Monday, November 12, 2012

From NaNo to Novel

So Alex and I are really excited about this week.  We have a lot to tell you about books and NaNo and such so if you don't like NaNo well... I suggest staying away until Friday. (No, really, I'm kidding.  It'll be awesome.  I promise.)

This week, we're going to be reading and reviewing the book The Night Circus.  This is a fairly popular book that was published in the past year and is pretty phenomenal.  It was written by Erin Morgenstern who is also a pretty cool lady.  It's her first published novel and, a pretty good one. (Well, so far.  I'm only 100 pages into it as I write this post, but I've heard good things.) I read it in early spring, so I will vouch for it being good.

Now here's the point where everyone asks me, "Cassy, what does this has to do with NaNoWriMo, you big, ridiculous, NaNo obsessed freak?"  Well, as Alex and I went researching for things to share with you wonderful crowd this week, we discovered that Morgenstern actually wrote The Night Circus over two or three NaNoWriMo years.  That's right.  The Night Circus was (very) roughly created in '05 and then she spend NaNo '06 and '07 rewriting and drafting and editing it to bring it about.  

So moral of my story?  NaNo is not just a month of writing 50K of crap, as I sometimes like to refer to it (because, let's be honest with ourselves, by the end of the month we have 45K of unusable material and 5K of story we might actually be able to use and only 2K of that do we actually like.)  NaNo can be the stepping stone into something bigger.  It can be that push you need to make you a published author. Morgenstern herself says that she never expected Night Circus to be something for others to read, at least not when she started. If she had, it might have been a different thing entirely. That's the beauty of NaNoWriMo... it's so freeing!

It worked for Erin Morgenstern.  And it also worked for a long list of other authors.  Here is a list of some of the more popular books that started off as NaNo Novels.  And here is a list from NaNo's site of all the known published novels that started out as NaNo Novels.  Recognize any?  Well, if nothing else, you recognize Morgenstern's.

As an added bonus, you can read her NaNo Pep Talk here.  Happy NaNo, everyone, and from two writers, keep up the good work.

Alex and Cassy both encourage you to leave your word counts in the comments.  We would love to know how you're doing. :) And we will cheer you on!

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