National Novel Writing Month is a fresh challenge for me every year because I use it for an opportunity to try something new. Last year’s challenge, which has become this year’s practice, was Small Writing.
This year, I’m going back to the roots of storytelling and Writing for the Beloved Reader. My writing-brother Lev Mirov will be seeing my work for November in real time. Poet, editor, and scholar, Lev has had a huge influence on the way that I work. His brilliant essay On Small Writing has changed me, not only as a novelist and poet, but in my approach to work in the big world.
Lev and I did this challenge informally last year; his comments on character interviews for the Ship’s Heart novel cycle turned a minor villain into the hero of her own story. I realized that I’ve always written my best work as gifts to particular readers, but to do it consciously and in real time is exhilarating.