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November 1st, 2009

Novel Love

This Extra Ink was written by Betsy.

I'm all about novels this week. I'm reading the first chapter of I Capture the Castle (my favorite novel of all time) on my radio show tomorrow. I'm working my way through Dracula, Bram Stoker's perennial classic--and let me tell you, Drac beats out those new-fangled sparkly vamps any day. I've even vowed to finish second-drafting my own young adult fantasy novel this month, which I started during last year's NaNoWriMo.

Oh, yeah--that's here again! November 1st-30th is National Novel Writing Month, and people all over the world are buckling down to write 50,000-word manuscripts in 30 days. If you think it sounds impossible, it's not. I know busy honors students, teachers, parents of toddlers, and teens who never wrote a word of fiction in their lives, and all of them were successful November novelists last year. I myself crossed the finish line sitting in a cafe in downtown Boston on the 30th, and I still had time to catch a movie concerning the aforementioned sparkly vampires as a post-novel treat. I used two hours per day that I would have spent watching TV to take the first step toward my dream of becoming a published novelist. Believe me when I say that if I can write that much in a month, you can too.

NaNo's not the only novely news around. The American Library Association sponsored Teen Read Week last week, and I can't believe I missed it! I'm especially bummed because this year's theme is "Read Beyond Reality." As a certifiable Nerd Girl, I was totally psyched to hear about that theme. Head over to the Teen Ink forums for plenty of dish on your fellow teens' favorite reality-bending books, or post a few of your own! A few sci-fi/fantasy reads I can definitely recommend are The Giver, The Martian Chronicles, The Dark is Rising, and the Song of the Lioness series. If you ask me, fantasy is perfect for pulling you through those dark, dreary, all-too-mundane winter months that are heading our way.

And if dreams can come true (at Teen Ink, we know they can), you'll see my NaNo novel on shelves in the next few years. Of course, if that ever happens, you know I'll have a whole lot to say about it right here on Extra Ink.

If you have questions or ideas about this or any other Extra Ink, e-mail me at betsy@teenink.com.

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