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NaNoWriMo: What to Read Based on Your Writing Style

by | November 8

It’s November, and that means one thing: it’s time to write a novel! Yes, you have found yourself embarking on a journey of little sleep, turning down all invitations from your friends, and banging your head repeatedly against your laptop as you realize you have no plot. We’re here to help with book recommendations to inspire you, no matter what kind of NaNoWriMo writer you are.

The Year of Living Biblically

The Year of Living Biblically

by A. J. Jacobs

The Plotter: Read The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs

You’re the person who starts outlining in July. By the time you put your pen to page or your hands to keyboard in November, you know exactly what your novel will be about, where it will start, which page your character’s mother will die on, and when your protagonist will find the monkey in her fridge. You, my dear WriMo, may find something in common with author A. J. Jacobs, who, in a 2013 interview with Daily Beast, expressed his love for multiple outlines. When you’re taking a break from your 1,667 or more words a day, look for inspiration in The Year of Living Biblically, a memoir A. J. Jacobs no doubt outlined many times about his year of following the rules in the Bible as closely as possible.

Elevation

Elevation

by Stephen King

The Pantser: Read anything by Stephen King

It’s November. You don’t know what you’re writing, or maybe you have an idea in your head, but you would never dream of mapping it out in advance. The plotters on the NaNo forums may make fun of you and your pantser ways, but never fear. You have a solid example for them. The prolific Stephen King mentions in his book On Writing that he never uses an outline, and neither should you! So, pick up a Stephen King novel when you need inspiration, and remember that some of the best writers are pantsers. King’s latest book, Elevation, is a timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

The Legacy WriMo: Read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

You’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, and maybe even won, every year since 2003. You are a regular fixture on the site, and you’re not even sure what November would be like anymore without writing 50,000 words. When you’ve finished your novel this month, pick up Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. Erin wrote The Night Circus over the course of two NaNos and went on to become a New York Times bestselling novelist. Read her story to remember what may become of your latest work in progress and to celebrate one of your fellow WriMos. Then get to editing your own work!

1Q84

1Q84

by Haruki Murakami

The Overachiever: Read 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

If you’re planning to write 200,000 words (or more!) in November, you’re definitely an Overachiever WriMo. You may be spending the entire month hunched over a computer, but when you take a break, consider picking up 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. This hefty novel, clocking in at 900+ pages and over 200,000 words, can be your aspiration and a reminder that a novel can be much, much longer than 50,000 words.

via GIPHY

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

by Anthony Burgess

The Newbie: Read A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Rumor has it that Anthony Burgess wrote this novel in about three weeks. The classic book, set in England, about a near future with a subculture of extreme youth violence went on to become a film adaptation in 1971. You may be new to NaNoWriMo and wondering if it really is possible to write a novel in a month. Read Anthony Burgess’s classic to be reminded that it is, in fact, an achievable goal, and you can definitely do this!

The Boy In the Striped Pajamas (Movie Tie-in Edition)

The Boy In the Striped Pajamas (Movie Tie-in Edition)

by John Boyne

The Thanksgiving Marathoner: Read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Okay. I get it. You meant to write every day. You had big plans to get your 1,667 words in each morning before work, but it just never, well, worked. So, now, here you are, Thanksgiving weekend, and instead of pie, you have a novel to write. A novel in four days may seem impossible, but take it from John Boyne, who wrote the iconic The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in two days. If you get immersed in your story, you can write most of your novel in four days or less. You’ve got this!

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