Would-be Sac novelists, take note: National Novel Writing Month is here

November is National Novel Writing Month. Sharpen those pencils — your New York Times Bestseller may be on the charts soon.

Tables and shelves are full of books in Beers Books in Sacramento.

Beers Books on R Street buys, sells and trades books of all genres — new and used.

Photo by SACtoday staff

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Perhaps there’s a Jane Austen scribbling away right now in Auburn, or a Toni Morrison in Marysville. Perhaps it’s you, or you’ve always had thoughts that it could be you.

This month, you can make those thoughts a reality. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and we’re here to tell you that you can do it. Just take some of these ideas and come December, you can say you’re a novelist.

Act 1 - The Set Up

NaNoWriMo is a nonprofit organization that promotes creative writing around the world. Its flagship program encourages bibliophiles to attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript during the month of November.

A few NaNoWriMo books you may recognize:

  • Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants”
  • Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”
  • Hugh Howey’s “Wool”

How do you go about writing a novel? Literary agents have some ideas, and City Editor Jordan recommends reading about Dan Harmon’s story circles.

Shelves of books feature Californian Native authors.

Museums like the State Indian Museum feature books from local authors to promote education + representation.

Photo by SACtoday staff

Act 2 - Confrontation

Now, there’s rising action. There’s confrontation. Where do you go to write this novel of yours and how do you keep yourself motivated to finish it?

Sacramento Public Library | Libraries like writers. Visit one of the library’s 30 locations, find yourself a cozy spot, check out some of their writing resources, and start brainstorming.

916 Ink | 916 Ink offers a variety of resources to young writers. Get some encouragement, attend a workshop, and keep writing!

Meetup | There are others like you out there. Find community in Sacramento Creative Writing Workshops, or go to one of the ongoing NaNoWriMo events happening this month.

Act 3 - Resolution

Now, there’s a climax. There’s the denouement (a book nerdy word for resolution).

You’ve finished the Great American Novel. Get yourself a coffee or pastry item at A Seat at the Table Books and browse the bookshelves knowing that, perhaps, your work will be there sometime soon.

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