Hi writers, and welcome to October! It is officially time to start counting down to our biggest writing event of the year: National Novel Writing Month!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the event, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short) is committing to the challenge of writing 55,000 words in a month. Sound daunting? Maybe. As a first time NaNoWriMo participant I’m certainly a bit intimidated. But I’m also really excited to embark on this challenge with the KWL Community!
As you may have read in our newsletter, we will be hosting weekly Write-Ins so we can all write together and keep one another motivated and on track throughout the month. We are really excited to participate with as many of our KWL community members as possible so be sure to sign up for NaNoWriMo here, and sign up for our write-ins here!
As we countdown to the beginning of NaNoWriMo, we’ll be sharing tips and tricks for planning a successful month of writing both on the blog and on our social channels, so make sure you’re following us! And if you’ve done NaNo before and have some tips you’d like to share with the community, please do so in the comments. If only to help me out as I embark on my first writing adventure since my undergrad.
In the meantime, if you are looking for inspiration as we embark on this writing adventure together, take a look at these novels that started out as NaNoWriMo projects!
The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
Probably the most famous NaNoWriMo success story, The Night Circus was written over three NaNoWriMos and became a massive international bestseller.
Because writing one novel in a month was too easy, Marissa Meyer wrote her three novels in ONE NANO. I am floored.
Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell was already published when she gave NaNoWriMo a try in an effort to combat the dread of looking at a blank page. The result was a charming young adult classic.
Wool – Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey had planned out an entirely different NaNoWriMo project when his novelette Wool started to take off. He took this as an opportunity to create more stories in this universe and ended up with a bestselling anthology that has since been optioned by Ridley Scott.
Side Effects May Vary – Julie Murphy
NaNoWriMo was Julie Murphy’s second attempt at writing a novel in a month. This time, she took a month off after completing NaNo before tackling edits and polishing her manuscript, and the result: a critically acclaimed young adult novel.
Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
During the initial writing process, Sara fell behind in her NaNoWriMo word count. When asked to give advice to others who find themselves in the same boat she said, “However far behind you are, take comfort in knowing that there is somebody else out there in the same boat, and look for that next fun scene. And then the next. And if that doesn’t work, set someone on fire. In your book, of course.”
The Darwin Elevator – Jason M. Hough
The first time Jason M. Hough attempted NaNoWriMo, he did so with no plan and has admitted that while he did meet the word count, it was a bit of a struggle. The second time he went it with character sketches, a plot map, and a better understanding of NaNo entails, and finished with the first 50,000 words of his New York Times Bestselling novel.
With the Fire on High – Elizabeth Acevedo
Elizabeth Acevedo wrote the first draft of With the Fire on High during the 2013 NaNoWriMo, and felt like it had been an excellent exercise in finding her voice and practicing her prose, but it wasn’t publishable. She put aside the manuscript went on to write and publish in her award winning debut novel, The Poet X. Afterward, Elizabeth starting looking toward her next project, and actually looked back at her NaNo draft to see if there was anything there, and it would appear there was.