Plano Writes: The Final Draft

November is National Novel Writing Month! Prepare for your next steps with Plano Public Library’s classes and resources.

Join us at Schimelpfenig Library for The Write Workshop on Saturdays throughout November 2021 for ideas and inspiration. These four workshops will help you improve your story by creating well-rounded characters and putting them in engaging conflicts. Whether or not you’re taking the NaNoWriMo challenge, explore new ways of approaching your writing.

On November 27, 2021, library staff will present on the topic of Finishing the Arc. A character’s story arc doesn’t necessarily begin and end with their birth and desk; but if that’s the case, then where does their story end? Learn about how to bring an arc to a satisfactory conclusion on Saturday, November 27 at 10am at Schimelpfenig Library.

View all of our Fall 2021 programs online.


We’re highlighting library materials to help you on your writing journey throughout the month. The end of NaNoWriMo 2021 may be upon us, but your journey to complete your novel is only just beginning. Even if you have a completed first draft, you face a daunting journey of revision, editing and perhaps publication. Check out some of the resources below to help you along the way.


Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market, 2020

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Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market 2020 is the go-to resource for getting your short stories, novellas, and novels published. The 39th edition of NSSWM features hundreds of updated listings for book publishers, literary agents, fiction publications, contests, and more. Each listing includes contact information, submission guidelines, and other essential tips.


The Last Draft: A Novelist’s Guide to Revision by Sandra Jean Scofield

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The definitive handbook for the novelist who is ready to revise…This wise and friendly guide shows writers how to turn first-draft manuscripts into the novels of their dreams. A critic, longtime teacher, and award-winning novelist, Sandra Scofield illustrates how to reread a work of fiction with a view of its subject and vision, and how to take it apart and put it back together again, stronger and deeper. Scofield builds her explanations around helpful concepts like narrative structure, character agency, and core scenes, using models from classic and contemporary writers. The detailed, step-by-step plan laid out in The Last Draft offers invaluable advice to both novice and experienced writers alike. In Scofield, they will find a seasoned, encouraging mentor to steer them through this emotional and intellectual journey.


Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living by Manjula Martin

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In the literary world, the debate around writing and commerce often begs us to take sides: either writers should be paid for everything they do or writers should just pay their dues and count themselves lucky to be published. You should never quit your day job, but your ultimate goal should be to quit your day job. It’s an endless, confusing, and often controversial conversation that, despite our bare-it-all culture, still remains taboo. In Scratch, Manjula Martin has gathered interviews and essays from established and rising authors to confront the age-old question: how do creative people make money?


Welcome to the Writer’s Life: How to Design Your Writing Craft, Writing Business, Writing Practice, and Reading Practice by Paulette Perhach

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With warmth and humor, the author welcomes you into the writer’s life as someone who has been there on the other side looking in. Like a freshman orientation for writers, this book includes an in-depth exploration of all the elements of a writer’s life, from your writing practice to your reading practice, to your writing craft and the all-important and often-overlooked business of writing. Harness the powers of crowdsourcing and social media to grow your writing career, and use the most current research on success, gamification, and lifestyle design to take your writing life to the next level. Complete with writing exercises, tools, checklists, infographics, and behind-the-scenes tips from working writers of all types, this book offers everything you need to jump-start a successful writing life.


Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting and Surviving Your First Book by Courtney Maum

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Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about publishing but were too afraid to ask is right here in this funny, candid guide by acclaimed author Courtney Maum.


Writers’ and Artists’ Guide to Getting Published: Essential Advice for Aspiring Authors by Alysoun Owen

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This work provides the would-be published author with expert knowledge on securing a book deal.It considers all stages in the ‘selling’ of your idea and manuscript and gives up-to-date information on how the publishing industry functions and how authors can navigate its mysteries and complexities.


The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman

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Writers talk about their work in many ways: as an art, as a calling, as a lifestyle. Too often missing from these conversations is the fact that writing is also a business. The reality is, those who want to make a full- or part-time job out of writing are going to have a more positive and productive career if they understand the basic business principles underlying the industry.


The Poets and Writers Complete Guide to Being a Writer: Everything You Need to Know about Craft, Inspiration, Agents, Editors, Publishing and the Business of Building a Sustainable Writing Career by Kevin Larimer

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For half a century, writers at every stage of their careers have turned to the literary nonprofit organization Poets & Writers and its award-winning magazine for resources to foster their professional development, from writing prompts and tips on technique to informative interviews with published authors, literary agents, and editors. But never before has Poets & Writers marshaled its fifty years’ worth of knowledge to create an authoritative guide for writers that answers every imaginable question about craft and career–until now.


Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents: Who They Are, What They Want, How to Win Them Over by Jeff Herman

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Get the most up-to-date information on the who’s who in publishing: The best way to ensure that your book stands out from the crowd is to find the right person to read it. In this guidebook, Jeff Herman reveals names, contact information, and personal interests for hundreds of literary agents and editors, so you can find the publishing professional who’s been waiting for you. In addition, the comprehensive index makes it easy to search by genre and subject.


Writing Without Rules: How to Write and Sell a Novel Without Guidelines, Experts, or (Occasionally) Pants by Jeff Somers

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Are you looking for a fresh take on tackling the challenge of writing a successful novel and building your career? No matter your writing level, this book will reveal to you the unconventional, fresh approaches to writing and selling the novel of your dreams.


Browse our full collection in the Plano Public Library catalog. Want to explore further? See all of our NaNoWriMo-related blog posts within the tag.

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