I love writing books. I don’t mean the act of writing books (though I do like that!) I mean books about writing. I have a sky (or halfway-to-the-ceiling) high stack of them, waiting to be read.

So naturally, when Mez and I started talking about participating in National Novel Writing Month, I looked up to see of there were any books to help.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who loves books on writing. I found several, and picked my favorite two to recommend to all of you! Here they are, basically one for planners and one for ‘pantsters’! If neither of these books appeal to you, take a look at Amazon, Writer’s Digest, or your local bookstore for others. Let me know how you like them; I’m always looking for more!

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Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

This book is for the planners! If you like charts, outlines, and exact step-by-step directions, this book is for you. Confession: I have not worked all the way through this book. I am not a planner, and I’ve found too much planning makes it hard for me to write. But I started it, then read through it. She has each day planned out and gives you specific tasks to complete. You start with a one sentence summary, to ten scenes, to an outline, to writing each act. She takes you through developing your characters, plot twists, and story structure.

I would recommend this to anyone who is writing for the first time simply because she goes into so much detail and it is so step-by-step. This book is also good if you don’t have time for a lot of pre-novel-in-November work.

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Write Your Novel in a Month by Jeff Gerke

This book is very easy to read, but isn’t as restrictive as the other. Instead of 30 mapped out days, the first two thirds of the book are an overview of writing basics. Again, you start out with a one sentence summary, but all of the character and plot development take place before November. I like this book because it gives you a good foundation to start, but then you can focus simply on writing during November.

I recommend this book to people with some experience writing or those whose creativity gets stifled if their writing schedule is too regimented.

Whichever book you chose, I would give yourself the last two weeks in October to work through the first few chapters of Book in a Month and through the writing overview of Write Your Novel in a Month.

Have fun everyone!