Grab your motivational snacks and your laptop and get ready to sequester yourself in a quiet nook—it’s National Novel Writing Month! We know you’ll be hard at work writing your next masterpiece all November long, so when you need to take a break and refresh, you don’t want to stray too far from the task at hand. Here are five books that’ll rest your plot-maker while keeping you inspired with tales of other aspiring writers.
Enter Title Here, by Rahul Kanakia
Ever get the feeling you’re just kidding yourself with this whole novel thing? Reshma’s been there. Desperate to land a spot at Stanford, she writes an article that gets her noticed by a literary agent—and then tells the agent she’s been working on a YA novel. Which she hasn’t. Now Reshma needs to write an appealing, teen-centric novel before the end of the year, while also maintaining her spot as valedictorian. And there’s one more problem: Reshma’s been too busy achieving to know what appeals to normal teens. Cue hilarity, blackmail, and that urgent, pressing need to get words on the page that we’re all familiar with.
Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins
Isla has been in love with Josh for what feels like forever. And now—miracle of miracles—it seems like he likes her, too. But as their relationship gets more serious, Josh’s problems become Isla’s problems, including the way his singular devotion to writing and inking his graphic memoir distracts him from everything else (like, for instance, graduating high school). Then Isla reads his first draft, and she can’t help but feel insecure about the things that are in it. For a healthy dose of a adorable and a glimpse of what it’s like to be a writer’s other half, read Isla and the Happily Ever After.
Afterworlds, by Scott Westerfeld
Darcy writes a novel during NaNoWriMo and, much to her surprise, lands a book deal. Rather than go to college, she heads to New York to write the sequel…and spend the advance. The trouble? Living in New York is hard, and so is working with an editor who may or may not agree with the novel’s ending. Even harder? Coming up with an idea for the sequel she’s supposed to write. Darcy’s coming of age is interspersed with pieces of her novel, Afterworlds, as both Darcy and her main character, Lizzie, begin to sort out who they are.
November 9, by Colleen Hoover
Fallon meets Ben the day she’s supposed to move across the country to New York City, and it’s basically love at first sight. He’s an aspiring novelist, and after spending one perfect day together, she’s his inspiration. They decide to meet on November 9—and only November 9—for five years. During that five years, Fallon grows into herself and her career, and Ben works on his novel, and everything seems meant to be. Until it’s not, and suddenly Fallon is left wondering if the last five years have been a plot twist waiting to happen.
Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
Cath has always shared her life with her twin sister, Wren, who understands her weird quirks and her obsession with Simon Snow and her dedication to writing fanfics. So when Wren refuses to room with Cath their freshman year of college, Cath is left to navigate a completely new environment without her backup. Add in a cute boy who doesn’t read, a writing buddy who’s totally self-absorbed, and a professor who doesn’t think fan fiction is real writing, and Cath starts wishing she could just crawl into a Simon and Baz story and be done with it. For all the moments when you’re not sure you can go on writing, Fangirl is the book you need.