Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It’s short for National Novel Writing Month. Founded by freelance writer Chris Baty in 1999, it’s an event that has since blown up in popularity. NaNoWriMo is a creative writing challenge that takes place during the entire month of November.
The goal is to write at least 50,000 words by the end of the challenge, whether it’s a complete novel or just the beginning of your masterpiece.
NaNoWriMo’s most well-known success story is Sara Gruen’s bestseller Water for Elephants. A tale about an orphaned young man named Jacob, this book takes us back to the Great Depression and into a love story, set within a circus with colourful characters and creatures. It’s a New York Times bestseller and has sold over 10 million copies – it was also turned into a film starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon.
Erin Morgenstern is another successful NaNoWriMo author. Her book The Night Circus tells the story of star-crossed lovers who happen to be magicians. A magical traveling circus that appears only at night is the backdrop of their battleground. Another New York Times bestseller, the book is a beautifully descriptive work of magical realism that was on the long list of nominees for the UK’s Orange Prize for Fiction in 2012.
Hugh Howey wrote his short story Wool before deciding to expand on it during his 3rd NaNoWriMo, eventually turning it into a 5-part series known as the Wool Omnibus. The book is a post-apocalyptic tale about an isolated and dystopian community living underground, and Hollywood is working on turning it into a film.
Many novels have now been published that originated from NaNoWriMo – could yours be next?