Every Wednesday, the writers at YA Highway ask a reading or writing related question, aptly named Road Trip Wednesday.
In honor of November as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), today YA Highway asks:
What kind of writing coach do you need? When you have to coach friends, what kind of coach are you?
First of all, does it count for NaNoWriMo 2011 if I finish the third draft of the novel I wrote during last year's NaNoWriMo? I've had 'before Thanksgiving' as my goal for getting my WIP ready for beta readers since August. If I keep on schedule, I think I'll make it. That makes the idea of a writing coach a timely question for me.
Having other people read my work terrifies me. Ironic, isn't it? Having readers is the logical endgame of writing. I took the first step with my first critique group in August, and I'm glad to have a few partners ready to go for the full manuscript. I've discovered I need just the right blend of positive reinforcement and reality check. If I picked a celebrity coach, it would be Sharon Osbourne.
I try to use that same approach. In the early stages, I encourage my writing friends to keep plugging away. Even if you don't make that 1,000 words per day, at least write something every day. 100 words here and 100 words there eventually add up. When I'm critiquing, I try to use the same guidelines I made my students use when I was teaching: for every suggestion you give, be sure to find something you loved to even it out.
And in the interest of meeting those November goals, I'm going to keep this post short and sweet and get to it! I do want to mention that I'm thrilled with YA Highway's focus on contemporary YA in November. I have been looking for some powerful, character-driven contemporary YA for my to-be-read list, and I'm excited for a month full of new suggestions. The last amazing contemporary I read was Kristin Harmel's After, about 16 year old Lacey's life after the death of her father.
Until next time...
Music for today: Driven by Their Beating Hearts by A Silent Film