November is National Novel Writing Month, challenging would-be authors (as well as old hands) to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by November 30. If you're taking the challenge, we have resources to help you through this first draft and after.Getting Started
Having trouble getting started? Do you fear the blank page or empty screen? These books offer a variety of writing prompts to inspire you to pick up the pen.Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises from Today's Best Writers and TeachersNow Write! MysteriesA Writer's Book of DaysMoe's CafeFast FictionAre you interested in writing genre fiction? These books will help you craft a plot
in the genre of your choice.
How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel
On Writing Horror
The Joy of Writing Sex
Help for Grammarphobes
Should that be a colon or semi-colon? What's a gerund, anyway? These titles help
you better understand grammar and sharpen your ability to communicate with your reader.
Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences
Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences
The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier
Eats, Shoots and Leaves
An excellent resource on revision is David Michael Kaplan's Revision: A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction. You might want to read this before you write your first draft as Kaplan spends time on the topic of "revising before writing" - think throughing the possibilities of your narrative before settling on a direction.
But wait...there's more
Phoenix Public Library also has online resources to help you write your novel - available to you for free with your library card.
We offer several online classes, including:
Romance Writing 101
Mystery Writing 101
Creative Writing 101
Novel Writing 101
Creative Writing Workshop
Classes are self-paced with real instructors to guide learning, engaging video-based lessons, graded tests and certificates of achievement. You may enroll in up to five courses at one time and have six months to finish each course. While courses are non-credit, some professional associations and organizations may accept them for Continuing Education Units.
We also offer two online resources that may be of special interest to writers - also available to you for free with your library card.
LearningExpressLibrary offers Grammar Practice, Grammar Skills for Writing, Writing Practice and Fundamentals of Writing Courses. Go to LearningExpresLibrary. (It's in the alpha menu on the "learning and research" page of the Library's website.) Sign in with your Phoenix Public Library card. Click on "Skill Building for Adults" on the left side of the page. Then click on "Writing and Grammar Skills Improvement."
NoveList Plus is a rich resource for readers and writers alike. This online resource offers reading recommendations, book discussion guides, thematic book lists and reviews from other readers. Writers might be particularly interested in "Feature Articles." Recent features have included "Noir than Meets the Eye," "Crime Fiction in Translation" and "Murder with an Italian Flair." Go to NoveList. (It's in the alpha menu on the "learning and research" page of the Library's website.) Sign in with your Phoenix Public Library card and begin your research on what other writers are doing in your genre.