…NaNoWriMo? Start your “Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!”

…NaNoWriMo? Start your “Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!”

As you may know, November is right around the corner. Yep, you know what that means, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. For those of you who didn’t know November was National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo is a month dedicated to encouraging novel writing, and creative writing in general, that was started by the non-profit organization, Office of Letters and Light. Starting November 1st, it is encouraged that you start writing your own novel, and finish it by the end of November and then enter your new novel into NaNoWriMo. After that, through NaNoWriMo, you are eligible for awards and scholarships for the best writings of the month!

So what would be better to get you in the novel writing mood, than a booklist on brilliant novels that feature troubled and celebrated writers?*

 *Warning, list may aid in extermination of current writer’s block and inspire your own novel, but results may vary.


Novels about, and for, Writers

Thrillers & Horror

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson

 (Book 1 of the Millenium Series)

“An engrossing debut thriller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been an international sensation, a bestseller in its native Sweden and throughout Europe. It features an unforgettable heroine: a brilliant 24-year-old punk-goth computer hacker and private investigator named Lisbeth Salander. Together with Mikael Blomkvist, a financial journalist on a most unusual assignment, she tracks a serial killer through a dangerous maze of business, political, and family secrets.” – Barnes & Noble


The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

“Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good.” – Barnes & Noble


The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

(Book One of series)

This novel follows “[…] the journal of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.” – Barnes & Noble


Secret Window, Secret Garden, The Shining, Lisey’s Story, Bag of Bones, Misery, The Dark Half, and Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

When it comes to the gruesome, mad, and deadly, with Stephen King it usually happens to writers that he creates. Whether it is Secret Window, Secret Garden, that focuses on a divorced writer dealing with a mad man accusing him of plagiarism, Salem’s Lot that is about a successful writer that returns to a town from his childhood and discovers a dark bloody secret about the town’s new citizens, or anywhere in between, King’s novels will inspire any writer to persevere through everyday troubles. If King’s writers can write while being tormented by all that the supernatural world has to throw at them, you can write too!


Drama & Comedy

Atonement by Ian McEwan

“On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia s childhood friend. But Briony s incomplete grasp of adult motives together with her precocious literary gifts brings about a crime that will change all their lives.” – Amazon


Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon

“At once a deft parody of the American fame factory and a piercing portrait of young and old desire, this novel introduces two unforgettable characters: Grady Tripp, a former publishing prodigy now lost in a fog of pot and passion and stalled in the midst of his endless second book, and Grady’s student, James Leer, a budding writer obsessed with Hollywood self-destruction and struggling with his own searching heart.” – Amazon


The Rum Diary: A Novel by Hunter S. Thompson

The Rum Diary is a brilliantly tangled love story of jealousy, treachery, and violent alcoholic lust in the Caribbean boomtown that was San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the late 1950s. The narrator, freelance journalist Paul Kemp, irresistibly drawn to a sexy, mysterious woman, is soon thrust into a world where corruption and get-rich-quick schemes rule and anything (including murder) is permissible.”




Young Adult

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

“What? A princess?? Me??? Yeah, right. Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra. Is she ever in for a surprise. First Mom announces that she’s dating Mia’s Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn’t have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?”  – Barnes & Noble


Write Naked by Peter Gould

“A strikingly original debut novel that introduces two storytellers with different kinds of tales: one—in Victor’s unforgettable voice—a quirky, contemporary love story; the other—by Rose Anna—an ecological fantasy featuring a tiny heroic newt. Together, the teens explore the possibility of connections – to one another, the woods outside, and the world beyond.” – Barnes & Noble


Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

“In hopes of graduating, Steve York agrees to complete a hundred-page writing assignment which helps him to sort out his relationship with his famous astronaut father and the events that changed him from promising student to troubled teen.” – Barnes & Noble


young adult


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

“Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a modern American classic that will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.” – Barnes & Noble


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever committed to the printed page.  It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.” – Barnes & Noble


A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

“A Moveable Feast is at once an elegy to the remarkable group for expatriates that gathered in Paris during the twenties and a testament to the risks and rewards of the writer-ly life.” – Barnes & Noble


But let’s just say you want some easy tips from some experts. Here are some writing tips and rules from some of our most beloved authors.

Writing Tips and Tricks

On Writing:  A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You by Ray Bradbury

Ernest Hemingway on Writing edited by Larry W. Phillips

How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish

If You Want To Write by Brenda Ueland

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott


If all these novels weren’t enough to get your writer’s brain working, here are a few online articles on writing advice courtesy of Brainpickings.org;

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules to Writing

6 Rules for a Great Story from Barnaby Conrad and Snoopy

Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing

Why I Write: George Orwell’s Four Motives for Creation

Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing

Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story

Freud on Creative Writing and Daydreaming

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