Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ah, November. The leaves are still changing from grass to fire, but winter is blowing its first kisses too, sending little waves of frosted love our way. Yeah, I know most people go ga-ga for spring and summer, but me? I'm an autumn gal.

Besides turkey overload (for us Americans) and the start of holiday sales, November is known -- at least in the book world -- for one other very important thing: National Novel Writing Month. During "NaNoWriMo," writers all around the world try to pump out 50,000 words in just 30 days. It sounds a little crazy, and it definitely isn't easy, but some writers really thrive from the push, and the NaNo site offers a wonderful and encouraging community.

To be honest, a lot of NaNo projects never make it past December... But -- as we know from personal experience -- what all those words and long nights teach their writers is positively priceless.

Now, a few NaNo projects do make it past that first calendar page. And the page after that. And the page after that. In fact, some of them make it all the way to our bookshelves! (But only after weeks, often months, of careful revisions.) Here are a few that we've enjoyed:

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) XVI (XVI, #1) The Scorpio Races

(Note: Maggie Stiefvater does not regularly do NaNo. She tried it that year to help get going with SCORPIO RACES, but ultimately it didn't work out. She explains why in this rant-y "breakup" letter to NaNo.)

On the non-YA side, there's also been:

Water for Elephants The Night Circus

Quite a collection, huh? You can find a longer list of "published wrimos" at the NaNoWriMo site, though it's not 100% complete.

Do you know any other NaNo success stories? Are you participating in NaNo yourself? If so, we'd love to hear about what you're working on, and we wish you the best of luck!


Julia said...

Hi Ladies! XVI was a NaNo novel, too!:)

We Heart YA said...

Ooohhh thanks for letting us know! We'll add it to the post!

Unknown said...

I absolutely love the energy that buzzes around NaNoWriMo and I think a LOT of people benefit (especially when those books make it onto shelves after lots and lots of revisions).

For me? I pass every year. It's also why I don't diet. I don't like counting. I don't like sprinting, cramming, etc. I'm not competitive, but I don't like to "lose." At least not at writing.

I just like taking my time--which tends to be around 6 months for drafting.

Ivan said...

Some of these Nano project really turned out phenomenal. I have Anna and the French Kiss before and it was so romantic and such. I'm currently reading the Night Circus and the writing is so professional.

Rumpelstiltskin and Co.

We Heart YA said...

Hey, Ivan! Yes, some of these projects turned into some great works of Lit. We love Anna and the French Kiss so much...and, of course, The Night Circus. Happy Reading!

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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