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Need inspiration to finish that novel? Here are 7 books written during NaNoWriMo

Did you know Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen began as a NaNoWriMo project? Here are 7 books that began during National Novel Writing Month.

Participating in National Novel Writing Month this November and need some inspiration to help you write 50,000 words by the end of November? CBC Books is here to help!

Here are seven books which were originally written during NaNoWriMo. 

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen 

Sara Gruen's bestselling novel was turned into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. (Tasha Thomas/HarperCollins)

Orphaned and penniless at the height of the Depression, Jacob Jankowski escapes everything he knows by jumping on a passing train — and inadvertently runs away with the circus. So begins Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen's "darkly beautiful" tale about the characters who inhabit the less-than-greatest show on earth.

The Vancouver-born Gruen has said that she has regularly participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) event, and used it to draft three novels, including Water for Elephants. The 2006 bestselling historical novel was made into a 2011 motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. 

Buying Love by Toni Shiloh

U.S.-based author Toni Shiloh writes Christian fiction. (Toni Shiloh/Celebrate Lit)

Christian fiction writer Toni Shiloh drafted her novel Buying Love during NaNoWriMo about Nina Warrenton and Dwight Williams, two people whose search for love and marriage is complicated by financial considerations. 

Come Away With Me by Karma Brown

Ontario-based author Karma Brown drafted this novel during NaNoWriMo in 2011. (Jenna Davis/MIRA)

One minute, Tegan Lawson has everything she could hope for: an adoring husband and a baby on the way. The next, a devastating accident that will change her life in ways she never could have imagined. Ontario-based author and journalist Karma Brown originally wrote the draft of bestselling novel Come Away With Me during NaNoWriMo in 2013.

Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

Gabrielle Prendergast, author of Audacious, is a YA and middle-grade author and Vancouver Book Awards finalist in 2017. She has been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2011. (Simon & Schuster/Gabrielle Prendergast)

Vancouver-based Gabrielle "G.S." Prendergast is a YA author. Her book Zero Repeat Forever, written during NaNoWriMo in 2011, depicts an invasion of murderous creatures and 16-year-old Raven is at summer camp when it happens. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her fellow campers can only stay put to await rescue. But Raven isn't one to feel helpless and must decide whether to fight back.

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Julie Murphy is the bestselling author of Side Effects May Vary. (Christy Archibald/HarperCollins)

When 16-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend, Harvey, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge as it is about hope. But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now she must face the consequences of all she's said and done. Side Effects May Vary, slated to be a major motion picture starring Jennifer Aniston, was written by Murphy during NaNoWriMo in 2011.

The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh

Drafted during NaNoWriMo, The Truth About Twinkie Pie was U.S.-based author Kat Yeh's debut work. (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Kat Yeh)

The 2015 middle-grade book The Truth About Twinkie Pie is about two sisters making it on their own: brainy 12-year-old GiGi and junior-high-dropout-turned-hairstylist DiDi. Add a million dollars in prize money from a national cooking contest and a move from the trailer parks of South Carolina to the North Shore of Long Island. Mix in a fancy new school, new friends and enemies, a first crush, and a generous sprinkling of family secrets.

Wool by Hugh Howey

Drafted during NaNoWriMo and originally self-published before signing to a major publisher, U.S.-based author Hugh Howey is a writer of science fiction. (Simon & Schuster/Hugh Howey)

Originally self-published by Hugh Howey before being picked up by a major publisher, Wool is a post-apocalyptic thriller that examines a toxic future and an underground community. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo's rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside. His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events and potential uprising. 


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