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Recommended NaNo Reading

These are a few of my favorite books when I'm ramping up for NaNoWriMo. If you can only read two, I'd choose Baty's book, of course, and Smith's You Can Write a Novel. I've tried to stick with ones that are process-oriented because for NaNo, you don't need books on literary criticism or esoteric 'why do you want to write' psychobabble - you need to get words on the page! But it's not a bad thought to skim at least one on writer's block.

No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty . Here's where it all begins. Read Part 1 in October, then take Part 2 week by week in November. (Note: I know Chris has a new No Plot? No Problem! Kit available on Amazon, but this is just a list of what I've used myself.)
You Can Write a Novel (You Can Write) by James V. Smith . The writing before this writing. Following this book prior to November will give you plenty to work when you sit down to write your novel.
Fiction Writer's Brainstormer by James V. Smith. Still looking for a story? Try this. At least try out the scene cards, character cards, (both slightly different from his "You Can..." book), and the 10-Scene Tool.
The Writers Little Helper: Everything You Need to Know to Write Better And Get Published by James V. Smith. The forms have been updated and improved since The Fictions Writer's Brainstormer and You Can Write A Novel, but the topics are jumbled in random order so you can 'flip to any page.' Tge improved forms are more helpful, but the overall structure a little less so. It's a trade-off.
Story Structure Architect: A Writer's Guide to Building Dramatic Situations and Compelling Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. So just what are you writing? This book updates Georges Polti's famous The 36 Dramatic Situations. There are 55 here, plus 11 Master Structures, with thought-provoking questions for each. Worth a look.
Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D.. A well-structured approach in do-able chunks to get that book written in a month. Even if you don't use it for NaNo, it's worth having for other projects the rest of the year.
You Can Write a Novel Kit by James V. Smith. Contains most of the content in You Can Write A Novel, with color-coded forms for capturing characters, chapters, scenes and revisions.
Outwitting Writers' Block: And Other Problems of the Pen by Jenna Glatzer. Loads of fun, this book. Lots of really good, realistic suggestions, including not investing in fancy $20 journal that turns out to be too pretty to write in. All her ideas may not work for you but some them definitely will And a trip to the dollar store for writing mascot? Mine's a tiger, and believe me - having a stuffed $1 animal to rail at on a bad writing day will preserve your relationships with other humans. Trust me.

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