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What Is National Novel Writing Month?
What Is NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a writing challenge where participants attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. The challenge is open to everyone, especially those who have thought about writing a novel but haven't yet taken the leap.
You can sign up for a free account at nanowrimo.org, where you can keep track of your word count, access resources, and befriend other writers.
(image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month)
Keeping Track of Your Words
The NaNo Website
The easiest way of keeping track of your words is through the NaNoWriMo website itself. You can sign up for a free account and update your word count each day (or multiple times a day).
WriteTrack is a free tool designed by David Gale that lets you keep track of your words. It's also customizable to your schedule by giving you the option of weighting days differently. If you know you get a lot of writing done on Sundays, you can weight Sundays more heavily so the tracker will know you expect more words. And if there are days you don't expect to get anything done, like maybe Thanksgiving, you can plug that in, too. You need to register to use it.
Pacemaker Planner is similar to WriteTrack. You have to create an account, and with the free version, you can only save two plans. Like WriteTrack, Pacemaker gives you the option to choose days you think you will get more words or fewer words written so you can hit 50,000 at your own pace instead of a steady 1,667 words per day.
Gumberg has the following books on creative writing (and many more!) available:
The Amazing Story Generator by
Call Number: PN3355 .A84 2012 (Curriculum Center)
Publication Date: 2012-08-15
The Amazing Story Generator creates thousands of different story prompts! This flipbook for writers and other creative types allows users to randomly combine three different elements to generate a unique story idea. With hundreds of settings, characters, and plots to mix and match, the possibilities are just about endless. Packed with colorful, wacky, and engaging prompts, this is the perfect tool for jump-starting fresh new short stories, novels, scripts, screenplays, and improv sessions.
Basher Basics: Creative Writing by
Call Number: PN187 .B83 2013x (Curriculum Center)
Publication Date: 2013-07-30
From the bestselling illustrator whose friendly take on science has revolutionized our understanding of everything from the periodic table to the universe, comes a fresh take on creative writing as only Basher can do it. Meet Plot, one of the many 'Schemers and Dreamers' who keeps a story running and its events moving in the right order; Atmosphere, known as a 'Scene Setter' because her job entails filling a scene with suspense, drama, or comedy; a cast of 'Heroes and Villains' including Protagonist and Narrator; and chatty, talkative Wordsmiths like Dialogue to name one in particular. Basher Basics: Creative Writing is a persuasive guide that includes tons of detail on the building blocks of narrative and what makes creative writing work.
Building Fiction by
Call Number: PN3353 .K47 1997
Publication Date: 1997-06-15
According to Kercheval, writers must build a work of fiction just as an architect would design a house - with an eye for details and how all the parts of the story or novel interconnect.
No Plot? No Problem! by
Call Number: PN3365.B335 2014
Publication Date: 2014-09-16
Chris Baty, founder of the wildly successful literary marathon known as National Novel Writing Month, has completely revised and expanded his definitive handbook for extreme noveling. Chris pulls from over 15 years of results-oriented writing experience to pack this compendium with new tips and tricks, ranging from week-by-week quick reference guides to encouraging advice from authors, and much more. His motivating mix of fearless optimism and practical solutions to common excuses gives both first-time novelists and results-oriented writers the kick-start they need to embark on an exhilarating creative adventure.
Call Number: PR6053.U825 O95 2016x
Publication Date: 2016-02-09
A Finalist for the Folio Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction One of The New York Times' Top Ten Books of the Year Named a A New York Times Book Review Notable Book and a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, Vogue, NPR, The Guardian, The Independent, Glamour, and The Globe and Mail Chosen as one of fifteen remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write in the 21st century by the book critics of The New York Times Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and lucid, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing over an oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss.
Writing Fiction by
Call Number: PN3355 .B79 2011
Publication Date: 2010-01-03
The most widely used and respected text in its field, Writing Fiction, 7e by novelists Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuckey-French guides the novice story writer from first inspiration to final revision by providing practical writing techniques and concrete examples. Written in a tone that is personal and non-prescriptive, the text encourages students to develop proficiency through each step of the writing process, offering an abundance of exercises designed to spur writing and creativity. The text also integrates diverse contemporary short stories in every chapter in the belief that the reading of inspiring fiction goes hand-in-hand with the writing of fresh and exciting stories.
Writing Magic by
Call Number: PN3355 .L397 2006 (Curriculum Center)
Publication Date: 2006-09-19
In Writing Magic, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine shares her secrets of great writing. She shows how you, too, can get terrific ideas for stories, invent great beginnings and endings, write sparkling dialogue, develop memorable characters--and much, much more. She advises you about what to do when you feel stuck--and how to use helpful criticism. Best of all, she offers writing exercises that will set your imagination on fire. With humor, honesty, and wisdom, Gail Carson Levine shows you that you, too, can make magic with your writing.
List of Books That Started Out as NaNoWriMo Projects
These novels started out as NaNoWriMo projects. Will yours be on this list one day?
Call Number: PZ7 .M571737 CIN 2012 (Curriculum Center)
Publication Date: 2012-01-03
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.
Call Number: PS3618 .O8755 F36 2013 (Curriculum Center)
Publication Date: 2013-09-10
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life-and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to.Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? Open her heart to someone?Or will she just go on living inside somebody else's fiction?
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by
Call Number: PZ7 .R9478 FOR 2010X c.2 (Curriculum Center)
Publication Date: 2010-02-09
In Mary's world there are simple truths. nbsp;nbsp; The Sisterhood always knows best. nbsp;nbsp; The Guardians will protect and serve. nbsp;nbsp; The Unconsecrated will never relent. nbsp;nbsp; And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. nbsp;nbsp; But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. nbsp;nbsp; Now, she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
The Night Circus by
Call Number: PS 3613 .O74875 N54 2011 (Popular Reading)
Publication Date: 2011-09-13
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway--a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love--a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
Water for Elephants by
Call Number: PS3607.R696 W38 2011x
Publication Date: 2011-03-01
Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell. Jacob was there because his luck had run out--orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive "ship of fools." It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act--in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival. Surprising, poignant, and funny, Water for Elephants is that rare novel with a story so engrossing, one is reluctant to put it down; with characters so engaging, they continue to live long after the last page has been turned; with a world built of wonder, a world so real, one starts to breathe its air.
You Bring the Distant Near by
Call Number: PZ7.P4315 You 2017 (Curriculum Center)
Publication Date: 2017-09-12
Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture--for better or worse. Fans of Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also a Star will find a lot to love in this literary tour de force.From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity.Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.