National Novel Writing Month October 24, 2010 9:25 AM   Subscribe

Anyone up for NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month begins in just a week: participants devote the month of November to a 50,000 word blitz. Here's a thread where MeFites can share past experiences and future intentions.

And if you sign up, let other MeFites know your user name so we can buddy up. I'm registered as carmicha.
posted by carmicha to MetaFilter-Related at 9:25 AM (186 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite


i was just thinking about that when the coffee was perking. Probably going to pass. I bought the book the founder wrote about doing it, and it was just horrible. Seemed to be more about striking a pose as a writer (ooh...go do it at starbucks, wear your favorite fingerless gloves as you type, do it all on looseleaf with a fountain pen etc.".

End result had nothing to do with actually writing a book, just hitting 50K words. That just seems like that scene from The Shining, "All work and no play make Jack a dull boy" sort of thing.
posted by timsteil at 9:55 AM on October 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

I think i might do this. I've got a short story I wrote that I think I can expand to 50,000 words. It probably doesn't count, but I'll do it anyway.
posted by empath at 10:00 AM on October 24, 2010

I agree with you, timsteil, about the founder's book. I'm actually going to work on a non-fiction idea I've been noodling with for years and a friend is planning to put together an essay collection; in short, we're both taking advantage of the NaNoWriMo structure--and the discipline of a deadline for a first draft-- without hewing to its specifics.
posted by carmicha at 10:05 AM on October 24, 2010

This will be my 7th year. I'm "lloannna"/number 39995 (I think). Happy to add MeFites who add me.

This year I'm doing my second "full time job, taking 10 credit hours, no GMAT prep, I swear I will finish this manuscript, no really" effort. I "win" every year - length is no problem, most years I only spend 12 to 15 days actually writing - but I never finish. Drives me batty.

I'm a Trebuchet Club/AlphaSmart/No Filler Text style WriMo who eschews rules like "no contractions" and takes pride in having a very large variety of words used (last year was a bit over 6,000, including bits of conlang.) I always write fantasy or scifi. I used to reward myself for reaching goals with candy and days at the zoo, but now that I have a real job, having those things isn't that important to me (because they are so easy to get; when I first did NaNo the annual reward candy purchase was a result of eating ramen in October,) and I haven't figured out how to replace them.

This year's story is more or less Narnia meets The Lord of the Flies with a solid dose of Party of Five. But way better than that sounds, I hope.

Good luck to us all!
posted by SMPA at 10:12 AM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm actually going to work on a non-fiction idea I've been noodling with for years and a friend is planning to put together an essay collection; in short, we're both taking advantage of the NaNoWriMo structure--and the discipline of a deadline for a first draft-- without hewing to its specifics.

Great idea Carmicha:

I don't want to poo on anyone's hopes, and if Nano provides a necessary kick in the seat some some folks to write, all the better.

Thing with me I guess is, Ive already written books, real, like published ones. Got a NY agent who never returns my calls, Im fairly alcoholic, flat broke and my wife hates me. In other words, a successful writer.

For all my snark, I might just do something similar to what you are thinking, just to get the juices flowing again.

What I will likely do first is go on a reading bender for a week. Always gets me in a "damn I wish I wrote like that, or a fuck I could have wrote that with one brain lobe tied behind my back" mode. Either way, seems to make it move. I would offer that as advice to anyone doing NaNo, whether they already have a Pulitzer, or just learned the alphabet.

For the sheer bang it out adrenalin rush of writing, I suggest reading Tom Wolfe's "Tangerine Colored Streamlined..." it was the first story that made me think "Hey..I could do that!"

Wonderful backstory of how he was supposed to do this story for Esquire, and couldnt pull it together. Deadline is the next morning, so he called the editor and confessed. Editor says ah shit, well, just type up your notes and send them over and we'll try to figure it out. So he sits down, and starts writing...10-15 pages into it he realizes he's found some sort of groove, and keeps going all night. Has the notes messengered over at like 5am, with a header that says "Dear Bill" or whoever.

Editor calls the next day and says the we're taking the "Dear Bill" part off, and running it as is. Awesome New Journalism at its finest

Another thing I always read twice for insipration when it is running low, is by the second guy I always go to like a Baptist goes to Bible Study on a Wednesday night.

Why I Write -- Jim Harrison.
posted by timsteil at 10:56 AM on October 24, 2010 [10 favorites]

I hit 50,000 words in 2006, and then again last year.

And I agree, I didn't write a novel. In the same way that when I finish a set in RockBand, I haven't entertained a stadium full of screaming fans. But I had fun, huge abundant bucketfuls of it.

I just reread my draft from last year, and it was a blast; you could tell I had been enjoying the hell out of the process. And I haven't enjoyed writing fiction since an ill-advised attempt at a creative writing degree back in the eighties, where all love of writing was beaten out of me. I'd thought it was gone forever.

I liked the NaNoWriMo experience so much last year that I signed up for a short story writing class this semester. I lasted one class session; once the instructor was through disparaging genre fiction, telling us how impossible it was going to be turning pro, and displaying his own truly miserably short story to us, I'd had enough. I realized that I didn't want to be a writer. Writing for a living sounds, to be a bit blunt, like it sucks. I just love writing.

These Novembers give me a structure in which writing becomes a part of my life, totally devoid of any thoughts of selling my work, making a living from writing, or even showing my work to anyone. I don't have to worry if it sucks. I can make my worlds, play with my characters, write in big pompous themes and grandiose soliloquies, and not worry at all if it sucks. The process is fun. Writing is fun.
posted by MrVisible at 10:59 AM on October 24, 2010 [12 favorites]

Editing, however, still seems a bit beyond me.

I'm MrVisible on NaNo, too. Feel free to add me as a buddy.

Now I've got to go get an outline together.
posted by MrVisible at 11:05 AM on October 24, 2010

I won't be participating this year, because I like being married, but it was so great for me to do it a few years ago. We had just moved to a new city, and didn't have much going on yet, so the timing was good. Plus I had been mulling a novel/story in my head for a couple of years, and it totally got it all out of my system. It was crap, but at least it was 50,602 words of crap.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:42 AM on October 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm definitely going to be hitting 50k, although that's much too short for the novel as outlined. I am, as usual everywhere but here, jpreacher.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:01 PM on October 24, 2010

I'm going to be teaching until the second week of November but I really want to give NaNoWriMo a chance this year. I'm not sure what to write though, fanfiction would be the 'safe/easy' choice for me but... it's fanfiction.
posted by Memo at 12:22 PM on October 24, 2010

Here's my issue with NaNo, and maybe somebody can convince me that I'm mistaken:

50k isn't really going to attract the interest of an agent, unless you're Stephanie Meyer (if you are, hi! I hate you) or Stephen King. For first time authors from what I understand, you need to be somewhere over 65K, even 70, for an agent to even look at your work, unless you've got some mad publishing credit otherwise.

Which is fine if your novel is designed in a way in which slapping on another 20k isn't a problem. There are certainly stories that are like that. But some buzz I've read from agents is that they're getting hit up with a lot of 50k novel queries, and some are blaming this on NaNo.
posted by angrycat at 12:32 PM on October 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

When I was a teenager, I could sit down at a friend's Selectric II - which was the coolest writing machine I had yet encountered - and bang out 400 words of fiction without hardly trying. It was fun. (On the one occasion when I read the results as an adult, I was struck by my difficulty in sticking with one tense and how obsessed I was with breasts.)

For the last several years, I've entered NaNo hoping to recapture that spirit. Each time my creative gears have seized up with a horrible grinding sound after two or three days max. This thread has got me thinking of trying again. But it's probably time for me to accept that I'm a sprinter rather than a distance runner.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:45 PM on October 24, 2010

Maybe, if I get fired and also have some sort of weird neurochemical event that lets me be creative for more than 30 seconds at a time again.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:49 PM on October 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

Tenth year trying....second year winning, if I am lucky.

(I think the advent of Dropbox will make a HUGE difference for me though.)

(username Whitney...usernumber 5395.)
posted by Lucinda at 12:53 PM on October 24, 2010

I'd been hoping to sign up this year--I've avoided it every year previous--since I've been working on a new story since August and I thought this would be a great way to keep the momentum going and finish the first draft. Then I read this bit on the guidelines: "Previously written prose, though, is punishable by death."

Which I guess makes sense...bringing a few thousand words in ahead of time might be cheating, if all you care about is word-count...but wow, how disappointing. It's like I bought this fountain pen for nothing.
posted by mittens at 12:59 PM on October 24, 2010

I'm going to try it for the first time this year. My username is ukdanae and I would love some buddies! I've got a huge dance card on for November but am going to try and do some of that "time management" whatsamajigit and time-block a hour each night to write. I'm sure that's a crazy plan but there you go.

It doesn't matter that I'm planning to write a trashy sex fashion novel, right? I love trash.
posted by ukdanae at 1:14 PM on October 24, 2010

I'm just going to use the month as inspiration to really turn out the stories for my space-pirate/riot-grrl/hard-sci-fi epic about Titan and the outer rim of the solar system. I've gotten some good feedback and the science fiction genre needs more pulpy anarchofeminist narratives but I don't like the overall atmosphere of nanowrimo, so I'm just going to take the inspiration and leave the rules.

Rules are for Spacers.
posted by fuq at 1:19 PM on October 24, 2010 [4 favorites]

Oh, and writing is serious business. One does not "win" at writing. It takes your life away and the only reward is you realize how you could do it better.
posted by fuq at 1:20 PM on October 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

IMHO, the more experience as a writer (of any type) you bring to NaNiMo, the less significant the 50,000 words should be. It's a goal, a metric to track progress and a means to inspire persistence that offers the most meaning to people with few sustained writing projects under their belts beyond their longer student papers. Consequently, I wouldn't worry about building on past work; who cares? It's more important that you reach your goal (finished first draft, or whatever) than that you follow the NaNiMo tenets precisely.

Re: whether 50,000 words is a salable length... Given the production pace, it's also likely that the editing process would reveal plenty of opportunities to flesh out various plot points, characters, etc. as well as places to prune. Every year I write several hundred thousand words for work (nonfiction), usually in 20-45,000 word chunks, and when I re-read them later I can see places where I should have elaborated but didn't because I got tired, lost interest or hit deadline. If your book requires 75,000 words to do your plot/themes/characters justice or make it salable, then plan for that. If it's important to get to "The End" by November 30 so you know the overall story arc, then take short cuts en route, e.g., by inserting brackets with notes to your future self about backstory (or whatever) you plan to write later.
posted by carmicha at 1:38 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sing it, sister.
posted by angrycat at 1:38 PM on October 24, 2010

(that was for fuq, but carmicha's comment is cool too)
posted by angrycat at 1:39 PM on October 24, 2010

epersonae there as here. :) I finished last year after a couple of failed attempts, and it was a great experience. More than anything else, it made me a believer in planning my writing. I've got an outline all ready to go, and I'm raring to get writing again.
posted by epersonae at 2:08 PM on October 24, 2010

If i may crave a boon. I was wrong.

It was "Dear Byron."
posted by timsteil at 2:40 PM on October 24, 2010

I will be participating this year. I have my idea and a rough outline. At least this year, I know how the story is going to end, so that should help me complete the goal by month's end.

It's really just the kick I'm looking for to sit down and write that first draft. I'm looking at a bunch of edit work later, of course, but with work and all the other things I have to do, it will be nice to have that structure to get started with.

Is there a MeFi thread/group over there in the forums yet?
posted by cmgonzalez at 2:46 PM on October 24, 2010

Don't overlook the assoiciated 30 Covers, 30 Days.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:12 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'll be doing it again. This is my tenth year and I've won most years although there were a couple that I didn't finish. I'm also the municipal liaison for Syracuse NY if there's anyone local. I am also maurice on Nanowrimo.
posted by maurice at 3:21 PM on October 24, 2010

I tried NaNo several years ago but didn't make it to 50K -- I'm not sure, but I think I started the month unemployed and got a job somewhere in the middle, killing any free time I had to write. I was thinking about trying it again this year, but I'm running up against a multi-pronged issue: 1., I've got a couple of wisps of ideas for short stories, but otherwise my creative well is sort of dry, 2., my November's sort of full of crazy-ass projects at work and friends from out of town coming to visit whom I haven't seen in years, and 3., the winter blahs are setting in early and I already have a hard time doing a lot outside of the "sit on ass/watch 30 Rock reruns/eat a lot of bread and cheese" set of activities. But then again, maybe doing NaNo is a good way to combat #3 there.

Anyway, I guess I may as well give it a stab. Maybe I can flesh out an actual idea or two in the next few days. I'm hauntedleg over there, if anyone wants to buddy up/taunt each other.
posted by palomar at 3:32 PM on October 24, 2010

50k isn't really going to attract the interest of an agent

This presumes that people are doing this with some hope of getting published. That certainly wasn't my goal.
posted by bluedaisy at 4:03 PM on October 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

I actually have an idea this year and I'm trying to figure out where I'm going with it, so I may join in.

Question for the writers and aspiring writers out there: Scrivener or Write Room?

I have a Mac, and I'm wondering if it is worth investing in one or the other.
posted by misha at 4:37 PM on October 24, 2010

I was planning to do it this year (completed my first and only in 2008) but I have a uni subject starting mid-November which, together with work, will be keeping me pretty busy.
posted by prettypretty at 4:42 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm doing the knitting equivalent, knitting a sweater of 50k (or more!) stitches while you guys are writing your novels. It's coordinated by the mighty, who's hosting a knitalong here.
posted by bewilderbeast at 4:49 PM on October 24, 2010 [5 favorites]

This year's story is more or less Narnia meets The Lord of the Flies with a solid dose of Party of Five. But way better than that sounds, I hope.

Blame it on the remnants of last night's alcohol but I'm having a hard time imaging anything better than Narnia meets The Lord of the Flies with a solid dose of Party of Five. Is there a pig's head in it?
posted by philip-random at 5:23 PM on October 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

One does not "win" at writing. It takes your life away and the only reward is you realize how you could do it better.

Hmmm? I'd say writing takes your time away and the reward is that you actually have something to show for it, which is more than can be said for most of the things that take our time (excepting child rearing, meal cooking, art making in general).
posted by philip-random at 5:28 PM on October 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

Question for the writers and aspiring writers out there: Scrivener or Write Room?

I haven't used either, but I see that scrivener is offering special trials and discounts as well as access to early Windows Scrivener Betas for NaNoWriMo people.

(As I said - I haven't used either as I am windows based and the Beta isn't out for a day or so, but for what it's worth, mefi's own JScalzi is on Scrivener's testimonional page. Did I mention I haven't actually used either yet? Good).
posted by Sparx at 5:44 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm writing one word a year for 50,000 years, it seems...
posted by Mister_A at 7:09 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Man I wanna read fuq's stories.
posted by Mister_A at 7:11 PM on October 24, 2010

I'm still trying to fix the one I did in 2001. If I ever manage to do that, I'll start trying to fix the one I did in 2002.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:12 PM on October 24, 2010

Misha: I actually use WriteRoom in conjuction with Scrivener. WriteRoom is a full-screen text editor, but Scrivener is a powerful system for organizing text and other media. WriteRoom is a Moleskine, Scrivener is an accordian folder.

I use WriteRoom to generate the text, then Scrivener to organize it. Scrivener has a full-screen mode as well, but it's not as configurable as WriteRoom, and I'm fussy. If you have to choose one, choose Scrivener.

This post not an endorsement of NaNoWriMo; the writer's life is a marathon, not a sprint.

posted by Ian A.T. at 7:19 PM on October 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

Question for the writers and aspiring writers out there: Scrivener or Write Room?

I just stick to Word.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:06 PM on October 24, 2010

I'm a big fan of Notepad++, an open-source text editor. Configurable, powerful, multiple tabs, search in files, syntactical highlighting... It'll do anything you want it to, and do it fast.

Leave the formatting 'till later. Get the text down.
posted by MrVisible at 8:31 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm trying something a little different this year!

I read Choose Your Own Adventures when I was a kid. On a whim, last month, I decided to write one, so now I'm getting ready to share a "write your own 'choose your own' story" tool.

(If you want to try your hand at CYOA let me know! In testing.)
posted by Make Way for Ducklings! at 8:46 PM on October 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

November is always a lousy month for this. Just awful. This year promises to be terrible in ways unexpected, as so far all is quiet. (Too quiet) Yep, I'm in.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:03 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ok, so I've taken the plunge and signed up. I'm bardophile there, too.
posted by bardophile at 11:16 PM on October 24, 2010

Question for the writers and aspiring writers out there: Scrivener or Write Room?

I'm using Ulysses so far while I plan my outline, so far I quite like it. The notecards in Scrivener annoyed me. Ulysses has a 60-day trial so perfect for NaNoWriMo.
posted by ukdanae at 1:24 AM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd like to participate (for the third year running) but lack a suitable idea. I have an ideas for something in the 10,000-20,000 word range that I might work on instead.

Further to the debate upthread: I'm also a published writer but have found Nanowrimo an extremely useful exercise. Firstly, it gives the internal editor a good thumping, which I certainly need as otherwise I use editing as a procrastination technique. Secondly, it's a good way to "break the seal" on a new project without spending six weeks wondering over the wording of the first paragraph - plough in, damn the consequences, just produce something. I've done it twice, producing first 11,000 words, then 19,000. Both of these texts are little use to anyone, but they have both been a starting point towards much better texts, texts that are in fact still in production, so nothing was "wasted". So it's a good way of stress-testing a book idea without sinking too much time into it. It also just varies the writing routine.

What absolutely will not happen to anyone is the production of a book. Even if you hit 50,000, that's unlikely to be enough, and it will - unless you are a Mozart-level genius - certainly need heavy editing, most likely rewriting at length. But as an exercise, or a starting point, sure, why not.
posted by WPW at 5:43 AM on October 25, 2010

I'm doing the knitting equivalent, knitting a sweater of 50k (or more!) stitches while you guys are writing your novels. It's coordinated by the mighty, who's hosting a knitalong here.

Ooh, maybe I'll try both, and end up finishing neither, and just have my life explode! :)
posted by Lucinda at 7:04 AM on October 25, 2010

I'm Lyn Never over there as well.

The point of NaNo is to write. Not to publish, not to write well, just to write. I think buried down somewhere on the site is a list of the handful of published novels that were born out of NaNo, but it's not the point and it's not something that's emphasized in any way. It's about doing the one thing that is absolutely necessary for any of those other things to be even remotely feasible - words, one after another, captured in some way, with a little goal or game to help with the momentum - and it's about giving yourself permission to do it even if you don't have an MFA or an agent or a perfect concept or the perfect pen.

I've never understood the kneejerk threadpoopiness that comes out about NaNo every year. Do you go up to people in the gym and inform them they'll never make it to the Olympics?
posted by Lyn Never at 7:57 AM on October 25, 2010 [6 favorites]

If you're interested in some quick advice on writing well, check out Roy Peter Clark's Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.

Craft can be your friend, even when you're in a hurry.
posted by swift at 9:20 AM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh yay! I was wondering when a NaNo thread would show up here.

This will be my third year trying NaNo, and I hope my third succeeding at the basic goal. Generally, hitting 50K hasn't been a problem for me. Words, I have them. The problem is getting them to be a story, with a beginning middle and end. Actually, it's just the end part that stumps me, time and again. I use the 50,000 words as a good way to track my progress and keep writing every single day, but I set my own personal goals for the month (I actually think of it like basic and advanced goals in Illuminati - sure, you could just collect 12 groups, but how much more fun if you managed to kill off 8 as Cthulhu... ok, that was probably a bit obscure). Last year my personal goal was "finish the damn story". Fail. I had an ending in mind and everything, but I ended up loathing my characters and it just sort of flopped and petered out. This year my novel is structured as a series of smaller, self contained narratives in an overall story arc. I aim to finish at least five of them.

I use Scrivener for all my writing, and I'm really looking forward to the new version (allegedly out today for early release... we'll see).

I'm enigmagirl over there. I'll probably be adding a few of you fine folks, as I love to watch the progress of other writers. It's inspiring to me. Good luck to everyone!
posted by lriG rorriM at 9:25 AM on October 25, 2010

In the Windows universe, for getting words down, nothing beats Q10. It's a wonderful program.

But now that I'm all iOS-ed up, I'll probably rely on Droptext.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:59 AM on October 25, 2010

Do you go up to people in the gym and inform them they'll never make it to the Olympics?

I was putting out there what agents say, because I am trying to get published. That's totally groovy if people want to write 50k words and a) have a plan to add on 25k or b) Want to write 50k words for the hay of it.

Writing is my job, and thus I follow what agents say. While I emphasize with Salinger's idea of the industry as metaphorical pimps, it's still my job. I had a question; wasn't poo-throwing, as you've framed it.
posted by angrycat at 11:13 AM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

misha, I tried out Scrivener last year and fell in love.
posted by epersonae at 12:33 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I should have mentioned that I'm WPWiles over there and that I hope my comment isn't taken as threadpoopery, I think Nanowrimo is a wonderful endeavour and it has done me a lot of good.
posted by WPW at 2:23 PM on October 25, 2010

Scrivener 2.0 just got an early release for NaNoWriMo, and i'm already taking back my previous dismissal of it. The new interface makes a lot more sense to me!
posted by ukdanae at 3:02 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've listed everyone who provided their NaNoWriMo names as a buddy, so my profile is now an easy way to identify participating MeFites. There, as here, I am carmicha.
posted by carmicha at 6:12 PM on October 25, 2010

This will be my third year, failed two years in a row. This year I have new user name, and this year I will WIN! No contractions! Abundant digressions! Stuff that makes no sense! Yeah!

I am adding all y'all. Please add me as well (I'm still santaslittlehelper).
posted by santaslittlehelper at 6:37 PM on October 25, 2010

Yay! I'm pretty excited for my novel idea this year. I'm naju.
posted by naju at 10:23 PM on October 25, 2010

I am Gemmas or 430793. This year I have some support, and have mentioned it to other people (including my recent partner who may not have thought of this when she said I needed to get involved in something), so I am in a lot better position than previous years of abject failure. I have no idea how the network system works, but will reciprocate wherever possible.
posted by Sparx at 11:23 PM on October 25, 2010

I'll be bibi rose over there. Third year signing up; hopefully second year finishing.

I wasn't going to do NaNo this year, but this thread changed my mind. The novel I wrote the first time may never see the light of day, but it has a certain energy I'd like to get back, now that I've been struggling with my first "real" novel, for oh, four years or so.
posted by BibiRose at 7:18 AM on October 26, 2010

I'm so ready for NaNo I even asked a question to prepare. I have a basic story idea in place, but it's been killing me waiting until November to start on it. I can't wait for November 1st (I think this might be the first time I've ever looked forward to a Monday).

My NaNo handle is literanerd if anyone would like to be buddies.
posted by litnerd at 8:04 AM on October 26, 2010

I'm planning to do it. I finished 50K in 2005. Not sure what my username will be, but I'll try to get xenophile or some permutation of it.

I'd appreciate some support in realizing my goal of writing a psychological ghost story worthy of Shirley Jackson and Henry James.

There. I said it. Now I have to do it.
posted by xenophile at 2:10 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Crikey. I now have a frightening number of writing buddies. Lets be cruel to be kind. But kind overall.
posted by Sparx at 1:09 AM on October 28, 2010

So who is planning and who is pantsing? I'm planning, but just realised while doing my outline that I really need to write from multiple character POVs, which is starting to freak me out.

(I agree with Spark and being cruel to be kind. If anyone sees my word count slipping they are welcome to send me sharp pointy messages!)
posted by ukdanae at 4:57 AM on October 28, 2010

A couple of days ago, I ran a 5000 word short story I wrote earlier this year through Dramatica and ended up adding a bunch of new characters and details while going through the process, but I'm not outlining in advance.
posted by empath at 6:42 AM on October 28, 2010

Yay multiple character POV! That's true for me too, but I'm definitely going to be a pantser.
posted by carmicha at 6:59 AM on October 28, 2010

I just realized this conflicts with the halloween update for minecraft.

i wonder if i can write 50,000 words about minecraft...
posted by empath at 7:40 AM on October 28, 2010

I intended to do a lot of planning during October. Does that count?
posted by maurice at 7:40 AM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm pantsing. I've got nothing so far; no plot, no setting, just a vague idea about a couple of characters, and I'm not sure I really like them.

It's terrifying. And thrilling.

This is gonna be fun.
posted by MrVisible at 9:10 AM on October 28, 2010

Planning, definitely, although I know there will be patches of winging it. I have my synopsis ready, and so help me even an outline. (If you'd told me this at 20, I'd've walked off in a huff.)
posted by epersonae at 12:35 PM on October 28, 2010

Planning, here. I have a cast of thousands, though mercifully only two POV characters. I have a spreadsheet with the birth and death dates of every person who has ever drawn breath in my fantasy world; it's what I mess around with when I come perilously close to actually writing prose early. My latest improvement: using my existing population models, figuring out my overall "not caused by my characters' actions" novel-timeline death toll. And how many of them are named Mary.
posted by SMPA at 2:11 PM on October 29, 2010

SMPA, you're kind of my hero now and i have an insatiable need-to-scratch-it urge to see your spreadsheet now. That is brilliant!
posted by ukdanae at 3:26 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Okay, just officially reactivated my account and I'm almost ready to go on Monday. Need to finish my outline, but that has to wait until later today at the very least. I'm cmgonzalez over there as well.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:54 AM on October 30, 2010

Oh, and I'll be adding people from the thread sometime today.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:56 AM on October 30, 2010

I'm squaring up to NanoWriMo. Username of somergames, same as in town.
posted by somergames at 12:00 PM on October 30, 2010

Pantsing, mostly. Some ideas in my head about setting, characters, and themes. How they're going to fit together in any kind of narrative.....ummm yeah, I guess that needs to happen, but I have no clue how I'm going to do it.
posted by bardophile at 6:28 PM on October 30, 2010

I did NaNo for the first time in 2004, and three or four times since (depending on how busy I was), but it seems my account was deleted due to inactivity. How irritating. I may end up doing it again this year though, especially considering I have the day off tomorrow. Hm...
posted by Gordafarin at 4:48 AM on October 31, 2010

That's weird - my account has never actually been used, and it's six years old. Still there, still has all its settings.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:59 AM on October 31, 2010

I've decided to go for it, even though I'm going in with only a sketchy idea of what's going to happen in my novel.

When in doubt, add ninjas.
posted by SNWidget at 8:16 PM on October 31, 2010

I'm in as gmq.
posted by Memo at 8:25 PM on October 31, 2010

With approximately 1.25 hours to go, I decided (somewhat idiotically, I'm sure) to take the plunge. You can find me here.
posted by good day merlock at 8:51 PM on October 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

I am reenum there as well. First time since 2007 I'm giving it a go.
posted by reenum at 3:21 PM on November 1, 2010

I'm finally working at a job that lets me turn it off at 5pm, so I might just have the energy for this for the first time in never-never.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 3:34 PM on November 1, 2010

I'm IMFromKathlene on the site, but I hardly ever do anything on there. I'm at 2,000 words, how're you guys doing?
posted by NoraReed at 3:59 PM on November 1, 2010

I'm at 1,780, and researching for my next chapter. The first day was both easier and harder than I'd expected - i hit my word count, but did a lot of self-editing. I'm also amazed at how I manage to myself into corners with the plot, and have to figure out how the characters are going to get out of the situation. Who's in control here, anyway??
posted by ukdanae at 4:03 PM on November 1, 2010

er, *write* myself into corners. I think it's time for bed.
posted by ukdanae at 4:05 PM on November 1, 2010

I'm at a little under 2,000 for the day, but I include notes to myself, etc., in the count.

I started adding everyone to my buddy list (at least, everyone who's added me) but the site went down. I really hope to get into some discussions once it's up again.
posted by BibiRose at 4:27 PM on November 1, 2010

I'm going to try it this year for the first time (just signed up) my name is whistfulwithing on that site. Since I generally write short stories this will be my first shot at a novel. I had a hell of a time just getting signed up so I don't know how I'll get my word count in since the site keeps crashing on me.

I do my best writing at night so I'm gonna start as soon as the coffee shop closes. ^_^
posted by patheral at 4:44 PM on November 1, 2010

The servers seemed borked at the moment.
posted by nomadicink at 5:18 PM on November 1, 2010

I'm at 2,000 words, how're you guys doing?

Getting ready to start writing any minute now!
posted by nomadicink at 5:19 PM on November 1, 2010

Ok, I got 50 words. This could take a while.
posted by nomadicink at 5:25 PM on November 1, 2010

posted by nomadicink at 5:28 PM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

L.Estrange Fruit.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 5:29 PM on November 1, 2010

I know it's already the evening of 11/1 and all, but I still haven't figured out if I'm NoWri'ing this Mo. I'm "regis" on the website. (I might just crochet a couple of hats instead, this month, instead.)
posted by rmd1023 at 5:39 PM on November 1, 2010

I'm at 1,517 words... but I just started an hour ago... give me some time.

Um how many are we supposed to write a day? I'm horrible with numbers.
posted by patheral at 5:45 PM on November 1, 2010

100! Time for a break!
posted by nomadicink at 5:47 PM on November 1, 2010

Shit, looked over what I read. Back to 55 words.
posted by nomadicink at 6:06 PM on November 1, 2010

MrVisible, your comment convinced me to sign up, give it a shot, and attempt to break out of a 5-year creative funk. Thank you.
posted by YamwotIam at 6:07 PM on November 1, 2010

I waited to the last minute, but I signed up today. Already at 1680 words.

I think what happens is that the artificial deadline makes my inner censor faint and I finally get out of my own way and start doing shit. It's great -- when I signed up I had no CLUE what I was going to write, but this morning I woke up and said, "well, I have to SOMETHING now, and suddenly a plot came into my head full-formed like Athena springing from the brain of Zeus. I love that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:21 PM on November 1, 2010

nomadink, you're not supposed to edit.
posted by patheral at 6:28 PM on November 1, 2010

posted by nomadicink at 6:39 PM on November 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

User name is robotot there too, but I have yet to write a single word.

The more I planned, the more I hated my idea. I'll probably just write random little short-story ideas and autobiographical snippets and see if anything coherent develops.
posted by robotot at 6:39 PM on November 1, 2010

No, but I play one on TV. :P

I try to add people, but it's slow. I'll try again tomorrow when I'm not on battery power.
posted by patheral at 6:48 PM on November 1, 2010

1911 words, I'm good for now.

I had idea I was going to do this, but just decided it after dinner. There were two plans made as I wrote, and already discarded as the story seems to be dictating itself, moving in it's on direction.

So it goes.
posted by nomadicink at 7:12 PM on November 1, 2010

Did 5,050 today, got the basics of my universe's rules spelled out, set up most of the background for the primary conflict and some of the secondary conflicts, had a physical altercation, named the protagonist and her entire crew, and have yet to resort to a physical description of anyone. Let's go, team!!
posted by SMPA at 8:00 PM on November 1, 2010

managed to get myself to 1943 words, despite hating every single idea i had come up with during prep time AND having excruciating dental work done this morning. my whole mouth is throbbing so hard i can feel it in my hair, and i still hate the idea i'm working on, but at least i got something down for today.

now it's time for painkillers, warm saltwater, and some quality time with my mattress.
posted by palomar at 8:25 PM on November 1, 2010

Thanks folks -- thanks to the double post reminder that this was even happening (somehow the emails from previous sign-ups have been totally ignored in my inbox), I was inspired to finally realize exactly how I should start an idea that's been running around in my head for a while now. So I started writing right as I left work all the way home on the bus and train.

If the rest of the words come as easy as the first did, I'd meet the limit by the middle of the month. But I've got an mostly unused writing major and a couple hundred* unfinished stories/novels/plays/screenplays that know this is unlikely.

Still though, thanks.

* hyperbolic approximation but only just

(I'm LogopolisMike over there)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:03 PM on November 1, 2010

Ugh, I hate exposition, I'm just going to have info-dumps. I thought about doing a story-bible just to keep track of everything, including the timeline.
posted by hellojed at 10:31 PM on November 1, 2010

I have a pretty good idea for a story, but I've come into the phase of my Fear of Failure Shiftlessness That Keeps Me From Ever Actually Finishing Something where I'm considering submitting some cartoons to The New Yorker if I get around to drawing them, and there's been a lot of dust collecting on the ol' guitar and that mandolin won't learn how to play itself and I totally blanked on putting together a sourdough starter this summer...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:45 PM on November 1, 2010

I'm also amazed at how I manage to myself into corners with the plot, and have to figure out how the characters are going to get out of the situation. Who's in control here, anyway??

The characters are always in control ... until God decides to destroy them.
posted by philip-random at 11:04 PM on November 1, 2010

The characters are always in control ... until God decides to destroy them.

It's true! I'm about to kill off a character at the end of this chapter, and it's a shame. He seems like a nice chap.
posted by ukdanae at 2:39 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Did 3462 words on the first day--far more than I expected, though my main character has veered a bit off course, and the plot is still in the background. I suppose I'm trying to lead her gently into her plot, rather than plopping her into it right away. We'll see what happens. I already have an unplanned character in the mix.
posted by litnerd at 5:33 AM on November 2, 2010

1840 on the first day - My new account is here. It's good to be writing again; I haven't written anything for such a long time.
posted by Gordafarin at 5:51 AM on November 2, 2010

2100 on my first day. I'm trying to give my self permission to write badly in the first draft and get my scenery-chewing out of the way so it can be fixed later.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:00 AM on November 2, 2010

posted by ®@ at 7:14 AM on November 2, 2010

I had an awesome first day - 4545 words! And today I haven't done anything at all yet. Sigh. This is going to be a roller coaster ride.
posted by lriG rorriM at 9:00 AM on November 2, 2010

I posted in the Writing Groups and Clubs forum over at NaNo. Feel free to join in.
posted by reenum at 9:03 AM on November 2, 2010

I only got 271 yesterday, btw. Today will be more productive. I'll write while here at work in the afternoon.
posted by reenum at 9:07 AM on November 2, 2010

I waited too long to sign up and someone else got "xenophile."

So, my Nano handle is ryokochan, after my psychotic black cat, Ryoko.
posted by xenophile at 9:42 AM on November 2, 2010

YamwotIam, that's awesome. Before I even started this month's project, I accomplished something good with my writing. Warms my cockles.

After a month or so of vaguely wondering what I was going to write about, at 9:45 on Halloween a plot just came to me, complete with characters, theme, structure, subplots... everything. Now all I have to do is do it justice.

1672 yesterday.

Holy crap, this is fun.
posted by MrVisible at 10:39 AM on November 2, 2010

I'll be writing a 43 minute television script. So a lot, LOT shorter than a novel.

And yet I'm already procrastinating! Woo!
posted by Sara C. at 11:48 AM on November 2, 2010

1721 words on the first day, and I don't have a plot yet. I'm not one of those "think things through before sitting down to write" types — and I'm so jealous of those of you who are. Every 250 words or so I start to understand a little more about the plot.
posted by good day merlock at 12:57 PM on November 2, 2010

I'm Isingthebodyelectric, or 551025. Last year was my first, and I won, but of course the story was far from finished. So this year is part II, which may be a grievous mistake. Half realistic literary fiction (semi-autobiographical) and half fantasy. Two intersecting story lines makes it much easier to write (short attention span!)

Only 1000 words so far... this year I have a real job! Ack!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 1:03 PM on November 2, 2010

2,000 words a day keeps the nagging "You didn't write enough" voice away.
posted by nomadicink at 1:04 PM on November 2, 2010

God, the main site is just buckling under the load. Poor server dudes! Can we lend them pb for a day?
posted by nomadicink at 1:16 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wow, just the thought of NaNoWriMo does all kinds of nasty things to my stomach. Good thing I'm moving to NYC this month; I don't have to think of an excuse to not do it. As a flash fiction writer, I'm astonished if my stories make it to 1,000 words. I don't think I have 50+ short stories in me; not in a single month.

Good luck, you brave loquacious souls who can somehow stretch your story ideas to such astonishing lengths!
posted by Eideteker at 2:55 PM on November 2, 2010

Did about 2800 words more during breaks at work today, bringing me close to 8,000. Trying for 10k before bed. Today's revelation: it's not going to be as much of a surprise as I had thought when a secondary character decides to make a break for it. He's being downright oppositional/defiant in chapter 3. Also: the name wasn't MacBook until 2006, so my character actually owns an iBook. Fortunately I don't mind find-and-replace editing of that sort.

Write on, MeFiWriMos! Write on!
posted by SMPA at 6:07 PM on November 2, 2010

Also: the name wasn't MacBook until 2006, so my character actually owns an iBook. Fortunately I don't mind find-and-replace editing of that sort.

Stuff like that, I'm letting go for now. Getting too caught up those details at the beginning isn't fun, just write, write, write!
posted by nomadicink at 6:12 PM on November 2, 2010

My first two days were great!

...I have a feeling that tomorrow, which is one of he parts of my plot which is....murky, will be rough.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:55 PM on November 2, 2010

You guys are awesome! I'm happy--and a little envious-- of those of you who had plots arrive fully formed. I'm already a day behind, but having fun.
posted by carmicha at 7:00 PM on November 2, 2010

posted by nomadicink at 7:03 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's all right, folks, I don't have a plot either. Just characters - lots and lots of characters. Each character gets their own first-person stream of consciousness introduction! Whee.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:26 AM on November 3, 2010

I'm doing LJ Idol instead.

Whether that's good or not is going to be interesting to work out.
posted by mephron at 5:17 AM on November 3, 2010

My friends are all quite excited about my trashy sex fashion novel, and have persuaded me to include a phrase of their choice in the book. They've got a vote running on Facebook, so far the winning phrase is "I never imagined it would be that huge!"
posted by ukdanae at 9:22 AM on November 3, 2010

Yeah, I'm clocking in my 1667 a day. So far it's terrible, terrible cliche rubbish, and every time I get to a bit of description I'm all, "OH NOES, DESCRIPTION AGAIN - YAWNSIES". But I think I detect the re-emergence of my authorial voice which is pretty cool, and the vague outline of a plot that I do have is about to go haywire, so that should be interesting to watch. I've told people I'm actually doing it this year, so shame factor 8, captain, should be enough to keep me going
posted by Sparx at 11:19 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

My goal is to write more words each successive day, for now. So far, so good. 1670 on the first day, and a few more each subsequent day. Characters are forming, but plot? ha! I am hoping that it will emerge as I continue to write. It's fun just writing again. Haven't tried fiction for 15 years. So, enjoying myself.
posted by bardophile at 12:11 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I had worked out a pretty specific plot and outlined some characters and whatnot in preparation for this, and then about a week before I got an idea that I just could not shake, so I changed it up completely. I'm just in there under my regular old name, Mark J. Hansen.
Oh, and I'm at 9074 words so far.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 12:33 PM on November 3, 2010

I'm slacking at 5225 words... but I gotta write that poem for class tomorrow too...
posted by patheral at 4:59 PM on November 3, 2010

Broken 5000 words, and I'm calling it a night. Feeling good so far.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:59 PM on November 3, 2010

Got to 10,376 and am done for the night - digital design homework has taken over my evenings, but I shall rise again! And there's always Thanksgiving weekend.

My characters are in info-gathering mode right now, which is a tad dull. It's also harder than I thought it would be to convey "magically persuasive, especially when you're off guard." The bad guys are sounding reasonable and the good guys like spazzes. This probably won't be resolved in this draft. Whatever.

Write! Write! Write! Write!
posted by SMPA at 7:37 PM on November 3, 2010

Arg. I'm in, just joined right now. Zero words. "humble.nailbanger"
posted by nevercalm at 9:21 PM on November 3, 2010

Finally signed up. I'm over 6000 so far.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 6:35 AM on November 4, 2010

I just discovered the "NaNo Stats" section on my user page, and it's made me even more obsessed with hitting my daily targets, if that's possible.
posted by ukdanae at 3:59 PM on November 4, 2010

....I just hit 9000 words today.

I am almost 20% done and it's only been four days.

Holy SHIT. Where is this discipline the other 11 months of the year?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:00 PM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

Up over 12,000 now! Go us! Go us! Go us!
posted by SMPA at 7:13 PM on November 4, 2010

yarg! I haven't even hit 7000! I seriously need too get going! Why did I start this the last month of the semester????
posted by patheral at 11:16 PM on November 4, 2010

OK, joined late, worked 35 hours in two days, started this morning and did 2,256 in an hour. Good start.

What advantage does making lists of people from here hold? Is it just like posting here, for encouragement and public shaming to get one's ass in gear?
posted by nevercalm at 8:20 AM on November 6, 2010

Skynet asked for the lists.
posted by nomadicink at 9:29 AM on November 6, 2010

Skynet asked for the lists.

That answers a question I didn't ask, but ok, thanks.

Also, Scrivener+Dropbox+PlainText for Mac/iPad/iPhone blows my mind from the awesomeness.
posted by nevercalm at 9:35 AM on November 6, 2010

Scrivener is too much for this project, at this stage, IMO. WriteRoom let's one focus on writing, as opposed to details.

Dropbox and plain text, however, is the shit.
posted by nomadicink at 9:54 AM on November 6, 2010

I used Scrivener to make my outline, but am just using Google Docs for the text itself. It's easier for writing on PC at work on my lunch break.

Just passed the 10,000 word mark. Very happy!
posted by ukdanae at 10:16 AM on November 6, 2010

nevercalm, the lists on the site let you see where everyone else is. I try to friend people who I know, who tend to be just a wee bit faster than me (DragonChilde and I are usually within a few thousand words of each other) and such. I'm trying to find people who go past the 50k to watch this year, so they'll make me feel bad when I stop at 50,067 and never touch the freaking manuscript again.

I'm at 17,960. Hoping for 20k by Sunday night.
posted by SMPA at 5:49 PM on November 6, 2010

I completely blew out a few days ago, at about 6000 words. I'm going to try to recover in the next few days. I just got the writing anxiety in my head and avoided it.

Time to buck up and keep going.
posted by SNWidget at 10:01 PM on November 8, 2010

It's amazing how some days the writing is such a hard slog, and other days (like this past weekend), a few thousand words just seem to roll right off. I've taken to using the Pomodoro technique (kitchen timer, 25 minutes) when it's difficult, to just get the writing down.
posted by ukdanae at 11:59 PM on November 8, 2010

I totally slacked the past few days, but hopefully I'll be able to catch up.

People using Scrivener - it seems like every time I start a new session, the font size changes. Is that happening for anyone else...? It's really strange.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:37 AM on November 9, 2010

I'm totally stuck on 7, 760 words. Thinking about starting physical descriptions of characters now. sigh. The real problem is complete lack of narrative thrust. Aaaurgh.

Q10 is the coolest, by the way. :)
posted by bardophile at 5:06 AM on November 9, 2010

15,662! And it's a total blast. For some reason my local group is just insanely active; write-ins popping up all over, message board constantly sprouting new discussions. There's an energy to this year that I've never seen before.

Tons of fun so far. Despite having to kill off my favorite character.
posted by MrVisible at 8:20 AM on November 9, 2010

After getting a solid 3500ish words into my novel without any idea of the plot, I suddenly realized it was not the plot I was looking for. So I started over. Who starts over in NaNoWriMo? Me. Apparently.

On the bright side, I have approximately 12200 words in my New Plot, only 2800 less than I would have had if I had plodded along at exactly 1666 words per day for the past 9 days. So I view that as progress. NaNoWriMo is scary.
posted by good day merlock at 4:37 PM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

Just hit 20,000 words and i'm feeling good! I'll feel even better once i've figured out the nitty gritty of the second half of my novel...

I had no idea that I would enjoy writing fiction as much as I enjoy reading fiction. This is quite a wonderful revelation for me!
posted by ukdanae at 1:18 PM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Hit 50k tonight. Cheering you all on now, while continuing my draft and adding to the "stuff to fix in December" file.

Go go go go go!
posted by SMPA at 7:40 PM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Holy shit SMPA, well done!
posted by ukdanae at 12:08 AM on November 11, 2010

Thank you, ukdanae! I definitely feel like there's a legitimate "the end" in my future, yippee!
posted by SMPA at 12:24 PM on November 11, 2010

Anyone else still chugging along? I just broke 27,000 words, and i'm starting to think that everything i'm writing is crap. I'm trying to just keep pushing through and worry about editing it later, but it seems that all i can write is boring exposition. YAWNSIES.
posted by ukdanae at 3:36 PM on November 14, 2010

I'm here, ukdanae! Just broke 25,000 words, staying up far too late to do so.

My story just got exciting, which means "everyone finally turned into zombies."
posted by good day merlock at 1:30 AM on November 15, 2010

Yay, now the really hawt sex scenes can happen!
posted by nomadicink at 2:14 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yup. I'm still cranking out the word count. And yes, it does suck. And it's awesome. Mostly, though, it sucks. And it's a blast.

I find it helps if I put the exposition into the sex scenes.
posted by MrVisible at 6:26 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Well, my character is about to leave the moon and head out to Saturn. There may be a sex scene in the viewing room of the ship as they pass Jupiter, but that really depends on the Martian, who are very fickle.
posted by nomadicink at 6:30 AM on November 15, 2010

I wrote 8k words over the weekend, and I'm at 30k words total. I feel like this experience has been a roller coaster, and I definitely suffered the Week Two Blues. But now I'm back on an upswing, and I'm confident I'll hit the 50k word goal. Still, my actual story is moving along slower than I anticipated, so if I intend to actually finish the first draft, I'll have quite a bit more than 50k words to write...
posted by litnerd at 7:26 AM on November 15, 2010

I've started in on the sequel (not allowing myself to touch the first draft till December.) Very slow going, mostly because I'm not sure who, from amongst those who survived the first one, lived to see the sequel.

Also, modeling zombie population growth is hard.
posted by SMPA at 9:39 AM on November 15, 2010

I had one of those "is this what it's all about?" moments last night while researching how many gallons the human body would be if converted to liquid.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:23 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I could have filled an entire page of AskMe with random questions so far -- how can i hack someone's e-mail in a believable way (i went with phishing), who owns Gianni Versace's old Lake Como villa (a famous Russian restauranteur called the "Blini Baron,") and the $64,000 question, if you had cracked cheap de-salination using nanotechnology and wanted to use it to gain untold power, how would you do it? (my current answer is use it to irrigate huge tracts of cheap land in the middle east, form your own country and go from there). I'm happy to hear ideas for that last one!

(Yes, i'm writing a romance novel. A sex fashion romance novel. With de-salination nanotechnology. And a little bit of Perl scripting.)

The hardest part so far has been writing hacker characters but refusing to do the literary equivalent of Movie OS.
posted by ukdanae at 11:18 AM on November 15, 2010

Don't get too bogged down in details.
posted by nomadicink at 11:27 AM on November 15, 2010

ukdanae: Cheap desalinization = finally, a chance to own Australia. Also, it would make high-seas piracy far more sustainable.

(I hope you're using the NaNo Plot Realism forum for your questions!)
posted by SMPA at 4:31 PM on November 15, 2010

(I hope you're using the NaNo Plot Realism forum for your questions!)

Oh my god i had no idea that such a thing existed! Awesome!

(p.s. I get you with Australia, but piracy?)
posted by ukdanae at 12:13 AM on November 16, 2010

With cheap desalinization you can stay out on the ocean indefinitely. You don't have to go back to Somalia/wherever to get food and drinking water.
posted by SMPA at 10:50 AM on November 16, 2010

oooooh, duh, thank you! (hurries away to scribble)
posted by ukdanae at 1:01 PM on November 16, 2010

Unfortunately, I crapped out this year. Graduate school beat my want to accomplish this. Oh well.

I may attempt it in a non-sanctioned month. November is just always awful with deadlines. I'll at least feel accomplished, and maybe it'll give me a better idea on how to face it next November.

Good luck to everyone still in the fight.
posted by SNWidget at 8:58 AM on November 17, 2010

I'm out. I realized I'm much too sleep-deprived this year for lots of things, and rather than beat myself up, I'm just going to admit defeat until I can get more sleep again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:26 PM on November 17, 2010

Yeah, grad school > NaNo here too. That, combined with total lack of enthusiasm for my plot which was going nowhere.
posted by Gordafarin at 12:43 AM on November 18, 2010

30k words, still in it and should finish by the 29th.

It does not make a lot of sense, but that wasn't the point, was it?
posted by nomadicink at 2:53 AM on November 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Closing in on 70k, here! The sequel has, in addition to zombies, pirates, ninjas, and a Cosmonaut. My sister is sure I'll get a robot in there too, but so far I haven't been inspired with a nifty robot idea.

I still have to figure out where the trebuchet comes in.

Go! Go! Go! Go!
posted by SMPA at 8:40 PM on November 19, 2010

I have a Martian, but it's just a human who lives on Mars.

But the trip out to Saturn is taking longer than I thought. Fucking sub light engines.
posted by nomadicink at 4:50 AM on November 20, 2010

Only at 20K here. Don't know if I'll get to 50K. I am writing a mystery/thriller type thing and trying to write it (this draft) in dialogue only, having recently realized I can't write dialogue to save my life. At this point I am more concerned with that aspect than with hitting the word count on the 30th. This exercise does have me back in the habit of writing every day, which is very positive.

I feel as if I'm going to like this story. There's an agoraphobic cake decorator, a blind alcoholic wine buyer, an airline pilot, and a young registered sex offender who turns up dead. And a nosy neighbor and possibly a drug/money-laundering conspiracy.
posted by BibiRose at 10:44 AM on November 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

No ninjas? :-(
posted by nomadicink at 6:38 AM on November 21, 2010

Definitely needs more ninja.
posted by SNWidget at 9:43 AM on November 21, 2010

Man, i want to read everyone's books!

I just wrote a sex scene that was so dirty, I immediately switched off sharing so none of my friends could read it. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
posted by ukdanae at 1:06 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

It might get you more friends.
posted by nomadicink at 1:11 PM on November 21, 2010

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