Saturday, November 26, 2011

NaNoWriMo Novels

As November approaches its close, I can't help but think of all those folks out there who are madly trying to finish their manuscripts before the end of NaNoWriMo arrives.

NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month for the uninitiated—is an annual event that encourages aspiring writers to pen a novel in just a month. One month, 50 000 words and at the end of it, you can say you wrote a book. If you've done a bit of quick math already, you'll know that 50 000 words in 30 days is around 1670 words a day. That's a lot of words each day! One thing that NaNoWriMo writers sometimes need is a pep talk, and the NaNoWriMo promoters know that: they've got pep talks right on their site.

Halifax Public Libraries has been on board with NaNoWriMo the last few years as well, offering programs and meet ups for writers who are participating. (Incidentally, there are two meetups left: one on Sunday, November 27/2:00 pm at Woodlawn, and one Monday, November 28/6:00 pm at Alderney Gate).

My favourite thing about the idea of NaNoWriMo is that it's not about the quality of your writing, it's about finally putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and writing the book you always said you would. At the end of the month, what you do with your novel is up to you, but at least you can say you did it. From their website: "Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved." Everyone who completes the goal of writing their novel is a NaNoWriMo winner.

Inevitably, since the very first NaNoWriMo in 1999, there have been some great books written, and of those great books, some of them have been published. So in a final push of encouragement for NaNoWriMo participants—especially those who writers who hope to see their efforts in print some day—The Reader brings you a list of (some) of the published books which began as NaNoWriMo projects. Maybe yours will be on the next list!

Daughter of the Bride (M)
by Francesca Segre.

Inspired by her own life, a novel that tells the story of a 20 something woman, unsuccessful in love, who suddenly is helping her mother prepare for a second marriage.

Homing : the whole story (from the inside out) (M)
by Stephanie Domet.

Halifax set novel that won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award in 2008.

How to Knit a Love Song: a Cypress Hollow yarn (M)
by Rachael Herron.

Knitting + romance sounds like a winner!

The Night Circus (M)
by Erin Morgenstern.

Current bestseller and featured in our staff picks post this week.

Time Off For Good Behavior (M)
by Lani Diane Rich:

Debut romance title which won a RITA award in 2005.

Water for Elephants (M)
by Sara Gruen:

The historical novel of circus life during the depression that has been a book club favourite and was adapted into a major motion picture. Two other of her novels Flying Changes and Ape House, also got their start during NaNoWriMo.

You and the Pirates (M)
by Jocelyne Allen:

Another Canadian effort, this one was a part of the National Post's Canada Also Reads program back in 2010. I wish I had known about this book back when I wrote a post about books written in the 2nd person!

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