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writing tips

How to Write a Novel in a Month

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, began in 1999 and takes place each November challenging writers to complete a novel in 30 days. The novel must include at least 50,000 words, which amounts to producing about 1,667 per day for a month.

You may be wondering – Is it even possible to write a novel in 30 days? According to NaNoWriMo hundreds of novels have been traditionally published including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Cinder by Marissa Meyer to name a few.

NaNoWriMo Mission Statement:

We believe in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals and build new worlds—on and off the page.

While November may be months away, we hope you’ll start thinking about writing now, find inspiration, read more about NaNoWriMo, check out some of our novel writing resources and hatch a plan to make your next novel a reality.

Novel Writing Resources

 

The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Sell Your Work from the Editors of Writer's Digest (3rd edition)
Bring Your Fiction to Life: Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity by Karen S. Wiesner
Fast Fiction: A Guide to Outlining and Writing a First-Draft Novel in Thirty Days by Denise Jaden
Write Your Novel in a Month: How to Complete a First Draft in 30 Days and What to do Next by Jeff Gerke
Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and live to tell about it) by Rochelle Melander
The Writer's Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages by Nancy Ellen Dodd
Troubleshooting Your Novel by Steven James
How to Write a Book Proposal: The Insider's Step-by-Step Guide to Proposals that Get You Published by Jody Rein and Michael Larsen
Novel & Short Story Writer's Market
Writing Your Novel From Start to Finish: A Guidebook for the Journey by Joseph Bates

Writing Tips – Articles

How to Write the First Draft of a Novel in 30 Days – The Guardian

5 Steps to Writing a Novel in 30 Days – Grammarly

20 Ways to Write a Book in 30 Days – Inc.

30 Tips for Writing a Book in 30 Days – Writer’s Digest

Writing a Novel in a Month: Is it Possible and Should You Try? – NY Book Editors

How to Finish Writing a Novel in 30 Days – Bustle


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Memoir Writing Resources

Learn How to Publish a Book

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/how-to-write-a-novel-in-a-month

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Memoir Writing Resources

We field a lot of questions at the library about writing memoirs. It may be the fact that everyone has a story they want to share with the world or maybe they just want to become famous? Whatever the reasons – a few questions usually come up:

What’s the difference between an autobiography and a memoir? – Autobiographies tell the entire story of someone’s life (from start to finish), while memoirs focus on one story.

What makes a good memoir? – Like anything, a “good story” is really a matter of opinion. However, the resources below may help you focus your efforts.

Books on Writing the Story of Your Life (Memoir/Autobiography)

The art of memoir / Mary Karr
Writing about your life : a journey into the past / William Zinsser
The Memoir project : a thoroughly non-standardized text for writing & life / Marion Roach Smith
The story of you : a guide for writing your personal stories and family history / John Bond
How to write a memoir in 30 days : step-by-step instructions for creating and publishing your personal story / Roberta Temes, PhD
The truth of memoir : how to write about yourself and others with honesty, emotion, and integrity / Kerry Cohen
Writing your legacy : the step-by-step guide to crafting your life story / Richard Campbell M.Ed. and Cheryl Svensson, Ph.D
Telling your story : preserve your history through storytelling / by Jerry Apps
Your Story: How to Write It So Others Will Want to Read It by Joanne Fedler
How To Write Your Personal Or Family History by Katie Wiebe
Writing Your Life: A Guide to Writing Autobiographies
Writing What You Know: How to Turn Personal Experiences into Publishable Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry by Meg Files
Online Tips on Writing Your Memoir

5 Tips for Writing a Memoir – Publisher’s Weekly

8 Writing Tips That Will Make You a Powerful Storyteller – The Writing Cooperative

Great Tips on How to Write Your Memoir – Reader’s Digest

How to Write a Memoir: 6 Creative Ways to Tell a Powerful Story – The Write Life

How to Write a Good Memoir: Advice on Finding Your Voice – Writer’s Digest

How to Write a Memoir that People Care About – NY Book Editors

Originally posted on: ToledoLibrary.org/blog/memoir-writing-resources by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S.

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Writer’s Block

Creativity or creative inspiration may hit all at once or not at all for some writers. Those moments of nothingness are annoying, because they bring all creative projects to a halt, especially when they’re for school or cover topics that aren’t all that interesting. Writer’s block is one of the biggest problems that writers run into, both amateur and professional.

The library is a writer’s best resource, because there’s something for every type of writer. Poets – check out Writing Poetry from the Inside Out by Sandford Lyne if you’re looking for proper formations. If you’re interested in writing a memoir or an autobiography, try Write Your Life Story by Michael Oke. Struggling with ideas? Look into the Story Starter online for randomly generated writing prompts or even Fred D. White’s Where do you get your ideas? to find a concept and bring it to fruition. Just Write by James Scott Bell is another good one for fiction writers. And Writer’s Digest is a great website and magazine that’s highly recommended for general advice from experienced authors. Finally, don’t forget about the mechanics (i.e., grammar and citations). If you would like to become a grammar guru, definitely search for the Owl online for writing those pesky, exhausting college papers or William Strunk’s The Elements of Style.

Mess of Typewriter Ribbon - flickr
Photo by Julie Rybarczyk (flickr, some rights reserved).

While people may offer pseudointellectual advice on the subject – the best thing to do is tell yourself writer’s block doesn’t exist – it’s a mental construct. It’s difficult to avoid criticizing your own work, often hating it immediately after it’s written. However, if you just write whatever comes to mind, you’ll give yourself ideas to branch out from. For example, go outside when you feel like all of your creativity has dried up. Note every single thing that nature provides – like the birds flying overhead or the specific tangerine shade of the sky. Write everything and anything you see, think, and hear. Don’t pay attention to whether or not people will like what you write, just write what you would want to read. Try using the resources available to you, and remember, keep on writing, no matter what.

Books on Writing

The Elements of style / by William Strunk Jr. ; with revisions, an introduction, and a chapter on writing by E.B. White ; [foreword by Roger Angell]
Write your life story : how to organize and record your memories for family and friends to enjoy / Michael Oke
Around the writer's block : using brain science to solve writer's resistance / Rosanne Bane
Where do you get your ideas? : a writer's guide to transforming notions into narratives / Fred White
Just write : creating unforgettable fiction and a rewarding writing life / James Scott Bell

Writing Resources From the Web

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Story Starter

Writer’s Digest

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