Aaah yes. It is finally November. Personally this is one of my favorite months, not only because I get to spend time with family during Thanksgiving, but because of NaNoWriMo.
For those of you not familiar, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November people from around the world try to crank out 50k words during the month of November. The first Harry Potter book is a bit longer than that (at 70k) to give you a size comparison. Another thing that makes NaNoWriMo so cool is that it’s a non-profit organization that helps promote literacy world wide. To be a part of that is a pretty cool thing!
Throughout this month I’ll be doing weekly posts on writing and NaNoWriMo in general. Fret not, the usual book reviews will still be around (posted on Fridays).
There is one damper on this excitement though. Every year without fail, there’s a group of very vocal people insisting NaNoWriMo is horrid, no one should try it, and no, they’ve never tried it themselves they are proud to say. Why would they? After all, they want to write real stories. Not only are their posts just plain wrong and lacking in facts, the authors of the posts, knowingly or not, are insulting those who dare to try it. Usually these insults are covered up with a quick complement, but it goes right back to the insulting soon enough. I’ve even seen a post where someone said it made them sad and dissapointed to see how many authors wasted their time each year trying to draft a novel in one month.
I understand that NaNoWriMo isn’t for everyone. I’ve met quite a few people who have tried it and it just didn’t work for them. I’ve met others who have heard of it but know that trying something like that just isn’t for them. That’s fine and completely understandable. But these people gave it a go, or looked into the idea of it, and while they realize a month of writing frenzy isn’t for them, they still manage to respect those who do it (or try to).
Despite all the awesome people out there, both participating and encouraging from the sidelines, sometimes it’s hard to ignore the nay-sayers. That’s why it’s always inspiring to look at the list of authors who published their NaNoNovels.
Here’s 10 popular books that started off as NaNoWriMo novels:
- Crewel (Gennifer Albin)
- Something Strange and Deadly (Susan Dennard)
- Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen)
- Berserk (Ally Kennen)
- Alienated (Melissa Landers)
- Cinder (Marissa Meyer; you can read my review here)
- The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)
- Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins)
- Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell)
- The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Carrie Ryan)
To see the list of every author that’s published their NaNoNovel check it out on the NaNoWriMo site. Warning, the list is long. The list I drew from was the traditionally published list. But there’s also a list of self-published authors, many of which wound up winning awards for their NaNoNovels. If you have time and are looking for a new read, I recommend checking out both lists and seeing what you find.