Stop! Nano time October 27, 2015 9:01 AM   Subscribe

It is almost November, which, as many Mefites will know, means its time for NanoWrimo!

For the uninitiated, NanoWrimo is the National Novel Writing Month, where the idea is to write 50,000 words of the first-draft of a novel in 30 days. You don't write your novel on the site, you can use the text editor of your choice, or something like Scrivener. You simply update your wordcount each day. (To hit 50K you need to write 1667 words per day.)

There are forums covering all sorts of things, including genre related, plot-doctoring, dirty tricks to 50K, and regional forums, as well as online and IRL write-ins.

You can be a planner or a pantser (someone who makes it up as they go along) or anything in between, it doesn't matter.

I have created a Metafilter wrimos group in the groups and clubs sub-forum.

I have also posted some inspirational quotes culled from previous Nanos in the n00bs forum.

NanoWrimo previously on Metatalk.

I am not affiliated with Nano, I am just a participant. Good Luck to anyone who takes part.
posted by marienbad to MetaFilter-Related at 9:01 AM (111 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

I just wanted to add that the Nano community is overwhelmingly supportive and encouraging, and is totally welcoming of all people, so POC/LGBTQIA/people with disabilities will find it a safe space. Also, the forums are heavily moderated, and there is a flagging system similar to Mefi's.
posted by marienbad at 9:20 AM on October 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've had so many false starts at this that I'm afraid to commit again. It's also crazy busy at work. And yet I still have that story idea rattling around in my brain.
posted by desjardins at 9:24 AM on October 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

If there are any academics on here that would like to join me in AcWriMo, that would be super awesome. You can memail me.
posted by correcaminos at 9:44 AM on October 27, 2015 [6 favorites]

I haven't done it for a few years but I think I'm going to do it again this year, if I can come up with a concept in the next four days. I'm a former ML and it's also worth noting that local groups can be very helpful and useful, but they can also vary a lot--the last time I went to the one where I am now, the write-ins were more talky than writing, and that wasn't very useful to me. But everybody's mileage varies, and some people I'm sure get recharged from that to go home and do their writing instead.
posted by Sequence at 9:45 AM on October 27, 2015

What, no link to the dirty tricks to 50k?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:21 AM on October 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

November is the worst month for this.

I'm in this year unofficially. I may make it official.

I have such a good idea this year.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:30 AM on October 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

I am in! My name on the NaNo site is also skycrashesdown, happy to follow any other MeFites!
posted by skycrashesdown at 10:43 AM on October 27, 2015

So when I'm done my book I then post it to FanFare right?
posted by ODiV at 10:55 AM on October 27, 2015 [9 favorites]

Wait so this is a competition to fit 50,000 words on a molecular carbon lattice?
posted by atoxyl at 11:45 AM on October 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

Oh wow this really snuck up on me! This will be my fourth (!) year and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm hot in the opening third of a first draft so I think I'll use this time to fill out the rest (figuring it would end around 75-90K).

And maybe after eight or so novels this will be the one I feel like I can try and get published!
posted by Tevin at 11:52 AM on October 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I mentioned to my friend who did this last year that I might do it with her. This year she is forcing me. It's going to be horrible, but yes, I guess I'm in too.
posted by Errant at 11:54 AM on October 27, 2015

I don't even have the energy for 1000 words of Yuletide this year but I wish you all luck!
posted by chaiminda at 12:05 PM on October 27, 2015

I'm doing it, which means writing 2000 words on November 1st, then never again.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:19 PM on October 27, 2015 [19 favorites]

posted by scruss at 12:36 PM on October 27, 2015

I signed up but I'm kind of cheating because I'm using it to FINISH my first draft - I'm already 35k in but have 50k left to write and I'm desperate to get this off my desk. Aaaaaanyway I'm glitterdammerung over there, if anyone wants to be friends with a dirty dirty cheater.

(I regret nothing, I have a deadline, deadlines make me bonkers and I'll do anything to meet them)
posted by angeline at 12:46 PM on October 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

btw I'm sarasamsara there.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:46 PM on October 27, 2015

Ignignokt_ also mentioned that there is NaNoGenMo, where you algorithmically generate a novel ("novel") in November.
posted by grobstein at 3:45 PM on October 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


It was a close shave, but General Protagonist kept a stiff upper lip. Then things really started to get hairy...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:15 PM on October 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Failure is good for me. I'm in. Literaryhero there as well.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:11 PM on October 27, 2015

If writing a novel is anything like agonizing over comments on this site, I am probably willing to devote way more time than is necessary to this project.
posted by teponaztli at 8:27 PM on October 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

Ugh, I can't decide. Do I actually need yet another first quarter or a third of a novel that I will never, ever finish, cluttering up my computer? My account is mittens_the_ghost, just in case I do work up the nerve.
posted by mittens at 9:01 PM on October 27, 2015

I'm with tofu_crouton
posted by corb at 9:56 PM on October 27, 2015

A quote from my effort a few years back...

"Your characters are unbelievable and they all sound the same," she remarked, "Your plot is too incoherent to sustain actual holes. The tone is uneven and clumsy. You repeat the same phrases over and over and you use far too many adjectives. Nothing is ever described. The only thing about your manuscript that's consistent is incorrect spelling. Only the annoying mistakes stop it from being boring to the point of physical unreadability."

"All of that is true," I replied, "But none of it matters. Because it is nearly fifty thousand words long."

I still believe that is the true spirit of 'Wrimo. A wounded veteran salutes you - go forth and die, young warriors!
posted by Segundus at 4:26 AM on October 28, 2015 [9 favorites]

OK, I'm finally going to try this. I'm cheating a bit, as I've already got a couple thousand words written of my YA novel about veterinary magic, but I'm pretty sure I won't get 1667 words in every day, so I'll need all the help I can get.

Oh, I'm Dave Provost over there.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:25 AM on October 28, 2015

I am so glad that Rock Steady and tofu_crouton have mentioned who they are on Nano - I get buddied by people all the time and have no idea who they are or why they chose to buddy me, and no-one seems to msg me to tell me, they just click "add as buddy," and I sit there wondering who the heck they are.

So, those who are taking part, what are you writing? I am still undecided - which is not good with 4 days to go, although I did think about trying a time travel rom-com, despite never having written romance or time travel before. I found this in adopt a plot last year and copied it to my (unused) plots document:

Due to the mistakes of a time traveler, two soulmates are born in separate generations. Desperate to fix this mistake, another time traveler goes to the girl and sends her back in time to make the boy fall in love with her and fix the discrepancy in time. (I envisioned the girl being the "younger" one, though they are supposed to be the same age)


+The man is the girl's teacher (or in a different position of power over her, making it awkward to go back in time to do this)

+If this error in time Isn't fixed, something far worse will happen

+The man is in a relationship when she goes back in time...and has no intention of leaving his partner...

I was picturing this with a boy and a girl, but if you'd rather do this with LGBT characters, that's fine too! Whatever floats your boat.

and iamthewizard added:

What if the man was the president of the USA (or another equally influential leader) and she has to go back to his college years to make him fall in love with her?

So seeing as it is set in the USA, I have asked a question in reference desk about life and college life in the USA about anything I need to be aware of. This is the question, if anyone has any comments please either post here, msg me here or post on nano or msg me on nano. thanks.

Also, anyone who signs up - please join the mefi wrimos club over on the nano forums so we can support one another through November!
posted by marienbad at 6:37 AM on October 28, 2015

I like the idea of someone going back in time and told they are supposed to fall in love with a person, or else. How does the knowledge that you are "officially soulmates" affect the way you see that person, especially their flaws? Two weird ideas I have for you: 1. What if the well-known/influential person they have to go back in time to fall in love with was known for having a long, supportive relationship that this time traveller knows they will have to break up in order to "succeed"? 2. What if the person they have to go back in time to fall in love with was/is a real person, like Abe Lincoln, or Tony Blair? You'd have to do a bunch of research (or already be pretty familiar with a suitable historical figure), and it would be legally problematic, I guess, but maybe less so if it's a long-dead person? That would also make it a period piece, which adds more work. Just some thoughts!
posted by Rock Steady at 6:52 AM on October 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Here's my elevator pitch:
Amaranthine James is forced to spend most of her time on tour with her parents' aging but successful industrial rock band. Hijinks, shenanigans, and romance ensue as she deals with uncomfortable bus berths, making friends when you'll only see them once a year on that tour stop, and the embarrassment of knowing that your mother wears latex catsuits and your father voluntarily calls himself Pigboy.
Working title: The Peripatetic Diary of Amaranthine James.
posted by skycrashesdown at 6:56 AM on October 28, 2015 [15 favorites]

+10 for using the word peripatetic! One of many words I just love for no reason.
posted by marienbad at 8:52 AM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

F/F romance, second book in a Seattle based series that kicked off with a M/M romance. Lesbian cake decorator gets set up with a bisexual ballroom dancer, sparks fly! I'm having fun with it, but definitely need a month-long kick in the pants.
posted by angeline at 10:03 AM on October 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Maybe now's the time to try to type out that fanfiction I've had rattling around in my head for a while. I've got to get this writer's block out somehow.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:16 AM on October 28, 2015

As a little pre-nano pep talk, here is Director of Community Engagement at NaNoWriMo* Sarah Mackey talking about the importance of stories and the importance of giving yourself permission to create a thing, at NerdCon.

(*also a friend of mine)
posted by Lyn Never at 12:00 PM on October 28, 2015

veterinary magic

Please finish, this sounds amazing.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:05 PM on October 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm "naju", same as in town. Considering I'll be vacationing in India for the latter half of the month (and damned if I'll be writing then), this is practically doomed to fail, but I'll give it a go. If I can keep a pace of 3,000 words a day for a few weeks...

And - there's no synopsis I have in mind. Just some vague world-building and feelings. I'm going freeform, plotless, and prose-poetic. Should be interesting.
posted by naju at 3:34 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is the perfect opportunity to write a romance novel and start making big money.
posted by teponaztli at 5:44 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

OK, this is the year I'm finally gonna execute the stupid plan I've been daydreaming about for a while: I'm going to translate Flaubert's Madame Bovary into English, using only my long-dormant high school French and a French-English dictionary I found in the garbage last month (which confirmed that this is the year). I've never read the book in English - no spoilers, please.

Same username as here.
posted by moonmilk at 6:23 PM on October 28, 2015 [6 favorites]

...and I'll probably try to do nanogenmo too. Maybe in French this year!
posted by moonmilk at 6:31 PM on October 28, 2015

key characters: Gene Roddenberry, Timothy Leary (living together on a secret satellite, subtly influencing world events through what Leary refers to as "advanced strategic combat cyberdelics" ), Philip K. Dick (alive and well in Berkeley, having for unexplained and unquestioned reasons never aged past 40), Ronald Reagan (in the form of a skeleton imbued with dark magics, in control of several orbital ion cannons through a glowing ruby embedded in his right hand, possessed of the ability to raise the dead), Norton the 1st (somehow both alive and dead, frequently found drinking at his own gravesite), and Baron Nixon of Yerba Linda.

questions raised: What has woken Reagan from his slumber? Why is he leading his army of the dead in a straight line north from Simi Valley? Is it true that this line points them directly at Colma, the famed Bay Area necropolis? And what grim force links Colma with the alleged entrance in Mt. Shasta into the interior of the hollow Earth?

surprise macguffin: the Lance of Longinus

author: You Can't Tip a Buick

title: Norton Anthology of California
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:03 PM on October 28, 2015 [8 favorites]

quality: completely none.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:28 PM on October 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Same name over there. I've managed to produce 50K words both of the last two years, but neither was a single coherent narrative. I have three days to come up with a concept, otherwise I just write 2K words of unrelated fanfic a day (last year about 40K of those were terrible Hannibal fanfic, which was nice for getting out my anger at my landlady). Yay for getting fired on Monday, I guess, it means I actually have time....

In totally unrelated news, I'm taking fic requests :D
posted by athenasbanquet at 8:35 PM on October 28, 2015

Maybe now's the time to try to type out that fanfiction I've had rattling around in my head for a while.

Wait, you can write fanfic for NanoWrimo??? I always assumed that it had to be an "original" work. Good to know.

Now, the next question: How non kosher is it if you start with something that's already a work in progress? Like, say, a Hannigram fanfic that already has 25,000 words posted. I'm totally up for aiming to do an additional 50,000 words in a month, but I since I already have like 10 in-progress stories posted to AO3, I'm doing my best to not start any new multi-chapter fanfics.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:43 PM on October 28, 2015

Um, and in case not everyone has a brain that's saturated with Hannibal terminology, Hannigram is the "ship" name for the Will Graham/Hannibal Lecter pairing.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:47 PM on October 28, 2015

Wait, you can write fanfic for NanoWrimo???

If writing fanfic is wrong, I don't want to be right.
posted by athenasbanquet at 8:58 PM on October 28, 2015 [5 favorites]

Wait, you can write fanfic for NanoWrimo???

It looks that way. There's a genre lounge for it and everything.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:04 PM on October 28, 2015

Okay, I guess I'm probably in then, if only because it makes me sad that there are only three people who have posted to the Hannibal forum. Also, I've heard about this for years, but never considered doing it because I'm just not motivated enough to write 50,000 words in a month of non fanfic writing.

Actually, counting unposted chapters, I totally wrote about 50,000 words of fanfic in the month of October for my two current Hannibal WIPs. I can't decide if that makes me think "I can totally pull that off again in November" or "Shit, I'll never be able to duplicate that level of productivity again."

Still, it can't hurt to try, especially since there are going to be other mefites giving this a go. I don't know if I'll be able to hit 50,000 words because I'll probably be posting chapters as I go since I've gotten into a pretty good groove of posting a chapter a week for my main story, and I'm going to try to keep that up, which means devoting time to editing.

Oh, and as far as starting with something that's already written, in looking through the forums, it does seem to confirm that this is an okay thing to do, as long as you only count what you've written in the month of November. In fact, there's even a rebels forum for people who are doing multiple works, editing, etc. And if anyone does want to do editing as part of NanoWrimo, someone suggested using 1 hour of editing=1000 words as a rough metric for personally tracking your progress.

I don't actually have a username for NanoWrimo yet, but I'll post here once I do.

So, those who are taking part, what are you writing?

Story 1 title: Paradiso
A post season 3 Hannigram fanfic which picks up immediately where the finale left off and can basically be summarized as "Will and Hannibal run off to Europe together." Or at least, that's where it's headed, since I've got 25,000 words posted so far, and I've only covered a period of roughly 12 hours. Basically, this story gives new meaning to the "slow" in slow burn. There's also lots of slash-y subtext and innuendo and hashing out of relationship issues.*

And if I decide to do multiple stories:

Story 2 title: Afterimages
Another Hannigram fanfic that's set 7 years post season 3. It's more suspense and plot driven, but I don't want to go into specific plot summarizing since that will get into spoiler territory real quickly, and I think spoilers are something we're trying to avoid outside of fanfare.

*Okay, that probably makes it sound like the least enticing read ever. Ironically, it's gotten the most hits/comments/kudos of any of my 20 stories I've posted on AO3, even despite the current lack of smut.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:50 PM on October 28, 2015

Okay, I've got an account. I'm artsandletters over there.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:26 PM on October 28, 2015

I'm in. I'm Elliana over there and I'll be working on a middle grade novel. Hope I get past 5k this year!
posted by tuesdayschild at 5:27 AM on October 29, 2015

Is anyone else having trouble searching and finding people to add as buddies? It keeps telling me that none of you exist. But you do exist, right? Right????
posted by athenasbanquet at 7:47 AM on October 29, 2015

The search has worked 0% of the time for me. What I do is take this link:
and swap out username for the actual, you know, name.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:53 AM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]

Nano search is currently broken, I tried to find some people I know from Nano and got 0 results, so tried myself and it still gave 0 results.

Also, I am parallax over on Nano.

I can mainly be found in the following forums: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense, Satire/Humour/Parody, N00bs, Nano Ate My Soul, and my regional forum (UK/England/Leicestershire) although I have been hanging around in the romance forum to crib ideas and beg for help!

I also read stuff in the sci-fi and (occasionally) fantasy forums.

If anyone wants to add me as a buddy, please feel free to do this, but please msg me to let me know who you are as I get buddied quite a bit on there and don't know who they are or why they have buddied me - although usually it is because of a comment I made. But seeing as I comment quite a lot, it is hard to know which comment in which thread.

I would advise people to set a home region and try to go to the write ins, and if there isn't one nearby, post in your region to see if anyone is interested in a more local meeting.

Good Luck to anyone participating for Nano2015. (This is my sign off for most of my posts on Nano.)
posted by marienbad at 8:33 AM on October 29, 2015

I think I can, I think I can, I know I can't...

Haven't won since 2008, but THIS IS THE YEAR.

Just kidding; I get my third undergraduate degree in December. This will end about November 10. But what the hell?

RainJ over there.
posted by RainyJay at 10:25 AM on October 29, 2015

I'm going for it again this year, and I'm wintermind on NaNoWriMo, too. My 12-year-old concocted a story about a failed effort by kids to take over the world, and I'm writing the adults' version of the war. He'll write the story from the kids' perspective. I have a BoDeans playlist cued up in iTunes and everything, as well as three work trips that will give me writing time in the hotel and on the plane.

I finished a couple-three years ago, but can't work up the nerve to go back and edit. I'm sure the story makes no damned sense. I did buy Scrivener using the discount I got for finishing, but I haven't used it successfully for anything. However, I've been surprisingly productive with MacVim.
posted by wintermind at 11:53 AM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm doing this for reals this year - I'm doing an adaptation of Cold Comfort Farm in space.

I'm SadieB over there.
posted by fiercekitten at 6:01 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

Okay in again this year.

I decided a week or so ago and have been agonizing over what to write. I could totally keep going on what I wrote (and won!) last year, but I literally haven't looked at it since November 30th. Probably not a good sign for my level of enthusiasm. So I think this year I think I'm going with something like Titanic or other disaster-type story set on a space ship. I usually tend more toward fantasy vs sci-fi, and I hope this won't doom the effort. The next couple days will be a marathon of outlining and world building. Bring it!

btw I'm chaoticgood0405 over there. I welcome new buddies :)
posted by chaoticgood at 6:18 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Every year I want to do this and every year I make all the excuses for why I can't do it this year. NOT ANYMORE!!! This is the year I go forth and... nah. Not this year. I'm traveling this year. Next year for sure. But good luck to the rest of you! You can do eeeeeeeet!
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:36 PM on October 29, 2015

In all seriousness, I'd like to try this, but I'm also in a very intense undergraduate program and I'm worried about committing to writing on top of everything else. I know everyone approaches it differently, but is there an average amount of time people spend on writing every day?
posted by teponaztli at 1:14 AM on October 30, 2015

chaoticgood - as someone who tried to pants a sci-fi, I would seriously recommend some hardcore worldbuilding. Trust me! Even simple, everyday things can trip you up if you haven't worked them out.
posted by marienbad at 3:04 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

teponaztli: If you get involved in word wars and sprints, and just hack stuff out you can do this. I can get 1667 words down in about 45 minutes or even 40 minutes when I am on a roll, and under an hour for 1667 when I come home from work and just sit and type. Try to get ahead at the start, maybe try for 2K a day for the first week or so and then you will have a bit of leeway. If you make it to week for, the finish line will be in sight and (hopefully) inspire you to victory!

It depends how fast you can type I guess. I am not a write, I just hack stuff out, and it seems to work, well, it gets me my wordcount!
posted by marienbad at 3:08 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

In my experience the daily quota of 1,667 words can take as much as 6 hours a day if you approach things very slowly and deliberately, or as little as 45-60 minutes if you let your fingers type as quickly as your brain works, removing your inner censor. The latter is highly encouraged, and actually produces some interesting results. When I won in 2010, some of my more fascinating passages were the ones that got thrown onto the page very quickly. But I did need to slow down and do some careful writing from time to time, so it ended up being a mix of the two approaches.
posted by naju at 10:43 AM on October 30, 2015

I tried to friend (buddy?) Rock Steady over there but "dave provost" and "daveprovost" and "dave_provost" didn't work. I friended everybody else who gave an ID in this post. Cause I could be working on an outline but...
posted by tuesdayschild at 1:39 PM on October 30, 2015

Hmm. This should link to my profile.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:27 PM on October 30, 2015

tuesdayschild! I was born on a Tuesday, and yeah, I am full of grace. Or full of something, anyway.
posted by marienbad at 5:02 PM on October 30, 2015

Also, 24 hours to go (GMT timezone)!! Who is excited? Who hasn't got a clue? Usually by now I have ideas for my story, but this time I am flailing like an octopus on speed!
posted by marienbad at 5:03 PM on October 30, 2015

It's November here now, and I've almost outlined every chapter in what I'm going to try to write for Nano, just need two more story beats (and they're not in the beginning or ending)! I'm actually kind of freaking out a bit because I have never had a story idea, settings and characters this firm in my head before ever, and basically the entire month is free time for me, so this could really be the year I win Nano! It really could be! Things come true if you wish hard enough, right??
posted by Quilford at 6:56 AM on October 31, 2015 [2 favorites]

Huh. I love the idea of writing every day, but I'm pretty intimidated about the idea of writing a novel. I don't think of a novel as something you just sit down and churn out. Novels have structure and whatnot. For instance, I have always joked that I should turn my dissertation research into a romance novel, but I don't feel like I've read enough romance novels and thought enough about how they work to write one.

I dunno. Maybe I will try it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:35 AM on October 31, 2015

ArbitraryAndCapricious - you could write a collection of short stories, as long as you hit 50K!
posted by marienbad at 9:14 AM on October 31, 2015

Thanks, RockSteady. That worked :-)
Less than 12 hours to go, EST.
And marienbad, I am super klutzy. I asked my mother why I wasn't more graceful what with being born on a Tuesday and all and she said, "I think they meant spiritual grace." That was the end of my ballet career.
posted by tuesdayschild at 10:20 AM on October 31, 2015

I also think a group of short stories linked somehow would be a really cool thing to write.
posted by tuesdayschild at 10:21 AM on October 31, 2015

OK, this thread has gotten me really fired up. I tried doing this in 2012 but I think this might be the year I actually crank out 50k words! I am in. I'm speedturtle over there.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:37 PM on October 31, 2015

I'm in.

I'm also 'cheating' as I already have started a draft which is at roughly 27,000 words of awesome gloop during a previous NaNoWriMo, and have been picking away at it ever since.

Synopsis: Our Protagonist Andreas forms a black metal band with some of his friends. Hilarity ensues. The main title is 'Place Without a Postcard', but the stunt title that I put in my NaNo bio is 'MULTIQUIP MC94PH8 9 CUBIC FOOT HONDA GX - 240 POLY DRUM CONCRETE MIXER, in D minor - by Horus Miller', because that just delights me so and makes me giggle.

Genre: Don't have a clue, except that it's 'character and event based', not 'plot based'. Thus, Literary! I think! No idea. Basically, I wanna write about my Metalheads. A literary novel. With Metalheads.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:10 AM on November 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Sounds like a rom-com, spinflex. /hamburger
posted by marienbad at 1:27 AM on November 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Don't forget there is a Metafilter Thread in the groups and clubs forum over on Nano, if people want to chat, moan, blow off steam, cry, celebrate, or whatever really. Post in there and say hi!!

Again, Good Luck to everyone participating, it is now officially NanoTime!
posted by marienbad at 3:14 AM on November 1, 2015

I've started! This is gonna be awful.
posted by moonmilk at 8:22 AM on November 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Rom-com *could* happen - the drummer is trying to set the gay bassist and bi thereminist up.

Most awkward gay black metal date ever.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:37 AM on November 1, 2015

I've started. typed almost automatically for thirty minutes or so while going to sleep. You'll be delighted to know that The Norton Anthology of California now apparently contains a character named Parmenides Nuts.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:29 PM on November 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm going to try this again. For the last three years I signed up and wrote nothing. So far I'm up to around 460 words, so I'm already ahead of the game.
posted by Mchelly at 2:23 PM on November 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

1753 words so far, might do a little more before going to bed. Here I am.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:25 PM on November 1, 2015

I've actually got a lot more free time in usable blocks this November than I was expecting, but I'm a day down and notorious for signing up to things I never sink my teeth into. On top of which all I have to go on are: a punny NaNoName, a moody title indirectly inspired by Dickens and the fuzzy idea that an epistolary approach might be the key to reaching that just writing stuff mindset for me. Abysmally Failed NaNo 2004 teaches me that that's nowhere near enough to work with though.

Always keen to read anything finished from these things. Found a cleaned-up NaNo novel on a self-pub site once which I really enjoyed warts and all.
posted by comealongpole at 3:36 PM on November 1, 2015

Whew, it took about six hours of work to beat the daily quota of 1667 words. But that's for a 50K word novel, and Mme Bovary's got more than a hundred thousand. I don't think I'm gonna finish this month.
posted by moonmilk at 9:18 PM on November 1, 2015

I just got a thousand words out of a pie-based conversation between Sam and Dean Winchester and a diner waitress. When in doubt: pie.
posted by athenasbanquet at 8:12 AM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

In middle school, my friends and I used to write stories in class instead of paying attention. You wrote a few lines, folded down the paper so only the last line was visible, and then passed it on to the next person to continue. You'd keep a running list of characters on the back. The stories ended at the bottom of the page, and without fail always always ended in one of two ways: "Rocks fall and they all die." or "And then a bomb exploded!" The one year I won NaNo, I got stuck halfway through and wound up literally turning to "and then a bomb exploded" for what happened next. I highly recommend it.
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:28 AM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

posted by comealongpole at 12:01 PM on November 2, 2015

Now I'm tempted to start a novel with:

"And then a bomb exploded."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:19 PM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Funnily enough, my last Nano started with a bomb going off and killing a bunch of criminal gang bosses who had arranged a meeting to try to cut down on the inter gang warfare. The police had lost several cops after the biggest gang boss was killed in Nano2013, and as the police hadn't met their targets, their budget was cut, so the bosses wanted to take advantage of this. And someone set them up the bomb!! It was more backstory, but I stuck it in there as it was cool to write and good for word count.
posted by marienbad at 3:34 PM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

So what I'm saying is, "Do it, IRFH!"
posted by marienbad at 3:35 PM on November 2, 2015


And then a bomb exploded.

Massive shock waves deformed the inevitable November storm, office buildings swaying and snapping. Glass shards swirled wildly in the red-orange firelight like leaves stripped from soft-wood branches until all was erased in a winter of dust and ash. Screams filled the troughs between rolling thunder concussions as the wails of survivors and sirens swelled and ebbed and swelled again.

Sixteen floors below street level, emergency lights flickered to the drumbeat of the surface-world caving in. Then the most secure vault of all time moaned in protest, was swallowed by darkness, and crumpled like a tin can beneath a boot. History was deformed then, too, as the machine that had labored there ceased operation for the first time in two thousand years.

Massive shock waves unformed the still November night, office buildings swaying and snapping into place and unmaking themselves. Glass shards crystallized into full sheets, coupled, erected, folded, melted, streamed into molten rivers, then all was erased in a haze of sand and steam. Screams swallowed themselves between rolling probability sucked backwards into silence.

And then a bomb imploded.

And Seattle was replaced by hills and forest and island and tide, as if it had never been.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:54 PM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

posted by skycrashesdown at 8:49 PM on November 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Nice work IRFH. 205 words down, 49795 to go!
posted by marienbad at 1:24 AM on November 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Okay kids, I need some advice, as my story is set in the USA, so...

1) When the president is sworn in, what is the ceremony called?? After he takes the Oath of Office, what happens then? Where is the first lady and how soon after would he see her? Is she with him? Does he address the nation?

2) My female MC gets a job at a university, it is an outsourced thing (like say catering but I don't want to use this) so what sort of jobs at the uni/college are outsourced? (It can't be an in-house job as someone else sets this up and creates a job for themselves so they can be on the interview panel and ensure MC gets the job.)

3) In all the American stuff I've seen, people are paid by cheque, do you not have automated clearing so your wages go straight into your bank account? Can you pay your rent by Direct Debit or Standing Order?

Anything I need to be aware of as a foreigner regarding life in the USA? My MC is English, gets a job at a college and meets a guy who will one day become the president. Not sure which college or whether to make one up, any thoughts?

No doubt I will have more as I go on!! I am posting this here as I am already clogging up the Nano forums with my dumb questions!!
posted by marienbad at 4:09 AM on November 3, 2015

1. That's called the inauguration. Google will tell you more than you want to know about how inaugurations work. There's no role for the First Lady, I don't think, other than looking on adoringly.

2. Hmmmm. I don't think that anything is outsourced at the university where I work, and a lot of clerical and support jobs are unionized. But. We're in the middle of a big corporatization moment in universities, and I think it would be plausible to have a new president who came out of the corporate world and was trying to cut costs by doing things like introducing the policy of contracting cleaners. Anyway, university hiring practices are not something that I know all that much about, so someone else might have more thoughts than me.

3. My paycheck gets deposited directly into my bank account. I can't even remember the last time when I got a physical check and had to deposit it.

Make up a college! It will make your life easier than having people say "but I went to Cornell and that building doesn't actually exist."
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:44 AM on November 3, 2015

1) It's called the Inauguration and there is a lot of neat history surrounding it, but short answer is yes, he (or she) gives a speech, and the whole First Family is traditionally there right beside the new President.

2) Not sure about that.

3) I think most employers in the US now at least offer Direct Deposit, so your wages go directly into your bank account. It is possible to pay rent via some form of online banking, but generally that is going to take the form of your bank mailing a check to your landlord for you. Most online banking offers some form of recurring payments, so it's possible, but it's not as common as it is in other countries.

Unless you are familiar with a specific US college, I'd make it up out of whole cloth, as colleges have so many unique quirks and details.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:46 AM on November 3, 2015

ArbitraryAndCapricious: "I can't even remember the last time when I got a physical check and had to deposit it. "

I was getting a paper check as recently as 5 years ago, but that employer was seen as way behind the times even then.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:48 AM on November 3, 2015

Inauguration!! I knew that word from on Mefi, but couldn't for the life of me remember it!!
posted by marienbad at 6:37 AM on November 3, 2015

I'm afternoonworld over there now, and this shit is going to be about our cat's fictional backstory, and that's just that.
posted by Coatlicue at 5:42 PM on November 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Fuck yeah, CATS.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:26 PM on November 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I've been sick al week, having hand surgery next week, and voice-to text siftware makes me crazy, so I decided not to officially join NaNoWriMo. But I HAVE committeed to writing a little something on my project every day. For someone who's been as blocked as I have for so long, it feels good.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:31 AM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Great stuff, underpants monster. Join Nano and be a rebel - set your own target of say 6K or 10K or 20K and aim for that instead. That way, you will still win in terms of your own goal.

Good Luck to you, hope the hand surgery goes well and you have a speedy recovery.

/insert masturbation joke here...!!!
posted by marienbad at 8:12 AM on November 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

So, Mefites, as we approach the end of week 1, how's it going?

I have some extra work (about a weeks worth starting yesterday (thurs)) so am a bit pushed for time to write with working in the eves as well. Will truly have to turn off the inner editor and just type any old garbage.

So, hows Life, Work and Writing going during Nano for you?
posted by marienbad at 7:46 AM on November 6, 2015

For me, the most important thing is happening, I'm having fun and continuing to write. I'm enthralled by the story and curious to see if goes where I intend it to. The characters and plot have developed a bit of a life of their own.

It's still a sloppy first draft first draft of course, but it's moving along!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:29 AM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

marienbad: "So, hows Life, Work and Writing going during Nano for you?"

Not great. I'm trying to plan a 40th birthday party for my wife, did some volunteering, and am dealing with some medical stuff, so the writing has taken a backseat the past couple of days. I'm hoping to get 3-4 days' worth done this weekend and catch most of the way up. It doesn't help that I'm kind of hitting a lull in the story, so it's not begging me to keep writing. I'm thinking about jumping ahead to a more action-y section to get the juices flowing and then come back to the table-setting later.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:39 AM on November 6, 2015

It's been my easiest attempt at nano so far. I've clocked in a lot of hours this week because I'm taking off all weekend and half of Thanksgiving week.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:36 AM on November 6, 2015

I just hit 10K last night, so I'm doing pretty OK so far. There's no plot and it's mostly meandering, but...character development? Screw it, NaNo is all about the sloppy first draft!
posted by angelchrys at 11:33 AM on November 6, 2015

This isn't exactly my writing, but I just wanted to share: the kiddo is in for writing one of her fanfics for this month.
posted by corb at 11:01 AM on November 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Via Nano: Today's Fun Quote: “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” ~ Isaac Asimov

How's it going? I am a little ahead but finding writing rom-com rock hard! I have asked a couple of questions on ask.mefi about technical aspects related to the FMC's job and a couple of important IT related plot points, and got some great answers. Has anyone been active on the forums over there? Have you been mentoring anyone, or buddying anyone?

Progress updates, please!!
posted by marienbad at 7:03 AM on November 16, 2015

It's going well in that I'm continuing to write. happy with the story, but it's driving me a bit mad. Everything seems to revolve around writing around 2k words a day. Plus strange things keep happening where the plot and/or characters shift. I just realized a few days ago that this all takes place in winter. Huh?

Haven't been active on the forums or mentoring or buddying. The writing, it consumes me!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:25 AM on November 16, 2015

I'm behind, but slowly catching up. Unfortunately I have reached the part of my novel outline where I left a big question mark, thinking I would work out what to put there as I wrote. Well, I didn't. Oops.

I could skip ahead and write the two climaxes and the denouement and then come back and fill it in, I suppose. Agh. I've got a lot going on in this book
posted by angeline at 3:22 PM on November 16, 2015

Skipping around helps a lot. Sometimes a scene won't come, but you know the outcome, so you leave space for it and move along.

The problem comes when you go back to fill in the scene and the outcome isn't what you thought it was. Hoo boy, triage!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:04 PM on November 16, 2015

I'm just a tiny bit behind, should be able to catch up tonight. I find at this point I'm usually starting to lose interest in the story and writing becomes a chore instead of a pleasure. But this year it's going much better, so yay!

I haven't been active on the forums, but my region has pretty decent write-ins and I've been going to three a week. The lack of distractions really helps me buckle down and get caught up if I'm lagging.
posted by chaoticgood at 1:50 PM on November 17, 2015

Okay, so far this is a failure - I basically conked out in the middle of day one at around 680 words.

On the other hand, it's a qualified failure, since that's at least 600 times more words than last time, and there's still plenty of time left! Right?

I'm hoping by writing this publicly it will shame me into writing more.

posted by Mchelly at 3:07 PM on November 17, 2015

I went to my best friend's house and talked about my book for hours, which as it turns out is enormously narcissistic but also really good for rattling things loose, so I think I'm back on track again. The bad news is I think the story will finish under word count...but really the point was to just finish the story so I guess that's all right.
posted by angeline at 6:56 PM on November 17, 2015

We're nearly at the end now, so I hope you've all had a good time doing Nano this year. For me, I have gotten more into my story as it's gone along, and it is now, for that reason, easier to write than at the start of the month and during the first week.

I have also been mentoring some newbies over there, and sending them pep talks, but this has expanded now to where I just sorta spam them out to anyone whose name is in my inbox, so if any of you have received them, sorry lol (also, if you want to tell me what you thought of them that would be super cool!)

Also, myself and another wrimo, carelia, have set up a writing forum, so if anyone wants to join, please do! (And start posting stuff, as its mainly just me and carelia posting at the minute. Ultimately, everyone who joins will have their own private forum set up and you get to choose who can see that. There are excerpts from my current Nano story up in the Nano forum and I would love to hear what people think of them - feedback and constructive criticism welcomed!! As an added bonus introductory offer, I will add anyone who joins to my private forum members, so you can see excerpts of what I wrote for this years camps, and an excerpt from Nano2104.

Also you can read my unfinished comedy story about a Falcon. It doesn't go anywhere, but the people who have read it, liked it!

Keep Going - the finish line is in sight!!!!
posted by marienbad at 6:20 PM on November 21, 2015

Oh yeah, it might help if I actually linked to the forums: Alpha Centuri.
posted by marienbad at 7:07 PM on November 21, 2015

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