Celebrate National Novel Writing Month: Resources for Creative Writing
This month’s Library Podcast focuses on creative writing, in celebration of the month-long writing challenge National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Each November, participants are challenged to write 50,000 words of a novel. Once finished, the work can be uploaded onto the NaNoWriMo website, which also features prompts, author speeches, and other assistance to help tackle this challenge.
Whether you are ready to participate in NaNoWriMo or are just interested in trying out creative writing, the library offers many resources to support you. Here you can find links to some of the titles and resources mentioned in this month’s podcast, plus much more!
LinkedIn Learning (which transitioned from Lynda.com as of May 2021), offers many creative writing courses. You can find them through keyword searches such as “Novel,” “Writing Fiction,” or “Creative Writing.” Here are a few eye-catching options:
- The Foundations of Fiction
- Write a Bestselling Novel in 15 Steps
- Writing with Flair: How to Become an Exceptional Writer
If you want to focus on specific aspects of the creative writing process, from starting your novel to selling it, these classes may be helpful:
- Crafting Dynamic Characters
- Editing Mastery: How to Edit Writing to Perfection
- Sell Your Novel to a Major Publisher
Are you curious about how to write a specific genre or do you already have an idea for a novel? Another great resource for online classes is UniversalClass. Selecting “Creative Fiction Writing” under “Writing Skills” turns up some interesting results, including:
- Historical Fiction Writing
- Humor Writing 101
- Mystery Writing
- Romance Writing
- Writing the Great American Short Story
However, you don’t already have a prompt, topic, or genre in mind, you can also try more general introductory courses, such as Novel Writing 101, Creative Writing 101, and Creative Writing for Beginners.
The library offers many ebooks and audiobooks through OverDrive, which you can access by searching the phrase “how to write a novel.” For more general information that isn’t specific to novel-writing, search for “Creative Writing” and “Fiction Writing,” or browse by Subject and select Writing or Language Arts. Here is a selection of titles to help the with the entire novel-writing journey, from basic strategies to help you get started, to more in-depth storytelling craft:
- How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson
- Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book On Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need by Jessica Brody
- Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere) by Lisa Cron
- Story Physics: Harnessing the Underlying Forces of Storytelling or Story Engineering: Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing by Larry Brooks
- Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
- Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer (audiobook) by Roy Peter Clark
You may also be interested in exploring famous authors’ thoughts on writing, through titles such as Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury and audiobooks like How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Janet Evanovich and On Writing (audiobook) by Stephen King.
- Put Your Heart on the Page by Anne Perry, a documentary series highlighting different aspects of the craft of writing; or
- Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques by James Hynes, a TV show that is part of the lauded The Great Courses
You can also locate relevant ebooks by selecting Browse Ebooks, clicking Genres & Collections, then clicking Genres. Choose Language Arts & Discipline, then choose Writing. You will have the option to “See All Writing Titles” or, for more specific topics, try Authorship or Fiction Writing.
Through the library’s website, you can also access the digital magazine resource, Flipster, which includes Writer’s Digest in the Hobbies, Interests & DIY subject list.
For print resources, visit our BiblioCommons Catalog through the library website. You can pull up lots of great titles by searching the Subject Headings such as Fiction—Authorship, Fiction—Technique, or Creative Writing can help you find both how-to guides as well as the writing processes of many renowned authors.
Here are some titles that may be of interest:
- Novelista: Anyone Can Write a Novel. Yes, Even You by Claire Askew
- The Story Cure: A Book Doctor’s Pain-free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir by Dinty W. Moore
- Writing the Novel from Plot to Print to Pixel by Lawrence Block
- Writing Without Rules: How to Write & Sell a Novel without Guidelines, Experts, or (occasionally) Pants by Jeff Somers
Finally, here are a few titles that perfectly complement this month’s podcast to help you act on any NaNoWriMo ambitions you might have:
- Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
- Romance In a Month: How To Write A Romance by Rachelle Ayala
- Write A Novel In 3 Days by Mary Ann Tippett, an ebook for if you are interested in an even more intense marathon than NaNoWriMo offers, you can cut the amount of time by 90%!
- And last, but not least, from the founder of National Novel Writing Month, himself: No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty