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NaNoWriMo has begun!!! [2020 Has Concluded!]

ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday ArmadilloI'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
edited December 2020 in Social Entropy++
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As October comes to a close, an annual tradition looms in the horizon. In just seven days it'll be November, which means a collection of insane people attempt to knock out a 50,000 novel in just 30 days. All over the world people will be slamming their fingers upon keyboards in a fury. Will they succeed? Historically, I haven't! Ever!

But seeing as how we're still suffering through COVID-19 and sheltering-in-place, maybe this year is the best year to sit down and scream out a book.

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. Well-known authors write "pep-talks" to keep them motivated throughout the process. The website provides participants, called "Wrimos", with tips for writer's block, information on where local participants are meeting, and an online community of support. Focusing on the length of a work rather than the quality, writers are encouraged to finish their first draft quickly so that it can later be edited at the author's discretion. The project started in July 1999 with 21 participants. By the 2010 event, over 200,000 people took part and wrote a total of over 2.8 billion words.

Writers wishing to participate first register on the project's website, where they can post profiles and information about their novels, including synopses and excerpts. Word counts are validated on the site, with writers submitting a copy of their novel for automatic counting. Municipal leaders and regional forums help connect local writers, hold writing events, and provide encouragement.

The Rules of NaNoWriMo
Since NaNoWriMo is used to get people writing, the rules are kept broad and straightforward:

-- #1. - Writing starts at 12:00: a.m. on November 1 and ends 11:59:59 p.m. on November 30, local time.
-- #2. -No one is allowed to start early and the challenge finishes exactly 30 days from that start point.
-- #3. -Novels must reach a minimum of 50,000 words before the end of November in order to win. These words can either be a complete novel of 50,000 words or the first 50,000 words of a novel to be completed later.
-- #4. -Planning and extensive notes are permitted, but no material written before the November 1 start date can go into the body of the novel.
-- #5. -Participants' novels can be on any theme, genre of fiction, and language. Everything from fanfiction, which uses trademarked characters, to novels in poem format, and metafiction is allowed; according to the website's FAQ, "If you believe you're writing a novel, we believe you're writing a novel too."
-- #6. -"Rebelling" is allowed, as NaNoWriMo is considered a "self-challenge"; rebels are allowed to validate and thus receive any prizes from sponsors

The Big Picture of NaNoWriMo

Writing a 50,000 word novel in a month can be a daunting activity for anyone (except for Stephen King), so it is easier to look at it in smaller steps.

Your daily goal is 1,667 words a day.

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Here is the official website where you can sign up.

Resources for NaNoWriMo

Here is a bevvy of helpful things, collected by Fearghaill & Brovid Hasselsmof's last two NaNo threads, including the original wisdom from Straightzi:
Quoth wrote: »
Seven Steps to the Perfect Story: http://www.the-cma.com/news/seven-steps-to-the-perfect-story

NaNoWriMo Blog: http://blog.nanowrimo.org/
NaNoWriMo Forums: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/forums
NaNoWriMo Forums – Writing 101: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/forums/writing-101

The Snowflake Method: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/snowflake.php

Worldbuilding Questions: http://www.sfwa.org/2009/08/fantasy-worldbuilding-questions/

The Art of Dramatic Writing – Premise: http://www.writerswrite.com/fiction/egri.htm

Jim Butcher – Story Skeletons: http://jimbutcher.livejournal.com/1308.html

The Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot: http://www.paper-dragon.com/1939/dent.html

How to write a novel in three days: http://www.wetasphalt.com/content/how-write-book-three-days-lessons-michael-moorcock

Fun plot generator: http://fictiongen.inky.me/

Writing.com’s NaNoWriMo prep calendar: http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1998261-October-Nano-Prep-2014-Calendar

A map to get out of writer’s block: http://nybookeditors.com/book-editing-copy-editing-proofreading-self-publishing-blog/2013/3/12/a-map-to-get-out-of-writers-block#sthash.AuWOZpt7.dpbs

Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook site: http://wonderbooknow.com/

Stephen King on imagery: http://www.wordplayer.com/pros/pr13.King.Stephen.html

The Emotion Thesauraus: http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/p/the-emotion-thesaurus.html

Stuff from Chuck Wendig’s blog, which is generally NSFW due to saucy language:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/09/25/25-things-you-should-do-before-starting-your-next-novel/
http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/01/17/25-things-writers-should-start-doing/
http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/05/14/25-things-you-should-know-about-outlining/
http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/09/14/25-ways-to-plot-plan-and-prep-your-story/
http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/11/27/how-chuck-wendig-writes-a-novel/
http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/10/08/welcome-to-nanowrimo-prep-school-word-nerds/

A massive conglomeration of random characters, premises, generators and challenges for the folks who need some inspiration: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13xS8Klc7HdTI5vC2nisrys_ixQgh6sp0d5Szq4TUJ5g/edit?usp=sharing

So there ya go! Who is thinking of challenging themselves and trying to be a wordsmith for the month of November?

Either way, best of luck!

In closing:

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Zonugal on
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    Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    I'm doing it! I'm gonna do it!!!

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    MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
    I have done a moderate amount of prep so far so I'm going to try my best this time to finish this off.

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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    I started a book about a disgraced mercenary dragoon being forced to help her gunslinging magic blacksmith ex-girlfriend rewrite the laws of physics awhile back and I'm gonna try and finish it by the end of the year

    the bulk of that work will take place in nanowrimo largely by necessity due to holidays and such

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    MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    I pledge to not write a god damn word

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    MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
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    MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    Magell wrote: »
    Moriveth wrote: »
    I pledge to not write a god damn word

    You've already written 9!

    It's not November yet!!!

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    ElaroElaro Apologetic Registered User regular
    Moriveth wrote: »
    Magell wrote: »
    Moriveth wrote: »
    I pledge to not write a god damn word

    You've already written 9!

    It's not November yet!!!

    Ah yes, Moriveth's famous no-write November

    But how will you sign up for Satans?

    Children's rights are human rights.
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    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Will I or won't I. I haven't legitimately written in a very long time for personal reasons, but if I think of it as a sort of community activity then...maybe.

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    HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Esq. Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    Back when I still had a job and a sprinkle of creative energy left in me, I used to look at NaNoWriMo and wonder who in the world had time to write thousands of words a day. Surely, I thought, this was an insurmountable goal when they had to work a fulltime job, cook for themselves and/or others, have any social time, or just generally have any hobbies outside of putting words on a page. Now that I'm unemployed and have nothing but unstructured free time on my hands, I realize the challenging part was always simply having the willpower to do it.

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    LucedesLucedes might be real Registered User regular
    i'm 120k words into a novel i started in september.
    i intend to write the last few thousand words as november starts, then stop writing entirely.

    exceptional, dare i say perfect timing.

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    Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    I have long said that I have enough unused DnD characters to form their own party, and a friend pointed out that if I wrote a campaign around that party I would basically just be writing a book, so I will now in fact write a fantasy heist novel starring all my characters with the DnD stuff filed off

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    DocshiftyDocshifty Registered User regular
    I had this idea of, like, a fantasy OSHA inspector at a mine just getting more and more exasperated at all the cut corners he finds.

    Your golem's warding is completely bare! Something could scuff the runes and then we'd have a rampage on our hands! And when was the last time the seals were reapplied?
    What do you mean you've got two veil-watchers? Minimum for a facility this size is three per shift, and a backup in case of a full-blown breach.

    Just a mundane government job in a fantasy world.

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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Does posting in this thread count towards the total?

    (14 words total so far)

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    Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling historic on the fury road] Registered User regular
    I have tried and failed this so many times. Recently I've started to think I have such a dysfunctional understanding of people that I just can't write good characters.

    Maybe I'll try and do that idea I had about a story from the POV of a tree.

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    WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    Hmm.

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    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    I think I'll revisit a novel idea I had a while ago. Premise is that once upon a time mana miasma flooded the world and poisoned or transformed every living thing, with humans forced from their city to the peaks of the three highest mountains in the land, each protected by one of three gods. Each gathering became a new city, specializing in different trades and products, and when a child came of age they would visit the shrine of their chosen god, not that the gods had ever resided in those shrines, to receive their blessing. However, there was a fourth mountain, and a fourth city, below the miasma, where they alone were tasked to have a shrine to the fourth god of the world, and the one responsible for its devastation: Arcana, God of Magic and Miracles.

    The story is from the perspective of a child coming of age in that city, on his way to the shrine to receive the blessing. When he arrives though, he refuses the blessing and instead insults Arcana for ruining the world. Amidst his tirade the empty throne suddenly has an occupant reclining across the arms, and with a gesture they blast the boy across the room before disappearing. The boy finds himself unharmed and quickly departs the shrine, telling no one of what occurred. The next day a small force of knights from the highest city, ruled openly by Justice, God of Light and Law, arrive in the city and announce they have come to capture the boy, declaring him marked by Arcana and prophesied to bring ruin upon humanity. This is the turning point of his life that will eventually bring him from his mountain home to the forgotten land of ancient humanity to the city upon the highest peak, learning the truth of what happened to the world so long ago, what's become of it since humanity's exodus, and why he's connected to all of it.

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    NorgothNorgoth cardiffRegistered User regular
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Back when I still had a job and a sprinkle of creative energy left in me, I used to look at NaNoWriMo and wonder who in the world had time to write thousands of words a day. Surely, I thought, this was an insurmountable goal when they had to work a fulltime job, cook for themselves and/or others, have any social time, or just generally have any hobbies outside of putting words on a page. Now that I'm unemployed and have nothing but unstructured free time on my hands, I realize the challenging part was always simply having the willpower to do it.


    This is the “secret” of writing a book. Just sitting your arse in the chair and doing it. I’ve written 6 full length novels and 3 light novels this year, and I’m a lazy shit.

    Personally I find it most effective to write in sprints. Set a timer, 20-30 minutes and just slam out the words in that time. Don’t worry about perfection just worry about getting them down. Then take a break for a bit, and repeat. You would be surprised how having a time focuses you.

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    Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    “I’m going to do this this year!” He said to himself, knowing fully that he would maybe write 1,000 words.

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    DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    If nano wasn't in the middle of hunting season, maybe I would give it a try again, even though my story attempts always felt like half assed fan fic with nothing salvageable

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    Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
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    Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    hey do y'all use a particular writing software or just like a Word doc or comparable program on your OS

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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    I write by hand

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    MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
    I use open office. Its free to download if you're computer only comes with notepad, its a good alternative

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    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    I bought Scrivener a while back but haven't made much use of it

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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    I have tried and failed this so many times. Recently I've started to think I have such a dysfunctional understanding of people that I just can't write good characters.

    Maybe I'll try and do that idea I had about a story from the POV of a tree.

    people in books are overrated. I support this protreegonist concept.

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    TynnanTynnan seldom correct, never unsure Registered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    I have tried and failed this so many times. Recently I've started to think I have such a dysfunctional understanding of people that I just can't write good characters.

    Maybe I'll try and do that idea I had about a story from the POV of a tree.

    people in books are overrated. I support this protreegonist concept.

    Semiosis was a good read. I heard the sequel wasn't, though, which is a shame.

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    AbsurdPropositionAbsurdProposition Registered User regular
    I heard a rumor last year that it's easier to write a first draft in comic sans, because anything you write is going to look stupid so it's easier to not care about quality.

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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    I bought Scrivener a while back but haven't made much use of it

    I have used it a fair amount and I like it, it makes the rewrite and revision process really easy

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    Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling historic on the fury road] Registered User regular
    I started reading Semiosis but it seemed to mainly be about humans

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    TynnanTynnan seldom correct, never unsure Registered User regular
    I started reading Semiosis but it seemed to mainly be about humans

    Keep at it. It goes places.

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    Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to. Philosophy: Stoicism. Politics: Democratic SocialistRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Shorty wrote: »
    I write by hand

    I am physically unable to do this.

    Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but dies in the process.
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    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Being forced to write by hand is what led to my college essay of Bullshit 2: The Bullshittening on account of how badly my hand was cramping while writing it

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    Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to. Philosophy: Stoicism. Politics: Democratic SocialistRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Madican wrote: »
    Being forced to write by hand is what led to my college essay of Bullshit 2: The Bullshittening on account of how badly my hand was cramping while writing it

    I can hold a pen or pencil for maybe ten minutes before I just can't anymore.

    Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but dies in the process.
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    KamarKamar Registered User regular
    With my work situation vastly improved, I'm feeling good about using NaNo to get back into writing.

    I still want to be a weird niche submidlist webserial writer scraping by below the poverty line on a Patreon a successful fantasy writer some day instead of writing about HVAC and car dealerships.

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    Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling historic on the fury road] Registered User regular
    Scrivener is really great for my method of creating incredibly detailed plans and world building and then never actually writing a story about it

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    KamarKamar Registered User regular
    I've thought about going from Scrivener back to yWriter, since I was more productive when I used yWriter, but honestly I think that's a coincidence and I know Scrivener well enough by now that it seems like a waste to drop it.

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    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Scrivener is really great for my method of creating incredibly detailed plans and world building and then never actually writing a story about it

    Yeah that's about what I used it for. Then I went and wrote the actual story in Word 97 because I'm not paying for the new Office suite and I kinda hate OpenLibre for causing formatting issues.

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    Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to. Philosophy: Stoicism. Politics: Democratic SocialistRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Scrivener is really great for my method of creating incredibly detailed plans and world building and then never actually writing a story about it

    Oh I can craft a world and an outline like a champion. Can do it in my sleep.

    But committing to actually doing something with it? Writing that shit down? Impossible.

    Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but dies in the process.
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    ElaroElaro Apologetic Registered User regular
    For all my writing needs, I use...

    LaTeX.

    *Puts on shades, puts on fedora, curls beard, puts on second pair of shades, walks over to motorcycle, trips, falls, farts, motorcycle falls down, busts oil line, oil spreads everywhere, oh god, everywhere, so much oil, why, ack it's in on my coat, ACK IT'S IN MY BEARD, dies*

    Children's rights are human rights.
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    KamarKamar Registered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    Scrivener is really great for my method of creating incredibly detailed plans and world building and then never actually writing a story about it

    Yeah that's about what I used it for. Then I went and wrote the actual story in Word 97 because I'm not paying for the new Office suite and I kinda hate OpenLibre for causing formatting issues.

    I decided to try OpenLibre for my freelance writing on a new installation of Windows with no Office installed.

    ...I'm already very close to giving up on it, because I can't at all intuit how its going to handle certain aspects of formatting.

    Word, I do what I think I should probably do and lo and behold the formatting I get is what I wanted.

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