Five Famous Novels Written During NaNoWriMo

Check out these five best selling books created originally from NaNoWriMo! You’ll never expect which books are on this list…

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November is the dedicated month for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), as experienced and beginner writers get motivated to write a novel by the end of the month. The goal is that anyone will end up with a 50,000-word draft or even longer! Writers have the option of keeping the draft for themselves or even sharing it with a publisher for a chance at becoming popular! Some well-known books were actually the result of NaNoWriMo, so let’s take a look and see if you’ve read one without noticing!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder book cover: a transparent lower leg with metal parts inside with a red heel

Believe it or not, the famous YA series Lunar Chronicles first started with NaNoWriMo. Cinder follows Cinder, who is a cyborg living in New Beijing. The novel follows a cyberpunk setting, but a plague has taken hold of the city; with an unexpected ally, Prince Kai, the two work together to try and stop this illness from hurting others in order to protect their world’s future.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus book cover; black and grey with a man and woman looking at each other but walking away from one another

Le Cirque des Rêves will randomly pop up in a town. This circus is only open at night, with a secret rivalry between two magicians. Celia and Marco have been trained magicians since they were kids to be better than each other. What they didn’t know is that this game calls for only one to be left. The two fall in love, which leads to more consequences for their battle. Who will come out in the end?

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants book cover; the top of a red and white circus tent with an elephant figure on the top pole

Jacob is an orphan with no money to his name. One day, he lands himself on a train, unbeknownst to him was the home of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. (Almost) With a degree from veterinary school, Jacob was hired to be in charge of the wild animals. There, he meets the equestrian star, her husband, and an untrainable elephant. With this group coming from different walks of life, they need to work together to survive through it.

Jackpot by Nic Stone

Jackpot book cover; main characters Rico and Zan are standing looking at the reader

Rico works as a cashier at a local gas station, making a living for herself and her little brother. One day, Rico finds out that she sold a lottery ticket that won the jackpot, and with some help from her wealthy classmate Zan — maybe she can find the ticket owner. After all, if the winner hasn’t claimed the prize money, who else will? In a fun story of tracking down the winner, will the pair come together or split apart?

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl book cover; a girl is on a computer watching a romance and a boy is leaning on the title "Fangirl"

This is a coming-of-age novel that circles around Cath, with a twin that she grew up close with following the death of their mother. The Simon Snow fandom encompassed them to help their grief, but when Wren grew out of the fandom, Cath never did. When it’s time to move out and go to college, Wren admits she doesn’t want to be roommates with Cath. Cath is now stuck alone to live with a stranger while still worrying about her dad, who’s now living alone for the first time. How will Cath make it through her first year at college, and how will she create new relationships?

For a complete list of titles, you can check out this page. If you have the spare time this month, register to create your first novel. Of course, you can write one any time of the year, but why not do it with everyone else to feel more motivated?

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Browse these books and more on our Bookshop NaNoWriMo bookshelf.