NaNoWriMo Week 2 – Books to Inspire Your Writing

Hey NaNo novelists! Well, it’s already week 2 – how are your novels going? Will you be ashamed of me to hear how my novel is going? (Yeah, about that… I may not have written more than 1 day’s worth…)

So, this writer’s not so on top of her game. That’s okay – there’s still a lot that can be done in 21 days. If Young Adult author Aprilynne Pike can write a novel draft in one week because she got on a roll (I remember hearing that somewhere), we can do it in several weeks!

I feel like week 2 is the hardest week during NaNo. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think sometimes for me, that’s when the excitement sometimes starts to wear off, and the finish line isn’t quite in sight like it is in Week 3.

So, how about some encouragement? I thought I’d talk about some books that have influenced my writing. Some of them are novels, and some are nonfiction how-to creative writing books. Sometimes if I’m not in the writing mood, all I need to do is page through one of these and then I’m suddenly excited about writing again.

  1. Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence. This is a fun one to read. More basic than I thought it would be, but it’s kind of cool to hear explained some of the things writers take for granted or do without thinking.
  2. Any James Patterson young adult book. Sure, they’re very commercial and well-known, but Patterson has an interesting technique of writing very short chapters, and his series like Maximum Ride and Witch&Wizard never cease to capture my interest quickly. It’s interesting to read something as a writer, looking at the techniques the author uses, and Patterson has novel structuring down.
  3. The Writer’s Block by Jason Rekulak. Yep, this is literally a block of book. I got this for my birthday recently and it is fun to play around with. It has a lot of random ideas to jump start your writing if you get stuck.
  4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. If you want an example of wonderfully developed characters in a fantasy/sci-fi setting, this series is the one to learn from. Meyer is a master at developing interesting and believable characters.
  5. I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan. This may seem random, but if you like books, you probably like libraries. What I like about this book is that from these crazy stories you learn a lot of strange things about what humans do or say that you never would have thought of before. And they’re true! Any collection of crazy stories would do. Real life really is stranger than fiction, so maybe we can learn from it and use some crazy story to fuel our NaNo!

So this is not comprehensive, but if you need to renew your writing excitement or just want to read a book for fun again, try one of these out!

I’d also love to hear how you’re doing in NaNo. Still going strong or have you run into a wall? Let me know in the comments of any ideas or topics you’d like me to post about during NaNo!


Image Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Published by laurenhallstrom

Lauren is the author of two CIPA EVVY award-winning novels, both written when she was a teen. She writes contemporary fantasy for tweens and young adults. She holds an undergraduate degree in English at Colorado State University and currently works in a public library. More often than not you can find her there - promoting lifelong learning, staring off into space, and dreaming up new stories.

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