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National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month! Learn more about the art of writing in these practical books.

Never say you can't survive : how to get through hard times by making up stories by Charlie Anders

"Things are scary right now. We're all being swept along by a tidal wave of history, and it's easy to feel helpless. But we're not helpless: we have minds, and imaginations, and the ability to visualize other worlds and valiant struggles. And writing can be an act of resistance that reminds us that other futures and other ways of living are possible. Full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish during the present emergency, Never Say You Can't Survive is the perfect manual for creativity in unprecedented times." --

Before and after the book deal : a writer's guide to finishing, publishing, promoting and surviving your first book by Courtney Maum

Everything you've ever wanted to know about publishing but were too afraid to ask is right here in this funny, candid guide by acclaimed author Courtney Maum

2K to 10K : writing faster, writing better, and writing more of what you love by Rachel Aaron

Write on, sisters! : voice, courage, and claiming your place at the table by Brooke Warner

The author draws upon research, anecdotes, and her personal experiences from twenty years in the book publishing industry to show how women's writing is discounted or less valued than men's writing, then provides support to overcome these challenges

The secret miracle : the novelist's handbook

The world?s best contemporary novelists?from Michael Chabon and Jonathan Lethem to Alaa Al Aswany and Mario Vargas Llosa?engage in a wide-ranging, insightful, and oft- surprising roundtable discussion on the art of writing fiction. Drawing back the curtain on the mysterious process of writing novels, The Secret Miracle brings together the foremost practitioners of the craft to discuss how they write

Write for your life by Anna Quindlen

"Write for Your Life is a guide for those who don't, won't, or think they can't write, what Anna Quindlen calls "civilians." Using examples past, present and future--from Anne Frank to Toni Morrison to members of her own family--Quindlen makes vivid all the ways in which writing connects us, to ourselves and to those we cherish. From love letters written after World War II to journal reflections from nurses and doctors today, and using her personal experiences not just as a writer but as a mother and daughter, Quindlen makes the case that recording our daily lives in an enduring form is more important than ever. All of our histories, of current events and personal challenges, can be understood and passed down through the written word; "to write the present," Quindlen says, "is to believe in the future." Write for Your Life is a clarion call to pick up the pen, and find yourself"--

Craft in the real world : rethinking fiction writing and workshopping by Matthew Salesses

A practical guide for teachers, students, and writers reveals how popular writing workshops need to adapt to better include marginalized writers, in a reference that explains the role of cultural expectations in informing storytelling.

On writing : a memoir of the craft by Stephen King

The author shares his insights into the craft of writing and offers a humorous perspective on his own experience as a writer

Letters to a young writer : some practical and philosophical advice by Colum McCann

"Drawing on the lessons learned throughout a distinguished writing career and nearly 20 years as a teacher of creative writing, McCann delivers a collection of essays that combines practical advice, creative inspiration, and a profound call to arms for anew generation of writers to bring truth and light to a dark world through their art. Addressing subjects such as "The Terror of the White Page," "Embrace the Critics," and "If You're Done, You've Just Begun," this collection is a testament to the bruisesof writing as profession and as calling, and a paean to the power of language"--

Mastering the process : from idea to novel by Elizabeth George

"As the author of twenty-four novels, Elizabeth George is one of the most successful--and prolific--novelists today. In Mastering the Process, George offers readers a master class in the art and science of crafting a novel. For many writers, the biggest challenge is figuring out how to take that earliest glimmer of inspiration and shape it into a full-length novel. How do you even begin to transform a single idea to a complete book? Elizabeth George takes us behind the scenes and into each step of her writing process, revealing exactly what it takes to craft a novel. Drawing from her personal photos, early notes, character analyses, and rough drafts, George shows us every step of how she wrote her novel Careless in Red, from researching location to imagining plot to creating characters to the actual writing and revision process itself. George offers us an intimate look at the process she follows, while also providing invaluable advice for writers about what's worked for her--and what hasn't. Mastering theProcess offers writers practical, prescriptive, and achievable tools to creating a novel, to editing a novel, and to problem solve when in the midst of a novel, from a master storyteller writing at the top of her game"--

27 essential principles of story : master the secrets of great storytelling, from Shakespeare to South Park by Daniel Joshua Rubin

"A modern and actionable guide to the fundamentals of writing compelling, well-crafted, authentic stories in any medium, with lessons illustrated by novels, plays, films, music, video games, and TV, and writers from Shakespeare and Dostoevsky to Quentin Tarantino and Eminem."--

The Poets & Writers complete guide to being a writer : everything you need to know about craft, inspiration, agents, editors, publishing, and the business of building a sustainable writing career by Kevin Larimer

A Poets & Writers guide draws on the insights of published authors, literary agents and editors in an authoritative reference that includes coverage of pursuing an MFA, preparing submissions and marketing in today's digital world.

The book bible : how to sell your manuscript--no matter what genre--without going broke or insane by Susan Shapiro

"In 'The Book Bible,' New York times bestseller and Manhattan writing professor Susan Shapiro reveals the best and fastest ways to break into a mainstream publishing house. Unlike most writing manuals that stick to only one genre, Shapiro maps out the rules of all the sought-after, sellable categories: novels, memoirs, biography, how-to, essay collections, anthologies, humor, mystery, crime, poetry, picture books, young adult and middle grade, fiction and nonfiction. She explains the differences in makingeach kind of book, as well as ways to find the right genre for every project and how to craft a winning proposal or great cover letter to get a top agent and book editor to say yes"--

How to craft a great story : how to master plot, structure and form in your creative writing by C Sykes

"[This book] takes you step by step through the process of creating a compelling and coherent plot and structure. It covers such basics as the traditional story arcs, and such advanced information as finding balance and marrying structure and form. Each chapter contains a diagnostic test, case studies, practical exercises, and Aide Memoire boxes. Each chapter concludes with a reminder of the key points of the chapter (Focus Points) and a round-up of what to expect in the next (Next Step) will whet your appetite for what's coming and how it relates to what you've just read. Covering some of the most commonly raised questions in creative writing courses, it is perfect for anyone who needs the next step on from the basic 'how to write a novel.'"--Provided by publisher

The last draft : a novelist's guide to revision by Sandra Jean Scofield

"The definitive handbook for the novelist who is ready to revise...This wise and friendly guide shows writers how to turn first-draft manuscripts into the novels of their dreams. A critic, longtime teacher, and award-winning novelist, Sandra Scofield illustrates how to reread a work of fiction with a view of its subject and vision, and how to take it apart and put it back together again, stronger and deeper. Scofield builds her explanations around helpful concepts like narrative structure, character agency, and core scenes, using models from classic and contemporary writers. The detailed, step-by-step plan laid out in The Last Draft offers invaluable advice to both novice and experienced writers alike. In Scofield, they will find a seasoned, encouraging mentor to steer them through this emotional and intellectual journey"--

Pep talks for writers : 52 insights and actions to boost your creative mojo by Grant Faulkner

"Every writer knows that as rewarding as the creative process is, it can often be a bumpy road. Have hope and keep at it! Designed to kick-start creativity, this handsome handbook from the executive director of National Novel Writing Month gathers a widerange of insights and advice for writers at any stage of their career. From tips about how to finally start that story to helpful ideas about what to do when the words just aren't quite coming out right, Pep Talks for Writers provides motivation, encouragement, and helpful exercises for writers of all stripes"--

Story genius : how to use brain science to go beyond outlining and write a riveting novel by Lisa Cron

"Following on the heels of Lisa Cron's breakout first book, Wired for Story, this writing guide reveals how to use cognitive storytelling strategies to build a scene-by-scene blueprint for a riveting story. It's every novelist's greatest fear: pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into writing hundreds of pages only to realize that their story has no sense of urgency, no internal logic, and so is a page one rewrite. The prevailing wisdom in the writing community is that there are just two ways around this problem: pantsing (winging it) and plotting (focusing on the external plot). Story coach Lisa Cron has spent her career discovering why these these methods don't work and coming up with a powerful alternative, based on the science behind what our brains are wired to crave in every story we read (and it's not what you think). In Story Genuis Cron takes you, step-by-step, through the creation of a novel from the first glimmer of an idea, to a complete multilayered blueprint--including fully realized scenes--that evolves into a first draft with the authority, richness, and command of a riveting sixth or seventh draft"--

Book in a month : the foolproof system for writing a novel in 30 days by Victoria Schmidt

The writer's practice : building confidence in your nonfiction writing by John Warner

"For anyone aiming to improve their skill as a writer, a new approach to establishing robust writing practices inside and outside the classroom"--

How not to write a novel : 200 classic mistakes and how to avoid them--a misstep-by-misstep guide by Howard Mittelmark

This year you write your novel by Walter Mosley

The author shares professional tips on how to write a novel, counseling aspiring writers on how to create and adhere to a daily writing schedule, determine a personal narrative voice, and work through the challenging initial stages

How I write : secrets of a serial fiction writer by Janet Evanovich

How many people would kill to be a bestselling novelist-especially one like Janet Evanovich? Using a witty Q&A format, Evanovich and creative writing professor Ina Yalof detail the elements of writing and publishing a novel, and address all categories of fiction-from mystery/thriller/action titles to romance; from stand-alone narratives to series. It offers practical and inspiring advice on such subjects as structuring a plot and handling rejection. How I Write is the perfect reference for anyone looking to improve their writing, and for those fans who are hungry to find out more about just how Janet Evanovich ticks

The 3 a.m. epiphany : uncommon writing exercises that transform your fiction by Brian Kiteley

Self-editing for fiction writers : how to edit yourself into print by Renni Browne

Write away : one novelist's approach to fiction and the writing life by Elizabeth George

The modern library writer's workshop : a guide to the craft of fiction by Stephen Koch

The lie that tells a truth : a guide to writing fiction by John Dufresne

A guide to writing fiction shows readers where to go to find inspiration, stories, and characters, demystifying the writing process while maintaining the author's comic voice.

Negotiating with the dead : a writer on writing by Margaret Atwood

The author offers a feminine perspective on writing in a collection of essays that examines her development as a poet and bestselling novelist, and includes references to the works of Virgil, Isak Dinesen, and Robertson Davies

The writer's library : the authors you love on the books that changed their lives

"Moving, joyful, and insightful collection of conversations with today's living literary legends about the books that changed their lives, made them think, and brought them joy, from 'American's Librarian' Nancy Pearl and noted playwright Jeff Schwager"--

Draft no. 4 : essays about the writing process by John McPhee

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