NaNoWriMo 2011! October 29, 2011 12:12 PM   Subscribe

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is starting in just two days. Are you participating in the blitz for 50,000 words of literary genius (or something)?

Writing Buddies have gone live, and I'd like to add a few mefites to my list. I'm literanerd if anyone would like to add me.
posted by litnerd to MetaFilter-Related at 12:12 PM (136 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

omg I'm gonna try (again!)
posted by supermedusa at 12:31 PM on October 29, 2011

Yep, this is year 8 for me; this time I'm trying a sort of epistolary experimental thing. Weird not to be known primarily by user number anymore. I'm lloannna.
posted by SMPA at 12:32 PM on October 29, 2011

I wont be officially joining because I am 'cheating' and working on an existing project. adding 175 pages to that project would be incredible!
posted by supermedusa at 12:33 PM on October 29, 2011

After ten years of following the rules, I am a Nanowrimo rebel this year. I've got the same ID there.
posted by maurice at 12:44 PM on October 29, 2011

I've done it twice before but never actually finished... maybe this year will be my year! On the other hand I still have no real idea of what I'm going to write. Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy.

(greyskulljones over there, if you want to add me.)
posted by palomar at 12:49 PM on October 29, 2011

Heh. I'm all about the ArtWWritingHalfHour at all too infrequent intervals these days, but damn do I cram a lot into them.
posted by Artw at 12:50 PM on October 29, 2011

I'm planning on writing 5 books in 2012. This is 5 more books that I wrote in 2011. Sometimes I think I bite off too much and have unrealistic expectations, but there you have it.

Actually, I've written the content for most of them, and one I will have co-writing credits on one. I'm hoping to con the other guy into doing most of the work on that.

My point is that this would be more to do and I don't see it happening.

I'm still going to go look over the rules. I have an idea and might just use this to jump start that.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:05 PM on October 29, 2011

Tried twice, never finished, marinated in self-loathing, fuck that, playing Skyrim instead.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:12 PM on October 29, 2011 [7 favorites]

I got a solid start on the current project last year, but... it's still the current project. I may try to do a daily writing thing on it this year though.

I like the idea of NaNo, but a) 50k words is not a novel in any genre I've attempted so far and b) my brain needs more downtime. So I am very very unserious about it, although it usually does give me a swift kick in the ass, which I always need.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:17 PM on October 29, 2011

50k squeaks into the Nebula novel category.
posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on October 29, 2011

I don't think the point is to get a fully polish publishable novel in a month, but rather to develop the habit of keeping your ass in seat writing. Nothing is stopping you from adding another 50k words in December and editing the shit out of it in January.

I'm cjorgensen over there. I have an idea that's been on my burner for a while now. I may try that. I need to go read the rules.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:27 PM on October 29, 2011

I also suspect that in December the market gets flooded by absolutly awful first time novels.
posted by Artw at 1:30 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm totally missing how to add people.

Also, protip: Don't send your novel out in December. It'll compete with holiday mail and arrive at a time with minimal staffing.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:38 PM on October 29, 2011

There's an "add buddy" link on the top right corner of user profiles.
posted by litnerd at 1:43 PM on October 29, 2011

I'm going to try to do it for the first time this year. It's great to see how many people have done NaNo multiple times.
posted by marimeko at 1:47 PM on October 29, 2011

I've made a run at this twice and failed. One year I got a lot of notes on a book I would love to do and I did a lot of research on trepanning. In short I had fun, but got less writing done.

I think the "add buddy" option is off for me. Checking the FAQ they do this during high server volume times. Unless someone wants to take a screen shot of where I am supposed to be seeing that. I'm convinced it's not currently there.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:58 PM on October 29, 2011

brandongoddamnblatcher wants to be your buddy. Bring weapons (no plasma) and licorice and together we'll beat the big bad.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:03 PM on October 29, 2011

I can't do it.

I realised about six years ago that the brilliant novel I have inside me wants to stay there. It's a lazy sod, just like me.
posted by Decani at 2:07 PM on October 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

Made it to 18,000 words in 2009, "won" last year. Used to live within walking distance of the Office of Lights and Letters. Set to go again. My family knows November is a little different. Have at it! Gotta love the 1666.7 word per day quota, no? And my name is always the same :).
posted by emhutchinson at 2:10 PM on October 29, 2011

Screenshot of the location of the buddy link...hope this helps.
posted by litnerd at 2:17 PM on October 29, 2011

I graduated from college last December, so this is the first time since age 7 or so that I haven't had final exams in November. So I think I'll give it a go. I will be writing a historical romance novel- not because I ever actually read romance novels, but because, for a first timer, it seems like an easier target.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:23 PM on October 29, 2011

Probably gonna try it.
posted by desjardins at 2:26 PM on October 29, 2011

I'm gonna do what I did last year: set a 1000-word-a-day word goal, and finish all the half-done short stories I've got lying around. One a week, if I can manage it. I've gotten all of last year's batch published but one, and two of those were at pro rate!
posted by nonasuch at 2:35 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

One day I will do this. but this year I've discovered glitch instead.
posted by shelleycat at 2:42 PM on October 29, 2011

That's pretty weird. Some people have that buddy link, some don't, so unless there's a user pref or something I think it's not been rolled out to the entire site.

shelleycat, glitch is this month's minecraft. You kids will be onto something else by the end of November. Also, get out of here with those distractions and procrastinations!
posted by cjorgensen at 2:44 PM on October 29, 2011

I'm in this year, as usual. I am Lyn Never over there as well.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:53 PM on October 29, 2011

Can't do it this year. I have a hard enough time finishing when I have nothing planned in November and this year we're taking a four-day mini vacation.

But I'll be cheering everyone along from the sidelines by tossing virtual chocolate covered espresso beans!
posted by ladygypsy at 2:58 PM on October 29, 2011

I just finished my book so the answer is bourbon and finally seeing friends again and sleeping like a normal person.
posted by The Whelk at 3:39 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I desperately need a new project to distract me from my old project so I'm playing this year, but likely not winning. Username is the same there as here.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:44 PM on October 29, 2011

After flunking out this many times, I may have finally internalized the idea that what I write doesn't have to be any good whatsoever. Or maybe I no longer give a shit. It's a fine line.

So, yep. I guess so.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:51 PM on October 29, 2011

I am in this year! I'm adding all mefi folks so I can weep openly at how your count is greater than mine. name's flannelore on Nano.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 3:54 PM on October 29, 2011

Let's do this.
posted by spec80 at 3:56 PM on October 29, 2011


Ain't even going to try. It's a nice idea, but my experience with it has been soul-killing and self-loathing inducing and I won't want to subject myself to it again.

Great on all you who find it motivating. I found it far too similar to doing Presbyterian catechism all over again, only with more severe consequences than anything Calvin could have dreamed up.
posted by hippybear at 4:22 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

What happens when you finish is that you have a novel on your hands.

Then you can start collecting the rejection slips.

I have failed to finish (or, often, start), every year since my first go in 2003, when I somehow managed it. Oh go on then. Planning to try again this year though, though I may have already jinxed it by just saying that.
posted by motty at 4:32 PM on October 29, 2011

I'm proud of myself for finishing last year, if only to prove that I have the discipline to write a novel-length work. I wrote a rather bizarre Murakami-esque novel about a hipster cult, the legal unemployment crisis and hallucinogen-induced portals to other worlds. It's probably even salveagable after some heavy editing work, but I'd rather start on something fresh. I'm pretty busy this year but I'll still give it a shot!
posted by naju at 4:40 PM on October 29, 2011

I am trying to sign up but the server over there keeps crapping out. I bet a bazillion other people have the same idea RIGHT NOW.
posted by fancyoats at 5:08 PM on October 29, 2011

What happens when you finish?

You blow up.
posted by Trurl at 5:45 PM on October 29, 2011

I wish this was in May when I never have anything going on.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:12 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

restless_nomad: I like the idea of NaNo, but a) 50k words is not a novel in any genre I've attempted so far and b) my brain needs more downtime.

My first novel was about 50k words in first draft and 43k by the time it was published. The novel I'm working on right now will probably hit around 55k, if I haven't got my planning off by too much. 50k is fine novel length. Of course, it took me about 3 years to write a first draft, and another year of editing before it was published.

I'd love to be able to write 1666.7 words in a day, but if I manage to write 300 it's a banner day for me. I've written over 1000 words of fiction in one day exactly once, and then I had to take a break for five months to recover.

A few people have said to me that to get that flow going I should shut off my inner editor and just write. My problem is that it's my inner editor who writes.
posted by Kattullus at 6:27 PM on October 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

Yes, I'm in. I thought I wasn't going to this year, but now I feel really excited about it. This is me.
posted by tomboko at 6:32 PM on October 29, 2011

Kattullus, get your inner editor drunk. That worked for me for decades. My inner editor needed a new liver though.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:35 PM on October 29, 2011

Holy random! I was watching this Mitchell and Webb sketch and some company has appended a little ad on the back (helly sketchy where you been). It was called We Write for you and it's a "novel writing service." Y'know, if you have an idea you want to get on paper. Man, the future just keeps looking more and more like a Robert Sheckley story. Or a Philip K. Dick story. Or a Stephen King story.

I have a feeling that one day 4chan or Something Awful will find this place and WWfy will rue the day that they agreed to write up other people's ideas.
posted by Kattullus at 6:36 PM on October 29, 2011

cjorgensen: Kattullus, get your inner editor drunk.

My inner editor can't hold his liquor. Even falling down drunk I can tell that what I write inebriated is fetid piffle.
posted by Kattullus at 6:38 PM on October 29, 2011

I've =just= got my c-pap machine, and I've got a new scrip for Wellbutrin. Sustained energy at an even output may put me in the running this year.

(Yes, ADD and chronic depression combined with chronic insomnia and sleep apnea. Family and friends take the news with a dawning light of comprehension, "Ahhh - I get it!")
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:50 PM on October 29, 2011

My last effort became hugely autobiographical. I'm going to try again thanks to writing expeditions wrought out of trips on the underground. I wish there was a NaNonFiWriMo.
posted by parmanparman at 6:50 PM on October 29, 2011

The site's down for me right now, but I'm here. Is there an off-MeFi mailing list where we can give each other pep talks, and/or are there any people in Portland who'd like to do write-ins?
posted by lhall at 7:02 PM on October 29, 2011

Totally stupid question, but shouldn't your previous attempts be somewhere on the site? Especially if you managed to finish?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:05 PM on October 29, 2011

I'm pretty sure they don't archive the work at all, just verify the length, so I don't think so. They even say the excerpts get deleted eventually.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:16 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

That's fine, but shouldn't be SOMETHING that notes you've actually finished a previous year? Surely they don't toss that way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:25 PM on October 29, 2011

I need November to be "National Study Your Ass Off and Nail the GRE Month". Any ideas on how I can covert NaNoWriMo to my purposes? Maybe I should aim for 50,000 word study notes written or something.
posted by MultiFaceted at 9:14 PM on October 29, 2011

I had started this once before, and I have 2/3 of a big story in my head (but my past physical notes are gone), but as long as I feel too crappy to do much of anything else (and almost all the things I've finished in the last few years had eternal deadlines attached to them, so it's unlikely I'd do anything else productive in the next month). I am in.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:38 PM on October 29, 2011

The only way to mark that you've finished in a previous year is to change your author profile to state that. Every year you have to go in and add last year - but once you've got a profile, the profile stays put, so when I went in this year it has years 2004 through 2009 marked as participated and won. I had to add 2010 myself. It's pretty basic in what it keeps track of - you have to manually update your age, too. Brandon Blatcher, it shows me that you participated in three years and won once - you have already done literally every single thing the site structure allows in terms of marking your performance in a previous year.

lhall: There isn't one, but I would love to participate if someone else made one. I have gone ahead and made a MetaFilter post in the Writing Groups forum because it seemed weird to say "someone should totally make a MetaFilter post in the Writing Groups forum" and not take the ten seconds to just do it myself.

Some of you all have said "my name is [textstring]" and the text string you gave isn't working. You can tell that this is true (or that something else went wrong) if I am not your buddy, as I have added everyone I could. It's a little hard for me to note who I didn't grab, because I now have like forty buddies (they got to me in the import of old buddies and it's all craziness now.)


(Thank you for pumping me up so late at night, college football craziness. Because I really needed that.)
posted by SMPA at 10:28 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm debating with myself. I've won a couple of times, but it's draining. I feel like a more realistic project might be more productive in the long run. On the other hand, I sort of want to write a Willian-Burroughs-esque giant monster novel....
posted by paulg at 10:54 PM on October 29, 2011

I'm in. I'm quite sure I'm actually in this year. I did and completed it in 2008 yet and have made two failed attempts to start since. So this year I'm in and I'm pretty2.
posted by prettypretty at 11:59 PM on October 29, 2011

I'm making it 'ApathyGirls's Overdue English Paper Writing Month'.

...Except they have to be in and graded by the 11th.
I am so screwed.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:40 AM on October 30, 2011

Just signed on a couple of days ago, and got a novel idea last night, yay! So vague that it doesn't even have a genre yet. I'm tavegyl there too.
posted by tavegyl at 1:43 AM on October 30, 2011

My gosh, I just realized it's been 10 years since I did it. Or did it and finished, anyway -- I may have signed up and not done anything once or twice since then. Anyway, I've got a 10-year-old unedited novel on my bookshelf -- maybe I should really sign up for NaNoEditMo.
posted by JanetLand at 5:15 AM on October 30, 2011

I've =just= got my c-pap machine

I've known at least a half-dozen guys who have gotten c-paps and have discovered life is a thing of wonder and joy instead of a dreary slog as a result. I hope it works out the same for you, Slap*Happy. You might not even need the wellbutrin after a while!
posted by hippybear at 7:12 AM on October 30, 2011

cpaps are the instrument of the devil. I fucking hate the thing with the heat of a thousand suns.

Anyway, if you use open-source software to write, what do you use? If I have the urge to write while I'm out and about with my iphone, what's a good app?
posted by desjardins at 7:34 AM on October 30, 2011

Can we come up with a drawings to words exchange rate? I need to write some but draw more. I am Rachums over there too. I will probably work on short things and related drawings so not expecting to win this year.
posted by rachums at 7:35 AM on October 30, 2011

Thinking good thoughts for you, Slap*Happy.

desjardins, I don't know about anything for the iphone but I recently found JDarkroom which is a free full-screen text editor which is just perfect for easily-distracted people such as myself. Plus it makes me feel like I'm back in the 80s, which is what I need for this novel attempt!
posted by Wuggie Norple at 7:40 AM on October 30, 2011

After signing up and not finishing many times, I wasn't sure if I should participate.

Then, this week, I received many email reminders about a weekend-long 'short screenplay writing' contest in which I had participated in the past and found enjoyable (because of the short deadline and it assigning you a genre as well as a location and object you must incorporate) but in which I had no interest in paying to participate again (not because I ever considered myself enough of a professional writer that I shouldn't pay for the honor of writing -- though this is part of it -- but because the promised "judge's feedback" for this particular contest sucked very, very hard); so Friday at midnight (when the contest started), I decided to randomly assign myself a number for this contest without officially participating in it, so without paying, I would still have a category which would assign me a 'genre/location/object' for my script.

And even without it being 'official', 24 hours later, I've almost finished it.

So here's where I say that I am officially not signing up, not participating in NaNoWriMo and I will not have a novel completed by the end of the month.

Actually, it's too late for that as I've already signed up earlier this week. I'm LogopolisMike over there (and almost everywhere else but here) -- I already have an idea for the type of novel that seems, to me, perfect for this kind of contest -- even if I'm considering writing YA -- though probably not marketable YA -- which is something I've never done before. I'm hoping that the deadline will mean I'll just pound it out (since 'marketable' isn't usually my goal anyway) before my inner editor keeps questioning decisions and disabling me from finishing anything.

Good luck to everyone.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:22 AM on October 30, 2011

I'm excited, guys. I've got things in my mind.
posted by spec80 at 8:26 AM on October 30, 2011

Hells yeah, I'm in. Last year, I made it to 2000 words. Up and beyond!

I have to admit, I already have less fear about writing, so now, it'll be more about momentum.
posted by SNWidget at 8:42 AM on October 30, 2011

Oh, and I'm "letoofdune" on there.
posted by SNWidget at 8:45 AM on October 30, 2011

Sounds cool. I did the book in a box "No Plot? No Problem" thing a couple years ago; it'll be neat to do another. I'm Mooski (go figure). Hope everyone does better than they hope, and twice as good as they expect.
posted by Mooski at 9:07 AM on October 30, 2011

I think I'm doing it. Maybe. I'll have to figure out soon, though. :)
Here I am.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:09 AM on October 30, 2011

I'm doing it, and I am Meredith512. Hope to see you there!
posted by xenophile at 9:24 AM on October 30, 2011

Thanks to this thread, I just signed up as gauche. I've been kicking around an idea for the past couple of months. Maybe this will be just the motivation I need.

Also starting a job (hopefully) next week, so this will take a little discipline.
posted by gauche at 9:30 AM on October 30, 2011

I'm in, same username over there.

There's a ton of helpful folks and resources over in the forums and elsewhere on the NaNoWriMo site, but if anyone's scrounging for free (as in beer) software with which to write their novel, yWriter is pretty good. It's for Windows, but I got it to work on Xubuntu last year pretty easily using the instructions yWriter's author created.

Good luck, everyone.
posted by cog_nate at 10:49 AM on October 30, 2011

I started and finished my first two years and haven't had anywhere near that much success since then. Of course, back then I also had a job with a ton of free time and no oversight, so it was a lot easier.

I have no illusions that I will finish this year but I would like to at least try.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:18 AM on October 30, 2011

I don't know if the site is being funky again but somehow I couldn't find Meredith512 and the link for "lehall" wasn't working for me...
posted by Wuggie Norple at 11:22 AM on October 30, 2011

Yeah, ok, registering and visiting the site, the excitement is starting to kick in again.

Not the ideas, of course, just the excitement.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:39 AM on October 30, 2011

I am in the process of trying to learn Spanish. I think I will attempt to write a novel in Spanish. Which should be interesting, as I have never attempted to write one in English.

el libro no será bueno.
posted by davejay at 5:13 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

There's always a little voice in my head around this time telling me that I should try this one year but I'm going to have to participate in Octothorpe Doesn't Get Fired Month instead this year.
posted by octothorpe at 6:03 PM on October 30, 2011

I signed up as maisytoo.
posted by sweetkid at 7:00 PM on October 30, 2011

I'm doing it. But just typing that made me tense up.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:29 PM on October 30, 2011

Haha. I guess I'm in again. I felt like such a failure last year, when I didn't complete it (I got to about 10,000 words) but this year I am telling myself I will dedicate more time.

I'm l_i_s_a over on NaNoWriMo (that's lisa with underscores) and I would love to talk to and encourage and be encouraged by Mefites!
posted by librarylis at 9:04 PM on October 30, 2011

I'm trying it this year....Planning a YA deal with a friend of mine.

I'm girlwithcurious over there. Hopefully I get further than the last time!!!
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 10:55 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm Penelope Clearwater over there. I've had that account for two years, and have added a grand total of zero words. This year, I'm totally cheating and using this as a way to kickstart my thesis, which really should be farther along than it is. I'm approaching a do or die situation, so I'm hoping to turn NaNoWriMo into a short-to-medium term lifestyle. Be my buddy?
posted by Eumachia L F at 2:08 AM on October 31, 2011

Alright, I'm cautiously optimistic about this. Completed NaNo twice in the past, but this will be the first year I attempt with a child in the house. A toddler who still doesn't sleep through the night. This should be interesting. I'm wildflowersoul on there.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 5:57 AM on October 31, 2011

I'm SadieB at NaNo. Third year, haven't finished it yet, but I'm going for the brass ring this year!
posted by fiercekitten at 7:58 AM on October 31, 2011

You know, I've always wanted to do this, so I am signing up. I've had an idea for a novel for a lonnnnng time, but I get lost whenever I try to start. I panic at the thought of forming a real plot and circumstances and characters. Should I not even try this? Are there resources for mapping out a structure before you begin? I am at the synopsis box. I want to cry. Maybe I should check facebook instead...
posted by pazazygeek at 10:10 AM on October 31, 2011

Username: modernserf
Book title: "The Economist's Orgy"
posted by modernserf at 12:35 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm trying this, but given that I'm pregnant and go to bed way too early may be aiming for 25,000 words. Username's tealcardigan.
posted by ejaned8 at 1:48 PM on October 31, 2011

I tried to add this to the wiki as something we could add to our profiles, since the site has distinct profile pages, but failed to find it. Anyone else want to try?
posted by cjorgensen at 2:09 PM on October 31, 2011

If you scroll down the wiki a bit you'll see that the current position is "isn't it only active a few months out of the year?" I can't even remember when this was brought up first, but I think it was resurrected last year.
posted by SMPA at 2:31 PM on October 31, 2011

I'm in. Really hoping I can keep it down to 2 hours per day. Good luck everybody.
posted by okbye at 3:29 PM on October 31, 2011

I would really like to enter NaNoWriMo but as I need to finish my approximately 80,000 word trashy soft science fiction novel, it will only be in spirit. Godspeed my fellow hacks.
posted by dobie at 3:50 PM on October 31, 2011

Ah, now I see that writing buddies link. I'm bark.
posted by okbye at 4:40 PM on October 31, 2011

One page outline is done.

One page of characters and relationships done.

Central conflict has been identified.

The application Self Control (for Blocking Internet access) is installed.

Let's do this!

Now to sleep
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:09 PM on October 31, 2011 [4 favorites]

I thought about hitting the close my account button, but think I will just scale back my participation here. I have a lot of research I could have done to prepare for this if I'd actually decided to do it before a couple of days ago.

I'm making mine into a kickstarter project, and moving an idea I had for 2012 into November. The plan now is to write the whole thing in a month. Take December to edit, then put it together into something I can sell off my website or the iBookstore (or wherever).

We'll see. That's a lot of words.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:36 PM on October 31, 2011

Just signed up. Been thinking about a story for the last year or so and have about the first third written in my head. Hopefully this will be the incentive to get it down on paper.
posted by the_artificer at 8:51 PM on October 31, 2011

Wrote 1,752 words and am now... off to bed. Yay NaNoWriMo!
posted by SMPA at 9:59 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Got started at the Melbourne write-in this arvo with 3,050 words... hope (hopefully? please?) to keep up the momentum over the next few days and weeks...

(this is exciting :))
posted by prettypretty at 11:30 PM on October 31, 2011

Oh crap, it's today. I forgot already. I suppose it will have to wait until after work.
posted by desjardins at 5:50 AM on November 1, 2011

2,074 goddamn words.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:52 PM on November 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

Also, the Mac Application Self Control is great for locking you out of the internet for a pre-determined length of time. It has fine grained control so you can lock out Metafilter but not Wikipedia pages, but also specific Facebook pages. Can block email servers too, same deal.

For writing, it's WriteRoom on the Mac (and iDevices)and Notepad++ on the PC. Linux? I don't know, I didn't go in a Burger King.

The file is saved a plain text document to force me to use words, not italics or bold, to indicate voice or inflection. The file is saved on Dropbox, so I can access it from anywhere.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:20 PM on November 1, 2011

So I made an outline, planned out the first few "major" events ahead of time, aaand 712 words later and I've written them all out already. D'oh.
posted by Autumn at 7:27 PM on November 1, 2011

For writing, it's WriteRoom on the Mac (and iDevices)and Notepad++ on the PC. Linux? I don't know, I didn't go in a Burger King.

The Scrivener beta is currently free for Windows and Linux, that's what I've been using.
posted by the_artificer at 8:08 PM on November 1, 2011

I'm experimenting with Evernote, since Google Docs doesn't work offline anymore and they messed with the UI.

Less is more, people. Google of all people should know that.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:21 PM on November 1, 2011

Welp, after being registered on NaNoWriMo for two years with bupkis to show I'm finally buckling down to tackle this thing! 2250 words and counting. I have no outline but what is in my head. My plot seed is a one-liner thing I wrote down on a notepad when I was bored in a work meeting. I have no idea where I'm going with it but I'm having a blast making shit up as I go. Haven't been able to fully turn off my inner editor but listening to Arvo Pärt while writing helps a lot.

I'm jnrussell over there if anyone is interested.

I'm on a Mac and am using Ulysses, which I love so hard (also has "console mode" for 1980s amber-on-black funtimes). Scrivener is very similar and I like that as well, but Ulysses' layout and feature set just tickle the right part of my brain.
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:03 PM on November 1, 2011

For software, I'm using Scrivener again because it's familiar, but I'm also trying out Liquid Story Binder XE - I like some of the features, but I may not end up getting much use out of it until I'm under less pressure to produce and can play around a bit more. The same company has an intriguing alternative, though, called Momentum Writer, which is a writing program that permits no editing, including no backspace! Kind of reminiscent of those threads on "cheating" on the NNWM forums, where one of the suggestions is to never delete anything; just mark it for editing later. Could be annoying. Could be useful. Probably both.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:12 AM on November 2, 2011

I'm using Scrivner for the first time--I used WriteRoom last year. It's taking some getting used to, and the thing that's frustrating me the most right now is that I can't get a total word count in the footer. It's only counting the scene I'm working on at the moment. Any way to change that?
posted by litnerd at 11:15 AM on November 2, 2011

litnerd: I don't have Scrivener up and running at the moment, but if you go into "Scrivening" mode (leftmost of three buttons up top) it should put all your disparate pieces together into one document. I'm guessing your word count should then reflect that, though I could be wrong.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:21 AM on November 2, 2011

4,810 words so far, and not nearly as worried about being able to do this epistolary thing as I had been yesterday. It's still quite a bit more challenging than any of the previous years. I mean, it's no epic poetry, but, well, yeah.

I see some MeFites are doing very, very well, by the way.
posted by SMPA at 6:22 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

5400 words, feeling pretty good about that. This is the most words I have written for one cohesive piece of fiction ever. My brain hurts.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:41 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Ok, I'm attempting this year again. A little late, so I'll have to play catch up.

This is me!
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:54 PM on November 2, 2011

This is me. I'm having fun, but I dread the editing process!
posted by Autumn at 12:03 AM on November 3, 2011

I'm doing it this year, for the first time! I'm a bit nervous and a bit behind, but I'm having a ball. my Nanoing November is cut short too.
posted by titanium_geek at 12:08 AM on November 3, 2011

Can I apply my mefi comments towards my word count?
posted by desjardins at 7:36 AM on November 3, 2011

I'm doing poorly, which is to say, almost not at all. I was sending novel revisions back and forth to my agent until about 11 pm on the night of the 31st though so . . . . brain dead. It's unlikely. I probably need a week or two off (or a lifetime, now that i'm on submission).

Cheering you all on, though!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:02 AM on November 3, 2011

Can I apply my mefi comments towards my word count?

Yes, but only the ones made on Tues, Thurs and Saturday, between 12 and 4am.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:18 AM on November 3, 2011

So this is me?

Not sure how to add...buddies so if ya'll could just, do that, is there a Meta group or anything?

Also how do I update word count?
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 AM on November 3, 2011

The Whelk, there's a field for your wordcount on the top of the page--just type in your number and click "update word count".
posted by litnerd at 9:51 AM on November 3, 2011

but you could just put in any number you wanted? There's no checking for word count?

posted by The Whelk at 10:11 AM on November 3, 2011

You "verify" your word count at the end of the month through a formal process. Until then, it's kind of on an honor system basis.
posted by litnerd at 10:15 AM on November 3, 2011

Last year, you hand up upload your story for each word count update. I guess that was too server intense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:26 AM on November 3, 2011

hand up = had to. Don't ask
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:30 AM on November 3, 2011

You can always, always just type in a number. The only time you "have" to upload something is sometime between the 22nd (or thereabouts) and the 30th, and that's how you'll get the magic purple bar of awesome winningness. After you have the purple bar, you can go back to typing in numbers, and you will retain the purple bar.

However, if you'd like to, you can upload your novel and get the official word count (a very good idea if you're using OpenOffice, which counts quotation marks and apostrophes in a funny way) at any time, at least according to the mods. Go to "Edit Novel Info" and click on the little "I am ready to validate my novel" link. This will open up a box for you to paste your novel. I haven't bothered actually doing it myself because I am in constant fear of being the person who crashes the site with one too many requests.
posted by SMPA at 1:00 PM on November 3, 2011

Hey, that's works! Thanks SMPA. And the site didn't cra-
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:21 PM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

As an FYI for anyone who tries to click on a username (or copy & paste it) and it doesn't seem to work, the reason is that the person hasn't entered any information in their profile. Until you have something (an age, or a location, or anything at all) in that area, the system thinks the person is "inactive" and it won't let you see them.

(In other words, folks who haven't done much on the NaNoWriMo site: enter something in your profile if you want buddies.)
posted by SMPA at 8:34 PM on November 4, 2011

The wife took the kids to her parents for the day, and now I'm at 15,359. Woo-hoo! Yay for Mrs. Doleful Creature! I owe her big time.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:56 PM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Huh, that's weird. The validator counts me at 15,368 (vs. the 15,359 Ulysses is reporting), and I even compiled the novel without chapter headings to make sure it didn't count higher than mine, but it still did. Weird. Checked it in a few different other places that do word counts (a simple text editor, Microsoft Word, etc), and they all agree with Nano's validator.

Seems like Ulysses is shortchanging me by 9 whole words! What shenanigans!
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:06 PM on November 5, 2011

Oof. At 4130 right now, I'm a little bit behind. On the other hand, I have the entire week of Thanksgiving off* and literally nothing to fill that time but writing. Maybe I'll be doing the breakneck rush at the end, but that's kind of how I roll anyway. :)

*I only have the time off due to a giant 1500-person office move happening that week... which I am helping to coordinate now, hence my being behind. Weep for me. Also send booze if you happen to have any lying around, that would be kickass.

But by god, this year, I'm going to fucking FINISH. If I don't, I will cheerfully agree to let every last one of my writing buddies come kick me square in the cooter.
posted by palomar at 3:05 PM on November 6, 2011

Just to let everyone know, the widgets are now up, so in all the parts of the internet where you can use the IMG tag, you can show off your progress (or lack thereof) to all the world.
posted by SMPA at 7:09 PM on November 9, 2011

I ended up getting a few thousand words in over the first couple of days and then ended up decided that I wasn't feeling the love and decided to punt. HOPEFULLY THE REST OF YOU CAN PICK UP MY SLACK AND FINISH!
posted by rmd1023 at 12:05 PM on November 10, 2011

In true procrastinator fashion I'm going to do all 50,000 words on November 30th. That's only 2083 words an hour, or 34 words a minute. I can type 90 wpm, so no problemo!
posted by desjardins at 12:13 PM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]

Well, this weekend will see a well-deserved Skyrim break. I'm sure it's not so good that I would want to put any more time into it come Monday.

*recalls that last November it was the Minecraft Halloween update. It's always something.*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:02 PM on November 10, 2011

One of our local MLs is on track to break her goal of 1,000,000 words in 30 days. You can do it (50,000 that is).
posted by okbye at 5:12 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well I'm two days behind and won't have a chance to really get more words under my belt until Sunday :( I think I'll need to sleep in Sunday to prepare :)
posted by prettypretty at 8:38 PM on November 10, 2011

I'm on the downhill side of 50K, but it's starting to feel slow-go. I think my current project will be done in less than a week -- I may have to start drafting luchador origin stories after that to hit the magic number.
posted by cog_nate at 12:33 PM on November 15, 2011

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, November 25! Anyone else totally and completely sick of their writing and can't wait until Dec 1?

(major yay to bark whose advice on reaching 50k helped me through a 5k slog today.)
posted by Wuggie Norple at 2:36 PM on November 25, 2011

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, November 25! Anyone else totally and completely sick of their writing and can't wait until Dec 1?

Me. I DON'T WANT TO WRITE ANYMORE. But I just broke 44,000 words, and goddammit I'm going to do it this year if it kills me.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:39 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

My novel exploded. I made it almost to the 10k mark, and then life hit me.

God, November is such an epically awful month of this. Oh well, this is further than I've ever made it, so I'll give myself a little credit, even if I didn't win this year.
posted by SNWidget at 4:38 PM on November 27, 2011

Caillien still has 65,000 words to go (to hit 1 million words).
posted by okbye at 7:24 AM on November 28, 2011

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