By Collection Management Librarian Kathy Sexton
Are you up for the challenge of writing 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November? Join thousands of writers around the globe for NaNoWriMo and let these books bolster and guide you.
- Find novel writing events and resources from your library to help you get started this month »
- Learn more about NaNoWriMo »
Storyville! by John Dufresne
Why you should try it: Accessible and fun, with plenty of helpful writing prompts, this will jumpstart your novel.
Description: A smart and funny guide to writing fiction, with engaging infographics that bring storytelling techniques to life.
Mastering the Process by Elizabeth George
Why you should try it: Need a little discipline and organization—who doesn’t if you are going to write a novel in a month? This one is for you.
Description: The Anthony- and Agatha Award-winning author outlines a master class in the art and science of novel crafting that takes aspiring writers through each step, from character analyses and plot development to location research and draft revisions.
Elements of Fiction by Walter Mosley
Why you should try it: It’s Walter Mosley!
Description: The award-winning author of the Easy Rawlins series presents a follow-up to This Year You Write Your Novel that offers conversational, instructive chapters demonstrating the essential elements of fiction, from character and plot development to context and description.
Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook, digital audiobook)
No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
Why you should try it: This is specifically geared to folks trying to write a novel in a month.
Description: Guides writers through four weeks of hard-core noveling, including week-by-week quick reference guides and encouraging advice from authors.
First You Write a Sentence by Joe Moran
Why you should try it: Feeling daunted? Overwhelmed? Let Joe Moran help you break it down sentence by sentence.
Description: A brilliant exploration into how even the most ordinary words can be used to build an extraordinary sentence, in this guide that can be read for both instruction and pleasure.
Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book? by Ally Carter
Why you should try it: Although meant for teens, this is good for anyone who likes a clear, step-by-step format.
Description: Offers advice and tips for creating characters, developing a plot, editing, and publishing a book.
The Shape of Ideas by Grant Snider
Why you should try it: Though not specifically about writing, this book will help light the creativity fire.
Description: A series of comics explore the role of inspiration, perspiration, exploration, and frustration in the formation of ideas.
Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)
Creative Quest by Questlove
Why you should try it: A deep dive into creativity with an emphasis on collaboration—perfect for the writer wanting to breakout of the generally solitary nature of writing.
Description: The award-winning cultural entrepreneur and co-founder of the influential hip-hop group The Roots draws on the philosophies and examples of the creative people in his life to counsel readers on how to change their perspectives about creativity to live a life of inspiration and originality.
Writer’s Market 2020 by Robert Lee Brewer
Why you should try it: Ready to find an agent or publisher? This is the quintessential resource for those wanting to publish professionally.
Description: The latest edition of the leading reference explains how to get published professionally, sharing extensive listings of book and magazine publishers, writing contests, and literary agents, as well as a new section for scriptwriters.
Kathy is a Collection Management Librarian who loves reading, sharing, and talking about books. Her missions in life are to: create communities of readers, convince folks that her official title should be “Book Pusher,” and refute that “disco” is a dirty word.