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Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

Arienai!


Hello and welcome back to another installment of my annual NaNoWriMo thread. My name is Pike and I have a thing for NaNoWriMo. This year's NaNo is going to be the tenth (!!!) straight NaNo I've participated in and writing gods willing it'll be the tenth that I win. Doing it alone isn't as fun as doing it with a bunch of randos, so I'm here to drag you all into the pit with me.



---

What is it?

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a self-challenge to write 50,000 words of fiction in the month of November. That averages out to about ~1667 words a day. Yes, it's a lot. Yes, what you write will probably suck. But that's the point.

Here's the official site: https://nanowrimo.org/

---

Why should I do this? Everything I write is going to be terrible anyway!

Different people do it for different reasons. For myself, it's a valuable exercise in writing Draft Zero, which has always been of my bigger obstacles. I had a tendency to stare at the blank screen for days on end and not write poo poo. NaNoWriMo beat that out of me and taught me how to write a lot in a very small amount of time. It's a really tough skill to learn and I have NaNo to thank for it.

A lot of people also use it as a motivational tool. When you're staring at a graph of your progress every day and comparing it to your friends' graphs, well... a lot of us (myself included) find that to be a big kick in the pants to actually get some writing done.

Besides, you can always dig the diamonds out of the poo poo later and use them for other, grander writing projects. It's your work, after all, may as well plagiarize yourself.

Oh, and people have also published things they've written for NaNo, so that's not unheard of either.

---

Am I only allowed to write fiction? What about working on something I've already started?

According to the official rules, it can be fiction of any genre (this includes fanfiction or sets of short stories) so long as it's prose. That said, lots of people bend the rules and just use it as an excuse to get a lot of writing done, and that's great too. In fact, there's a specific "NaNo Rebels" forum on the site if you don't quite meet the rules.

Until recently working on a prior project was officially verboten, but as of last year continuing work you've already started is now okay in the Official Rules, so long as you only count words you write in November towards your actual total. I believe that working on nonfiction, poetry, a screenplay/script, etc. still makes you a "NaNo Rebel".

---

Writing software recommendations? I wanna get serious with this.

Scrivener, a NaNo fan favorite (and my personal favorite as well), usually does NaNoWriMo free trials and almost always offers discount coupons after the event itself if you want to buy the full version. Other writing software out there to scope out includes:

FocusWriter
ZenWriter (costs money)
WriteMonkey
yWriter
ilys, for the truly hardcore - no editing allowed until you're finished (costs money)
Novlr - usually offers a free NaNo trial (costs money)

And of course, there are old standbys such as Google Docs or LibreOffice. (Techie side note here: LibreOffice is the forked version of the considerably more popular Open Office, however, Open Office all but stopped updating a few years back so switching to LibreOffice is recommended.)

---

Are there any tools/fun things I can use to help me?

Although I've yet to try it myself, I've heard a lot of good things about 4theWords, a browser based RPG where your word count levels up your character. There is a monthly fee but there is also a 30-day free trial if you want to conveniently start that on November 1.

A free alternative might be Habitica, which isn't specifically writing oriented but seeing as it lets you choose your own goals you can just make all writing related goals and achieve a similar result.

Write Or Die - some people swear by this rather pernicious app that you can set to straight up delete your poo poo if you don't write enough in a given time limit.

Looking for something with a more positive spin? Written Kitten gives you cute pictures of cats (or whatever else you prefer) the more you write.

NaNoWriMon - choose a Pokemon and it will level up alongside your word count! It doesn't really do a lot aside from that but in the past it's been fun to post it in the thread and watch it evolve.

Discord Server - Looks like there's a writing server with a NaNo channel, so if chatting with other writers is your thing, check it out: https://discord.gg/dyhBXBR

---

I still have questions!

Check out the official FAQ: https://nanowrimo.org/faq or feel free to ask me or others in the thread.

Pikestaff fucked around with this message at Oct 18, 2018 around 00:54

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CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

And I understand if you ask
Was this life,
was this all?


I'm doing something a little cheaty this year, in that I'm writing a series of short stories under a single theme and revolving around a single character. I'm calling it close enough.

I don't want to step on any toes or hijack the thread so if I'm out of line let me know, but there is a general writing discord and we have a temporary Nano channel. Come join us if you'd like to talk about your nano novel or writing in general! https://discord.gg/dyhBXBR

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

Arienai!


CantDecideOnAName posted:

I don't want to step on any toes or hijack the thread so if I'm out of line let me know, but there is a general writing discord and we have a temporary Nano channel. Come join us if you'd like to talk about your nano novel or writing in general! https://discord.gg/dyhBXBR

Nah that's good info to know! I'll add it to the main post.

Omnikin
May 28, 2007

Press 'E' for Medic


27k in 2015. About 13k last year. This is the year. This is the year I'll break 50k and write a novel.

I just don't know what it's about yet

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


I'm IN and I'm so ballsy I will

Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


Hi, I'm Neth, and i'm here to win for Year #14.

We'll be writing a novel based on a dream involving witches, enslavement, racism, nice white ladies, and gentrification. Title later.

Fruity20
Jul 28, 2018

Do you believe in magic, Tenno?


So freaking glad this exist. I wanted a good reason to write something down for once. Just gotta prepare basic characters and go from their.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


I'm IN this year. After finishing book one of my series this month, I'm going to do a complete first draft of book two for NaNo. Technically I wrote a huge chunk of book two already, but since I'm rewriting it from scratch, only using my lovely draft zero as an outline, I figured it counts.

Ashwat
Nov 11, 2004

Behold the cuteness.

I'm in this year too. I have a story idea that has been hanging around for a few years I'm currently outlining for nano.

Spokes
Jan 9, 2010


I'm in! I've failed year after year but managed 50k for Camp back in July so maybe i'm finally ready for the November meat grinder.

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

Arienai!


Welcome to all the new NaNo'ers as well as ones from threads past! There's still two weeks to go before the event actually starts but note to any newcomers that you're free to outline, plot, plan, etc. as much as you want in the interim.

Xalidur
Jun 4, 2012



After a few a abortive attempts, I finally beat 50k last year. It's probably not a coincidence that it was my first try since getting out of the Navy. While I'm currently on the second 72 hour week in a row and thinking about anything other than sleeping makes me very sad, I am still going to man up and get another 50k in this year.

I'm one of those guys very slowly turning his Homebrew D&D stuff into a novel/trilogy. We are legion, and our failures are many. Nano helps me at least get Something accomplished.

CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

And I understand if you ask
Was this life,
was this all?


Nano is very good for at least getting something out, yes. I had to quit last year because I hit a planning roadblock, but I still managed to get almost 30k of a decent draft done first. It's also good for doing exploratory writing that you can cut later.

Story planning wise, I realized that I had one too few short stories to meet the word count, so I came up with a backup/additional set of stories in case. Part of the hardest part for me has been resisting the urge to start writing.

melodicwaffle
Oct 9, 2012

Call or fold?



I haven't committed to doing NaNo this year but I'd like to, at least so I can have one month out of the year where I can tell myself I'm not a lazy rear end in a top hat and am being productive. I made it to 50k last time but didn't actually finish the story, so hopefully this time I'll have an actual complete first draft. That's my goal.

Fruity20
Jul 28, 2018

Do you believe in magic, Tenno?


I'm just here to practice my writing skills more and probably have it published as a web novel when I iron out the final draft.

Island Nation
Jun 20, 2006
Trust No One

Iíve always heard about NaNoWriMo but never remembered to start it and since Iím not a creative writer dreaded doing it. I have a few ideas bouncing in my head for a story but wasnít sure which one to do

- Brother trying to save money to pay for sisterís wedding
- Sole survivor of a plane crash trying to cope with fame and guilt
- Friendship of a liberal rock star and conservative politician
- New job hire getting caught in a political conspiracy

Which one should I do?

polyfractal
Dec 20, 2004

Unwind my riddle.

Island Nation posted:

Iíve always heard about NaNoWriMo but never remembered to start it and since Iím not a creative writer dreaded doing it. I have a few ideas bouncing in my head for a story but wasnít sure which one to do

- Brother trying to save money to pay for sisterís wedding
- Sole survivor of a plane crash trying to cope with fame and guilt
- Friendship of a liberal rock star and conservative politician
- New job hire getting caught in a political conspiracy

Which one should I do?

A nobody, conservative politician is elected to a prestigious position, largely due to the fame of being the sole survivor of a plane crash. Details of the crash are suspicious however, and the protagonist finds himself embroiled in a shadowy conspiracy reaching to the highest levels. His longtime friend, a liberal rock star, may have have engineered the crash as part of a scheme to finance his sister's lavish wedding.



(Serious response: any of those could make a good story, write the one you like the most!)

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

Arienai!


Honestly if you have multiple NaNo ideas the best is usually the one you know you can get the most mileage out of. NaNo can be a drag once you get into the middle of the story and have to suddenly start pulling subplots out of thin air. So I'd pick the idea that you think you can work with the most.

Island Nation
Jun 20, 2006
Trust No One

Pikestaff posted:

Honestly if you have multiple NaNo ideas the best is usually the one you know you can get the most mileage out of. NaNo can be a drag once you get into the middle of the story and have to suddenly start pulling subplots out of thin air. So I'd pick the idea that you think you can work with the most.

That makes sense. Since only one of them wasnít a half baked concoction, I know which one Iíll do.

Now I just have to relearn Scrivener

TaintedBalance
Dec 21, 2006

hope, n: desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment

Oh man, I just started writing again, this will be perfect to hangover my head and stress me out even more. I've been writing little vignette pieces to try and outline and bring stories and plots and characters together, so I guess I'll do it in a more formal planning style and start for serious writing on the 1st!

It's currently a high fantasy noir style idea focused on the interplay of Magic is useful and fundamental to the world but Magic is also incredibly dangerous and hostile and how society has been handling that and what happens when it fails. I should really trim that down into something that makes sense I suppose.

Hubbardologist
Jan 19, 2007

Secretly force socialism, communism and imperialism types of government onto the people of the United States of America.


Joined the discord. Going to try to bang out a full novel in the setting I've been putting together for way too long. Wooo

Not the Messiah
Jan 7, 2018

I donated to help Lowtax buy his cyborg parts and all I got was someone else buying me this shitty icon


Buglord

Been meaning to do this for years now but this is the year I Finally Do It (tm). Was wrestling between a fantasy thing and a sort of cyberpunk noir thing but a few days ago an idea popped into my mind to do a Spanish civil war type thing following some (fictional) Irish lads in the international brigades. Feel like it'll be way easier to get mileage out of that than having to construct a world and think of a compelling plot to go with it.

My endgame in this is (a) finally restart creative writing after like 5 or 6 years of never doing it (b) whack it up on kindle so I can call myself a published author

FluxFaun
Apr 7, 2010




I'm finishing this loving thing if it kills me.

How do I write in an IRL setting I've never been to, tho?

Mirage
Oct 27, 2000

At least CyberLowtax likes me.

If you've never done NaNo before, style yourself a writer, have a couple hours a day that you can set aside to write, and have even half an inkling of an idea, DO IT. The writing discipline that it engenders really blows out the brain pipes. And of course having some or all of a completed book at the end of it feels fantastic, even if it's crap. You can edit crap. You can't edit a stack of blank pages.

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004

Drinking shows a real commitment to becoming a cooler person!


FluxFaun posted:

How do I write in an IRL setting I've never been to, tho?
Use words and sentences a bunch usually helps

melodicwaffle
Oct 9, 2012

Call or fold?



FluxFaun posted:

I'm finishing this loving thing if it kills me.

How do I write in an IRL setting I've never been to, tho?

For nano: Write first, ask questions later. Research mid-writing is fine for small questions that have a simple, straightforward answer, but for something big like making settings realistic, it's better to just draw from what you know or have seen in tv/movies/etc for now, apply some artistic licenses, and fix it later. That's what I tell myself anyway, otherwise I get too into the research and lose time I could have been writing.

Basically

Mirage posted:

You can edit crap. You can't edit a stack of blank pages.

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

Arienai!


Yeah, with NaNo if you're stopping to think for more than a few seconds you're probably doing it wrong. A lot of times I'll make notes to myself in brackets, like "fix this paragraph later", "double check this fact later", etc. and then skip it or (preferably) make something up and keep writing.

I do this with place and character names too. Nothing from the generator feeling right after you've spent a few seconds with it? Name that sucker Pancake City and move on. After you're done you can rename it and do a find + replace.

BigRed0427
Mar 22, 2007

There's no one I'd rather be than me.


Im doing this with a 40K fanfic I wanna write.

Yes I am THAT nerd, fite me.

Edit: is it cheating if I make an outline now?

BigRed0427 fucked around with this message at Oct 29, 2018 around 22:34

melodicwaffle
Oct 9, 2012

Call or fold?



BigRed0427 posted:

Im doing this with a 40K fanfic I wanna write.

Yes I am THAT nerd, fite me.

godspeed, hero

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

Arienai!


BigRed0427 posted:

Im doing this with a 40K fanfic I wanna write.

Yes I am THAT nerd, fite me.

Absolutely valid. Best of luck!

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004

Drinking shows a real commitment to becoming a cooler person!


BigRed0427 posted:


Edit: is it cheating if I make an outline now?
I'm using the time to turn a novel I stopped working on into a real thing again, basically playing editor for the first 12k words that I got printed before I jump into new. Do whatever makes you make words

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

Arienai!


BigRed0427 posted:

Edit: is it cheating if I make an outline now?

Nah that's fine. I mean, it's not like NaNo police are going to show up at your door and stop you anyway, but if you want to stick to the spirit of the rules, then all outlining and planning is okay beforehand so long as it's not actual prose.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009

I am a real boy.


It's my time to shine. I'm sick of backing away from working on a larger project, so I'm gonna hop on the NaNo train and ride it to 50k words. I am terrified and excited.

McTimmy
Feb 29, 2008


First time in like 5 years I've bothered with early prep and stuff so I'm hoping to avoid a frantic last day rush of 10K words just barely slipping by the deadline like I've lazied into these past couple years.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


War. War never changes.



Fun Shoe

I've been meaning to bust out some schlocky crap that will never, ever see the light of day, so we'll see how far I get this year. I know I want to start off with a shot at the Lester Dent method of putting together a pulp short because I struggle at writing conflict, and also so I have something completed at the end even if I don't get to 50k.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


Eh why not

I'll start a new thing with my current book I'm working on. Current one is Lightning Brigade, sitting at 21 K

New one will be a sci-fi mystery affair set in the 50s, titled Charred

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

Arienai!


Scrivener's got their NaNo free trial up and it includes a NaNo template with a custom word counter and so on.

This all starts at midnight in your local time, so good luck to everyone who's already started!

TheArchimage
Dec 17, 2008


Back again for another round of this. I've been better about writing a little every day, but 50k in a month is still going to be as rough as it ever was.

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Burkion posted:

Eh why not

I'll start a new thing with my current book I'm working on. Current one is Lightning Brigade, sitting at 21 K

New one will be a sci-fi mystery affair set in the 50s, titled Charred

HELL YEAH!

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StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012


I, an idiot who is still in the middle of a math class that takes a lot of my focus and time, am in!

I wrote 700 words this morning, I'll write more soon. I'm working on a cyberpunk story that follows victims of a megacorp through a massive flood of the megacity. (Thanks, global warming)

I didn't make an outline this time, so I'm screwed, but hell. I'm going to write as much as I can.

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