All locations of the Public Library are CLOSED Monday, November 16 through Monday, November 30 in compliance with the State public health order.
Due dates and hold pickup dates will be extended to December 14.
Please DO NOT RETURN items to the book drop until branches reopen.
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month
30 Days • 50,000 Words • One Life-Changing Experience
What is National Novel Writing Month? NaNoWriMo is an effort to encourage people to work on that novel they've always intended to write "someday"--TODAY!
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.
Throughout November, aspiring authors work on their novels with encouragement from authors and other writers, and keep track of their word counts on the NaNoWriMo website.
Sign up here and start writing!
Events at the Library
NaNoWriMo Write at Home 2020
Though The Public Library is unable to offer any in-person programming this year, we encourage all writers to hone their craft from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Be on the lookout for some tips, tricks, and inspiration for your writing journey from the library's own writing lovers in the near future!
Check out these recently added writing books in our catalog.
Consider This by "In this spellbinding blend of memoir and insight, bestselling author Chuck Palahniuk shares stories and generous advice on what makes writing powerful and what makes for powerful writing. With advice grounded in years of careful study and a keenly observed life, Palahniuk combines practical advice and concrete examples from beloved classics, his own books, and a "kitchen-table MFA" culled from an evolving circle of beloved authors and artists, with anecdotes, postcards from the road, and much more. Clear-eyed, sensitive, illuminating, and knowledgeable, Consider This is Palahniuk's love letter to stories and storytellers, booksellers and books themselves"-- Provided by publisher.
Publication Date: 2020-01-07
Mastering the Process by As the author of twenty-four novels, Elizabeth George is one of the most successful--and prolific--novelists today. In Mastering the Process, George offers readers a master class in the art and science of crafting a novel. This is a subject she knows well, having taught creative writing both nationally and internationally for over thirty years. "I have never before read a book about writing that is so thorough, thoughtful, and most of all, helpful." --Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women For many writers, the biggest challenge is figuring out how to take that earliest glimmer of inspiration and shape it into a full-length novel. How do you even begin to transform a single idea into a complete book? In these pages, award-winning, number one New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George takes us behind the scenes through each step of her writing process, revealing exactly what it takes to craft a novel. Drawing from her personal photos, early notes, character analyses, and rough drafts, George shows us every stage of how she wrote her novel Careless in Red, from researching location to imagining plot to creating characters to the actual writing and revision processes themselves. George offers us an intimate look at the procedures she follows, while also providing invaluable advice for writers about what has worked for her--and what hasn't. Mastering the Process gives writers practical, prescriptive, and achievable tools for creating a novel, editing a novel, and problem solving when in the midst of a novel, from a master storyteller writing at the top of her game.
Publication Date: 2020-04-07
Brave the Page by Partly a how-to guide on the nitty-gritty of writing, partly a collection of inspiration to set (and meet) ambitious goals, Brave the Pageis the go-to resource for middle-grade writers. Narrated in a fun, refreshingly kid-friendly voice, it champions NaNoWriMo's central mission that everyone's stories deserve to be told. The volume includes chapters on character, plot, setting, and the like; motivating essays from popular authors; advice on how to commit to your goals; a detailed plan for writing a novel or story in a month; and more! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes in the transformational power of creativity. They provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds--on and off the page. With its first event in 1999, the organization's programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers Program, Come Write In, and the "Now What?" Months.
Publication Date: 2019-08-27
The Elements of Fiction Writing by In his essential writing guide,This Year You Write Your Novel, Walter Mosley supplied aspiring writers with the basic tools to write a novel in one year. In this com-plementary follow up, Mosley guides the writer through the elements of not just any fiction writing, but the kind of writing that transcends convention and truly stands out. How does one approach the genius of writers like Melville, Dickens, or Twain? InThe Elements of Fiction, Walter Mosley contemplates the answer. In a series of instructive and conversational chapters, Mosley demonstrates how to master fiction's most essential elements: character and char-acter development, plot and story, voice and narrative, context and description, and more. The result is a vivid depiction of the writing process, from the blank page to the first draft to rewriting, and rewriting again. Throughout,The Elements of Fiction is enriched by brilliant demonstrative examples that Mosley himself has written here for the first time. Inspiring, accessible, and told in a voice both trustworthy and wise,The Elements of Fiction writing will intrigue and encourage writers and readers alike.
Publication Date: 2019-09-03
Books to help you write your novel 2
Books by celebrated authors to keep you writing.
Bird by Bird by "Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said. 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'" With this basic instruction always in mind, Anne Lamott returns to offer us a new gift: a step-by-step guide on how to write and on how to manage the writer's life. From "Getting Started,' with "Short Assignments," through "Shitty First Drafts," "Character," "Plot," "Dialogue." all the way from "False Starts" to "How Do You Know When You're Done?" Lamott encourages, instructs, and inspires. She discusses "Writers Block," "Writing Groups," and "Publication." Bracingly honest, she is also one of the funniest people alive. If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this books for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eves open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life. "An inspiring book about writing as a way of finding the truth -- San Francisco Chronicle "Surpasses all the other books on writing already out there -- even the wonderful stuff by Natalie Goldberg, John Gardner, and Annie Dillard." -- Seattle Times "Well-written, funny, and useful." -- Denver Post "I ended up reading it twice and expect to dip into it again in times of need. I recommend this book to other writers without reservation....This woman is uncanny." -- Marie Winn, Wall Street Journal "A quirky, personal, mordant, down-to-earth guide to fiction writing by a wonderful novelist essayist. Lamott makes writing seem like something you could actually enjoy." -- The Nation
Publication Date: 1994-09-06
The Kite and the String by A targeted and insightful guide to the stages of writing fiction and memoir without falling into common traps, while wisely navigating the writing life, from an award-winning author and longtime teacher "A book-length master class." --The Atlantic Writing well does not result from following rules and instructions, but from a blend of spontaneity, judgment, and a wise attitude toward the work--neither despairing nor defensive, but clear-eyed, courageous, and discerning. Writers must learn to tolerate the early stages, the dreamlike and irrational states of mind, and then to move from jottings and ideas to a messy first draft, and onward into the work of revision. Understanding these stages is key. The Kite and the String urges writers to let playfulness and spontaneity breathe life into the work--letting the kite move with the winds of feeling--while still holding on to the string that will keep it from flying away. Alice Mattison attends also to the difficulties of protecting writing time, preserving solitude, finding trusted readers, and setting the right goals for publication. The only writing guide that takes up both the stages of creative work and developing effective attitudes while progressing through them, plus strategies for learning more about the craft, The Kite and the String responds to a pressing need for writing guidance at all levels.
Publication Date: 2016-08-16
On Writing by Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King's critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work. "Long live the King" hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999--and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it--fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
Publication Date: 2010-07-06
Pep Talks for Writers by Every writer knows that as rewarding as the creative process is, it can often be a bumpy road. Have hope and keep at it! Designed to kick-start creativity, this handbook from the executive director of National Novel Writing Month gathers a wide range of insights and advice for writers at any stage of their career. From tips about how to finally start that story to helpful ideas about what to do when the words just aren't quite coming out right, Pep Talks for Writers provides motivation, encouragement, and helpful exercises for writers of all stripes.
Publication Date: 2017-10-03
Steering the Craft by A revised and updated guide to the essentials of a writer's craft, presented by a brilliant practitioner of the art Completely revised and rewritten to address the challenges and opportunities of the modern era, this handbook is a short, deceptively simple guide to the craft of writing. Le Guin lays out ten chapters that address the most fundamental components of narrative, from the sound of language to sentence construction to point of view. Each chapter combines illustrative examples from the global canon with Le Guin's own witty commentary and an exercise that the writer can do solo or in a group. She also offers a comprehensive guide to working in writing groups, both actual and online. Masterly and concise, Steering the Craft deserves a place on every writer's shelf.
Publication Date: 2015-09-01
Story Genius by "Following on the heels of Lisa Cron's breakout first book, Wired for Story, this writing guide reveals how to use cognitive storytelling strategies to build a scene-by-scene blueprint for a riveting story. It's every novelist's greatest fear: pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into writing hundreds of pages only to realize that their story has no sense of urgency, no internal logic, and so is a page one rewrite. The prevailing wisdom in the writing community is that there are just two ways around this problem: pantsing (winging it) and plotting (focusing on the external plot). Story coach Lisa Cron has spent her career discovering why these these methods don't work and coming up with a powerful alternative, based on the science behind what our brains are wired to crave in every story we read (and it's not what you think). In Story Genuis Cron takes you, step-by-step, through the creation of a novel from the first glimmer of an idea, to a complete multilayered blueprint--including fully realized scenes--that evolves into a first draft with the authority, richness, and command of a riveting sixth or seventh draft"-- Provided by publisher.
Publication Date: 2016
Zen in the Art of Writing by "Bradbury, all charged up, drunk on life, joyous with writing, puts together nine past essays on writing and creativity and discharges every ounce of zest and gusto in him."--Kirkus Reviews#65533;"Zen and the Art of Writing is purely and simply Bradbury's love song to his craft."--Los Angeles Times
Publication Date: 1993-08-01
Books to help you write your novel
Writing Tips, Tricks, and Exercises
Books to help polish your writing for the publishable market.
Dialogue by The long-awaited follow-up to the perennially bestselling writers' guide Story, from the most sought-after expert in the art of storytelling. Robert McKee's popular writing workshops have earned him an international reputation. The list of alumni with Oscars runs off the page. The cornerstone of his program is his singular book, Story, which has defined how we talk about the art of story creation. Now, in DIALOGUE, McKee offers the same in-depth analysis for how characters speak on the screen, on the stage, and on the page in believable and engaging ways. From Macbeth to Breaking Bad, McKee deconstructs key scenes to illustrate the strategies and techniques of dialogue. DIALOGUE applies a framework of incisive thinking to instruct the prospective writer on how to craft artful, impactful speech. Famous McKee alumni include Peter Jackson, Jane Campion, Geoffrey Rush, Paul Haggis, the writing team for Pixar, and many others.
Publication Date: 2016-07-12
The Elements of Style by You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing.
Publication Date: 1999-07-23
First You Write a Sentence by "Do you want to write clearer, livelier prose? This witty primer will help." --The New York Times Book Review An exploration of how the most ordinary words can be turned into verbal constellations of extraordinary grace through the art of building sentences The sentence is the common ground where every writer walks. A good sentence can be written (and read) by anyone if we simply give it the gift of our time, and it is as close as most of us will get to making something truly beautiful. Using minimal technical terms and sources ranging from the Bible and Shakespeare to George Orwell and Maggie Nelson, as well as scientific studies of what can best fire the reader's mind, author Joe Moran shows how we can all write in a way that is clear, compelling and alive. Whether dealing with finding the ideal word, building a sentence, or constructing a paragraph, First You Write a Sentence informs by light example: much richer than a style guide, it can be read not only for instruction but for pleasure and delight. And along the way, it shows how good writing can help us notice the world, make ourselves known to others, and live more meaningful lives. It's an elegant gem in praise of the English sentence.
Publication Date: 2019-08-13
No Plot? No Problem! by 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.
Publication Date: 2014-09-16
On Editing by "Nothing is unreal as long as you can imagine like a crow." --Munia Khan Conventional wisdom says that a crow can not be tamed. These intelligent creatures are often understood as harbingers of doubt and uncertainty, whose high nesting grant them an unusually elevated perspective. For the writer, the crows of doubt circle over every project. This book shows they can be tamed. Writing is a magical hobby and form of expression but getting words on the page is not the same as finalizing material which you are happy to send out and share. This book is a complete toolkit which will help you to tame doubts and insecurities and engage with your internal critic in order to assert control over your manuscript and elevate your writing. Written by the team behind one of the world's most successful literary consultancies, Taming the Crows will show you how to master the art of self-editing--perhaps the least understood but most vital skill in the writer's toolkit. You will learn to compose, draft, and edit while sharpening your writing and ensuring that your novel is structurally sound, authentic, well-written and ready for submission. About the Series: The Teach Yourself Creative Writing series helps aspiring authors tell their stories. Covering a range of genres from science fiction and romantic novels to illustrated children's books and comedy, this series is packed with advice, exercises, and tips for unlocking creativity and improving your writing. And because we know how daunting the blank page can be, we set up the Just Write online community, as tyjustwrite.com, for budding authors and successful writers to connect and share.
Publication Date: 2018-08-28
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by The first novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! story-structure series, which reveals the 15 essential plot points needed to make any novel a success. Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing. Revealing the 15 "beats" (plot points) that comprise a successful story--from the opening image to the finale--this book lays out the Ten Story Genres (Monster in the House; Whydunit; Dude with a Problem) alongside quirky, original insights (Save the Cat; Shard of Glass) to help novelists craft a plot that will captivate--and a novel that will sell.
Publication Date: 2018-10-09
Writer's Market 2020 by The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published! Want to get published and paid for your writing? Let Writer's Market 2020 guide you through the process with thousands of publishing opportunities for writers, including listings for book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, contests and awards, and literary agents--as well as new playwriting and screenwriting sections. These listings feature contact and submission information to help writers get their work published. Beyond the listings, you'll find articles devoted to the business and promotion of writing. Discover 20 literary agents actively seeking writers and their writing, how to develop an author brand, and overlooked funds for writers. This edition also includes the ever-popular pay-rate chart and book publisher subject index! You also gain access to: * Lists of professional writing organizations * Sample query letters * How to land a six-figure book deal
Publication Date: 2019-11-05
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg's word-of-mouth hit has sold well over half a million copies. Goldberg, who has conducted writing workshops for both beginners and professionals all over the United States, sees writing as a practice that helps us comprehend the value of our lives. With insight, humor, and practicality, she inspires writers and would-be writers alike to take the leap into writing creatively and well.
Publication Date: 1986-10-12
Genre Specific Writing Guides
Genre Specific Writing Guides
No matter what genre you're writing, the library has a book on it. Check these out for tips, tricks, and inspiration.
The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction by The essential guide to mastering Christian fiction! To write a powerful, meaningful Christian novel, you must embrace the soaring creativity inspired by faith, while also committing to the serious discipline required of an artisan. You must be able to weave a compelling story with an underlying message that deeply affects both your characters and your readers. As fulfilling as the Christian genre is, the road to a satisfying story--and publication--is filled with hard work. But take heart. The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction can help make the journey easier. Inside, author Jeff Gerke provides page after page of insightful instruction and encouragement. You'll learn how to: Write for a Christian audience while glorifying God through your fiction. Find your story amidst a bevy of ideas. Avoid using hidden agendas, messages, and sermons in your writing. Convert telling into showing. Handle profane characters in Christian fiction. From understanding your calling as a Christian author to finding a literary agent and navigating the path to publication, The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction is the go-to manual for every step along the way.
Publication Date: 2014-09-18
The Art of Memoir by Bestselling author and renowned professor Mary Karr offers a master class in the essential elements of great memoir--delivered with her signature wit, insight, and candor. Credited with sparking the current memoir explosion, Mary Karr's The Liars' Club spent more than a year at the top of the New York Times list. She followed with two other smash bestsellers: Cherry and Lit, which were critical hits as well. For thirty years Karr has also taught the form, winning teaching prizes at Syracuse. (The writing program there produced such acclaimed authors as Cheryl Strayed, Keith Gessen, and Koren Zailckas.) In The Art of Memoir, she synthesizes her expertise as professor and therapy patient, writer and spiritual seeker, recovered alcoholic and "black belt sinner," providing a unique window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent, insightful, and entertaining as her own work in the genre. Anchored by excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers' experience, The Art of Memoir lays bare Karr's own process. (Plus all those inside stories about how she dealt with family and friends get told-- and the dark spaces in her own skull probed in depth.) As she breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate. Joining such classics as Stephen King's On Writing and Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, The Art of Memoir is an elegant and accessible exploration of one of today's most popular literary forms--a tour de force from an accomplished master pulling back the curtain on her craft.
Publication Date: 2015-09-15
Fast Fiction by A successful author of young adult fiction offers an innovative step-by-step guide to completing a rough draft novel in thirty daysWriters flock to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) each November because it provides a procrastination-busting deadline. But only a fraction of the participants meet their goal. Denise Jaden was part of that fraction, writing first drafts of her two published young adult novels during NaNoWriMo. In Fast Fiction, she shows other writers how to do what she did, step-by-step, writer to writer. Her process starts with a prep period for thinking through plot, theme, characters, and setting. Then Jaden provides day-by-day coaching for the thirty-day drafting period. Finally, her revision tips help writers turn merely workable drafts into compelling and publishable novels. A portion of publisher proceeds will be donated to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
Publication Date: 2014-02-11
I Give You My Body ... by NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * For writers looking to make sure their next physical interlude on the page inspires readers to share the moment rather than to laugh at it, bestselling author Diana Gabaldon divulges the writing secrets behind the sex scenes in her wildly popular Outlander novels. "Ask me to your bed," he said. "I shall come to ye." In this revealing compendium, acclaimed writer Diana Gabaldon shares her invaluable lessons for creating an immersive reading experience, from evoking a mood to using the power of emotions to communicate physical intimacy. You'll learn the difference between gratuitous sex and genuine encounters that move the story forward, and how to handle less-than-savory acts that nevertheless serve a narrative purpose. Gabaldon also notes that sex can be conveyed instead of described. With such tips as "The Rule of Three" for involving the senses, handy lists of naughty euphemisms (with instructions for use), and Gabaldon's own examples from the Outlander novels, "I Give You My Body . . ." is a master class in writing to draw readers in and keep them riveted to the page.
Publication Date: 2016-08-16
The Magic Words by This master class in writing children's and young adult novels will teach you everything you need to know to write and publish a great book. The best children's and young adult novels take readers on wonderful outward adventures and stirring inward journeys. In The Magic Words, editor Cheryl B. Klein guides writers on an enjoyable and practical-minded voyage of their own, from developing a saleable premise for a novel to finding a dream agent. She delves deep into the major elements of fiction--intention, character, plot, and voice--while addressing important topics like diversity, world-building, and the differences between middle-grade and YA novels. In addition, the book's exercises, questions, and straightforward rules of thumb help writers apply these insights to their own creative works. With its generous tone and useful tools for story analysis and revision, The Magic Words is an essential handbook for writers of children's and young adult fiction.
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by Do you envision celestial cities in distant, fantastic worlds? Do you dream of mythical beasts and gallant quests in exotic kingdoms? If you have ever wanted to write the next great fantasy or science fiction story, this all-in-one comprehensive book will show you how. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction is full of advice from master authors offering definitive instructions on world building, character creation, and storytelling in the many styles and possibilities available to writers of speculative fiction. Combining two Writer's Digest classics, Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy and The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference, along with two new selections from award-winning science fiction and fantasy authors Philip Athans and Jay Lake, this new book provides the best of all worlds. You'll discover: How to build, populate, and dramatize fantastic new worlds. How to develop dynamic and meaningful themes that will expand the cannon of sci-fi and fantasy storytelling. Exciting subgenres such as steampunk, as well as new developments in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. How to imbue your tales with historically accurate information about world cultures, legends, folklore, and religions. Detailed descriptions of magic rituals, fantastic weapons of war, clothing and armor, and otherworldly beasts such as orcs, giants, elves, and more. How societies, villages, and castles were constructed and operate on a day-to-day basis. Astounding methods of interstellar travel, the rules of starflight, and the realities and myths of scientific exploration. How to generate new ideas and graft them to the most popular themes and plot devices in sci-fi and fantasy writing. The boundaries of your imagination are infinite, but to create credible and thrilling fiction, you must ground your stories in rules, facts, and accurate ideas. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction will guide you through the complex and compelling universe of fantasy and science fiction writing and help you unleash your stories on the next generation of readers and fans.
Publication Date: 2013-09-30
Writing Historical Fiction by Writing Historical Fiction: A Writers' & Artists' Companion is an invaluable companion for a writer working in this challenging and popular literary genre, whether your period is Ancient Rome or World War II. PART 1 includes reflections on the genre and provides a short history of historical fiction. PART 2 contains guest contributions from Margaret Atwood, Ian Beck, Madison Smartt Bell, Ronan Bennett, Vanora Bennett, Tracy Chevalier, Lindsay Clarke, Elizabeth Cook, Anne Doughty, Sarah Dunant, Michel Faber, Margaret George, Philippa Gregory, Katharine McMahon, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Hilary Mantel, Alan Massie, Ian Mortimer, Kate Mosse, Charles Palliser, Orhan Pamuk, Edward Rutherfurd, Manda Scott, Adam Thorpe, Stella Tillyard, Rose Tremain, Alison Weir and Louisa Young. PART 3 offers practical exercises and advice on such topics as research, plots and characters, mastering authentic but accessible dialogue and navigating the world of agents and publishers.
Publication Date: 2014-01-30