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Worried about NaNoWriMo? I’ve Got the Books to Help!

by  | November 6
NaNoWriMo_Writing_Advice

It’s NaNoWriMo time! November is known as National Novel Writing Month. Whether you are totally plotted out already, or you’re planning to wing it starting on 11/1, we’re all about to embark on that wonderful journey of attempting to frantically tap out a novel in a single month. It’s a gargantuan task, I know! One that can be quite tricky to manage, especially with work and hustle, along with Thanksgiving, which seriously got in the way of my progress in past years. But it is doable. If you cut out a few extra social interactions, cut back on some of the TV you’re watching, and shut everything else out, you can write 50,000 words, no problem! And if it does become a problem, I’ve got a list of three books to help you out when you get really stuck, when you’re looking for some inspiration, or when you’re just looking to get out of your own novel for a hot second while still calling it “research.” One of these books is a throwback to my own creative writing classroom days, one is an utter classic that everyone has (or should), and one was written for NaNoWriMo specifically, to help with the terror of a blank page.

I hope this helps, and good luck with your novels! Tweet @caranesi if you’re dying to share the awesome plot you’ve come up with, or if you have any writing advice or other books that I should have included!

Writing Down the Bones

Writing Down the Bones

by Natalie Goldberg

Writing Down the Bones, in which Natalie Goldberg melds Zen meditation and writing, gives you suggestions, encouragement, and advice on how to write, and was an absolute staple in several of my writing classes. So many writing books offer theory as opposed to practice, and Writing Down the Bones has always been helpful to me when I get stuck someplace. Any one of these tips might be helpful, so don’t knock it till you try it!

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On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition

On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition

by Stephen King

On Writing by Stephen King is one of the classic books on the craft, from the master of writing himself. Of course, I want advice from a guy who turns out at least two bestselling books a year, and has been doing it for decades! King also helpfully includes a “toolkit” section, for both the practical and emotional components of getting through a rough patch of writer’s block, and you’ll appreciate his spiritual writing wisdom in your ear.

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No Plot? No Problem!

No Plot? No Problem!

by Chris Baty

No Plot? No Problem! is the brainchild of Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, written specifically for intrepid NaNo writers who’ve set out to complete the one-month 50,000-word challenge. This book includes motivational materials, word trackers, writing activities, and advice to help push you along to the finish line. If there is anyone who can help you get through this, it’s definitely Chris Baty and his No Plot? No Problem!

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Cara Nesi is a sales rep at Simon & Schuster who sells to independent bookstores in the Midwest. She grew up in the suburbs of New York and attended the University of Pittsburgh before returning to start her career in publishing. She enjoys reading literary fiction, especially absurdist authors like George Saunders, but she also reads A LOT of fantasy, science fiction and young adult books. Occasionally, she writes some fiction and non-fiction too. You can find her on twitter at @caranesi.