Tuesday, November 2, 2010

National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month, the month long challenge to write your very own 50,000 word novel.
The library here has multiple useful resources for the dedicated novel writer.  Beyond mere unabridged dictionaries, we have style guides for grammar and both general and subject specific encyclopedias for that all important background information.  Both can be found in the reference room of the main library building.  To see what's available before making the trek over in weather like we're having today, you can peruse the library catalog in advance.

More resources are available online through NetLibrary.  If you haven't done so already, you can contact the library to set up an account to be able to access NetLibrary resources from home.  The resourceful novelist will find these sources extremely handy when trying to make their spaceships sound scientifically viable or their illiterate peasants period correct.

Most student researchers will already know how very useful it is to search in EBSCO to find current research for academic papers, but what you might not have realized is that we have a whole other resource for searching newspaper articles from across the globe.  If you're looking to base your court drama or tale of ciminal activity on real events, searching LexisNexis will help find the stories you can rip straight from the headlines.

Don't forget, while you're doing all this research for your novel, that you should still be avoiding plagiarism.  A novelist may not be citing works they use as inspiration, but they're not paraphrasing a source and calling it a novel.  Be aware of where your words end and theirs begin.  It's also a good habit to be in for the rest of your writing.  Try to keep a record of what resources you use and thank their authors when you're finished.

Good luck to anyone making the attempt.  I hope you'll all share your novel writing success stories in December. :)