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This month, I’m offering three initiatives to prepare writers for National Novel Writing Month — my 8×8 Challenge, my Let Your Book Flow inspirational quotes for authors, and my course, Finish Your First Book. So I thought “What more can I do?” and came up with a book giveaway —yay!

writing-giveaway-square-30-turqIf you’ve been struggling to write your book, or struggling to revise it, enter here to win 30 of the best books on storytelling and craft.

Win 30 Storytelling Books + Bamboo Spark to Nail NaNoWriMo Giveaway!

I’m going to share the “why” behind why I selected the books in a moment, but before I do that, I just wanted to let you know that there are several exclusive, one-time-only, automatic bonus prizes that you can get for doing something as simple as entering the giveaway! You can learn more about them at the end of this post—I promise they are really good and completely worthy of your time and attention!


Simply go here: http://proseonfire.com/giveaways/nanowrimo30bamboospark/

  1. Enter your email address.
  2. Claim your spot!

That’s it. You’re in! There is so much up for grabs in this bundle as part of the Win 100 Storytelling Books to Nail NaNoWriMo giveaway ending on December 2nd.

  • Grand Prize: 30 print or ebooks on writing, including architecture, plotting, characterization, world-building, and more! PLUS a Bamboo Spark so you can handwrite your outline or draft and sync it to your favorite device!
  • 1st Place Winner: Signed copies of my upcoming books, Prosperous Creation and Accelerated Author upon release!

***** Guaranteed Bonus Prizes ***** We all know how these giveaways go—lots of entrants, but only one winner. But we want EVERYONE who enters to win something. Additionally, everyone who enters gets instant access to free ebooks! 

How do you get more entries?

Simply go to the giveaway page to see how many entries you have already: http://proseonfire.com/giveaways/nanowrimo30bamboospark/On this page, you’ll also see a bunch of ways to share.

Use them and get THREE extra entries every time a friend signs up!

(If you’re not seeing these two things, it means you aren’t entered—make sure you sign up and get your Lucky URL!)

  Who to share the giveaway with:

Getting 15 entries is easier than you think. All you have to do is send your Lucky URL to authors you KNOW want to level up their craft. Send your Lucky URL link (found at http://proseonfire.com/giveaways/nanowrimo30bamboospark/) to:

  • Members of your writing accountability groups
  • Critique partners
  • Writers in your Facebook groups or Google Plus communities.
  • NaNoWriMo buddies or the forum
  • Members of your local NaNoWriMo group.

How to share:

Personalized sharing:

Right click to save the correct image to your computer (we like to save ours to the desktop) or your phone. Sign into your social media account and load the picture for a post. Be sure to include your Lucky URL (which you can get here: http://proseonfire.com/giveaways/nanowrimo30bamboospark/) Share, Tweet, Pin, Instagram and Tumble away – whenever a friend signs up using your lucky URL, you get three extra entries!


Best sharing image for Facebook:



Retweet the deets on Twitter:



Best sharing image for Tumblr and Instagram:


Best way to share on Pinterest:

  1. Click + at the bottom of Pinterest and choose Add from a website.
  2. Put in your Lucky URL, which you can get here: http://proseonfire.com/giveaways/nanowrimo30bamboospark/
  3. Chose your board, and click Pin It.

You could also share via email! Send your Lucky URL (found here: http://proseonfire.com/giveaways/nanowrimo30bamboospark/) to as many friends as you can. Your email might say say something like… Hi! I just signed up for this awesome Prose on Fire Giveaway and I think you should, too! The big prize is 100 print or ebooks, but there are lots of instant gifts and bonus prizes, too! Just click the link below to enter…

Automatic Sharing – follow these steps for an even easier way to share.

Visit your link: http://proseonfire.com/giveaways/nanowrimo30bamboospark/. On this page, you’ll see how many entries you have, and you’ll also see ways to automatically share!

  • To share on Facebook: Click share. A new window will pop up. Once you are logged into Facebook, click “Share Link.”
  • To share on Twitter: Click tweet. A new window will pop up. Once you are logged into Twitter, you will be able to click “Tweet.” Your lucky URL will be automatically included – make sure it’s there before you tweet!
  • To share on Linkedin: Click share. A new window will pop up. Once you are logged into LinkedIn, you will be able to share. You can mention connections in the grey box using the @ sign. Click share.
  • To share on Pinterest: Click Pin It. A new window will pop up. Once you are logged into Pinterest, choose your board and click Pin It.

Still have questions? Feel free to email mlteam45@gmail.com if you need help!

The Why

Now to the big WHY I chose the books.

  • Did I get a-ha! moments while I was reading this? I didn’t want to include anything that felt like more of the usual takes on writing, so I only put material that I felt had a fresh take on an old subject on this list.
  • Was the book easy to understand? Some authors take an academic approach to the art of storytelling, which doesn’t jive well with me. If I can’t figure out what to do or how to revise, the theory is worthless to me. I picked the books that felt immediately actionable to me when I read them the first time.
  • Was the book aimed at commercial writers? I’m not particularly interested in literary fiction and most authors trying to go full-time aren’t either. If I didn’t see the underlying marketing genius behind someone’s approach to storytelling, I didn’t bother adding them to this list.
  • Do I refer back to the book regularly? I’ve read almost all of these books multiple times and will continue to do so in the future—I always learn something new and fresh!
  • Is there more where that came from? I looked for authors who had multiple works available because once I find a mentor I like to stick with him or her for awhile. Not every author on this list has follow-ups, but most do or will in the future!

I also organized the bundle so that it covered all the bases for high-level architecture, plotting, characterization, world-building, and more. (The one area where I still don’t feel I’ve found any solid book on is theme—which is why it’s at the forefront of my own book, Nail Your Story and my soon-to-be-released, Supercharge Your Story.)

I didn’t want a ton of repetition, though obviously there will be some overlap. And there is way more to cover than what’s here, but if you won (or purchased) these 100 books and followed through on them, you would have a really solid foundation for storytelling that you could totally build your author career on!

Here’s a sampling of the list and why I picked each book:

#1 – Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

Story EngineeringStory Engineering continues to be one of my favorite books on story architecture primarily because Brooks shares what is essentially a 4-act structure that really breaks down what scenes should go where. No book on storytelling is going to be perfect, but this is easily the book that has influenced me the most on the topic. Once you have this high-level framework, you can sink into the specific details using several of the other books in this bundle.

#2 – Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker

Take Off Your PantsI loved this super simple approach to outlining from Hawker from the minute I heard about it. It’s perfect for plotters or pantsers. My favorite part is Hawker’s practical and easy-to-implement ideas about letting the character’s fatal flaw (and subsequent attempts to overcome that flaw) drive the story forward. She says she got all her ideas from Anatomy of Storytelling, but they all felt fresh to me—not sure we were even reading the same book, really! Additionally, this book is hot, hot, hot on Amazon right now and seems to be helping a ton of people!

#3 – Super Structure by James Scott Bell

Super StructureThis little book is aimed at authors but takes a screenwriting approach to filling in scenes. I liked it because it works for plotters or pantsers and makes it super easy to come up with story ideas for the murky middle section of your story. I’ve heard this book is basically a cliff notes version of Write Your Novel From the Middle by the same author, but sometimes shorter really is sweeter and this gave me plenty of ideas to get started.

#4 – How To Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey

How to Write a Damn Good NovelIf you want a smattering of tips on craft from someone who has created multiple mega-bestselling books, Frey is the guy to listen to. And if you like this book, there are multiple follow-ups, including How To Write a Damn Good Novel II and How To Write a Damn Good Thriller.

#5 – The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt

The 90-Day NovelSo many writers struggle to write their novel on a consistent basis. The 90-Day Novel gives you a complete framework for making progress on your novel by giving you just one focus per day and helping you keep in touch with your novel at a subconscious level throughout the 3 months. It’s one of the best systems I’ve seen that focuses not on writing a draft as fast as you can, but rather on unblocking yourself and getting past your own fears. I continue to use this system regularly, especially when I’m working on a huge series!

#6 – 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

45 Master CharactersIf you’re struggling with characterization, you’ll enjoy this book on archetyping by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. It’s much less about the specific archetypes she shares in the book (though those are SUPER helpful and seriously apply to all of your favorite characters) and more about the concept of archetyping. I especially love the idea of the shadow self that every character must have to feel three dimensional. If you enjoy this book, there’s also a follow-up about relationships! It’s called A Writer’s Guide to Characterization.

#7 – The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne

The Story GridShawn Coyne is one of the most fascinating editors in the industry right now and shares his complete playbook from over 20+ years of teaching and editing the bestselling authors of our time. The Story Grid is an approach as rigorous as Larry Brooks’s story engineering frameworks, so if you appreciate that style of outlining, you’ll love the story grid method Coyne shares in this tome as well.

#8 – Storyworld First by Jill Williamson

Storyworld FirstStoryworld First serves as a checklist for everything you need to include in your story in terms of world-building. While this book is most relevant to fantasy and sci-fi writers, it’s still incredibly useful for understanding the various societies, organizations, and entities in your story, even if you are writing in a contemporary setting. I also loved Jill’s voice and personal story, and I think you will relate to it too!

The full list of all 30 books is here.

bamboo-spark-4Plus a Bamboo Spark

Brainstorm or even draft your book with Bamboo Spark. Just add your favorite paper and go! One lucky winner will win this nifty smart pen and case!


If you’ve been struggling to write your book, or struggling to revise it, enter here to win all 30 of these amazing books + a Bamboo Spark:


***Enter the Giveaway and Get Instant Gifts!***

I wanted to let you know that I’m not just giving away these books, but also tons of automatic prizes and bonuses that aren’t available anywhere else on the website or email list. These include:

#1 – My Nail Your Story Printable Worksheets (Including the Beats Cheat Sheet!)

Take your story to the next level and have readers raving with the Smarter Storytelling Framework. Usually, these worksheets are only for purchasers of my book on story structure, Nail Your Story, but you get them for free! You’ll also get a deep dive into scene structure and how it should work with my Beats Cheat Sheet.

#2 – My Word Count Tracking Spreadsheet

Grab my personal word count tracking spreadsheet and identify what kind of writing routine works best for you. You may think you have an idea, but you can’t know for sure until you track these important metrics! This was a huge part of how I was able to write better, faster.

#3 -Three Free Lessons on Mindset (Including Workbooks!)

Whether you’re still grappling with reaching the right author mindset or you’re an experienced writer, you’ll find amazing breakthroughs in just three lessons! Don’t let the name fool you! There are tons of advanced topics in these first three videos alone that will level up your author mindset.

Remember, you can enter the giveaway below if these prizes excite you!


Interested in even more ways to improve your chances at NaNoWriMo?

Try my 8×8 Challenge where we guide you through eight days of 8-minute sprints to build a writing habit and slam your word counts.

Sign up for my daily inspirations and resources in Let Your Book Flow.

Check Out My New Book, Novel Writing Prep!

50,000+ words in 30 days—impossible, right?

Or if it is possible, those words must be total crap—right?

And even if there is some semblance of writing talent in the draft, writing that fast means the plot and characters must make no sense… right?

No. Nope. Wrong!

Yes, you can write 50,000 good words on your novel in as little as a month, as long as you prepare yourself.

Ready to learn how?

Grab my new book, Novel Writing Prep:

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