National Novel Writing Month is coming to an end!

I’ve been watching NaNoWriMo from a distance ever since I started writing. I like to take my time while writing, so writing a book in 30 days or less seems like a huge accomplishment.

Today, to commemorate this month, I made a list of books that authors wrote in less than four weeks.

Some of these books are well-known, so be prepared to be surprised by some of the titles on this list!

What is NaNoWriMo?

Short for National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo is a project in which writers challenge themselves to write at least 50,000 words during November.

It’s a project that started in 1999, and since then, different authors have tried to win it, and lots of them have succeeded!

How Do I Win NaNoWriMo?

Anyone who completes the 50,000 words can consider themselves a winner. 

Some writers think the real deal is to write a book of about 50,000, while others believe you can write 50,000 words as long as it’s part of a book, and later, you can decide to make it longer if you want to.

Famous Books That Authors Wrote in a Month or Less

In celebration of National Novel Writing Month, here’s a list of books that authors wrote in less than a month. They would have nailed this challenge!

1. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

This book could easily be in the “top books that made me cry a lot.” I remember reading this book and thinking it was one of the saddest stories I’ve ever read.

It tells the story of two boys who form a friendship during World War II: a German boy, the son of a commandant, and a Jewish boy in a concentration camp.

John Boyne, the Irish author, said that once he started writing this outstanding story, he couldn’t stop. He said he wrote the book in two and a half days. He barely slept to complete this masterpiece.

2. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Few authors can say that they wrote a book for the money and ended up writing one of the most famous books over the decades.

Such is the case with Anthony Burgess, who wrote A Clockwork Orange.

A Clockwork Orange is set in England and tells the story of a delinquent teenager who has to go to rehab for his aberrant behavior.

Years later, Stanley Kubrick decided to adapt this book into a movie, to Burgess’ deception.

I put this book on the list because it’s a classic! Yet there are objections as to whether or not Burgess wrote the book in three weeks because the innovative language and plot had to be carefully written, and three weeks was not enough time to do that.

3. The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The synopsis is “about a young tutor in the employment of a formerly wealthy Russian general.”

The book is about a young man and his obsession with gambling. It’s a short story that reflects what Fyodor Dostoevsky was going through at the time in his life when he was in debt because of this addiction.

It’s a great piece of work that perfectly describes how consuming gambling can be from the gambler’s point of view.

If Dostoyevsky hadn’t finished the book, the guy he owed money to would own all his works. In the last hour of the final day, he submitted the book and had to argue with his debtor about it. Can you imagine that?

4. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

The first time Arthur Conan Doyle introduced Sherlock Holmes was in this book.

The author wrote it in three weeks, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t imagine that Sherlock Holmes would be as well known as he is in the media as he is now. The most famous fictional detective!

The book touches on issues such as injustice and has everything a book of its genre should have. It’s a classic you don’t want to miss, especially if you like mysteries.

Some say that Arthur wrote this book in six weeks instead of four, but it’s still an outstanding achievement!

5. The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins

The Tortoise and the Hare is probably the author’s best-known work, and it’s about a young married woman who slowly but surely loses her husband to another woman who is her complete opposite.

Critics describe it as a sad story with compelling characters where no one is completely good or evil, just people.

One of the most famous reviews includes the phrase “as smooth and seductive as a bowl of cream.”

Famous Books That Authors Wrote During NaNoWriMo

Authors have written classics in less than a month, but there are also contemporary books that were written during National Novel Writing Month. Some of these include:


Whether you plan to participate in NaNoWriMo someday or are participating this month, to overcome this challenge, you need determination.

Some say the most essential thing is quantity, not quality, so if you feel that might be your approach, NaNoWriMo might be a good choice.

And remember, keep writing! You never know when you might write your next masterpiece.