November is my favorite month. It has Thanksgiving, No-Shave November (hallelujah) and National Novel Writing Month, affectionately coined NaNoWriMo. I, among many Americans, have decided to embark on this almost ridiculous task: writing a novel in a month. This means writing 1,667 words per day, 50,000 total. As of right now, I’m supposed to be at 8,333 words. Where am I really? 952. According to my novel stats, I’ll finish my book by September 2016. This is totally disappointing, but it’s not over yet, and I know it can be done.
There are already some amazing novels that originated from NaNoWriMo. In my column from a few weeks ago, I wrote about loving “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, which was a WriMo creation. The book saw incredible success at bookstores and was even turned into a film with Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. While I can’t really expect this kind of success, it is only one of the many success stories that come from NaNoWriMo.
One of the most famous novels from WriMo is “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell. During November of 2011, Rowell exceeded her word count by double the monthly goal just after selling her other bestseller, “Eleanor & Park,” solidifying her name as a prominent YA author. “Fangirl” is a realistic portrait of an older teenage girl, Cath, who writes fanfiction about her star crush, Simon Snow. Cath is an introvert who is a very relatable character for anyone who’s coming of age. Her honest portrayal of her day-to-day life and awkward moments make her a character who seems like your best friend. Beyond Cath, the other personalities in the novel vary enough that there’s a character for everyone to relate to. Cath is a strong female character, and the slow-burning romantic undertones don’t take precedence over her spirit.
Another NaNoWriMo novel is “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” by Carrie Ryan, leading into “The Dead-Tossed Waves” and “The Dark and Hollow Places.” The novel is dystopian and stems from the all-powerful Guardians watching over the city and controlling it. Although the main character, Mary, is a bit annoying, her unique storyline is intriguing enough to keep you turning the pages.
NaNoWriMo has stemmed another trilogy as well. “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer is the first of “The Lunar Chronicles.” “Cinder” is a dystopian, robotic version of the classic fairytale “Cinderella.” Although the plot is age-old and has a certain predictability that comes along with every Cinderella-inspired tale, the novel is incredibly engaging and comes together as an intriguing and unique story. The romance in the novel is realistic and it isn’t too sappy, all put together in the elaborate world of New Beijing.
Although NaNoWriMo is a huge challenge, the more I read, the more I’m inspired to write (even though I totally know how freakin’ corny that sounds). Honestly, though, NaNoWriMo kind of sucks. It’s tough to force yourself to write everyday, but in the words of Ray Bradbury, “You must write every single day of your life ... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”