Water for Elephants
NaNoWriMo Success Stories
"Arguably the most mainstream success story, Gruen is a NaNo superstar who’s used the annual write-a-thon to draft three novels. Her most well-known, Water for Elephants, became a New York Times bestseller and was adapted into the movie starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. (However, though she got a writing credit on IMDb for the novel, Gruen didn’t write the screenplay. That honor went to screenwriter Richard LaGravenese, who did P.S. I Love You and The Horse Whisperer.)
Gruen was asked to write a Pep Talk for NaNo-ers in 2007, where she confessed to falling behind on word count but still imparted valuable advice: “However far behind you are, take comfort in knowing that there is somebody else out there in the same boat, and look for that next fun scene. And then the next. And if that doesn’t work, set someone on fire. In your book, of course.”"