November is NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month). Sharpen your pencils and charge up those laptops! The Columbia College Chicago Library has some great books to help get you into gear and get you on your way.
1. Complete Handbook of Novel Writing
In The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition, you’ll learn from established writers about how to make your novel a reality. Discover techniques and strategies for generating ideas, connecting with readers emotionally, and finding inspiration you need to finish your work. This fully revised edition includes an updated marketing section for navigating the unique challenges and possibilities of the evolving literary marketplace.
2. On Writing
Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.
3. This Year You Write Your Novel
No more excuses. “Let the lawn get shaggy and the paint peel from the walls,” bestselling novelist Walter Mosley advises. Anyone can write a novel now, and in this essential book of tips, practical advice, and wisdom, Walter Mosley promises that the writer-in-waiting can finish it in one year. Mosley tells how to:
– Create a daily writing regimen to fit any writer’s needs–and how to stick to it.
– Determine the narrative voice that’s right for every writer’s style.
– Get past those first challenging sentences and into the heart of a story.
4. How Not to Write A Novel
In How Not to Write a Novel, authors Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman distill their 30 years combined experience in teaching, editing, writing, and reviewing fiction to bring you real advice from the other side of the query letter. Rather than telling you how or what to write, they identify the 200 most common mistakes unconsciously made by writers and teach you to recognize, avoid, and amend them. With hilarious “mis-examples” to demonstrate each manuscript-mangling error, they’ll help you troubleshoot your beginnings and endings, bad guys, love interests, style, jokes, perspective, voice, and more. As funny as it is useful, this essential how-NOT-to guide will help you get your manuscript out of the slush pile and into the bookstore.
5. The Writing Life: Writers on How they Think and Work
Featuring a gathering of more than fifty of contemporary literature’s finest voices, this volume will enchant, move, and inspire readers with its tales of The Writing Life. In it, authors divulge professional secrets: how they first discovered they were writers, how they work, how they deal with the myriad frustrations and delights a writer’s life affords. Culled from ten years of the distinguished Washington Post column of the same name, The Writing Life highlights an eclectic group of luminaries who have wildly varied stories to tell, but who share this singularly beguiling career. Here are their pleasures as well as their peeves; revelations of their deepest fears; dramas of triumphs and failures; insights into the demands and rewards.
The road to rejection is paved with bad beginnings. Agents and editors agree: Improper story beginnings are the single biggest barrier to publication. Why? If a novel or short story has a bad beginning, then no one will keep reading. It’s just that simple.
In Hooked, author Les Edgerton draws on his experience as a successful fiction writer and teacher to help you overcome the weak openings that lead to instant rejection by showing you how to successfully use the ten core components inherent to any great beginning.
7. Part Wild : A Writer’s Guide to Harnessing the Creative Power of Resistance
We all have the call to create. The question is…why don’t we answer it?
We all come pre-loaded with a creative spark that drives us to innovate, explore, express, and make our unique contribution to the world. Often, though, that drive doesn’t get us very far down the road before it runs right smack into resistance—the mysterious force that thwarts creativity.