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Dream of Writing a Novel? Start this Month.

November 6, 2019

NaNoWriMo Events at Library Begin Thursday, November 7


  • NaNoWriMo helps writers get to 50,000 words in one month.
  • “Write Ins” at the library begin Thursday, Nov 7.
  • We’ve got some great writing prompts to get you started.

What’s stopping you from writing your novel?

Your desire to write may be burning hot, but you might be struggling to get started. Many writers cite a lack of inspiration, while others say fear of failure is what’s holding them back. For some, a little encouragement is all they need to stay motivated. 

Nashville Public Library (NPL) has all of the resources you need to finally realize your dream.

Throughout November, the library is partnering with the non-profit organization NaNoWriMo Nashville to provide free workshops, or “Write Ins.” These collaborative sessions bring writers together to share ideas, offer feedback, and instill confidence as they write their novel.

“The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get rid of the ‘one day’ novelist,” said Liz Hale, a NaNoWriMo municipal liaison for the Nashville area. “There’s a lot of aspiring writers who say, ‘One day, I’ll start my novel.’ Our mission is to turn ‘one day’ into ‘today.’”

For many authors, NaNoWriMo is exactly what they need to find the motivation to finish their work. Several have even had their work published.

Hale and Sara Harville, another NaNoWriMo Nashville liaison, will be at all Write Ins hosted at the Main Library. Both NaNoWriMo mentors help writers achieve the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words in November by using a variety of prompts, challenges, and friendly competitions. 

One example is “Word Wars,” a competitive jam session with one goal — see who can write the most words in just 15 minutes. 

NaNoWriMo uses 50,000 words as their goal for participants because they believe it's challenging, but achievable, even for people with full time jobs and children. Plus, as they point out - The Great Gatsby is roughly 50,000 words.

And aspiring novelists aren’t the only ones welcome at Write Ins.

“We have people who want to write a screenplay, or a poem, or just a few short stories,” Hale said. “We call these folks ‘NaNo Rebels’ and we love to have them!”

The first NaNoWriMo Write In is Thursday, Nov 7 at the library’s Donelson location. You don’t need an NPL library card to attend.

Check out the library’s events calendar to see other NaNoWriMo events happening in November at NPL.

 And don’t miss our collection of great how-to books to sharpen your writing skills.

Writing Prompts to Get You Started

What’s the best way to start writing? Just write! Simple, right?

If it were, then everyone would be a published author. 

If you’re feeling stuck on what to write about, try some of these awesome writing prompts. Stay tuned to our Instagram throughout NaNoWriMo for even more ideas to launch your novel.

Story Starters
He waited until her husband was out of the room, then…

There was a strange wailing sound coming from the next room…

Dialogue Inspiration
“Could you be happy here with me?”

“I hope that what I’ve said hasn’t hurt you too much.”

Three Nouns Freewriting Exercise
Write whatever comes to mind when you hear these three nouns together.

Hope; eagle; bookcase.

Thrill; piano; necklace.

What If? Scenarios
A man lies close to death. Describe the images from his childhood that fill his mind.

One morning, you wake up unable to recognize your surroundings or the people you are living with. Write about what happens from the moment you wake up.

Here’s Your Plot
Your main character is a young woman in her late teens, who can be quite inspirational. The story begins in a police station. A robbery goes badly wrong. It's a story about survival. Your character is tested to the limits of physical endurance.

Your main character is a man in his late forties, who is very mysterious. The story begins on a balcony. Something precious has been lost. It's a story about rebellion. Your character has some tough lessons to learn.

Write What You Know
Think about what you wanted to be when you were a child. Write about what your life would be like if that’s what you had decided to do.

Think of the worst (or best) event of your life, and give it a fictional spin.

Wizard avatar


Ed's a proud member of NPL's Marketing and Communications team. Some of his favorite books include Dracula, Once an EagleNeuromancerStarship TroopersThe Black CompanyBerserkBlade of the ImmortalBlame! and Vampire Hunter D. When not at the Library, you'll find him spending time with his wife and son, doing interval training, reading, or waiting for the next FromSoftware game.