This post, by Stacey Conradt, originally appeared on the Mental Floss site on 11/1/13. It may provide some much-needed motivation to hang in there for this year’s NaNoWriMo’ers.
While November means turkey, football and marathon shopping for some, it’s a month of being hunched over at a laptop slurping cup after cup of caffeine for others.
Yep—it’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. People who are crazy ambitious enough to accept the challenge aim to write 50,000 words in November, which is about 1,667 words every day. While no one expects masterpieces in such a short time span—the goal is to force writers to get some words down on paper without overthinking it—sometimes it happens. Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants is a particularly successful example. But she’s not the only author to see buckling down and hammering out 50,000 words in a month pay off. Here are 14 other NaNo books that can be found on the shelves at a bookstore near you.
1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. She wrote it during two NaNos, but we’re not holding it against her. The Night Circus spent seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and won an Alex Award from the American Library Association in 2012.
2. The Beautiful Land by Alan Averill. From Amazon: “The Beautiful Land is part science fiction, part horror—and, at its core, a love story between a brilliant young computer genius and the fragile woman he has loved since high school. Now, he must bend time and space to save her life as the world around them descends into apocalyptic madness.”
3. Wool by Hugh Howey. From Barnes and Noble: “In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.” Ridley Scott has expressed interest in directing the Wool movie, the rights to which have been purchased by 20th Century Fox.
4. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Another NYT bestseller, The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a young adult novel that takes place in a post-apocalyptic United States that is overrun with zombies. This is the first of a trilogy, and the film rights have been optioned by Seven Star Pictures.
5. Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trimble. From Publisher’s Weekly: “Nate and Adam are smalltown adolescents whose relationship is threatened when Adam moves to New York. Nate recalls the first moments of their romance and its development even as it’s threatened by the arrival of Luke, a closeted younger teen who’s attracted to Nate. Told frankly and honestly from Nate’s point of view, the novel explores issues like coming out, parental acceptance (and its lack), antigay violence, and the attitudes of faculty and fellow students, whose ranks provide both antagonists and allies. Layered with the gritty everyday details of teen existence, the book provides a convincingly clear window into the many perils and sometimes scant pleasures of life in high school while never feeling overly grim; it will be appreciated by adults and teens alike.”