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HIJK
Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.


So what is NaNoWriMo?

quote:

National Novel Writing Month, is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words from November 1 until the deadline at 11:59PM on November 30. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing and keep them motivated throughout the process.

Where can I register for NaNoWriMo?

https://www.nanowrimo.org

This is where you declare your novel and its genre, update your word count, get cool badges, (yes you can min-max NaNoWriMo) friend people with the Writing Buddies feature, talk on forums, and plan physical meet ups with other people in your city so you can get together and prod each other into writing.

I AM NOT YOUR MOM, I CAN'T TELL YOU IF GOING OUT IN PUBLIC IS A GOOD IDEA OR NOT. Use your common sense and measure your personal sense of safety versus your surroundings. If you're locked down because 'rona or you don't want Corona-chan crawling through your window with a knife then do not leave your house. There is a chat feature on the NaNo website so you can arrange things with your local group.

So why should I do NaNoWriMo?

This answer is sticky and varies for everyone. The stated purpose of NaNo is to gurgle out enough words and sentences that, lined up end to end, form a novel-length text. Then the follow-up months are dedicated to editing the vomit into something possibly coherent.

But NaNo is really about creating the all-important writing habit, Butt In Chair. If you want to beat NaNoWriMo then you need to sit your rear end down every single day and poo poo out enough words to carry you across the finish line with their cumulative weight. The goal is to hammer home the fact that when you're writing your first draft it is only a first draft. If you want to publish something than you need to have a first draft to work off of. And you need to accept that it will be pretty lovely.

NaNo is about letting go of that earthly attachment to your ego. If you want to beat that word count than you need to utilize self-discipline, write every day, and not worry about whether it's "good."

What am I allowed to write during NaNoWriMo?

Technically this is for novels but you can really write anything. Lots of poetry and non-fiction happen during NaNoWriMo.

Okay, fine. But how do I write the thing?

There are many tools available to write the thing.

* Google Docs - ever venerable, available on any internet-ready device that pulls a charge.
* Focus Writer - comes with sound effects in case you wanted that special cluster headache from using a typewriter.
* WriteMonkey - combines text editing with a side panel for outlining.
* LibreOffice Writer - another free alternative to MS Office, and let's face it, who the gently caress wants to pay for Office 365?
* iA Writer - available for Apple computers and tablets/phones. Also, Dropbox enabled.
* ZenWriter - I've heard good things.
* A pen and paper

Okay but is there anything special that will help me plan stuff?

Scrivner has a standing offer for a free trial during the month of NaNoWriMo!

https://www.literatureandlatte.com/nanowrimo

quote:

Special Trial Version
Scrivenerís trial normally runs for thirty days of use, but so that you can start using Scrivener before NaNoWriMo begins without worrying about the trial expiring part-way through November, the special NaNo trial available on this page will run from the moment you start using it all the way up until December 7th. So you can download it, get used to its features, use it for your writing throughout November - and if you like it you can buy Scrivener at a discounted price using one of the special offers below.

Purchasing for the Windows version: At this time, in order to purchase and activate Scrivener, you will need to download the normal version of the software. The installer can be run directly over your NaNo demo to convert it, without losing any settings or ongoing projects. If you haven't created your project yet, see below for how you can download the special NaNo template, with instructions for installing it into the normal version.

50% Discount for All NaNoWriMo 2021 Winners
If you achieve your word-count goal to become a NaNoWriMo 2021 Winner, you will be eligible for a 50% discount off the regular licence of Scrivener (normally $49). Details will appear on the Winner Goodies page at the start of December .

20% Discount for Everyone Else
Even if you donít reach your target this year, you can still get 20% off the regular price of Scrivener by entering the discount code NANOWRIMO21 into the coupon code text field of our online web store.

Holy poo poo! That's a really good deal!

But I don't want to pay for anything.

Then use the free version of Scrivner, yWriter: http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html Recommended for PC users.

If you're not into menu-based battle systems than the free program Free Mind is available: http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page I haven't used it but I've heard good things about it's ability to map ideas quickly and easily.

Okay, ummm, sounds good. What do I do if I want to edit my stuff without talking to people?

Hemingway is a free browser application that uses bright colors to highlight grammar mistakes, adverbs, and passive verbs. It's pretty nice: http://www.hemingwayapp.com/

Then there's also EditMinion which does something similar but has more detail: http://editminion.com/

But don't try editing while doing NaNo. The entire point is that you're trying to churn out as many words as you can. Quantity over quality.

Okay, I'm interested. Now what?

Now we use October to plan, think, cry, bitch, sleep, and drink coffee while the counter ticks down to D-Day. This thread can be used for all things NaNoWriMo 2021. Ask questions, bother people for attention, get help, fret about your word count, brag about your word count, get yelled at for having a higher word count than other people.

Okay, fine, but I'm going to complain the whole time.

You're out of excuses, now go write!

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HIJK
Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.


Reserved for NaNoWriMo 2021 Winners

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Woo!!! NaNoWriMo!!

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/leng

It is going to be magical school faculty drama with a blockchain based magic system. Outlining has started but I'm very far from done on planning.

I am both pumped and also petrified at the same time.

kaom
Jan 20, 2007

Ask me about ordering milk in a pub...four times.



Thanks for the thread HIJK!

Hereís me: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/seafoamfungus

I do not know how to plan a creative project to save my life, so weíll see how this goes! :toot:

Wayfaring Stranger
Feb 16, 2011


Hi everyone, I mostly lurk on SA in select spaces, including the Fiction writing thread. I've been doing a PhD the past few years so could never spare any writing energy for NaNoWriMo, but I'm going to take a crack at it this year!

I've roughed out a few ideas using the first steps of the snowflake method, and even created a beat sheet gleaned from Save the Cat writes a novel. I mostly like to write folklore-tinged dark fantasy type stuff - folk horror is achieving a bit of a revival at the moment. Like Kaom I have no idea how to plan creative projects, but I get on with more rigid frameworks which is probably the Stockholm Syndrome carrying over from academic writing.

Anyway, here's me, and best of luck other WriMos!

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/smchaussee

limaCAT
Dec 22, 2007

il pistone e male


Slippery Tilde

I'll be participating! Unfortunately I will write my novel in Italian.
Also my wife will kill me, but I'm amped.

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/david-silverbell

White Chocolate
Jan 23, 2007
Sweat Baby, sweat baby

Aww yiss. If I do it this will be my fourth? And if I finsh the second I finish

White Chocolate
Jan 23, 2007
Sweat Baby, sweat baby

Leng posted:

Woo!!! NaNoWriMo!!

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/leng

It is going to be magical school faculty drama with a blockchain based magic system. Outlining has started but I'm very far from done on planning.

I am both pumped and also petrified at the same time.

As a computer guy and a magical school novelist this is exactly what Iím here for.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


This is me:

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/bluefooted-booby

I didnít win last year, but I eventually finished my project. Not sure what Iím going to work on this yearóI might not use it to write a full novel, but maybe finish or start something. Itís still fun.

Chernobyl Princess
Jul 31, 2009


I'm hoping to kick together an urban fantasy romance novel out of an RPG I'm playing with some friends, it's gonna be extremely dumb and I have decided to just have fun with it this year!

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/stark.

Chernobyl Princess fucked around with this message at 16:05 on Oct 13, 2021

limaCAT
Dec 22, 2007

il pistone e male


Slippery Tilde

I'm adding you all.

Leng posted:

Woo!!! NaNoWriMo!!

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/leng

It is going to be magical school faculty drama with a blockchain based magic system. Outlining has started but I'm very far from done on planning.

I am both pumped and also petrified at the same time.

Your page gives me a 404, I don't want to be kept out from harry blockchain and the server room of secretsÖ

HIJK
Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.


Sup y'all I'm gonna give it a shot too:

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/hijk/

baba booey

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


limaCAT posted:

I'm adding you all.

:same:

limaCAT posted:

Your page gives me a 404, I don't want to be kept out from harry blockchain and the server room of secretsÖ

:confused: worked fine for me, but I had to be logged in? Anyway, I added you so hopefully that should fix it.

Also it's probably gonna be more like Severus Snape and the Order of Blockchain, which now that I think about it, is a great way to explain what I'm trying to write - thank you!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






I don't have a NaNo profile because I don't feel like logging into another thing, but I'm excited to have a fully outlined novel plan going into this November. Gods and video games at the end of the world.

limaCAT
Dec 22, 2007

il pistone e male


Slippery Tilde

I am going to write the story of an evil ai falling in love with a human nerd in 1986.

I wanted to set the scene in Italy but while waiting for the bus I envisioned a scene with Iron Lady Maggie trying to bully/shame/seduce the nerd into fighting the AI and now the setting is UK.

Wayfaring Stranger
Feb 16, 2011


Thanks for all the buddy requests! I have a couple plots floating around, but I think I'm settling on a 'monster in the house' folk horror novel set in a rural monastery during the early medieval period. I'm an archaeologist that studies that time, so hopefully I've internalised enough details for the world.


limaCAT posted:

I am going to write the story of an evil ai falling in love with a human nerd in 1986.

I wanted to set the scene in Italy but while waiting for the bus I envisioned a scene with Iron Lady Maggie trying to bully/shame/seduce the nerd into fighting the AI and now the setting is UK.

I think the shift in location is compelling

Wayfaring Stranger fucked around with this message at 10:34 on Oct 14, 2021

Enchanted Hat
Aug 18, 2013

Defeated in Diplomacy under suspicious circumstances


Hell yeah, it's that truly spooky time of year again--it's time for Nanowrimo!

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/enchanted-hat

HIJK
Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.


Sent invites to the people who have posted so far, thank you to everyone who already sent me a buddy invite! However if you don't want to accept my invite then you don't have to, it won't hurt my feelings if you reject it!

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes



Yeah I needed something to get me out of a rut and NaNo is always a good time.

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/staggy

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Iíll admit that I have no idea what buddies are for (Iím kind of an idiot about the NaNo website). But Iím glad weíre all buddies now :)

HIJK
Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.


The primary objective of buddies is for us to gather together into an online NaNo group if we want. There is a chat feature on the website now for that group if we feel like it. We could use it to schedule write ins if we felt like it, though admittedly this can be done just as well with a discord server lol.

Wayfaring Stranger
Feb 16, 2011


How do y'all outline your work? Right now I'm developing my plot nugget using the Snowflake method, then I was going to create a list of scenes, which I then slot into a rough 'Save the Cat' framework. I've been dabbling in short fiction to get comfortable with the micro-scale structures that help move scenes along, and that's exciting. But, as I'm using a Frankenstein's monster of hybrid planning models already, I'm always open to hear how actually successful writers go about it.

What outlining formats have worked for you folks in the past? Not just NaNoWriMo winners, but everyone who is able to sit down and hammer out prose from notes.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Wayfaring Stranger posted:

How do y'all outline your work? Right now I'm developing my plot nugget using the Snowflake method, then I was going to create a list of scenes, which I then slot into a rough 'Save the Cat' framework. I've been dabbling in short fiction to get comfortable with the micro-scale structures that help move scenes along, and that's exciting. But, as I'm using a Frankenstein's monster of hybrid planning models already, I'm always open to hear how actually successful writers go about it.

What outlining formats have worked for you folks in the past? Not just NaNoWriMo winners, but everyone who is able to sit down and hammer out prose from notes.

YMMV, but...

I'm a habitual pantser, though I've tried snowflaking and save the cat and neither got me anywhere special. They are certainly useful tools, but my outlining method has never ended up being super critical to any novel I've worked on. For this NaNo I plopped my butt down and wrote 300-1000 word summaries for all of my chapters, from 1-22, in order. Normally that doesn't work for me, but in this case I wrote the whole outline really really fast, while the idea was still loose and dynamic and interesting to me.

The longer I spend practicing novel writing, the more I am starting to suspect that speed is as important to an outline as structure. It's better to get a bad version of your idea out fast, before it's lost its luster in your mind. I don't know about you, but for me, if I let a project linger too long in the early outline/draft phases, it becomes the least interesting thing in the entire world and I lose the ability to amend what feels like old, congealed ideas. It's as though a project can lose its elasticity if it lingers too long in any particular phase. That said, I know people who can contentedly putter on the same novel for many years and i don't understand.

For this nano project, I did the chapter summaries in the voice of my protagonist (the book is in first person). I found that summarizing each chapter from my character's POV allowed me to focus on the plot beats that would most directly affect her, which helps me avoid my usual passive protagonist issue. It's also an opportunity to establish her voice before I actually get to the prose, which is useful. As of right now, I have a lot more confidence going into my NaNo novel than I do working on my other novel, and I think it really comes down to the speed at which I've generated the overall shape of my story.

All that said, nothing really beats loving up in a lot of different ways for a long time. I've written a couple hundred thousand words of flash and short fiction and several bad bad novels, most of which I gave up on around the 60K mark. If I have any success with this NaNo project, it's because of those things and not so much my outlining method of choice.

Wayfaring Stranger
Feb 16, 2011


Thank you! It will be difficult to overstate how helpful your post is. I love the idea of long chapter summaries in the voice of the protagonist. I've sketched out the major nodes, but I agree the longer I tinker with minor points, it becomes inflexible - as you said perfectly, 'congealed'.

The whole point of NaNoWriMo is to pour out raw and half baked ideas, as long as its something. Your method is a great step between the broad plot points I already have and getting consistency at the middle scale through the use of the protagonist's POV.

White Chocolate
Jan 23, 2007
Sweat Baby, sweat baby

Iíve never thought of that. Let me give it a whiff


Chapter summary for one current one:
ďGrandma tries to keep me from eating sweet rollsĒ

Chapter summary from my nano:
ďI am to meet the rest of the magical faculty of this dreary college at a party. What shall I wear for the occasion? My lich cloak or my soul robes?Ē

HIJK
Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.


I use a very loose outline on my stories but I still tend to get stuck sometimes. A loose outline works better since it gives me wiggle room to be creative. I like the idea of using chapter summaries though, that's a really good idea.

kaom
Jan 20, 2007

Ask me about ordering milk in a pub...four times.



I am 100% in the pantser camp too apparently. Itís the opposite of what I expected since I usually over-plan everything else in my life, but hey.

Where Iím sitting right now is that I have a rough draft of ~85k words for a YA fantasy novel I wrote during April and May, which Iíve since been revising with the help of my wonderful writing group. It needs some plot restructuring and the worldbuilding is weak, it needs to be expanded a lot to support the charactersí decisions but Iím having trouble making myself do it. My NaNo plan is to write a couple of reader magnets that are essentially short prequels, to force my hand to figure some of these things out so Iím ready to tackle the next draft of the book.

Despite needing rework, I did successfully write a start-to-finish draft of the thing. My method was similar I guess to a reverse outline, where I had a few key scenes I really wanted to include and then worked backwards from there to figure out what the setup for them needed to be. I started writing at the mid-point of the story, with like six bullet points for scenes and a bunch of misc notes. Then as I discovery wrote my way between the scenes, I worked out an outline for the chapters that needed to open the book to get to that mid-point.

Someone can probably implement a more refined version of this - key scenes, work backwards - to get a rough outline to work from before hitting the prose. I knew my first attempt at long form fiction was probably going to be trash no matter what so I just planned to stomach a rewrite from the outset.

Chernobyl Princess
Jul 31, 2009


The one year I actually completed Nano I had a loose outline, just Beginning, Conflict Introduction, Conflict Resolution. I then did a five minute hand-written pre-write before sitting down, where I did a one sentence description of the previous scene, a description of the scene I wanted to write, how the characters all feel about the scene, how it changes things or doesn't, what function the scene plays in the overall story, and (ideally) how it transitions into the next scene.

It wasn't a hard and fast Rule, but it helped me get excited about previously boring connector scenes in between good bits. It also made those scenes actually better, because I could focus on what mattered in them rather than just noodling around spamming words on a page. Sometimes the scene changed or required another scene in between it and the anticipated next scene, but that was okay. It improved my draft significantly!

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Iím a loose plotter (that sounds like a terrible disease, btw). Mostly because I tend to write mysteries, which require a little bit of foresight and planning to drive the plot forward. Or backward, because I usually start from the resolution (Who done it, why done it) and go back from there. Sometimes my planning is too vague, and thatís when I run into trouble.

I had a debate with myself for a week or so and finally decided to use NaNo to finish up my current project rather than start a new one. Iím stalled on that right now because of my terrible plotting in the last act. I know where my characters are. I know how it needs to end. But I canít seem to get them from point A to point B, at least logically.

Kaom, your first novel is not trash! Not even close!

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Wayfaring Stranger posted:

How do y'all outline your work?

What outlining formats have worked for you folks in the past? Not just NaNoWriMo winners, but everyone who is able to sit down and hammer out prose from notes.

I'm copying Brandon Sanderson. I use a combination of Brandon Sanderson's methods which involves planning the world fairly extensively, the plot at a high level and then discovery writing the characters (promise/progress/payoff for multiple plot threads, including character/relationship arcs) and organizing it all using the MICE quotient, which was covered in a guest lecture by Mary Robinette Kowal.

You can check out my CC thread for my NaNoWriMo project last year if you want the blow by blow, including the outline itself and how the writing turned out:

https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3944117

kaom posted:

I knew my first attempt at long form fiction was probably going to be trash no matter what so I just planned to stomach a rewrite from the outset.

newts posted:


Kaom, your first novel is not trash! Not even close!

As someone who is posting a Let's Read of actual trash, I can definitively say kaom's first novel is very much NOT trash.

Leng fucked around with this message at 22:47 on Oct 17, 2021

Coquito Ergo Sum
Feb 9, 2021


https://nanowrimo.org/participants/coquito

I have a ~90k word dark fantasy novel that I finished about two years ago and got proofread a year ago. I've been planning a full re-write for a while now, including cutting a tertiary plot and a few chapters to make the beginning read faster. But I think my prose has massively increased in that time, so I'm going to be re-writing every chapter from scratch unless I felt like I absolutely nailed it the first time, which I feel I didn't do all that much.

As for planning, I use Stephen King's "method" of "If I forgot my idea, it probably wasn't very good." Every time I thought of something and rushed to add it as soon as I could, I tended to not like it. If it kept popping back into my brain, then it was usually one of my better ideas. It kind of helps I work 12 hour factory jobs, so if I think of something early in the shift, it gets to stew in there for a while.

Wayfaring Stranger
Feb 16, 2011


There are so many ace methods in the replies, I am very grateful to everyone who has shared their method - even the pantsers. Leng, your CC post and the resources therein are extremely my jam, so thank you especially for those. Also HIJK, I've been messing with yWriter the past couple days, so thank you for a solid OP with so many good bits in it.

HIJK
Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.


Wayfaring Stranger posted:

There are so many ace methods in the replies, I am very grateful to everyone who has shared their method - even the pantsers. Leng, your CC post and the resources therein are extremely my jam, so thank you especially for those. Also HIJK, I've been messing with yWriter the past couple days, so thank you for a solid OP with so many good bits in it.

You are welcome! I figure weíre all freaks for stationary both physical and digital, so the variation is a big draw.

P-Mack
Nov 10, 2007


I did this last year so I guess I'll do it again.

Last year I had a rough time in the middle figuring out my ending, but it all came together in time.

Got at least four ideas for this year that have been knocking around the old noodle so I guess I'll just toss one of them into the pot and see what floats.

Kramdar
Jun 21, 2005

Radmark says....Worship Kramdar

So I think I will finally take a crack at an attempted novel during NaNoWriMo.

When they ask you on the site what kind of privacy do you want, what are they displaying? Your excerpts attached to your username? Or is it just your profile info and stats. I think I'm too timid to go public.

kaom
Jan 20, 2007

Ask me about ordering milk in a pub...four times.



Kramdar posted:

When they ask you on the site what kind of privacy do you want, what are they displaying? Your excerpts attached to your username? Or is it just your profile info and stats. I think I'm too timid to go public.
I think itís not truly public in any case, since I canít view anyoneís profile before logging in. If I look at someone who Iím not buddies with, I can see their profile info (the about me stuff) and any details theyíve added about projects theyíve made public - like title, word count goal, cover if added, and the description actually I donít think this is visible, never mind.

Feel free to scope my page (posted earlier in thread) if you want to see what my public project shows you. :)

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I somehow managed to finally crack 50K last year so I think I'll see if I can do it again!

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/verdigristle

I've had a queer, hillbilly, werewolf body horror idea kicking around for the past month that I wanna try and put some actual words into, so I'll be writing that.

Coquito Ergo Sum
Feb 9, 2021


I got the buddy requests of everyone who sent one, but any time I try to look at someone's profile, I get a 404. Is there something I'm missing? I'm completely new to the site.

kaom
Jan 20, 2007

Ask me about ordering milk in a pub...four times.



Coquito Ergo Sum posted:

I got the buddy requests of everyone who sent one, but any time I try to look at someone's profile, I get a 404. Is there something I'm missing? I'm completely new to the site.
Genuinely no idea why this is happening for you. :confused: I made sure my profile is public and checked that I could view othersÖ and I also see that weíre buddies! Is it possible you were logged out when trying to check? Itís the only thing I can think of.

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Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


Going for it again this year, with a top-down rewrite of my shameful LitRPG from last year.

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/not-that-christopher-lee

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