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  • Sarah Skilton 3:00 pm on 2017/10/18 Permalink
    Tags: adam langer, andrew sean greer, bestseller, , cherise wolas, , , less, lucia graves, olivia goldsmith, the angel's game, , the resurrection of joan ashby, the right time, the thieves of manhattan, the writing life   

    6 Novel Novels About Novelists 

    Films-within-films (Tropic ThunderSingin’ in the Rain), plays-within-plays (Shakespeare does this a lot), and songs referencing songs (“You probably think this song is about you…”) provide entertainment while also poking fun at the business side of art. Naturally, novels are the perfect medium with which to tackle the publishing industry. Not only are these authors positioned to pull back the curtain on the lives of agents, publishers, and editors, but they’re eminently qualified to share the agonies and ecstasies of writing itself. Using humor, irony, and grace, whether they’re hot off the presses or set within the last century, these books bring special meaning to the adage “Write what you know.”

    The Right Time, by Danielle Steel

    A bright, precociously successful writer of complex thrillers, novelist Alexandra Winslow was told during her formative years that men will only read her genre of books if they’re written by other men. The warning stayed with her, and as a result, she decided to pursue her passion under a male pseudonym. Having overcome more heartache than most by her teen years, including an absent mother and the death of her beloved father (who shared his love of mysteries with her), Alex’s latest difficulties are compounded as she realizes the double life she’s living is slowly destroying her. Will she find the strength to reveal her true self to the rest of the world? Will the time ever be right for her to step out of her own shadow?

    The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, by Cherise Wolas
    Joan Ashby’s writing career is off to dazzling start. Adored by critics and readers alike for her dark prose, she’s poised to become a lifelong literary star. Children were never in the picture—until Joan’s husband Martin changes the rule they agreed to and urges her to succumb to motherhood. Raising her two boys isn’t easy, and her creative ambitions struggle against “the consumptive nature of love.” Wolas’ powerhouse debut novel promises to take readers on an emotional ride, while tackling questions about the ways in which women are sometimes forced to choose between love of family and self-actualization.

    Less, by Andrew Sean Greer

    “Minor novelist” Arthur Less is about to turn 50, and his younger, former lover Freddy is getting married. Down and out, and determined to escape the torturous nuptials—while not appearing as though he’s escaping—Less decides to accept every ham-fisted, bizarre invitation he’s received for the year. His writerly itinerary, which will take him from NYC to Paris, Berlin, and Morocco, includes teaching a class, attending an award ceremony (in which high schoolers are the judges), and interviewing a more successful author. A surprise narrator (whose identity is kept secret until the end) adds poignancy and tenderness to this lovely and comedic story.

    The Angel’s Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (translated by Lucia Graves)

    “A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story…A writer is condemned to remember that moment, because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price.” So begins a haunting, gothic love story set in 1920s Barcelona. Orphaned pulp novelist David Martin leaves his newspaper job behind when he receives a mysterious publishing offer that may prove to be a Faustian bargain, especially when people begin dying and David suspects that the crumbling, abandoned house he’s living in holds terrifying secrets.

    The Thieves of Manhattan, by Adam Langer

    A biting, genre-bending satire of the publishing industry, with hilarious literary in-jokes and slang aplenty (a “frazier” is a large advance for a book, a la Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain; an “atwood” is “a mane of curls sported by the author Margaret Atwood”; and a “tolstoy” is a large pile of manuscripts), Thieves depicts a down-on-his-luck writer who agrees to put his name on an absurd novel and pretend it’s true, so he can take advantage of the misery-memoir trend. “I wasn’t sure if I felt more frightened by the thought that his scheme would work or the thought that it wouldn’t, that I would ruin whatever reputation and self-respect I might have had for nothing, or that lying would make me…successful.”

    Bestseller, by Olivia Goldsmith
    As a bestseller herself, Goldsmith (The First Wives’ Club and many more) knows the heartaches and triumphs of the publishing world, and she recreates it here with intimate aplomb. Five authors whose books were selected by powerful publishing house Davis & Dash vie for the coveted number-one slot on the fall list. But the writers aren’t the only ones desperate to climb the ladder of success. Up-and-coming editors and their shady mentors, back-stabbing agents, brokenhearted parents, struggling indie bookstore owners, and midlist ghostwriters abound in this scandalous tale. There’s even a husband-and-wife writing team that splits up when one of them pretends the work was a solo effort. Enjoy!

    What novels about novels would you recommend?

    The post 6 Novel Novels About Novelists appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Heidi Fiedler 6:00 pm on 2017/09/13 Permalink
    Tags: , craft, how to be a writer, , , the writing life   

    20 Books That Belong on Every Writer’s Bookshelf 

    Like painting, wine, and the human condition, writing is something that can stand up to a lifetime if study. Wherever you are in your journey as a writer, it’s essential to keep your bookshelves well stocked with inspiring mentor texts and reference books that will help you develop your craft. The books on this list will enrich your writing life and deepen your skills, while also lifting your spirits and reminding you why writers devote their hearts and minds to this exceptional art form. Write on, writers! Write on!

    [ean1]The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White
    In general, it makes sense to leave the editing to editors, and instead focus your time and energy on developing your craft. But the most compelling stories are easy to read, and this master class in being clear, succinct, and sensible on the page is essential reading for any writer.

    [ean2]The Plot Whisperer, by Martha Alderson
    For those struggling to give your story a compelling beginning, middle, and end, Alderson guides writers to a deeper understanding of the universal story structure driving everything from fairy tales to multiverse sci-fi operas. You might even learn something about the story of your own life.

    The Art of Character, by David Corbett
    Ask editors what they’re looking for, and they’ll likely say some variation on, “I’ll know it when I see it.” But if pressed, they may admit they’re searching for books with characters readers will fall in love with so hard they’ll want to follow them anywhere. Develop your ability to create memorable, relatable characters with author David Corbett’s practical and inspiring guide.

    [ean4]Wonderbook, by Jeff VanderMeer
    Fantasy and sci-fi writers will love this illustrated guide to world building and storytelling. Filled with maps, advice, essays from writers like Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin, plus online extras, it’s a book you will return to again and again.

    Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    When you need a dose of been-there-done-that courage, this wise, warm exploration of creativity will guide you. It’s filled with actionable advice, thoughtful metaphors, a deep understanding of the creative process, and, yes, maybe even the little bit of magic that’s needed to spark your own creative spirit.

    [ean6]The Emotion Thesaurus, by Angela Ackerman
    As humans, our emotional vocabulary may be woefully underdeveloped, but writers can’t afford to blur the lines between anger and annoyance. This reference book parses the nuances between everything from desperation and disappointment to scorn and smugness. Each entry includes body language suggestions and more. Sure to inspire psychological debates—and better drafts!

    Still Writing, by Dani Shapiro
    Part writing memoir, part craft book, all infused with a creative spirit any artist can relate to, this is a modern classic that belongs on every writer’s bookshelf. Divided into Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, it’s really the title that drives the message: against all odds, Shapiro is still writing and encourages you to keep writing too.

    Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury
    The master of succinct, precise writing lets loose with essays on the creative process. His love for writing is soaked into every page, and you’re sure to finish this book feeling inspired and reassured that the effort you put into your work is worth it.

    [ean9]The Art of Slow Writing, by Louise DeSalvo
    Ah now, doesn’t the title just make you feel better? Slow writing. What a lovely idea in a world that regularly promises you can write a book in thirty days or crank out a bestseller every year. DeSalvo’s wise and practical book is deeply comforting as she lights the way, away from insanity and toward a creative process that’s mysterious, meaningful, and rewarding.

    [ean10]Story Genius, by Lisa Cron
    With an intriguing refusal to take a side with the pantsers or outliners, Cron recommends a new approach to storytelling that promises exciting plotlines, meaningful themes, and strong early drafts. Her secret? New research into brain science that shows how writers can engage readers at a fundamental, deeply compelling level.

    [ean11]The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron
    Millions of artists, dancers, and, yes, writers, swear by Cameron’s immersive approach to creativity. Whether you’re feeling stuck, want to take your work to the next level, or are looking to experiment with a new technique, this twelve-week program will inspire you to do more than write. It will inspire you to live like a writer.

    [ean12]On Writing, by Stephen King
    More than a how-to guide written by a serial bestselling author, this is a master class in the craft of writing, as well as a celebration of its power. Generous, warm, helpful, and entertaining, this is a book that’s a pleasure to read and a delight to return to.

    [ean13]Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
    Written with humor and wisdom, this is a practical guide to developing your craft. There are exercises for developing your voice (and your ear), establishing a routine, overcoming self-doubt, and more. Find out why this book has been in print for over thirty years.

    [ean14]The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard
    In her trademark poetic prose, Dillard explores what it means to be a writer. Give this to someone who doesn’t understand their late-night bursts of inspiration or someone who is secretly a writer but doesn’t yet know it.

    [ean15]Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose
    One of the fastest and most enjoyable ways to become a better writer is to read more and analyze the books you love. Prose’s guide to reading will help you make the most of your time, with tips on using your favorite books as inspiration in your own writing.

    [ean16]Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
    Filled with memorable metaphors and reassuring imagery, this is the book that’s on every writing syllabus. It leaves readers feeling braver, smarter, and more dedicated to their craft. And if you’re not yet in a writing class, it will help you be your own best teacher.

    [ean17]Drawing Your Own Path, by John Simon
    Sometimes to grow, writers need to take a break from words. This collection of meditative drawing exercises will help you tap into your intuition and write more mindfully. (If it’s good enough for Ruth Ozeki, it’s good enough for us!)

    [ean18]Letters to a Young Writer, by Colum McCann
    The books on this list are as much about mindset as method, and this collection of lessons on how to be a writer (and an interesting human) is a lovely combination of the two approaches all on its own. A call to empathy, poetry, truth, and light, this is a rallying cry for new and old writers alike.

    [ean19]The Art of X-Ray Reading, by Roy Peter Clark
    Time spent with a masterpiece is never wasted, especially when you’re analyzing it carefully. From The Great Gatsby to The Bluest Eye, Clark invites readers to glean meaning and inspiration from the classics in a way that will inform your writing for years to come.

    [ean20]Scratch, by Manjula Martin
    At some point, after you develop your craft, you’ll probably be eager to start earning money. This book tackles taboos and digs into the nitty-gritty detail of how writers make a living with essays from Cheryl Strayed, Jonathan Franzen, Roxane Gay, and more, making it essential reading for any writer who hopes to be paid for the privilege of making art.

    The post 20 Books That Belong on Every Writer’s Bookshelf appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Nicole Hill 5:45 pm on 2017/01/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , the writing life   

    The Book Nerd’s Guide to Failing Your New Year’s Resolutions 

    Welcome to the Book Nerd’s Guide to Life! Every other week, we convene in this safe place to discuss the unique challenges of life for people whose noses are always wedged in books. For past guides, click here.

    Twice a year, I vow to pick up the moldering remnants of the half-begun novel that has occupied space on my hard drive since college. Twice a year, I drop the smoldering pile of my dreams into the proverbial dumpster again.

    In January, inevitably, I exhort myself to work on my unfinished novel as part of my unattainable New Year’s resolutions. It always sounds good. There are 12 months in this brand new year; why wouldn’t I use them to chip away at the remaining word count that never seems to get smaller? I make a plan, set weekly goals. Sometimes I even redo an outline, despite the fact that I hate outlines. But without fail, the effort dies by February.

    That is where November comes in, when the pressure cooker of NaNoWriMo rockets me back into writing mode. Somehow, I continually trick myself into believing that what I could not accomplish in the sum total of the year’s other 11 months, I can easily do in the span of little, tiny November. November, a month punctuated by a major holiday, no less. November, a month immediately preceded by another major holiday and succeeded by a host of others.

    On November 1, fresh off the sugar high of Halloween, I’m excited, thrilled at the creative prospects. I churn out a couple of chapters, but quickly sabotage myself by editing as I write. The outline of which I was so proud now sits forgotten and crumpled beneath the kitchen table. By the start of the second week, I’m down to lurking on message boards, hoping to find fellow burnouts to buoy my fragile self-esteem. I’ve stopped using the #NaNoWriMo hashtag. I act as if it never happened.

    This is the oppressive cycle New Year’s resolutions kick off, allowing me to do nothing but disappoint myself for the bulk of a calendar year. Nor is it just the one creative resolution at which I fail.

    Like many a self-respecting reader, I set a goal each year for the number of books I plan to plow through, and for the remaining months on the calendar, that goal hangs like a Sword of Damocles.

    “Seventy seems low,” January Me says. “I read 74 just last year, and that was without really trying.” January Me is similar to December Me, only with repetitive and incurable amnesia.

    So I set my reading challenge to 80 books. Inevitably, I do not factor in the demands of my full-time job, significant other, needy pets, and various life commitments. By Thanksgiving, I’m subbing out my to-read pile with graphic novels, short story compilations, and several volumes of the ongoing adventures of Captain Underpants in order to make the reading move faster. Sometimes it works, often it doesn’t.

    And for what? What did I do all of that stressing and cramming and disappointing for? Just to do it all over again the next year? Well, not this time. This time, here in 2017, I’m setting goals for myself, ones that are attainable and more meaningful.

    This year, I will read more works by authors who don’t look like me, about characters who don’t live where I do. I will try to balance my fiction and nonfiction reads more evenly. I will keep Post-it notes nearer to my person as I snuggle into my reading chair. And, of course, I’ll finish writing that novel.

    The post The Book Nerd’s Guide to Failing Your New Year’s Resolutions appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Tara Sonin 7:00 pm on 2016/12/20 Permalink
    Tags: , the writing life, you did it!   

    What’s Next after NaNoWriMo? 

    So, you won (or attempted!) NaNoWriMo 2016. Now what? Here are ten potential next steps, covering everything from revision to, yes, the daunting publishing process:

    Put your manuscript away, and don’t look at it for at least 2-3 weeks. No matter whether you wrote a full 50K, just made it halfway, or got through an in-depth outline, four weeks of intense writing is draining, and you need to replenish your energy. What a coincidence that the end of NaNoWriMo coincides with December, and the holiday season! It may surprise you to learn that by stepping away after this intense period, new ideas will begin to percolate. Keep a notebook handy for those moments, but don’t dwell on them. Rest.

    Before the New Year begins, outline your goals. If you don’t have a complete manuscript, do you want to keep pressing forward on the plot? Or, would you rather go back and review what you’ve written and clean it up? Be prepared before you jump back into the writing process.

    Whether you ended NaNoWriMo with a completed first draft or you spend the bulk of the year finishing one, your next step is, of course, revision. I highly recommend finding a few critique partners (note, these are different than beta readers, which I’ll get to later on) who can provide educated, experienced editorial input about which parts of the manuscript are working and which are not. You can also pay freelance editors for their services.

    Revise, revise, revise. This means killing some of your darlings, but more importantly, creating new ones. Make revisions in track changes so you can visualize your progress, and keep track of what you discard. I find it helpful to keep a separate document of everything you delete, in case you decide later that some part of it is salvageable.

    Once you have a solid revision (usually, at least a second or third draft!), it’s time to seek out beta readers and sensitivity readers. Beta readers are people you trust to provide critique on a general basis: is the manuscript readable? Enjoyable? Did they like the characters they were supposed to like and hate they ones they were supposed to hate? Do the plot twists and details track? Additionally, I recommend employing (and paying) a sensitivity reader, especially if your manuscript handles the portrayal of any marginalized communities (religious minorities, disabled people, LGBTQIAP+, mental illness, marginalized races and ethnicities, etc.). These readers look out specifically for negative representation of marginalized communities, and can point out methods and resources for you to correct it.

    At this point, it’s time for you to think about the publishing process. The first step is to find an agent, which means taking a break from your manuscript yet again and heading to my favorite place: the bookstore! Go to the aisle that most closely resembles your own novel and check the acknowledgments sections of the books you love most. Usually (if they’re smart!) authors will thank their agents in the acknowledgments. Make a list, and begin to compile their submission guidelines. (Make sure to check their websites and social media accounts too, because guidelines can differ between agencies and agents!)

    The dreaded query letter: a mix of synopsis, biography, and elevator pitch. This is what an agent will read, and what will help them decide to represent you or not. I recommend utilizing your critique partners for this section, as well as possibly hiring an editorial consultant again to make this step as seamless as possible. Once your query letter and sample are polished (Copyedited! Copyedited! Copyedited!) you can press the “send” button, and away you go!

    This is the part every author dreams of. You’ve written a manuscript, poured blood, sweat and tears into the revisions, researched the agents…and now, someone has told you that your work is good enough to warrant representation, and hopefully, good enough to sell. But be careful! Don’t make a hasty decision. If an agent (or multiple agents) offer you representation, do your research. Consult publishersweekly.com for a list of their recent sales, the editors they have connections to, and the sums they usually collect. Reach out to current clients of theirs and see, off the record, what their experience is like working with them. And of course, let the other agents know that you have options so they will expedite their process.

    If steps 5-8 do not go as smoothly as possible, do not dismay. If your process takes a turn (you need to do a complete re-write after a third revision, a sensitivity reader points out a flaw in the characterization that you cannot overcome…) step away from your manuscript again and instead, surround yourself with books and TV both in the same vein as your work, and completely different. If you’re writing historical romance, watch a sci-fi TV show. If you are writing a YA contemporary novel, read a few fantasies! Mix things up—sometimes spending too much time on one thing can cloud your creativity, whereas immersing yourself in variety can be surprisingly inspiring.

    Start a new project. No matter what has happened by this point, NaNoWriMo will feel like a million years ago (or maybe just a year). You will be weary, and maybe even a bit jaded. Or, fingers crossed, everything has gone your way and your agent has sold your book! Either way, start something new. Remember how good it feels to have a new idea, to flesh out a world, and make characters come to life. The true test of a writer isn’t whether they are published, but that they write, no matter what.

    via GIPHY

    How did your NaNoWriMo go this year?

    The post What’s Next after NaNoWriMo? appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Tara Sonin 6:00 pm on 2016/11/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , , the writing life,   

    10 Tips to Finish NaNoWriMo Strong 

    Well, we’ve made it almost all the way through the month of November—past the election cycle, the pumpkin spice fever, and yes, we’re almost through with Movember, so your friends’ silly mustaches will soon be gone so you’re not embarrassed to associate with them at parties. But November is also National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo), and if you’re participating like me, there seems to be no end in sight.

    The goal of NaNo is simple: write a novel (or at least 50,000 words of one) in just 4 weeks. The first 2 weeks of NaNo are focused on setting the groundwork for your story: introducing characters, setting, and conflict. But now you’re solidly in the meat of your story, which is often the most difficult part of a book—and the part where a lot of NaNos give up. But with less than 2 days until the finish line, you’ve got to resist the urge! Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way to help you finally hit that 50K.

    1. The early mornings are your best friend (and productivity gold).

    Seriously, trying to block out time at night to write is kind of like gambling: maybe you’ll win big and be so inspired after a long work day to sit at the computer and write—but more likely, you’ll be exhausted and hungry and can’t turn your work brain off. Instead, set your alarm clock for an hour earlier than usual and take advantage of the morning, when the only thing you have to think about is you, and your book.

    1. Vary your word count and timing goals.

    So, you have 3 hours to write. That’s great! Instead of sitting down with the (probably unrealistic) goal of writing for 3 straight hours without stopping, schedule your time into sprints and free writing, with a break in between. I like to do 30 minute “sprints” of writing where I’m not allowed to self-edit or even question word choice; it all goes down on the page in what feels like a single breath. Because the goal of NaNoWriMo is based on word count and not quality, think less about how good the words are and more about whether they advance your character’s journey.

    1. Pre-write, if possible.

    I’m a pantser, which means I like to write the story as the ideas come to me. Others are plotters, who have full-scale outlines detailing every plot point down to the most minute character beat. Even if you’re a pantser like me, though, it’s always helpful to take some time (before bed, on your lunch break, on the subway…) and jot down what your goals are for the scene you’re about to write. This can be anything from the starting and ending point of the scene, a line of dialogue you want a character to say, or what the fallout is from an action taken in that scene.

    1. Misery loves company.

    Yes, writers have a reputation of being solitary creatures, holed up in their libraries with whiskey and cigarettes and somber songs playing on an old gramophone—but we live in the modern age, and between social media (and your actual social life) there’s a ton of support out there for this amazing thing you’re trying to accomplish! Search the #NaNoWriMo2016 hashtag to chat about the wins and woes of trying to write 50,000 words in 4 weeks…but even better, join a meet-up or ask a friend to get together for some structured writing time. I went on a weekend writer’s retreat with 4 other writers and by the end of our 2.5 days, we felt so productive (and full of wine and ice cream, which also probably helped.)

    1. Read, read, read. (Even if it means you don’t write.)

    During these next two weeks, you will hit a slump. Your entire story will fall apart. You’ll lose faith. This is the time when you need to read. Here’s the logic: you only need an average 1,667 words a day to make the goal of 50K. So, you can skip a day or two and still make up those words on the weekend, or spread out throughout the week. (This week, for example, I had an extra 1668 words I needed to write in addition to my weekend goal, so I divided them up between Saturday and Sunday to make it more manageable.) Use the time you skip to read—something in the genre you’re writing, or just something GOOD, whether it’s a book you’ve never heard of or one you’ve read a thousand times before. (Pro-tip: you can also sometimes listen to an audiobook at work!) Reading will do a few things: inspire you, distract you, and remind you that once upon a time, the words in that book lived only in someone’s head. Until they were brave enough to try to bring it to life.

    1. Thanksgiving is the enemy to NaNoWriMo. (Refer back to tip #1.)

    Yes, it is a cruel trick that the last weekend of NaNo is also one of our most social (and socially awkward) holidays. Be realistic: you’re not going to write when you’re on the couch in a food coma, or when you’re throwing around a football, or while the house is filled with puppies and babies and yes, more food. Create a strategy: refer back to tip #1 and utilize the quiet mornings Thursday through Sunday, before people get up and start asking you why you’re even writing a novel anyway. Take your dessert into another room with the goal of writing 500 words before the goodbyes begin. Treat yourself to a jolt of caffeine and do some late night writing sessions once the guests are gone. And this year in particular: NO WATCHING THE GILMORE GIRLS REVIVAL UNTIL YOU’VE WRITTEN 1,000 words! (That last one is mostly for me.)


    1. When in doubt, throw a curveball to your character.

    I like to think of NaNoWriMo as the bare bones of the story, because the truth is you’re not going to write the perfect, beautiful book you’ve always dreamed of in 4 weeks. But even writing the bare bones can sometimes feel like pulling teeth. When you hit a snag in the story, don’t think: throw a seemingly insurmountable obstacle at your character. Conflicts, obstacles and tension are what make the story sizzle. Your main character could lose their job, suffer a loss, or discover a terrible secret that changes their goal completely. You can always re-write later, if it doesn’t work!

    1. Keep it sexy.

    This advice applies not only to romance writers, but even “serious” ones. (I used air-quotes there because there’s no reason romance writers shouldn’t be taken seriously, but that’s another article.) While you envision yourself writing the next War and Peace, there’s no reason to spend ten thousand words waxing philosophical on the nature of life and death, or draw out the description of a flower for more than a sentence. Keep the story sexy means more than just keeping the romance hot—it means keep the pace up, the tension high, and the descriptions visceral. Show, don’t tell. Utilize all five senses in the descriptions, and try to give your character physiological responses to their experiences, not just emotional ones. (The difference between “I felt angry” and “My chest flushed red with anger as my palms curled involuntarily into fists” is quite vast.) Keeping the story sexy will also have the added benefit of keeping you, the writer, engaged. Seduce yourself, basically, is what I’m saying.


    1. Immerse yourself in your story, even when you’re not writing.

    If you haven’t already, this is a great—and quick—activity that can easily breathe some life back into your creative process. Start a Pinterest board with photos that inspire your setting, characters, and world. If you’re writing a historical novel, create a board of images from the time period including objects, fashion trends, architecture, and art. Listen to the music your character would; if you’re writing a YA about two best friends navigating high school romance, there should be lots of Taylor Swift, Lorde, and Selena Gomez on that playlist. If your main character is a swimmer, watch Youtube videos of swimmers. If your villain is fond of poisons, well…just hope your google history will never be held under scrutiny.

    1. You win just by trying.

    Yes, it can seem like the odds are against you: for the millions of books that are published every year, there are probably twice as many that will never see the light of day. Yes, it can seem futile: there are better writers, more successful writers, and even terrible writers that seem to have something that you don’t. But the truth is: the odds ARE in your favor, and art is never futile. You can never finish a book if you don’t start. So even if you don’t get to 50,000 words this year, you’ll still be closer at the end of this month than you were where you started, so go for it: you truly have nothing to lose.

    via GIPHY

    The post 10 Tips to Finish NaNoWriMo Strong appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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