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Aquadeo
10-03-2008, 03:28 PM
The site for National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org) is live, and ready to usher in a month of novel-writing. For those that haven't heard about it, it's a marathon for amateur writers: 50,000 words in 30 days. It's a lot of fun, a great kick in the pants for people who want to write, and it often leaves them pleasantly surprised with their own abilities.

I'll be on those forums as Aquadeo (http://www.nanowrimo.org/user/25245), serving as the ML of Alberta::Elsewhere (and honourary ML of Alberta::Edmonton). That means that if people affiliate themselves with my region, you'll get my inspirational e-mails in addition to those of your home region.

Is anyone else from the forums planning to do it this year?

spineshark
10-03-2008, 03:30 PM
YES. I only updated my page for a few days but I actually got pretty far! About 40,000 words or so. All of them horribly embarrassing.

This year I've got an idea that's perhaps not better but that I've been kicking around for years and think I could easily write out a lot of. I've got another one that I like a little more, but would take a lot more effort (a lot because it's so vague right now). I guess it's really time to start pondering that.

I'm probably "freeness" but I'll have to log in to find out.

Yeah (http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/233323).

nunix
10-03-2008, 03:32 PM
Bleh, I've never managed to finish one of these, despite starting it every year for awhile now.

Maybe this year!

Paul le Fou
10-03-2008, 03:35 PM
I want to say yes, although I do not expect much to come of it.

reibeatall
10-03-2008, 03:38 PM
This'll be yet another time where I try, but I feel that I've got a better grasp on language and an understanding on writing this time around, so I think I can do it.

Beam me up, Scotty. (http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/245124)

Queen Possum
10-03-2008, 03:57 PM
I've tried this three years in a row and never gotten more than a few thousand words in. Maybe this year...

Sprite
10-03-2008, 04:02 PM
Between drawing assignments, Latin assignments, comic writing/drawing, and work, I really won't have the time. Maybe I'll do my own personal NoWriMo next semester when I'm not taking classes.

Mightyblue
10-03-2008, 04:23 PM
Yeah, ain't got no time beyond what I'm already doing for work, school, and here. I still write off and on for kicks, but I don't have the extra time like I did last year to just write and write. I think I got to 40k-ish last year too, and probably would have finished if I wasn't so lazy sometimes.

`Hrist
10-03-2008, 04:33 PM
I wish I had time for this.

But then, I'm probably just being lazy and making excuses. =/

Zef
10-03-2008, 04:44 PM
Hmm. I'd love to get in on this (especially with a project that everyone will laugh at, but I can't help myself.) Unfortunately, I'd have to give up work or gym nights. I don't think I could give up either, since one gives me the money I spend on the other :(

Ample Vigour
10-03-2008, 07:41 PM
Same promise I always make: I'll start when I have something to write about.

reibeatall
10-03-2008, 07:46 PM
Same promise I always make: I'll start when I have something to write about.

You know that's not really the point, right?

SamuelMarston
10-03-2008, 09:19 PM
I want to do this again.

I finished in 2004, and I think I'm charged and ready for a second round.

Ample Vigour
10-03-2008, 09:33 PM
You know that's not really the point, right?

What is it, then?

nunix
10-03-2008, 09:34 PM
What is it, then?

To write.

Doesn't matter if it's good or important or whatever.

The idea is just to sit down and write something, and do it every day, for one month.

reibeatall
10-03-2008, 09:35 PM
If you've got the time, read "No Plot? No Problem!" by Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo.

tl;dr

Most people don't write even though they want to because they think they have nothing to write about. The most important part is to simply get some words on a page and just let it flow out. Eventually there will be something worthwhile in there.

Besides, it's interesting to see where your mind will go when you've got no fucking idea what to say, but yet you force yourself to write.

spineshark
10-03-2008, 09:49 PM
Yeah, you just put stuff down, it's not like you're being graded or anything. You don't even have to proofread!

Sadly, these facts don't make it easy, but if it was easy that would kind of defeat the purpose.

SamuelMarston
10-04-2008, 12:08 AM
Yeah, you just put stuff down, it's not like you're being graded or anything. You don't even have to proofread!

Sadly, these facts don't make it easy, but if it was easy that would kind of defeat the purpose.

The problem I have, is that now that I have a novella written, it's all riddled with typos, poor grammar, and general clutter. I like the story, but not the writing...because I just wrote, and I didn't care.

:(

Eirikr
10-04-2008, 12:20 AM
I totally signed up for this last year and totally wrote zilch. This year may be more of the same!

Steve
10-04-2008, 01:49 AM
Hmm.... let's consider last year's performance....
http://photos-458.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v164/60/50/3002458/s3002458_31130792_9785.jpg
That's right, it was a miserable failure. This year, however, I'm not in school, and I have actual free time for hobbies for once. Additionally, my sister is actually taking a college course for this. Maybe that will encourage me to actually churn something out this year. We'll see.

reibeatall
10-04-2008, 06:49 AM
The problem I have, is that now that I have a novella written, it's all riddled with typos, poor grammar, and general clutter. I like the story, but not the writing...because I just wrote, and I didn't care.

:(

That's why March is "National Edit Your Horrible Mess From NaNoWriMo".

Steve
10-04-2008, 08:23 AM
Same promise I always make: I'll start when I have something to write about.

Kind of late to the discussion here (I was not particularly coherent at the time of my last post), but I have discovered the world's greatest source of plot synopses:
They fight crime! (http://www.theyfightcrime.org/)

If someone actually puts together a novella based on one of these (and believe me, I have some of the better ones tucked away to do just that), I will personally give you a dollar.

nadia
10-04-2008, 09:01 AM
As I recall, some marvelous human being pissed in the potato salad (http://flemco.livejournal.com/1973838.html) of last year's NaNoWriMo picnic.

Oh man, that's one bad metaphor. I'm warming up already! Anyway, I have my own thoughts on NaNo. (http://woekitten.livejournal.com/488027.html)

I won't be doing this, since I'm working on the second draft of my novel (which, uh, is exactly where I was last year). Good luck to everyone, though!

Parish
10-04-2008, 09:22 AM
It took me two weeks to write a 4,000-word vignette for the GameSpite bonus thing. Apparently I can only bang out rapid-fire words about video games.

SabreCat
10-04-2008, 09:42 AM
I'm in! I participated in 2004-06, and "won" in 2006. Took a year off in 2007 because I was writing a tabletop RPG instead, and now I really want to get back into it. My social life's a lot busier than it was in 06, though, so it may be hard.

Good thing is, November 1 is a Saturday. This looks like a phenomenal head start opportunity! Get way ahead in the first few days and there's a lot less stress for the rest of the month.

As I recall, some marvelous human being pissed in the potato salad of last year's NaNoWriMo picnic.
Wow, yet another person heinously, personally offended that other people are having fun in a way he doesn't care for. Dude should've been a gamer!

nadia
10-04-2008, 10:17 AM
It took me two weeks to write a 4,000-word vignette for the GameSpite bonus thing. Apparently I can only bang out rapid-fire words about video games.

Come to think of it, there were 10,000 words in that 1UP holiday guide I wrote in one weekend. Not to say any of it made sense, but hey, nothing you write for NaNo needs to make sense, either!

Of course, my tendons kind of shrivled and melted like catgut that weekend.

nadia
10-04-2008, 10:18 AM
Wow, yet another person heinously, personally offended that other people are having fun in a way he doesn't care for. Dude should've been a gamer!

My friend said flemco was a member of the Stop Having Fun Consortium. You meet a lot of members in this lifetime.

shivam
10-04-2008, 11:08 AM
i dunno, i kinda agree with his sentiment, if not the frothing.

SabreCat
10-04-2008, 11:22 AM
i dunno, i kinda agree with his sentiment, if not the frothing.
Howso?

shivam
10-04-2008, 11:24 AM
50,000 words is not a novel. writing for a month doesn't make you a novelist. If you need community reassurance, it's a nice benefit, but it means that you're going to have a lot of trouble if you try to make writing your thing. NaNo is a good start, but it's not everything.

also, a lot of the hardcore nanoites are just as self righteous and annoying as this guy, if not more. sorry honey, but a 50,000 word epic sailor moon/ruroni kenshin furry fanfic doesn't make you a novelist at the end of november.

SabreCat
10-04-2008, 11:36 AM
Ah. Well, that's a fine rebuttal for the folks who do think that winning a WriMo confers some special status on them and their work. But overall, that's not the attitude espoused by the site or the people who participate in it. By and large, people are well aware that the WriMo is not going to transform them into Faulkners and Tolkiens. As you say, it's a good start: a kick in the pants to quit procrastinating. But it's a fun and worthy effort whether you plan to "try to make writing your thing" or not.

shivam
10-04-2008, 11:45 AM
To be sure, i approve of the overall idea of the thing.

nadia
10-04-2008, 11:48 AM
The thing that bothers me about flemco's rant is he's acting as if people are going to throw their "masterpiece" into the slush piles of editors worldwide come December 1st. That just doesn't happen. Yes, NaNo has its idiots and there's a lot of self-congratulatory wank surrounding the whole event, but that's any event/fandom in general, isn't it? Most folks sign up to exercise their brains and have fun while doing so.

So what if 50,000 words is a novella instead of a novel? Let's call it National Novella Writing Month. There, done. It's still 50,000 words down in the space of a month. It's still a finished product of sorts. I'd rather see 50,000 written words than the usual moaning from the internet about writer's block and requests for "drabbles" about OCs going Christmas shopping or whatever.

There's also some fury over what makes a "writer." Who cares? You write, you're a writer. You get published and you're an author. If someone wants to call himself an author because he finished NaNo, fine, let him. The truth comes out soon enough. It's like letting that crazy guy on the corner scream about he's Jesus. You can try to convince him he's not and waste a lot of time and energy (or your life in extreme cases) or you can let him go on living and screaming in his fantasy world. I'm more about live and let live, so...

nunix
10-04-2008, 12:05 PM
sorry honey, but a 50,000 word epic sailor moon/ruroni kenshin furry fanfic doesn't make you a novelist at the end of november.

*looks at the current bestseller lists*

I beg to differ.

Anyway, nanowrimo is just about writing. The universal cure for writer's block is, "Just write down something, anything." Maybe what you're writing is crap! That's okay. If you start it, and keep at it, eventually you may hit on somethin' good. So it's a thing for people who have never started writing, but always wanted to.

Also, anyone can be a writer. They're a writer by writing. Maybe they're not a good or memorable writer, but that's another thing.

nadia
10-04-2008, 12:12 PM
*looks at the current bestseller lists*

I beg to differ.



Are eight of the top ten slots still taken up by "Twilight" novels? =(

shivam
10-04-2008, 12:12 PM
yeah, i'm not disparaging nano. I've done it myself, before. It's a good way to force yourself to write. I just think that the guy's not completely off base, is all.

nadia
10-04-2008, 12:14 PM
Well his thing comes down to "I don't want people to do NaNo because it's a self-gratifying gesture." I want to see people do NaNo, for all its flaws.

nunix
10-04-2008, 12:20 PM
Are eight of the top ten slots still taken up by "Twilight" novels? =(

Only four! (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books) But there's also a book with a dragon on the cover at #1, which makes up for it.

nadia
10-04-2008, 12:28 PM
Aw fuck, that's Paolini's latest bullshit. That makes things worse!

Dadgum Roi
10-04-2008, 12:43 PM
Are eight of the top ten slots still taken up by "Twilight" novels? =(

The other guy dies, and then they get married.

SamuelMarston
10-04-2008, 12:45 PM
The other guy dies, and then they get married.

Yay!

I read the first of those books, back before it was a thing, and I never imagined it would become such a thing.

VorpalEdge
10-04-2008, 01:16 PM
Aw fuck, that's Paolini's latest bullshit. That makes things worse!

I didn't even know it was out.

Now I have to go read (note: not buy) it, just because I've read the other two and I have this desire to see how it ends, even though the series is horrible.

nadia
10-04-2008, 01:34 PM
I didn't even know it was out.

Now I have to go read (note: not buy) it, just because I've read the other two and I have this desire to see how it ends, even though the series is horrible.

Oh, but this book is not the end of the series. For you see, you have died and gone to hell for your sins.

Seriously, he had to split the last book in two because apparently his story is so big and epic, it needs to be a "cycle" instead of a trilogy.

Ample Vigour
10-04-2008, 02:21 PM
What the hell is Twilight? All I know is that everywhere I look in bookstores there are apple being held by hands.

Dhroo
10-04-2008, 02:24 PM
It's about vampires.

Doesn't that just make you excited?

Ample Vigour
10-04-2008, 02:25 PM
It's about vampires.

Doesn't that make you excited?

D:

SamuelMarston
10-04-2008, 02:52 PM
D:

It's about an average american girl who has a vampire fall in love with her and oh god the romance and the drama and the SWWWWWWOOOOOoooooonnnn!

nunix
10-04-2008, 02:57 PM
Anne Rice: The Next Generation.

Ample Vigour
10-04-2008, 03:18 PM
It would be better if it were about vampire Navy SEALs and titled Team of Darkness (http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Shell-Word-Factory-Darkness/dp/0759901031).

VorpalEdge
10-04-2008, 05:14 PM
Seriously, he had to split the last book in two because apparently his story is so big and epic, it needs to be a "cycle" instead of a trilogy.

Argh. Seriously?

Well, at least I won't have to see the elf princess fall in love with Eragon get forced into love because Eragon is so big and strong and manly for another two years.

[edit]does this forum have [strike] tags?

Stiv
10-04-2008, 11:34 PM
I lose every year but this year I will happily lose again while I suffer through GREs and the Denver Film Festival (and work). Can I break 5000 words this year? MAYBE

What the hell is Twilight? All I know is that everywhere I look in bookstores there are apple being held by hands.

Jesus fucking christ I somehow knew this thread would end up in TWILIGHT TERRITORY. I read those books on a dare (and also because they're fucking insane) and the best summary I can give of them is "Anne Rice Fanficton." I can understand why they got published (teenage girl projection fantasies) and there are four or five ideas in there that would have made brilliant Roger Corman films in the late 1970s. Like the girl who gets raped and murdered by her fiance's friends, then turned into a vampire, and TAKES HER REVENGE. You make Pam Grier the vampire lady and this is SOLID GOLD. Anyway if you'd like to know more, some poor girl wrote a whole summary of every book (http://cleolinda.livejournal.com/630150.html) and it's very, very accurate.

Anyway the point is that they're all awful (and morally repugnant, I'm pretty sure that if parents actually knew what was in these things no teenager would ever be allowed to read any of them).

PS:
It's about an average american girl who has a vampire fall in love with her and oh god the romance and the drama and the SWWWWWWOOOOOoooooonnnn!

You forgot the werewolves (who hate vampires and love Mary Sue).

SamuelMarston
10-04-2008, 11:39 PM
You forgot the werewolves (who hate vampires and love Mary Sue).

I only read the first one.

Without that stuff, it was alright, but definitely teenage girl projection fantasy.

EDIT: I've been looking back at my novella from 2004 (http://paperhouses.livejournal.com/). Would anyone like to help me edit the damn thing? I would appreciate any help, critique or otherwise.

Merus
10-05-2008, 12:37 AM
It took me two weeks to write a 4,000-word vignette for the GameSpite bonus thing. Apparently I can only bang out rapid-fire words about video games.
I tend to write entirely on enthusiasm, which shits me to no end because I usually like what I end up with. I've tried keeping blogs in the past, but I do this thing where I skip one day, and then I never go back because I skipped a day.

ThornGhost
10-06-2008, 08:33 AM
After realizing that one of my coworkers writes novels, I latched on to her and began attempting to extract precious information on how to proceed doing that as well. After taking a long time to warm up to me, we eat lunch together a couple of times a week now and make polite conversation.
Sadly, it seems there's not a lot of help for the actual process of writing - you have to be driven to do it and you just need to do it. Barrel forward like you're on creative speed - slop some words on the page and go on. If you get stuck write a big "STUFF HAPPENS HERE" and go on to the next part you can write. Once you've got a finished something on the page you can edit, reword, and rewrite to your heart's content, because you've at least got a framework to work within.
The sad fact is that much of what can be learned in the writing business is how to proceed after you've got a book down. An agent is a near-necessity, apparently. Publishers look for books that fit a mold, not that are necessarily good. My friend told me that she had a publisher reject a book because its protagonist was a journalist and they "didn't publish books that starred journalists."
But I am psyched for NaNoWriMo, and I think I'm going to try for the first time this year. I wonder if there's enough Talking Time members doing it to reasonably expect someone to be close enough by to have a little group meeting of just writers from the forum.
North-East Tennessee anybody?

Aquadeo
10-12-2008, 12:13 AM
Well, proceedings keep proceeding. Forums are running, chatrooms are active, November gets closer, and I still have only the barest idea of what my novel is.

Just as it should be.

I'm still slacking off on organising write-ins for the people in my region, but in an attempt to motivate them a little, we're getting a mascot and "team name" this year: The Alberta Wrimosaurs! (Drumheller, Alberta, is the largest and best dinosaur excavation site in Canada. All that oil had to come from somewhere, after all.) And so, we've now crowned our forum with a new banner, kindly provided by Sheana! Woo!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3064/2930981614_41aafa865b.jpg

It's so awesome, I just had to share.

Anyway, glad to see a few Tyrants willing to throw their hat into the ring -- it'll be fun going through this with you guys!

Aquadeo
10-31-2008, 06:42 PM
At midnight tonight, when all the cool kids are dressing up like scary, scary pimps, and the less-cool kids are egging windows, and the different-sort-of-cool kids are throwing toast at movie screens...

NaNoWriMo begins.

I figured out what I'm going to write about; it's a road trip story. Each chapter will feature someone from a different province, jumping around the map as we go. I think I can work a coherent storyline into the whole thing... but even if I can't, I'll still get some extra practice creating characters.

One of these characters was actually inspired by Talking Time, in a way. The gal from Nova Scotia's going to be named Shantae, in honour of the GBC game which I never really knew about until Brickroad's Let's Play. She's not going to be a half-genie, but her character will instead be loosely based on the Game Boy Colour itself. Here's what I've got so far:

-colourful (of course)
-likes being in the sun
-second oldest of four children (GB, GBC, GBA, DS)
-the two younger siblings are much more successful in life than herself (they're basically printing money out West)
-oldest sibling already all grown up, no "fun" anymore (original Game Boy is discontinued, black and white)
-holds a job (i.e. receptionist) in her parent's business, but she knows she'll never be able to take it over (i.e., the Game Boy player worked well with the Gamecube, but was never the main selling point)
-and so, it's time for her to start traveling!
-she may or may not run into her crazy, red-eyed hermit uncle. I'm not sure yet.

That's what I've got so far. Any suggestions?

The second question is far more interesting: What are you writing about?

spineshark
10-31-2008, 09:36 PM
I don't have any suggestions, unfortunately. The only reason I have a story this year at all is because parts of it have been rattling around in my brain for several years.

I wish I was at the Boulder midnight kickoff tonight since that's still where I "live" but my bed is a good 40-60 minutes away and I wouldn't have anywhere to crash (though I amused myself with the idea of playing vagrant on the airport buses for a night/morning). I'll probably try to make it to tomorrow's meeting at the Tea Spot though.

My novel is about two women and a man. Or maybe two men and a woman. Originally it was the latter, but I'm basically leaning toward the former at this point. (In either case, the "missing" character from the other concept still appears, but isn't nearly as important)

The setting is kind of medieval, fantasy I guess but I don't really care about worldbuilding at this point (and all of the characters are human, and all of the animals are really earthly and conventional); the world is small (taking place on a medium sized island essentially) and magic is rare and more like technology. It's not inherent or learned by people, but "contained" in items which are currently called "focus"/"foci" (though that seems really boring/cliche and I'm rapidly trying to come up with a better idea...also I guess the concept is a little like FF6 espers, oop) and can be used and transfered freely between people.

And they malfunction sometimes.

The opening to the story introduces the female lead, Iris, who was drafted into an elite warrior corps when she was young, because her parents tried to pass her off as a boy. When they realized she would be taken away they tried to explain the truth, but she proved herself to be a fairly natural fighter and they chose to bring her anyway.

Twelve years later she's 21, and she's become by far the best in the battalion, a lot because she doesn't have anything better to do than constantly train while the men are goofing off. For years she's wanted to get away from it all though and she finally decides to do something about it.

I haven't figured out a reasonable way to get from here to the next part of the story though.

The exposition continues after she's gotten out, and she's become acquainted with a prince (name: Grey, age: about the same as her) of one of the two kingdoms on the island. The prince is either on the run from his father, or chosen for some reason to accompany her in case the army needs her back. Or something else, if it fits whatever I figure out back there better. They also rescue a much younger [farm] girl, Celice, from...something. Probably bandits. It's cliche and predictable, but, ehh. They all go together to one of the cities on the island and take up jobs as civilians for a few years until something forces them back out into the open (and no, I haven't figured out what this defining event is either :o ).

Eventually, a poem is discovered which becomes widely interpreted as a prophecy and many people quickly decide that it concerns the Prince, saying that he'll end a terrible war and save the island, but it's very vaguely and crazily written. Unfortunately, the news of the "prophecy" seems to be leading to some people trying to cause it to become true, and the trio try to recruit a force of their own to prevent a war...

The ending was the first part of the story I came up with because I always wanted to subvert the old prophecy trope. I hate that shit, though I feel weird every time I realize "man, that's the entire reason I'm going to write this convoluted story?"

Aquadeo
10-31-2008, 10:22 PM
It's worth it, just to take a stab at the worn-out prophecy routine. I like that idea quite a bit! I also like how both Iris, Grey, and the prophecy are all looking for self-fulfillment.

Good luck getting Iris AWOL!

Paul le Fou
10-31-2008, 10:38 PM
I don't know whether or not to work on my main-line project, or pick a smaller one to blast through.

Although I should really work on that story I'm doing about kfroog's dream first, I suppose.

Honestly if I can get myself to write anything at all this month I will consider it a personal victory.

spineshark
11-01-2008, 01:49 AM
I was really hoping to get 1000 words out before I fell asleep, but getting out the very beginning is always really hard for me, and spending 2 1/2 hours on this (it's almost 3 for me now) is enough for tonight (912 is pretty close anyway). I just have to remind myself that this is more like the 0th day, not the first...

spineshark
11-01-2008, 01:32 PM
I'm afraid that bar fights are becoming the duct tape of my narrative method.

reibeatall
11-01-2008, 01:36 PM
I've got a review due in a few hours, so while I've been writing today, it's all been for something else. After that, however, it's on.

SabreCat
11-01-2008, 05:36 PM
Got 2000 words from midnight to when I went to bed circa 2:45.

I felt like I'd accomplished something! But then I looked back on what I actually wrote. Wow, my skills have deteriorated...

Kfroog
11-01-2008, 09:03 PM
I'm afraid that bar fights are becoming the duct tape of my narrative method.

Hey, as long as they're interesting bar fights, it sounds like my kind of story!

Ample Vigour
11-01-2008, 09:08 PM
Hey, as long as they're interesting bar fights, it sounds like my kind of story!

Every bar fight is interesting. Just ask my old man. =)

When in doubt, have a man with a gun come crashing through the door.

Kfroog
11-01-2008, 10:07 PM
Every bar fight is interesting.

Exactly.

nunix
11-01-2008, 10:15 PM
Occasionally move the bar fight into a right-outside-the-bar ambush.

spineshark
11-23-2008, 10:31 PM
So, one week left. I'm not going to make it! Schoolwork really got to me this month and I spent most of my actual free time goofing off, so I have to write about 4,000 words a day to make it. Possible? Absolutely. Likely, given my previous pace? Absolutely not. To anyone else who's put some time into this, how's it coming?

Oh yeah, I'm even more screwed because what I originally planned as the resolution is coming up really quickly; apparently I'm just not any good at writing filler fantasy BS! Sure, I could go back and write more in (and I'll do at least a little of that), but I kind of like the idea that the "ending" is really the "middle." I think there are a lot of things for me to do with the world, and the characters [who aren't dead] and given a lot of things about the premise I think that trying to come up with what happens after the fighting is over has some promise. It's also going to be really hard.

One other thing I've noticed is that I'm much, much worse at writing "action" of any sort (in other words, anything at all happening, even, or perhaps especially, if it's something really mundane) than dialogue, at least in terms of speed. I have to think really hard while writing about what's going on, for the purposes of clarity and limiting redundancy, but for dialogue it seems so much simpler, and I don't second-guess it so much. Even though I probably should. Even though I'm doomed to fail this round, it's definitely something for me to think about in the future. I'm sure it'll be useful to know.

SabreCat
11-24-2008, 07:26 AM
I'm doing decently, I think. I would need to get 3000 words tonight to make it to 40K on time, which may or may not happen, but with a couple of canceled social engagements and the final weekend still ahead, I think 50K is reachable.

If things look grim this weekend, I did write an unrelated story during the month, which I could dump in for an emergency 4000 words (it was just a dream!)...

Aquadeo
11-24-2008, 10:22 PM
45,000 words in, my plot is just about in its death rattles, but I can limp across the finish line yet. And once I'm done, I think I might be able to cut it up into two or three short stories. Not my greatest piece of work, but it'll do.

And although the novel itself is mediocre, the month has been great! In addition to my Edmonton and Alberta::Elsewhere duties, I attended a write-up in Calgary, where I was warmly greeted (and even recognised!). Even better, I teleconferenced for a little while with Chris Baty himself. Wow -- that man rolled a natural eighteen for charisma, and he's packing modifiers. Everything he says makes you feel like you could be the next Hemingway.

Next year, though, I think I'm just going to give the "exploration of themes around human nature" genre a rest, and try my hand at giant robot battles.

Ample Vigour
11-24-2008, 10:59 PM
Next year, though, I think I'm just going to give the "exploration of themes around human nature" genre a rest, and try my hand at giant robot battles.

Now that's something I can get behind!

mr_bungle700
11-24-2008, 11:55 PM
Or you can do both and we'll have another Evangelion. But probably a lot more sensible.

So is anybody's work for the month available somewhere that it can be read by the rest of us? I'm curious to see what you folks have been writing, even if it's incomplete or less than perfect.

spineshark
11-25-2008, 12:06 AM
Next year, though, I think I'm just going to give the "exploration of themes around human nature" genre a rest, and try my hand at giant robot battles.
I actually wondered as I was preparing for this year if my problem in '07 was that I was trying to reach to deep for me, but now it seems fair to say that I'm just bad at fleshing out the details that would really fill up those pages. I mean, god, my project last year was some vignettes spanning about 40 years, and this one is about five years but with considerably more going on, at least in the last couple. Obviously, scope is hardly my problem, unless maybe I'm looking too ambitiously and unable to focus well on specific events because so few of them seem to be of any significance in the long run.

At least I've figured out what to do after my initial plot arcs conclude tomorrow. My somewhat dour fantasy (the prince dies) will give way to...bizarre lesbian buddy comedy! I'm already preparing for the massive awkwardness I'll feel writing it!

Which reminds me, even though none of it really has to do with this, I managed to come up with a couple of characters for my next writing project. If nothing else, I've enjoyed the time I've spent working this year a lot and I'm looking forward to continuing to work, but with less pressure. This one will probably be worked on over the next eleven months, since I'm sure I can come up with at least one decent idea before next year. This was completely my idea, but since the main characters are cops (at least for now) it seems convenient to phrase it in a way that might be familiar...

She's a blind psychic who watches the world by reading her best friend's mind. She's an absentminded and schizophrenic linguist.

THEY FIGHT CRIME!

Between the two of them they only have one name right now but I am so stoked, god damn.

edit: Mine is going to be super-embarrassing, but I might clean it up some and put it up somewhere. I like the general concept if nothing else, but if I don't just throw it out there it'll just remain buried forever. Maybe it'd be for the best!

SabreCat
11-25-2008, 07:10 AM
So is anybody's work for the month available somewhere that it can be read by the rest of us? I'm curious to see what you folks have been writing, even if it's incomplete or less than perfect.
"Less than perfect" is probably a good way to put it, but I've been throwing mine into a LiveJournal community (http://community.livejournal.com/catfox/?skip=20&tag=mission+final). It does have robot battles!

mr_bungle700
11-25-2008, 08:03 AM
I like robot battles!

And people, don't be embarrassed about the stuff you've written. A little while back I had people from this board read the beginning of one of my stories that wasn't even comprehensible because of the way I wrote it. It's better now, but the text is still spartan and far from great prose. So I'm not going to make fun of anything you've written!

spineshark
11-26-2008, 07:39 PM
I know people here are nice people and won't laugh but that doesn't make my stuff not suck.

The more I think about what has gone wrong though, the more I know how I can fix it. After not getting to 50,000 words this month, it should be easy for me to start cleaning up sections of the story and putting them up if anyone wants to read them. It really needs the help though, since looking over a lot of what I've written, it just feels to me so sparse that it's completely boring. I started off telling myself that I didn't care about world-building, but I'm surprised at how much of it is necessary to give the writing any taste. I thought it wouldn't matter since my setting was pretty plain and generic anyway, but not doing any just makes that problem worse.

But hey, if somebody wants to read my stuff, then I guess I want them to.

Merus
11-26-2008, 08:32 PM
I'm kind of glad I didn't commit to NaNoWriMo, because I didn't really write anything much this month.

SabreCat
11-29-2008, 09:16 PM
Victory! 50,294 on Day 29. Still about 14 chapters to write before I close out the story, but that's what the NaNoFiMo (http://www.nanofimo.org/) is for. ^.^

I see Aquadeo is celebrating with one of the prizes as an avatar. Congratulations! Any other Talking Tyrants celebrating in the winner's circle this weekend?

spineshark
11-29-2008, 09:33 PM
Nope! I'm going to take a break tomorrow and regroup for my next idea. I've figured out how to write it, though I'm still lacking the plot to some degree. Thinking about the possible style I could write my next story in made me think of something even more brilliant and terrible. Epistolary is an anachronism. A relic. I've figured out how to take it to the 21st century, though, and it's going to be appalling. I can't wait for November '09. It is good that I've got some time to think about it before then, because I have no plot or characters yet. Just the craziest, stupidest, most amazing idea I've ever dreamed up.

Merus
11-30-2008, 03:06 AM
Really? Because I've seen a lot of epistolary stuff that use emails and IMs and Parish did an epistolary review of Lost in Blue in I think the format of Twitter updates.

spineshark
11-30-2008, 03:39 AM
Huh, I have seen some of that stuff. Oh well, I always knew I was never as creative as I thought. I do want to push it further, though: Myspace! Message boards! Text messages! And of course blogs, emails and twitter. The structuring already sounds like a nightmare (just for the first problem that comes to mind, the second being complete disregard for any human language), but that actually makes it more appealing to me.

Aquadeo
11-30-2008, 08:12 AM
Thanks! And congratulations to you, too, SabreCat!

This one was a bit of a slog to finish, but since it wouldn't be a proper NaNoWriMo without last-minute chapter fills and dares, one of my main characters asked the other: "So, what is that you're reading?" Cue the final four thousand words: a giant robot battle. Give me the afternoon to bask in the luxury of not having to write, and I'll throw an excerpt up here.

As for epistolaries: You're right, that'd be frightful to co-ordinate, but it would be very impressive if you pulled it off. Ironically, a permanent paper representation would be one of the few lasting records that could demonstrate how Twitter and its ilk actually worked. Good luck, spineshark! The anthropologists of the 23rd century are counting on you!

shivam
11-30-2008, 12:41 PM
there is a whole series of young adult novels written as IMs and so forth.

Aquadeo
12-01-2008, 06:53 PM
All right, here's a complete, self-contained short story I pulled out of this year's novel. (http://labville.blogspot.com/2008/12/sculptor.html) And to give it that ol' multi-media "zing", I've turned it into a picture book, that shows off a few highlights from my Nunavut trip in September. It's 2,500 words, so hopefully that's not too much blather.

You will note, however, a lack of giant robots. That story (also self-contained) is 3,800 words, but it doesn't have as many pictures, so I'm still debating over the best place to put it.

Anyway, I hope you a) read it, and b) enjoy it, but if you c) decide you'd enjoy it best by not reading it, that's cool, too.

spineshark
12-16-2008, 11:06 PM
So, I read that yesterday. Multiple times, in fact, on the horrible bus ride home, during which I had nothing better to do when we were stuck in traffic and it took about half an hour to make it between two stops that are normally about five minutes apart. I liked it! I really wish I had some "lore" to use as a foundation for stuff, but I grew up in an atheist family in a boring suburb. It doesn't do much for my creativity, I'd say.

I have been trying to rework my NaNo so I like it better, and I'm kind of unhappy with the faux-medieval setting. I'm going to recast it at some higher level of technology. All I know is that, in the next version, the one I plan to go ahead and share, there will be guns, and it won't be a contemporary-adjacent setting. I either want something similar to Victorian or early 20th century, or more an-historic with steampunk or futuristic stuff. I feel like the latter especially would make for an interesting contrast with some of the elements that I'm trying to create, but it also worries me in terms of making things too "easy" on the characters, or just the likelihood that I'll feel so derivative writing it. On the other hand, that last part at least can't possibly be any worse than a straight-up medieval fantasy. Right? It has to be.

Merus
12-17-2008, 03:44 PM
If you're worried about making things too easy, you can stay at steampunk and make the guns fiddly and unreliable, like muskets. My solution for "fantasy, but with guns" was that magic messes with natural laws, so it tended to make guns (and other technology) unreliable and prone to breaking - especially when it's used to actually attack the gun. Very common magic trope, but I've never actually seen it used as an anti-gun thing.

Brer
12-17-2008, 04:49 PM
I either want something similar to Victorian or early 20th century, or more an-historic with steampunk or futuristic stuff. I feel like the latter especially would make for an interesting contrast with some of the elements that I'm trying to create, but it also worries me in terms of making things too "easy" on the characters, or just the likelihood that I'll feel so derivative writing it.

If you're worried about making things too easy, you can stay at steampunk and make the guns fiddly and unreliable, like muskets. My solution for "fantasy, but with guns" was that magic messes with natural laws, so it tended to make guns (and other technology) unreliable and prone to breaking - especially when it's used to actually attack the gun. Very common magic trope, but I've never actually seen it used as an anti-gun thing.

Merus, read Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. "Real World with magic" setting, and in addition to the usual "magic gives technology fits" problems, wizards can focus their energy to deliberately hex anything into dysfunctionality, and the more complex the machine the more easily and quickly it's ruined. An abacus is safe. A mechanical calculator may jam after too long in a magic-rich environment. An electronic one will rapidly start telling you that 2+2 = log i and get worse from there.

Spineshark, my advice on tech vs. magic is to think in terms of "what can magic do, and how easily?" and "what can technology do, and how easily?" in your world. If, say, storing magical energy for later use through fixed workings/spells/magical items is easy, then electricity may never have been developed as a power source.

Not because no one understands how electricity works, but because no one bothered figuring out how to produce, store, and transmit the stuff when we have mana batteries / ley lines / whatever to use instead. People rarely re-invent the wheel, even if Wheel 2.0 would be better, and the real world is full of examples of this.

As far as guns...well, to keep this post from getting obscenely long I'll PM you most of it, but the short version is that if you're thinking about things being "too easy" I think you're thinking in the wrong terms. Guns are easier to use than swords, but they still require skill, and it also significantly ups the threat your protagonists face from mooks/underlings/etc.

spineshark
12-17-2008, 06:22 PM
"Easy" was actually more in reference to problems like transportation and feeding people. I definitely appreciate the information, though. I really know very little about guns. I'm not trying to use them to solve or create any particular "problem," but to spice up the flavor. Not that this is any excuse for ignorance, of course; I fully intend to make everything as logical as I can...stand to.

Brer
12-17-2008, 06:31 PM
"Easy" was actually more in reference to problems like transportation and feeding people.

Ah, I see. Well, even with 20th Century tech you run into a lot of problems with both those things (especially the latter).