Thursday, November 19, 2015


It's National Novel Writing Month!  Have you taken up the challenge to write a 50,000 novel in 30 days? The folks at the NaNoWriMo website make it so easy - sign up for free, track your word count, get pep talks from famous authors, attend write-ins locally, and, for those who find it hard to commit, you can even print out and sign a Month-Long Novelist Agreement and Statement of Understanding, acknowledging that "the the month-long, 50,000 word deadline [you] set for [yourself] is absolute and unchangeable."

Why NaNoWriMo?  You love writing.  You love the challenge (or could use a motivator).  Also, according to the website: "Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder."

If you have been participating your word count should be just past the halfway mark, around 28,000 words as of November 17th. Just two weeks left to go! We are participating this year, and we are running way, way behind at around 14,000 words.  One of our writing buddies, in Alaska, just did an 11-hour lock-in writing marathon.  It might come to that for us! Our region (USA: New Mexico: Albuquerque) has many helpful events scheduled, including Write-Ins at a variety of locations. There are also Word Sprints on Twitter, Virtual Write-Ins, and more - check the Official NaNoWriMo calendar.

If you are feeling like you could use some inspiration, there's a Get Inspired page on the NaNoWriMo site, or, consider checking a writing guide from the library catalog!  Some standouts include:

No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty [eBook]

The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life by Priscilla Long

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott [eBook]

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King [eBook + eAudio]

Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life by Natalie Goldberg

How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights by Ariel Gore 

Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin [eBook] 

Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers by Carolyn See 

Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro  

On Writing by Eudora Welty 

Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots by William Wallace Cook [eBook]

A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft edited by Andrea Barrett and Peter Turchi [eBook]


For more writing guides, try a subject search of "Authorship - Handbooks, manuals, etc." or "Authorship".

If you haven't been participating, there's always next year, or there are other NaNoWriMo-style events during the year - Playwriting Month, Gothic Novel Writing Month, 24 Hour Comics Day, Script Frenzy. 


The NaNoWriMo Blog

Best Books for Writers [Poets & Writers]

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