Is NaNoWriMo Even Possible? 11 Authors Prove “YES.”

Yes, I’m joining the crazies. I’m attempting NaNoWriMo 2016. Already, my brain keeps whispering, It’s okay if you only make it to 5k instead of 50k. But I’m trying to be stronger than my brain. (Um…what?) I’m trying to dream of big word counts and flying fingers. (So far I’m failing and have dreamed only of Oreos and tricycles. True story.)


BUT…instead of telling you all about my goals and freaking out and word count and story idea (which I wouldn’t do yet anyway because of SO MANY REASONS) I thought it’d be daunting inspiring to take a look at the famous crazies who have done this thing and lived to tell the tale. They have proven that THIS THING IS POSSIBLE.

So, without further ado, here are 11 authors that have dominated NaNoWriMo:


43641Haven’t read this one, but I remember it being famous and staring at the cover and there was a movie at some point that I also haven’t seen. But I do really like elephants, so there’s that. #TBRpileisdefeatingme

Here’s what I know about the book:

Guy gets on a train in Depression America, lands a job with a circus, and falls in love. 😎 And there are elephants. 🐘

2. Carrie Anne Noble: THE MERMAID’S SISTER

22833921Hey! This book just won The Realm Award back in July at the 2016 Realm Makers Conference. Prior to writing this blog post, I had no idea it was a NaNo Novel! SaWEET! Now excuse me while I sit here and stare at that cover and imagine being a mermaid.

Here’s what I know about the book. (I know, I know…I am ashamed that I haven’t read it yet! But I actually just ordered it because, just, it’s $5 on Amazon. What even? I could get a cup of coffee OR I COULD GET A BOOK WITH A GORGEOUS COVER AND MERMAIDS.)

A girl (Clara) has a sister who is a mermaid. Um, so that’s really cool. And said mermaid must be taken to the sea or she will die. So Clara & her bestie set out to bring mermaid sister to the sea. Enter trouble, evil traveling performers, and a ticking time bomb because mermaid sis is getting weak! And always in the back of her mind, Clara wonders, “If my sister is a mermaid, then what am I?”

3. Marissa Meyer: CINDER, SCARLET, CRESS, and WINTER

She has written tomes during NaNoWriMo! This woman is a beast. A very inspirational beast.

These books are dystopian science fiction twists on fairytales. And they are brilliant.


4. Hugh Howey: WOOL

29892500Oh hey there famous book that’s going to be a movie. You were written during NaNo? I think I need to read you. But every time I read your title it just makes me think of wearing thick itchy clothing. 😛

Here’s what I know about this book:

A society has been living in a silo-safety location against the infected and deadly world. Then their sheriff is all, “I want to go outside.” All craziness ensues. (Duh. 😛 )

5. Rainbow Rowell: FANGIRL

fangirl-nanowrimoEvery YA reader and their pet couch adores this book. I have not read it yet. *cringes* But I plan to! Because what’s more fun than fangirling about something? Fangirling about fangirling. Am I right? or am I just crazy? (Crazy is totally possible.)

About the story:

A girl who’s been fangirling over a certain set of books and their author for her whole life goes to college and is forced to try and get a life. AHHHHH!! 😛


6. Stephanie Stuve Bodeen: THE COMPOUND

The Compound NaNoWriMoAnother YA novel for the NaNo win. And this is one I’ve actually read! Go me. 😉

This is a thin little dystopian-ish/post-apocalyptic novel about a family that has lived in a protective compound all their lives. Then suddenly the son…wants out. (I don’t blame the kid.)



7. Erin Morgenstern: THE NIGHT CIRCUS

9361589What is it with all these cool circus stories coming out? Do I need to go write a circus story? For NaNo? Apparently it’s really successful. I have not read this book either (what is wrong with me and my reading habits?!) But what I know about this book is:

There’s a circus that shows up only at night. And apparently there are ice gardens and cloud labyrinths or something equally as amazing and drool-worthy. I need to read this book. Now.

And then I need to go live in that universe, thank you very much.

8. Shannon Dittemore: BROKEN WINGS

Shannon wrote the second book of her trilogy during NaNoWriMo! Go Shannon! Even though she claims that a lot of it (if not all) didn’t make it into the final draft, it was still part of the writing process. And hey, 50k is 50k. Right?

Her first book, Angel Eyes, is about a girl who can see the world of angels and demons and ends up entering the war. O.o Yeeeeeeees. GIMME!


This photo is from Shannon’s Instagram!

9. Ronie Kendig: ACCELERANT

31186224This book. This author. These covers. Need I say more? Ronie is awesome and cranks out books like nobody’s business. It made me particularly happy to see that she wrote a portion of Accelerant during NaNo. <3

This is the sequel to Ember, so I can’t tell much without giving spoilers. But book 1–Ember–is a fantasy about a crippled heir to the throne who has to save his sister, oh and stop a war at the same time. Poor guy. Can’t he catch a break? NO. BECAUSE THIS IS FANTASY. And life’s hard for fantasy princes.

Dude. Let me eat these books right now please.

10. Just B Jordan: NEVER TO LIVE

18801486This crazy lady wrote 150,000 words for Never to Live in a single NaNoWriMo month! How even?! She needs to teach us her ways (or just lend us her magic, please.)

About the story:

Fairies, demons, dragons, traitors, and a insane Monster of the Kings. Aka: intense awesomeness. And the main character’s name is Elwyn. Which is just cool.

11. Stephanie Perkins: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS

17453983According to the ENTIRE WORLD…this book is the cutest story ever written. Since I haven’t read it (yet) I can neither confirm nor deny these claims. But I intend to put them to the test. 😉 But apparently really cute contemporary YA novels can be written during NaNo. May that be a lesson to you. 😛

What I know about the story:

  • Girl likes boy.
  • Girl’s dad sends girl to a boarding school in France.
  • Girl is mad
  • But then girl likes cute French boy.
  • Voila!


Well my friends. If you’re doing NaNo, I hope these books inspire you knowing that they are success stories — written and published — with NaNo as part of their past. YOU CAN DO THIS.

If you’re not doing NaNo…then here are some books that were written by crazy authors. 😉 If you read any of the ones that I haven’t read…do tell me what you think of them!

Have you read or heard of any of these books? And? And?

What do you think of NaNo? Do you like or hate the idea of writing 50,000 words in a month?



About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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  1. I’ve heard of a few of these and had no idea they were written during Nano. I think it inspires me to go for it with even more drive. While I’ve participated in Nanowrimo a couple of times I have never achieved the 50,000 and I may not expect to achieve it but I like it because it pushes me to write my best, or just to write. This was a good post. I didn’t know there were so many books published that began as Nano books.

  2. I knew about Wool (great book, btw) but Night Circus was a nanowrimo book, too? Nigh Circus won a place on my shelves as pure art! But those are the only two on the list I’ve read so far. Water for Elephants is the only one I’ve heard not so good things about, though it’s popular – just not my type, most likely. (Btw, the link for Fangirl is actually Wool again…)

  3. NaNoWriMo must be magical because I’ve read and loved several of these. I mean some serious favorites like The Lunar Chronicles and anything by Ronie Kendig.
    Not Fangirl yet. So it’s you, me, and a couple of shelter armchairs.
    But first it’s NaNo time. I’m working on what I hope will be “my thing”, deconstructed steampunk fairytales.

I love hearing from you!