NaNoWriMo 2013 October 24, 2013 5:22 AM   Subscribe

Nanowrimo is a week away, are any Mefites taking part this year? If so, are you a planner or a pantser, and what are you thinking of doing? Last year we had our own Metafilter group and several people took part. If anyone took part last year or previously, share your joys and despairs, and any dirty tricks you used, so that any n00bs out there who don't know what Nano is like can know a bit about what to expect.

For the uninitiated, Nanowrimo is the National Novel Writing Month, where you are supposed to write the first-draft of a 50K novel in the 30 days of November.

Nanowrimo website.
posted by marienbad to MetaFilter-Related at 5:22 AM (150 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Awkward. Now I can't say I didn't do NaNoWriMo because I only remembered halfway through November.
posted by Quilford at 5:26 AM on October 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


In case anyone has a work style that is helped by ticky box tracking, this word count calendar turned up in my RSS feeds a little bit ago.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:31 AM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm in this year, and I'm going to write on a typewriter. Plus I have a week off at Thanksgiving where I probably won't get much writing done, so I need to do about 2000 words a day the rest of the month to make up for that. Egad.
posted by JanetLand at 5:36 AM on October 24, 2013


I don't think I can do it this year, but I've done it in the past.

My advice is to have a detailed outline before you start if at all possible. Failing that, iterative structures are good - like for example where your MC is tracking down his family one after another and you can always throw in another cousin to get the word count up. Recount the same events all over again from a different point of view. Don't forget that characters can always start telling each other stories and those stories don't have to be original (the words have to be original, of course).

Is anyone going to blog the results as they write?
posted by Segundus at 5:52 AM on October 24, 2013


I've pretended I was going to write probably every other year since NaNo started ... I think I managed 30 or 35k words the first year. They were not good words. I am actually outlining this year, but I have no illusions about actually writing more than 10 or 15k. (Although I have more of a story and am more jazzed about it than before, which is something.)

I have a lot of trouble letting go and just writing a draft.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:54 AM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Was thinking about it, then realizing that there were some art projects I want to do, so might spend November doing that instead under a structure similar to NaNoWriMo.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:17 AM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hmm, I see there's a "write in" at the library just up the street. I guess it'd really poor form to duck in and mention all really cool discussions that day on MiFi. Bwahahahaha
posted by sammyo at 6:31 AM on October 24, 2013


Guys, I just filed a patent on the paragraph ("being a unique procedure for the grouping together of words and sentences utilizing proximity and blank spaces in order to aid comprehension and understanding," US patent No. 8,496,583). So, I'm sorry to say you can't use paragraphs anymore in your novels because I will sue you. I was actually trying to file a patent for the parachute, but someone had already filed a patent on correct spelling and I got confused. But that doesn't help you now, does it? Then again I have just jumped out of a plane strapped to a paragraph, so I am equally fucked. In hindsight the whole thing was a terrible, terrible idea. So, in closing, good luck with your no-paragraph novels and "lookout below".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:34 AM on October 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


I'll show up to a few write-ins as I have a thing I need to finish, but I'm also moving at the end of November and will be packing & making small trips on the weekends, so I won't be able to do NaNo proper. Which is a shame because I have a fun idea in my head that I'd like to write.
posted by gauche at 6:34 AM on October 24, 2013


On 1 November, I'm printing every metatalk thread, cutting them up, and rearranging the text in a paranoid-critical manner. Then, at 50k, I will burn my words, mix the ash with rosewater and rub it all over my body.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:45 AM on October 24, 2013 [15 favorites]


I am so in!

I've successfully done this many years ago. Time to try again!
posted by RainyJay at 6:51 AM on October 24, 2013


I'll be using twitter and this thread as an accountability coven and will probably just post excerpts from the results on tumblr or something but I don't want any write-ins or sign-ups. Just want to bang out 20k words and then stop like all the other times I've tried it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:00 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


On 1 November, I'm printing every metatalk thread, cutting them up, and rearranging the text in a paranoid-critical manner. Then, at 50k, I will burn my words, mix the ash with rosewater and rub it all over my body.

Right up until the whole burning and rubbing part, this sounded kinda cool.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:01 AM on October 24, 2013


I signed up earlier tonight and it is my first year. I don't have a plan yet, I'm not sure where to start and I was under the misapprehension it was 30k words. But I'm doing it! My goal is just to do it rather than freak out about quality.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 7:05 AM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


By the way in the Blue thread about Nanowrimo some dingleberry dropped in to let us know that he "won" 3 years ago and it was worthless exercise so he created an unfunny twitter account to make lame cracks at people trying it out and I just want to say thanks to all the other posters in that thread for ignoring him rather than letting him know explicitly that he sucks thorny orc dongs for shitting on people having fun and trying to do something creative with their winters.

Nanowrimo is cheesy, and won't usually result in "real" novel. But fuck it, it's fun as heck and it is actually doing something rather than criticizing. Like the 48hr film festival you are attempting to make something real (though constrained). That's never a waste of time whether you win or finish or neither.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:06 AM on October 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


I've done it for the past few years (and actually got past 50K words the last 2 years, yay!), but this year I'm just not up for it. No ideas, no motivation... I am a big pile of meh. Maybe next year. But I feel sort of guilty not doing it, I'm so used to using November to work on something creative and goal-oriented that it feels wrong to not be doing that. Maybe I'll make myself knit 50,000 stitches. Or give my cat 50,000 skritches. Or something.
posted by palomar at 7:07 AM on October 24, 2013


Or send me 50,000 prompts.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 7:12 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm in! Will this be the year that I actually reach my goal? There's usually been some kind of convenient crisis 'round here mid-November that has allowed me to sink into the Deep Swamp of Procrastination and Excuses. This year I'm watching out for my excuses in advance, AND I have a potentially workable idea. Getting caught up on household chores in prep for a month of benign neglect.
posted by theplotchickens at 7:30 AM on October 24, 2013


There's usually been some kind of convenient crisis 'round here mid-November that has allowed me to sink into the Deep Swamp of Procrastination and Excuses.

Yes. Is this a place where I can vent about the temporal placement of NaNo?

Because February has NOTHING GOING ON in it, and is perfect for holing up and getting cozy with the typewriter, while November has a holiday that involves either travel or days of preparation, winterizing of houses, unpacking of cold-weather clothes, getting ready for the winter holiday, football, and that last few decent-if-brisk weekends to spend outside.
posted by gauche at 7:52 AM on October 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yes. Is this a place where I can vent about the temporal placement of NaNo?

Yes, November always struck me as an odd month to this, at least for Western cultures.

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:54 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


the YA group blog I'm part of sends out really fun motivational emails throughout the month in a feature called the carpool lane, if a daily kickstart would help.

I have never done NaNo because I always have inconveniently timed revisions or something, but last year I drafted a 60k YA novel between mid November & mid December. I'm about to go on publisher sub for it next week, hooray. this year I do have an outlined WIP in queue, so maybe I'll give it a non-public try.
posted by changeling at 7:59 AM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think I might do it, sort of. I don't have too much interest in writing A Novel but I have all kinds of short story and essay ideas kicking around that I never seem to be able to make myself sit down and write.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:12 AM on October 24, 2013


I am definitely in!

I 'won' last year and ended up writing 75k words before realizing it just wasn't working.

I let it sit for the year, farted around on some short stories, and generally ignored it. A couple months ago I started writing a lot and finished my first draft of a different story in the beginning of October. It was the first time I completed the first draft of a novel and it felt g-g-g-great.

For NaNoWriMo I'm going to write a story in the same world as the novel I just finished but from the perspective of a very different character. I'd really like to write a tight, short, novel(la) as an introduction to this character and her place in larger world so I've had to plan a lot more than I usually do. I think (hope?) it will help a lot.

My advice for anyone trying to finish is rehashed advice I stole from the Blue: start with a beginning, middle, end - call them 'A', 'B', and 'C.' Next, figure out what happens between 'A' and 'B' and label those parts 'A1,' 'B1', and 'C1'. Fill those out. And so on. Eventually you know, broadly speaking, what has to happen to carry your story from beginning to end. Ideally, you'll never be stuck and you'll always have a sense of what needs to happen to get to the next scene. (I know I mangled the original MeFi comment quite a bit - if anyone has a link it would be much appreciated).

Another bit of advice: set aside a bit time each day that is 'writing time.' During writing time you do not do anything else. You write. Put on your headphones, listen to music that will not distract you (for me it's Massive Attack or Grimes, but YMMV) and just start writing. Unless your house is burning or loved ones are dropping dead, you do not stop writing until writing time is over.

I'm in Chat a lot, so if you need some motivation to finish your word count for the day drop in and I'll kick your ass until you get to work (as I hope you'd do the same for me). Good luck!
posted by Tevin at 8:25 AM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm in, and I'm writing about vampires in the High Arctic. Metafilter writing buddies happily accepted!

This is the first year I actually know what I'm writing about before I start, and I've even written quite a lot of notes. I'm excited to plan more but I don't really know how to do it yet. I'll probably blog a bit as I go along (link in my profile) and I'll be attending some local meetups and write-ins as well
posted by daisyk at 8:30 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking about throwing my hat into the ring. I won a few times in the past with some hilariously bad novels, though I never managed to win two years in a row, but I haven't tried Nano-ing since moving from the school-is-my-job phase of life to the job-is-my-job phase. I don't hold out a lot of hope that I'll make it this time around, but I happen to have an idea that I want to explore, and since I'll have a bit more free time than usual next month I might just take a crack at it and see what happens.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 8:38 AM on October 24, 2013


also I found this post on how to write 10,000 words a day super helpful last fall. not that I have ever written 10,000 words a day, or would ever want to. but she's right that so much of every writing session is spent stumbling around in the void of "what comes next?" micro-outlining at the start of every day, along with ensuring you're enthusiastic to write something in every scene, has a huge effect on productivity.
posted by changeling at 8:41 AM on October 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


Three years ago today, I made my very first comment on MeTa, griping that since I'd already started a book, I wasn't allowed to use it for Nano, and how unfair that was.

Here it is three years later and I have EXACTLY THE SAME COMPLAINT. How do people go all year not writing anything until November?
posted by mittens at 8:42 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm in again. I've been doing it since 2001 although I haven't always finished. Same user name on the Nanowrimo site.
posted by maurice at 8:42 AM on October 24, 2013


I'm a firm believer that everyone needs to get (at least) one "junk" novel out of their system before the seriously publishable stuff begins. I'm guessing most serious writers have something in their drawers that they're not willing to show the world. Thanks to Nanowrimo I have that initial novel off my chest, and I'm empowered by the knowledge that I can write a novel-length piece (this was in question after several aborted attempts.) It's not a publishable novel, but I did edit it down to a strange little novella, so it's sitting there waiting for me to do something with it (making a Twine game out of it is a possibility.) I haven't decided if I'm in this year, but I do have a killer idea and I need a push to start getting the words out.

Nanowrimo is cheesy, and won't usually result in "real" novel.

This is mostly true. I know someone who did get their NNWM novel published. It took quite a bit of editing, and it was a YA novel so the length wasn't as much of an issue. But she did it; it happens! (It might happen more often than we think, actually. Few people would want to market their book to readers as something that was written in a month.)
posted by naju at 8:44 AM on October 24, 2013


mittens How do people go all year not writing anything until November?

The trick is to have ideas for more than one story! I'm sure we could all help brainstorm an idea for a story you'd be interested in writing if you wanted ...
posted by Tevin at 8:50 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


griping that since I'd already started a book, I wasn't allowed to use it for Nano, and how unfair that was.

If memory serves, this is a perpetual topic of drama on the Nano forums (and probably elsewhere as well), because for many people It Simply Doesn't Count if you start with more than zero words, but for many people it Counts Just As Damn Much, Thank You Very Much.

Personally, I think that it depends on how you feel about what you're doing. Since this is a self-driven sprint to 50k, worrying about whether someone else would approve or disapprove of your methods is pretty low on the priority list.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 8:52 AM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Great big cheers and mugs of tea/coffee/stimulant/non-stimulant of choice to whoever's attempting! I'm sitting this out again because school is a glorious pile of reading and essays.

But palomar, I could go for 50000 stitches for sure.
posted by undue influence at 9:22 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


It won't be pretty, but why the hell not. I'll do it.
posted by nacho fries at 9:33 AM on October 24, 2013


I made this tool to torture the people I know who put themselves through this ordeal.

NaNoWriMo Doom Clock

It's currently counting down as if Nano was running for the length of October, but come midnight November 1, it'll start again.
posted by blue t-shirt at 9:45 AM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am a big pile of meh

I'm writing a novel about a home ec. teacher with a chancre sore who becomes a meh kingpin. He goes from Mr. Chocolate Chips to Palmface.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:18 AM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


My kid's class is signing up for the Young Writers Program so I'm tempted to sign up this year in a show of solidarity.
posted by mikepop at 10:40 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ooh I'm tempted. Tried once before but gave up way too soon. Husban out of country for two weeks in November. Three kids and new full time job. This may be a very bad idea.
posted by purenitrous at 10:58 AM on October 24, 2013


The website is down, so I'll ask here: do technical papers count? I'm only half serious, as I am tempted to stamp the first draft of my paper with NaNoWriMo on the title page or something like that.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:00 AM on October 24, 2013


I believe there is a forum on the site for people who are writing things that aren't strictly novels.
posted by JanetLand at 11:01 AM on October 24, 2013


Otherwise, I'll stick with what I believe was the original intent for the "contest": NanoWriMo - write as little (about yourself) as possible.

In other words, an anti-Twitter campaign. Instead, some silly author-types didn't understand the intention, and flipped the whole thing upside-down.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:01 AM on October 24, 2013


I'm probably going to use the structure and the tools to write a non-fiction book that's been kicking around my head for a decade and has no equivalent in my profession. In past years I've attempted fiction and petered out early, usually due to work obligations. This time, the stars are better aligned vis-a-vis other commitments.
posted by carmicha at 11:28 AM on October 24, 2013


I have an idea, but I've never managed a nanowrimo before - primarily because I find I run out of steam and just can't keep writing after the first week. Still I'll be giving it my best shot again!
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 11:52 AM on October 24, 2013


As always, I'll be trying and we'll see if work cooperates. I'm Lyn Never over there as well.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:53 AM on October 24, 2013


I'm not doing this but one of my daughters is. She's a pretty good writer anyway so we'll see how it goes.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:54 AM on October 24, 2013


Think of it as just over two hundred tweets per week. Easy peasy.
posted by sammyo at 12:04 PM on October 24, 2013


Think of it as just over two hundred tweets per week. Easy peasy.

For you, maybe. I've tweeped maybe nine times.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:10 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


And your brand is suffering for it.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:25 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Which is why I'm getting the brand back together.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:26 PM on October 24, 2013


Cuz Im on a mission from Gad. *sunglasses*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:26 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, I've branded a lot more than I've tweeped...
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:32 PM on October 24, 2013


Have you ever heard of a little show called Branded, Dude?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:37 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


All but one man died? There at Bitter Tweep?
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:57 PM on October 24, 2013


I've checked my local write ins and I should do my outlining this week.
posted by ersatz at 1:04 PM on October 24, 2013


I've never entered before, but I think I might this year. I have a plot forming in my head about a trio of shit-eating orks and a goblin named Ee, sent on a difficult mission to retrieve an orkish princess who absconded while sperm-collecting. It's a satire.
posted by Thing at 1:07 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm. This thread makes me think we need MeFebWriMo.
posted by brina at 1:20 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


OK, OK. This year I will do this. I have a YA outline.

I have a work trip Nov 1-2. I try this almost every year, but spin out of the game when I'm interrupted. Worried that a wobbly start will become a non-starter. (On the other hand, I am off the whole last week of November.)
posted by mochapickle at 1:22 PM on October 24, 2013


I think restless_nomad tried to get something off the ground in Feb. of this year. I remember having great intentions for it.
posted by gauche at 1:37 PM on October 24, 2013


We did MeFiWriMo in Jan-Feb, and while I wrote at my usual pace, (i.e. not 50k in a month) that novelish thing did get written and needs revision. So I consider it a success.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:48 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


brina: This thread makes me think we need MeFebWriMo.

I was thinking it would be fun to know how much people wrote in a month on the various portions of MetaFilter. I wonder how many (if any) hit the 50k mark. Bonus points if we could include FPPs.

Then again, it might just make the site unnecessarily noisy for a month, as people try to boost their wordcounts.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:52 PM on October 24, 2013


I have 6000 tweets.

As long as my novel is about a basketball playing 1960s ad man who makes disturbing eldritch sex puns while eating and drinking constantly I'm set.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:00 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can we do MeFiWriMo again, this coming year? November is still full of airplanes and bullshit for me, and I feel pretty bad that I forgot about it last time, since I feel like it was kinda sorta my idea...
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 2:01 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm still going to be in revision hell but since all it costs is one low-grar MeTa thread, I don't see why not. (...It's going to be low-grar, right guys?)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:03 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping we'll all be too busy writing to grar.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 2:08 PM on October 24, 2013


Low grar, much Gwar.
posted by mmmbacon at 2:16 PM on October 24, 2013


My novel is actually titled Grar, so maybe I shouldn't sign up.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:20 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


My novel is actually titled Gwar, but it's about an 80s night, so it should be pretty low key.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:23 PM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


My project this year sadly will be a 200-ish page tech spec. for work which is due on December 1 and for which I have to make a two week trip to China...so needless to say between that and Thanksgiving my hopes for NaNo are completely blown.

If I were going to do it, the working title of my novel would have been Poisoners Abroad, Volume I of the Royal Society of Alchemists Trilogy
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:24 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I fail at this every time. Around 10K words it derails and I end up hating it or just never coming back to it.

I think I'll give it a go this year.
posted by sm1tten at 2:27 PM on October 24, 2013


I'll give it a go. The story I have in mind is kind of fan fiction (which is a no-no, right?) but I think it veers far enough away from the source material to be stand-alone.
posted by Elly Vortex at 2:49 PM on October 24, 2013


Doleful Creature: My project this year sadly will be a 200-ish page tech spec. for work
...
If I were going to do it, the working title of my novel would have been Poisoners Abroad, Volume I of the Royal Society of Alchemists Trilogy


For a moment I conflated these two things, and was excited to know more about (and at the same time fearful to know too much of) your profession.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:02 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've kind of been in a hazy, thinking-about-a-story mood lately so this might be the impetus I need to map it out and get it on paper. I also went to see Donna Tartt yesterday––she spoke about her writing process and that got me thinking. I'll give it a go!
posted by Kronios at 3:09 PM on October 24, 2013


I'm sitting out this year because I'll be editing the NaNo I finished last year. I've started with this method but if you have better ways please MeMail me. I've never done this before. I have a (delusional?) feeling that there's a good story underneath all of the word padding.

I participated five times and "won" three of them. I despise people who joylessly shit all over this project.

Sending good thoughts and virtual coffee to the MeFi NaNos!
posted by kimberussell at 3:11 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I had time - which I don't - I think I might be tempted to write a fan fiction treatment for a book or movie that doesn't exist.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:19 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I always do it! fun times. get as far ahead as you can early in the month, because churning out 2k words per day on thanksgiving is bad news
posted by goodbyewaffles at 4:48 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just got Scrivener. I'm thinking it will do most of the work for me. Also Cognac.
posted by swift at 4:50 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


A little python to pipe the various software tools together and it may quite literally write itself!
posted by sammyo at 5:05 PM on October 24, 2013


I'm in as long as I can post each days work in this thread.
posted by dobbs at 7:25 PM on October 24, 2013


I've signed up a couple of times but never did much. I'm trying to up my productivity all around right now though, so I'll probably give it another go this year.

I'll work on the book that's been kicking around in my head for too many years; one thing I did to give myself a starting point was to find an interesting and apropos reference to use to map out the chapter structure in advance. As my concept has a bit of a link to certain biblical historical events, I've used biblical numerology as an initial chapter topic guide.

One - Denotes absolute singleness. We meet protagonist #1.
Two - Symbolizes witness and support. We meet protagonist #2.
Three - Signifies completion or perfection, and unity. The protagonists meet and their meeting creates the third element of the plot.
Four - Relates to the earth. Using the earth as body, the physical element of the plot manifests.
Etc.

This way I've got something to write about when I might have no other notions of what might be going on with these yoinks.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:27 PM on October 24, 2013


oh also THIS might be helpful
posted by changeling at 8:39 PM on October 24, 2013


Hmm, I think I might give it a go, for the first time ever. I mean, I've got a computer, a tablet with a keyboard, and most importantly, I'm unemployed. Might as well make the most of it, right?
posted by FJT at 1:07 AM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have signed up for the first time ever this year, and I am already freaking out about it.
I'm so habitually lazy.
I'm CatchNZ over there.
posted by Catch at 4:20 AM on October 25, 2013


I'm in! I'll be writing the backstory of a character I'm going to be playing in an upcoming GURPS game. Same user name, would love some MeFi friends!
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:50 AM on October 25, 2013


I signed up as a non-filthy "light thief." Let's see how I do.

Does anyone have a suggestion for an Android app, or specifically a Kindle app? I can sideload apps, so I'm open to anything that works on the Android platforms.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:05 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm there as L'Estrange, just to increase my sense of NO PRESSURE IT'S NOT LIKE ANYONE KNOWS YOU'RE DOING THIS OH WAIT CRAP.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:24 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'm Setevin over on NaNoWriMo. I will be stalki - er, looking for you all.
posted by Tevin at 11:35 AM on October 25, 2013


I'm in, however I won't be able to start until a week into November. Is this a terrible idea? As long as it's still 30 days, can I start say, on November 7th and wrap up on December 7th? Does it work like that? Or would I just cap it at November 30th? I'm mainly interested in flexing my atrophied writing muscles this year, though it'd be nice to write a proper story with all the bits.
posted by mayurasana at 12:22 PM on October 25, 2013


I guess I mean building rather than flexing. My metaphors are already in shambles.
posted by mayurasana at 12:26 PM on October 25, 2013


It depends on how much of a purist you are, really. The "strict" NaNo doesn't run over, has some restrictions on content, etc, etc. If what you really want is a kick in the pants and some fellowship, though, do what works for you. That's my personal take, anyway.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:42 PM on October 25, 2013


Metafilter group on NanoWrimo.
posted by marienbad at 4:56 PM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am doing it this year! I've never done something like this before so we'll see how it goes.
posted by Marinara at 6:44 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am trying again--and this year I'm excited and motivated and even busier than usual. Accountability buddies are most welcome (I'm l_i_s_a over on NaNo) and now that I've figured out the NaNomail system, will even get responses when needed.
posted by librarylis at 7:08 PM on October 25, 2013


I think I'm going to give it a serious try this year! I reached 60K on my first attempt ten years ago and haven't succeeded since, but the tenth anniversary seems like a good time to really try again. I'll probably be working in lots of physics/math/chemistry stuff as I'm also quite busy with tutoring right now. I'm currently trying to figure out how to make this work plotwise though I am totally open to seat-of-pantsing this!

I'm in Chat sometimes and would be delighted by NaNoish conversation thereabouts or anywhere. I'm verilia over at NaNoWriMo.

Best of luck to all MeFites embarking on this adventure! Let's do this together. :)
posted by beryllium at 8:58 PM on October 25, 2013


If you do get a novel out of it, why not put it in for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in January? (I presume there will be a 2014 one)
posted by Segundus at 12:29 AM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I registered as Satz, as it seemed fittingly groan inducing in conjunction with my nickname here. Feel free to add me.
posted by ersatz at 6:41 AM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Continuing my thoughts on NaNo from here.... Well, I went to the "Lazy Meet N' Greet" today in my area and had a great time, even if I am unlikely to re-encounter most of those folks because I am too lazy to go to Sacramento write-ins. But nice people. I am feeling more enthusiastic about getting on the horse again, so that's good. I think I will try to go to my local write-ins and see if anyone shows...and if not, head out to another town, I guess.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:55 PM on October 26, 2013


For a moment I conflated these two things, and was excited to know more about (and at the same time fearful to know too much of) your profession.

...well I do work in the "health and wellness" industry...but I'm on the IT and software side of things so no, not really related at all.

Also I feel obligated to point out that my NaNo idea that I am definitely NOT working started as a sticky note that I put on my desk which read:

"What if Star Trek was set in a Game of Thrones style fantasy setting?"
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:26 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


For NaNoers (and other writers) who like Twitter and writing sprints, #WriteClub @FriNightWrites will be going for 48 hours on the 1st November. They run sprints of 30 minutes writing, 10 minutes resting, and they will have prizes! More details here.

(Earlybird host @SWritesBooks is my best friend, and technically MeFi's own, although she doesn't really post here. I can't get her to blog, either. She is honestly too busy writing books.)
posted by daisyk at 4:04 AM on October 27, 2013


I'm gonna give it a go. I quit my job relatively recently so I have no excuse whatsoever. Except that I also have no ideas and no plot. I'm very seriously considering sketching out a couple of characters and then pulling a card from Cards Against Humanity every day to make that thing happen to him.

It's gonna get really weird when I get the "removing a guy's eyes and his balls and putting his eyes where his balls should be and his balls where his eyes should be" card.

This is me > Athenasbanquet.

Joining the Mefi group now.
posted by athenasbanquet at 1:48 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm very seriously considering sketching out a couple of characters and then pulling a card from Cards Against Humanity every day to make that thing happen to him.

That sounds like an AWESOME way to do nanowrimo.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 3:12 PM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]




I'm doing it again this year. I love NaNoWriMo.
posted by Outlawyr at 12:12 PM on October 29, 2013


Hey, NaNoWriMo has a NaNoMail. Just mentioning it in case anyone else missed it.

Not much longer to go now. O Muse, lend your fire to my keyboard while not overheating my laptop and so on.
posted by ersatz at 5:33 PM on October 29, 2013


An old friend who just came back into my life said he was going for it and asked me to join along.
As I can't use the novel I keep trying to finish, I'm writing the story of a character I've had since junior high. I have most of the story in my head, and I'm off to make an outline.

I'm luckynerd there too. I'm excited!
posted by luckynerd at 6:13 PM on October 29, 2013


The admin of our Minecraft server just rebooted the world so we can start afresh in 1.7, and I just got a job interview on Monday. *sigh* Why don't people realise I need to WRITE this month?
posted by daisyk at 8:43 AM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm joannemerriam there too.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:59 AM on October 30, 2013


Hooeee. This feeling of trepidation + anticipation reminds me of how I felt right before I dropped acid for the first time back in the Weird Years. I predict things are gonna get STRANGE.
posted by nacho fries at 10:13 AM on October 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Man, this outlining thing is hard. I mean, I know I'll never get even halfway through without one, but at this rate I'm not even sure I'll get through the outline.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:40 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


ARE WE READY TO RUMBLE ON OUR KEYBOARDS?!
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 5:43 AM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


11 hours to go here in the UK!! Ready to rumble? I am truly going to bang out any old garbage to get as far towards the 50 k as I can.

Anyone else ready? Come and join the Nano Mefi Group!
posted by marienbad at 6:44 AM on October 31, 2013


A couple of years ago I pulled a bunch of writing tips'n'tricks from various blogs and other websites and put them in a little reference file to help me out of jams.

I call it: WRITE LIKE AN EVIL MACHINE

Y'all are free to use it if you find that sort of thing useful.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:36 PM on October 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Been a member of Nanowrimo since 2009 but have yet to bang out 50k words. This year may not be any different, if today is anything to go by. Good luck to everyone else!
posted by Alnedra at 1:46 AM on November 1, 2013


OH MY GOD IT IS 8 AM ON 11.01.13 AND I HAVE NOTHING WRITTEN.
posted by mittens at 5:16 AM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Doleful Creature, you ROCK.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 6:57 AM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is everybody done yet?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:50 AM on November 1, 2013


Is everybody done yet?

Copying and pasting my posting history counts as 'writing', right?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:52 AM on November 1, 2013


Yep.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:02 AM on November 1, 2013


The key is to make your MeFi history a plot device for a time-travelling-to-assassinate-Hitler thing. Yeah. Godwin the hell out of that shit.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:31 AM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


My novel is about travelling back in time to assassinate Godwin.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:49 AM on November 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, heck. I signed up for this thing years ago, and forgot about it. Now I'm doing one. "Obamapocalypse Now". Under my pseudonym Brian.Lee.Tallahassee.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:28 PM on November 1, 2013


I love the smell of Universal Healthcare in the morning. It smells like: Socialism.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:33 PM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


5022 words so far, story going nowhere, just stuff, although I have done the 2 murders already! So, about time the actual detective made an entrance. hmmmm.... How's it going, Mefi wrimos? Its hard to tell whether its ok or not, or is it utterly boring and droning on and on? Am I creating a lifelike impression of my city/world or is it just waffle? Ah well, never mind, no one is ever going to read it so there's no need to worry really.
posted by marienbad at 7:30 PM on November 2, 2013


I have 1700 words that apparently bear no relationship to the thing that I'm going to keep chugging on, and a girl who bears NO RESEMBLANCE TO ME IN HIGH SCHOOL WHATSOEVER (no, none, seriously) who just met her own death. It has taken her 2000 words to get to a library, because when in doubt, go to a library.

My god, this is shit.

Also, "Autocannibalism." Which probably means I'm going to need more than one character, huh.
posted by athenasbanquet at 8:08 PM on November 2, 2013


Ohhh, this is so hard. Why do I forget that every year? I just sat down and banged out 914 words about fandom on bloody Tumblr, which is more than I have of my novel so far. I don't even use Tumblr for anything except reblogging gifs!

Time to have a shower, some more chocolate, and another go at this whole thing.
posted by daisyk at 5:28 AM on November 3, 2013


story going nowhere, just stuff, although I have done the 2 murders already! So, about time the actual detective made an entrance.

Kill someone later on, unexpectedly. How about the detective himself?

My MC is allowed and breathing, but the supporting cast cannot occupy the proper amount of space: the story is not about you! *grumble* an antagonist might have been a good idea *grumble*
posted by ersatz at 6:16 AM on November 3, 2013


It's not going that great for me, and I realised this morning why. I have an idea, I have several... but I don't really have the... heart? I like thinking about the ideas but I dread typing them out. I am sure this has something to do with the two completed novels my mom threw away when I was a teen...

Not sure if I will continue.
posted by sm1tten at 8:56 AM on November 3, 2013


sm1tten - that's so weird, my mother also threw out all of MY writing when I was a teen!

Mothers, fuck 'em eh?
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 5:58 PM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm doing fairly well for never having done this before. I hate writing deadlines!

I'm surprised at how much this story is just pouring out. A lot of it is warped reality and much has been planned for years, so I guess it's not surprising. I even added a plot twist that's also going to fill up some space. I have a few places to go this month, so I'm a little worried about not not making it. I'll do the best I can.

I seem to write best at night, so I do. I format the story for the word count thingie and update before midnight. I do some work after midnight which gets counted as the next day. I also make notes longhand and on my phone that are used once I sit down to type.

This has also caused me to revsit my tween and teen years, which is kinda weird. This character isn't as awkward as I was, but close. ;-) Lucky for me Wikipedia has great lists of historical events organized by year. I'm trying to be as historically accurate as possible, though it's set in fictional Southern California.

I also have to add the layer of music to the story.
posted by luckynerd at 12:04 AM on November 4, 2013


When I was a teenager, I asked for a fire-proof safe for my writing. My Dad got it for me! :)
posted by luckynerd at 12:05 AM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Meh, today I'm writing Hannibal fic. Every day I have sat down to write something totally different. The point is to write, not to be awesome. Let your writing show your mom who's boss.
posted by athenasbanquet at 12:58 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


You guys, I haven't written a word. Not one.

But I am going to try tomorrow morning.
posted by mochapickle at 4:03 PM on November 4, 2013


Neither have I, mochapickle! I'm feeling a little stressed and a lot guilty and neither of those is putting more hours into my day so...I'm trying again today.
posted by librarylis at 8:39 AM on November 5, 2013


I have written one word. The word was "Inevitably". Look for additional words soon at a supermarket checkout line near you.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:45 PM on November 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Inevitably, the
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:42 PM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I got about 200 words, hope to add more soon.
posted by FJT at 12:21 AM on November 6, 2013


If you need er, encouragement, visit the slap in the face thread! As you can see, I have been dishing out the slaps left, right and centre.

I am a little behind but that is because I write after work and don't get home till half past midnight, so when I am writing it is still like yesterday to me. Need to work out how this will play out at the end of November if I am anywhere near 50k.
posted by marienbad at 5:21 AM on November 6, 2013




6000-ish words of dreck so far, and loving every wretched syllable of it.

Bad writing feels GOOD.
posted by nacho fries at 12:13 PM on November 10, 2013


This is probably going to be the crappiest novel ever written but at least I'm doing it this year!
posted by Autumn at 5:42 AM on November 11, 2013


Oh, you guys, I crashed out on day 3. I was so excited all through October, and then the depressions welled up on the 1st November like a huge bubble of methane gas in the Bermuda Triangle. I tried to tough it out but decided I should invalid myself out instead. :(

I'm feeling a bit better after a week or so of Minecraft and comfort food, and starting to think about my story idea again, but there's obviously no way I could make up 16,000 words at this point! I'm going to pick up at a slower pace, go to a couple of write-ins, and see how it goes. I'm really glad to see comments from the rest of you enjoying yourselves!
posted by daisyk at 7:11 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I, um. Well, I baked cookies....and did the laundry...and...

...yeah, Nano ain't happening for me this year. Oh well, at least I vacuumed the living room. As for the rest of you, go! go! go!
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 7:25 AM on November 11, 2013


Inevitably, the words come like cicadas. Rustling secretively beneath the surface of the years. Chitinous subterranean seas, swelling suddenly to the light, waves rising and breaking and rising again, insistent. And then the flood. Relentless. Devouring time and mind. When the words finally eat themselves the silence is a duststorm on an empty plain.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:22 PM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


22K and counting. Thing is, I'm just not sure the story I'm doing this time will take 50K to tell. If it ends sooner naturally, I'll just stop wherever that is.
posted by tomboko at 7:52 PM on November 12, 2013


Only 5k. I'm thinking of scrapping it and starting something new. I chose to write about something I'm not familiar with.
posted by FJT at 9:26 AM on November 13, 2013


I have just barely scratched into 25K, but I've had to start writing in people that annoy me so that Hannibal has someone to kill off. This is spectacularly cathartic, actually.
posted by athenasbanquet at 1:49 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was doing alright for a pantser but then got a bit stuck and now have a cold after some idiot came to work with one and was coughing and sneezing all over the fucking place. Now it is really hard to write anything.
posted by marienbad at 3:58 AM on November 14, 2013


No updates in a solid week? You people are so slack. Either that or you are writing much more than me. Please say it's just slackness.
posted by mittens at 6:57 PM on November 21, 2013


I finished my story yesterday, but it's only 32K. I have no desire to try to inflate it or fill up the word count with something else. BOOM! Done! I don't want to look at the fucking thing for at least a week.
posted by tomboko at 5:45 AM on November 22, 2013


A friend told me once that it's better to spend time around minor poets because they make their life interesting whereas major poets make their art interesting. Let's say my November has been very interesting. Sigh.
posted by ersatz at 7:37 AM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm on track to finish on time or a day early. I had planned to be reaching some kind of climax by 35k words but uh, that's just not happening and instead I'm only about halfway through the story, if that. But so far so er, not terrible. It's at least incrementally better than my first story. I think?
posted by Tevin at 11:07 PM on November 23, 2013


Congratulations, Tevin, tomboko, and everyone who has been making progress! Life has gotten more in the way than I would have liked (also, I need to remember to have less ambitious ideas), but one day this will happen again for me, I hope?
posted by beryllium at 5:21 AM on November 24, 2013


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