I’m gearing up to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – during which authors write 50,000 words in November) again this year. I know, it seems crazy, but it’s a great discipline. And once the month is over, you have a complete first draft.
The NaNoWriMo Facebook page recently dared authors to write a 150-word author manifesto in which we are supposed to “orate grandly about the kind of writer you hope to be, or make just a few promises you want to keep to yourself during November …” and then post it in their Facebook comments.
I’m enough of a contrarian to avoid such a project, but I’m also enough of a realist to know that writing a short author manifesto from time to time is helpful, especially for a freelancer who has to follow the money and therefore isn’t always as focused as I would like. So, here is my 150-words (on the button), as it relates to fiction:
I want to write fiction that touches a reader’s sentimental side, much like Nicholas Sparks does in his love stories or Jan Karon does in her Mitford Series through the eyes of Father Tim.
Sentimentalism does not equal nostalgic, by the way.
A sentimentalist fights back tears as he or she watches a Hallmark Channel original Christmas movie like “A Christmas Wish,” about how the owner of a diner helps a homeless woman and her children during the holidays.
A person who is nostalgic watches “Miracle on 34th Street” on Turner Classic Movies and longs for a simpler time when children could sit on Santa’s lap in Macy’s and you didn’t have to worry about whether he passed a background check.
I’m writing for the audience who watches the Hallmark Channel, not Turner Classic Movies. That’s not a knock against those who are nostalgic. It’s just not who I am.
Lee Warren is a freelance writer and editor who has written twelve non-fiction books, one novella and hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines as well as edited more than 50 books that currently appear in print. He's a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.