters were a god-send.

So on Sunday I determined that it was time to get a library card again. I had one when I first moved up here, but then we started buying a lot of used books, and I am someone who likes to read and re-read books multiple times, so owning books is really my preference. But there are some books that I'm interested in owning temporarily in e-book format, and I'm doing some research for an original novel idea that I have and am hoping that I can get some of those materials through the library. We have a really nice library nearby, newly remodeled and expanded. I am beginning to realize, however, that I am living in the wrong state to really get what I need for research stuff. I'll be talking with my friend Sharon who is closer to the source and is a librarian. How lucky can I get?

So, I'm researching, and I'm reading, and I'm thinking about an original novel for NaNoWriMo with one exception that keeps cropping its head into my vision. I want to write this book if I can figure out the proper hook for it, but I want to write it as a young adults book, not an adult novel, and that usually means a word count less than the 50,000 NaNoWriMo requires. So, it's a quandry. Do I write what I want beginning November 1? Or do I write something totally different that I can write as an adult novel and shelve the book I want to write until another time? In the meantime, I checked out three books - one children's book that I quickly read yesterday, noted what I liked and didn't like and will return later this week, and two books on drawing and illustrating techniques. If nothing else, I can always draw.... 
This is really a nice one, and I hope I'll be visiting it relatively often. I love libraries, but it took this original novel to get me back to the research trail :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
I don't think that young adults books are usually under 50K. Maybe some are, but many are not. And it is not length, but theme that makes young adult "genre", so I don't think you should worry about length. So, if you have the plot for young adult novel, go for it! :) Don't worry, you'll have a cheerleader! :)
Oh, thanks so much!

I'm not sure on the word count, but I've started the chapter outlines and the research and if I can get my act together in time for the November start date, I'll try NaNoWriMo this year. Of course, since it has nothing to do with LOTR or Tolkien at all, I can't run it by my writers groups for beta. I think I'll prevail on my friend Sharon, perhaps, for an overview at least. That is, only if I can convince her to be honest.

I was reading an excerpt from a published book this morning and was appalled. There were things in those four paragraphs that I would have been striking out with a red pencil immediately thanks to what I've learned at LC over the past few years. I figure if that could get published, I've at least got a shot. - LOLOL

- Erulisse (one L)
If I can be of any help, I'm here! ;)
Of course, it is not easy to write 50K in 30 days, so you'll have no time for editing in November. But that'll come later. :)

I'm so glad you'll participate NANO. :) Really, if you need anything, just ask.
Thanks bunches. It's one of those things that I would never have imagineddoing even as short a time ago as six months in the past, but now it is seeming possible. How bizarre - LOL.

- Erulisse (one L)
YA is bursting at the seams at the moment. Perhaps if you join some writers groups you will see what 'not' to write, and also might learn to show more, and not tell.

As for critique, the people on the LC are very gentle; I've learned there is a massive difference between them and the people who critique profic.

You could follow this woman on Twitter. She writes and publishes, and tweets writers tips.!/RayneHall

Oh, this won't be ready for crit for quite a while, and as an original fic won't really fit into LC in any case. I'll either have to do with a small invited group or find a different source for a sharp and eagle eye.

- Erulisse (one L)
YA books are generally between 50k-75k. Books for younger readers (middle grade) are shorter. Harry Potter raised the wordcount limits, because it convinced publishers teens are willing to read longer books. (Seriously-- Tamora Pierce said that outright in the Acknowledgements section in Squire.)

I've written YA for Nano before; there's an entire forum devoted to YA/middle grade/children's lit.
That's excellent news. Do you happen to have a link for that forum? It might be a good idea for me to lurk and get a better idea of how best to approach this.

- Erulisse (one L)

The forums as a whole are fairly dead right now (they're insanely active in October and November, to the point of a thread being posted is on the second page minutes later), and it's not a critique forum, more like research and plot help and such. But there's quite a few threads in the YA forum about YA sexuality, how much [x] is too much in YA, and the like.

Edited to fix a broken link

Edited at 2012-04-16 07:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'll check it out closer to the end of summer and check out a few other things also :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
Your NaNo prospect sounds exciting. =D (And if you did come in way ahead of what you consider a reasonable YA length, there's always the possibility of splitting into two or three smaller volumes later.)
I'm still trying to find the right hook, and getting some additional hard-to-find research materials is necessary, but I'm thinking about this a lot and that's usually the way I operate - I almost always write a story/essay/whatever in my head first long before putting fingers to the keyboard. My deep fear is that NaNoWriMo takes place in November, and I operate a retail store. The holiday season is my busiest season and here I'll be trying to write 2000 words a day in one of my busiest months. Oy! That may end up dooming me, but I think I still have to try.

- Erulisse (one L)
OF has showed up at the LC on occasion. I wouldn't be adverse to having a section for OF there. I know that elfscribe is working on a piece, and I think I have something going. It sounds like you won't need editing until after the Christmas season. Maybe something will turn up by then. I'm not much good as a beta, but I'd be glad to serve as an eager reader to give you feedback as you go.

Edited at 2012-04-17 04:33 pm (UTC)
I'm all for an eager reader :-) I won't be putting this one on LC - it's not Tolkien, it's not fantasy, it's historical fiction more or less and I'm not working on any time frame except to get the basics down during November. Then it will be a matter of revising and refining and revising again and again. Since I'm not under contract for this, I won't be under a time constraint which will be refreshing. Most of the books I've been in or magazines I've submitted to have deadlines that have given me extra grey hairs and more sleepless nights - LOL. *hugs*

How's your arm doing? Are you totally castless and fancy free now? I really need to Email you direct. I'll try to carve out some time within the next week or so.

- Erulisse (one L)