National Novel Writing Month

Taylor Loughry, Staff Writer

November is National Writing Month where writers are encouraged find their voice through creativity and building a story. Starting Nov. 1, participants can begin working on writing a 50,000-word novel that should be completed by Nov. 30.

In light of National Writing Month, here is both a professor and a student from North Greenville University who have published novels of their own.

Photo Courtesy of Taylor Loughry

Photo Courtesy of Taylor Loughry

Brent Coppenbarger, professor of music at the Cline School of Music here at NGU, has actually written three books, and “Music Theory Secrets: 94 Strategies for the Starting Musician” is the first book that he wrote. He actually wrote it as a sequel to “More Clarinet Secrets: 100 Quick Tips for the Advanced Clarinetist” by Michele Gingras.

In Coppenbarger’s book about music theory secrets, he explains, “Rhythms, melodies, and harmonies are the building blocks of music. This book will help musicians understand and remember the key elements of pitch, rhythm, scales, key signatures and harmony.”

Coppenbarger was inspired to write this book because he had collected so much information over the span of about 20 years, and he thought he needed to get this information out there before he retires.

Coppenbarger shares that his favorite part of his book is a unique chart of scales that he collected and put together into a rubric for the book where readers can easily see how everything is laid out; and it’s never been done before.

He then shares that the hardest part of the writing process was not the writing and information itself, but the organization of the book and finding ways to present the information uniquely. Coppenbarger says, “It’s not about what you know, it’s how you present it.” This has also held true for the other two books that he has written.

Coppenbarger has expressed desire to write another book. He wants to create a sight singing book with the concepts starting from scratch, so the information can be presented to those in middle school. He wants a simple approach with simple exercises.

Photo Courtesy of Elliott Corbin

Photo Courtesy of Elliott Corbin

Our very own NGU student, Elliott Corbin, also has a published novel of his own. NGU junior, Corbin, wrote an autobiography titled, “UNDAUNTED: My Life with High-Functioning Autism.” This book entails a closer look at his truly inspiring, yet unconventional life with autism. Corbin wrote this book within the span of seven to eight months as his senior project in high school.

A big reason I wrote this book because of the issues going on in America and people having no hope, just constant frustration and tension. I discussed my story in a way where I was trying to show people, ‘this is where I came from, this is where I’m at right now, this is where I want to be, and this is what I’m doing to get there.’ Yes, there are struggles, pains, and tribulations, but no matter the situation you are in, even if it’s totally different than autism, you still have a chance.

Elliott discusses his favorite part of his book and an important, overall message when he says, “I was looking at a broader vision of what’s going on in America and trying to relate to people who had been disenfranchised.” Elliott discusses something in particular that he wrote: “Autism is largely the vehicle to really expound on a larger message.”

Elliott explains that you are never done, and no matter how bad life gets, you are only done when you take your final breath. Change is slow, and you must take baby steps because there is no such thing as a sudden turnaround.

Elliott says one of the hardest parts of writing his book was the state he was in at the time. He wasn’t the most optimistic about his future during that period, so the difficulty of keeping his head up was quite tough to manage.

With all of that being said, Elliott is interested in writing a second book. He has the thoughts and ideas for it, and he wants it to be about the time period between when he finished his first book and when he starts his second, and he wants to provide “more inspiration, more motivation, more advice.”