Top 12 Books on Writing to Kick off NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

 It’s that time of year — National Novel Writing Month starts today! You might recall my blog post about this from last year, in which I declared my intent to join forces with writers of all stripes from around the country to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. (Spoiler alert: I didn’t even make it a week.)

Well, we’re back! This year, there are several of us going for it, and we’re here for each other (and you) as we aim to pound out an average of 1,667 words a day. In preparation, I pulled together my favorite books on writing to help me get into a proper headspace. I purchased most of these from my local Half Price Books throughout the years, and they have been invaluable to my writing education (Writing Movies, a book on screenplays, taught me about tension and pacing, for instance. Writing Fiction taught me that when striving for quality writing, nouns and verbs always trump adjectives and adverbs.)

Here are my personal favorite books on writing:


Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott; Writing the Breakout Novel, Donald Maass; Plot & Structure, James Scott Bell; 20 Master Plots (And How to Build Them), Ronald B. Tobias; The Forest for the Trees, Betsy Lerner; Revision & Self-Editing, James Scott Bell; The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller, John Truby; Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, Linda N. Edelstein, PH.D.; Writing Movies: The Practical Guide to Writing Stellar Screenplays, Gotham Writer’s Workshop; How to Write a Damn Good Novel, James N. Frey; Writing Fiction, Gotham Writer’s Workshop; Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury

If you are also sacrificing your life for the next 30 days, visit the NaNoWriMo site, which has some helpful suggestions on staying on track – including connecting with other Rhinos in your area, participating in write-ins, and keeping each other accountable. You can also follow @nanowrimo on Twitter.

What are your favorite books on writing? Anybody else participating in NaNoWriMo this year? – Kristen D.

Kristen is Public Relations Specialist at Half Price Books Corporate. 
You can follow her on Twitter at @kristendickson.

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