NaNoPrepMo ’13: Five Free Writing Guides


I was poking through my writing folder this morning and realized I had collected several free writing guides over the years. So I’ve tracked them down again for you to take advantage of without having to shell out the cash moneys (I’d also recommend looking in the 808 Non-fiction section of your local library).

It’s September again and there’s less than two months til NaNoWriMo! I’ve decided I’m going to go for it this year, this time without pesky things like classes and homework to worry about–just work, life, and visiting my folks back in NY. Totally feasible (we’ll see).

#1. 37 Posts to Prep and Dominate Your Novel This November

Larry Brooks
PROTIP: So, you know that e-book he’s selling for $6, When Every Month is NaNo? Yeah, all the blog posts are there, on his site, waiting to be read–for free–if you can just navigate to them yourself instead of having them compiled & bookmarked in a .mobi. Also known as NaNoPrepMo, these exercises are ideally done in October but can help get give your novel direction any time of the year (more in the plotter than “pantser” camp for sure). For me, there’s nothing worse than staring at a blank page and thinking, “now what?” and hoping the writing muse takes me.

#2 Write Good or Die

Edited by Scott Nicholson
Probably one of the highest-rated free books for Kindle on multiple aspects of writing, from the first draft to the final product. Particularly interesting-looking essays include: “It’s Okay to Suck,” “Write the Novel you Want to Read,” and “Seven Bad Habits of Highly Ineffective Writers.”

#3. “25 Things” from TerribleMinds.com

Chuck Wendig
If you haven’t checked out his blog yet, I highly recommend him for a swift kick-in-the-pants replete with profanity and monkey feces. His writing style is part of the fun, and you can find a lot of the content from his Kindle books for free under the title “25 Things About XYZ.” He’s certainly not going to sugarcoat things but if you’re serious about writing you should know by now it isn’t an easy business.

#4. The Little Book of Inspiration for Writers

Charlie Wilson and Morwenna Tudor
One of my forums linked to this and it’s a cute 60-page booklet with quotes and other tidbits to get you going. Not just writing exercises, but also motivators and pick-me-ups. For fun, print it out booklet style, close your eyes, open it up to a random page, then let your hand fall where it will. Read one daily like your morning writerly fortune cookie, without having to pay for a premium “book of hours.”

#5. The Writing of the Short Story

Lewis Worthington Smith
If high-brow literary prose is more your style, then this little gem off Project Gutenberg might give you a boost in your creative writing classes. It’s 110 years vintage, so it’s definitely going to be more in the vein of “Hills Like White Elephants” and the like (and even prior to that).

One Response to “NaNoPrepMo ’13: Five Free Writing Guides”

  1. Brantaylor says:

    “Write the novel you want to read” has always been my mantra. Any time I read something and think, “I would have done that differently” is when I push on and keep writing. This is a great compilation. Thank you for the information!

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