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Nanowrimo

Okay, so who's doing what for NaNoWriMo?

(Confession: I'm not doing it by the rule book because I'm already working on a book, but I plan to use it as a pace car this month ...)

The book I'm working on is "Neptune's Brood", set in the same universe as "Saturn's Children" but a hell of a long time later (and with no character-level continuity). Tool: Scrivener on OSX. Current length: 8,300 words, plus a bundle of notes. The goal is to try to make 60,000 words by December 1st.

I've written the first draft of an entire novel in significantly less than a month several times in the past — most recently, the first draft of "The Fuller Memorandum" took 24 days, and was substantially similar to the as-published version. I am, however, slow by some standards (I understand Iain Banks typically takes little longer to write each book, and his are twice the length of mine: and the all-time record holders leave both of us in the dust).

84 Comments

1:

Every time I try writing a novel I just end up with a slightly reworked version of the Bible. Perhaps I should write movie scripts?

Fritz

2:

Thanks for highlighting NoNoWriMo.
Though I note that we are well into 1st Novemebr, and their clock hasn't started yet!

3:

You are Jehovah and I claim my £5 ....

4:

You are old enough to remember "You are xxxx and I claim my £5" and I claim my £5.

Was it the Mirror...?

5:

Thou blaggart! A book in a month? Wow.

I can't do anything for NaNoWriMo because I'm in the middle of a re-read and I have to keep up with the beta-readers. Can I pretend there's a NaDecWriMo?

6:

I'm going to be having a crack at Nanowrimo again this year. I have the bare bones of a story idea outlined and I'm going to use this month to flesh it out.

7:

I'm hoping to break a three-year block by having another crack at Nanowrimo. I have an outline rather better organized than usual thanks to a little program called yWriter, I've limbered up my typing fingers to the point where I can sometimes hit 70wpm on an online test, and I've installed a selection of bare-bones text editors with sound effects, which nano-lore seems to favour.

It's fantasy with dragons, castles, and magic rocks, and I have 43 scenes outlined, which probably means the thing is not going to be finished in 50K words, but at the very least I hope I can get a decent start on it. I was kind of hoping to make it 50 scenes for the sake of tidiness -- I'm reckoning on 25 writing days,with Sundays off and a day in hand -- but I suspect what I have will be plenty.

And no, I haven't started yet. Coffee and some science first ...

8:

Sadly, I'm not even trying this year. I seem to have gathered too many projects during the last year, so free time is not available for NaNoWriMo. My second child was born last summer, I started learning Chinese, I try to begin a tabletop rpg game, and there're even more projects. Many could be put away for a month, but the family and the new language need effort every day.

Last year I tried with a steampunkish fantasy novel, but my back kept me from doing it. Too little exercise, and writing a couple of hours a day was a bit much after a work day - I work in software development, so it's not that different, physically.

Next year, perhaps. Or then some other month.

9:

I'm doing the same thing for NaNoWriMo this year that I was doing last year, and for much the same reasons: nothing, and because it's exam season over here in Australia (I have a Computational Mathematics exam on the 15th that I'm going to need to be studying for over the next fortnight, because the exam is worth 70% of my grade).

Before that my reason for doing nothing for NaNo was because I've tried it twice, and each time I get about halfway through the month before the inspiration (and the impetus) just runs out, which I find ultimately depressing and dispiriting. My longest piece of readable creative writing to date is about 15k words (a piece of Blake's 7 AU fanfic). I have some stuff where I'm approximately at the 26k word mark, but that's all fragments which are somewhat connected by a plotline, but which haven't managed cohesiveness. I know what has to happen next, but it just isn't coming out of the morass known as my brain.

10:

I've considered doing nano before - but I find that the way I write is so alien to some of the things you have to do for nano that I could only really do it as a way to force myself to try something different. I am meticulously slow, perhaps overly, and figuring out how to increase my pace would be useful. Perhaps I shall try next year. I'm not yet confident enough in my skill to attempt it this time, and have too many writing projects on the go to begin with.

11:

I thought it was the HON Man in the Sunday Post!

Yes, I was raised CofS, but I've got better! ;-)

12:

I started learning Chinese

Hm, I feel this should be "I started studying Chinese". It seems I might use more English studies, too.

The phrase just started to feel odd after posting it and reading it in the comments.

13:

Hmm, nothing wrong with that phrasing for this native English speaker. On the other hand, I would have said "It seems I could use some more English lessons".

However, I'm one to speak, since I'm pretty well incapable of getting around in Finland without using English. And although my wife does speak a second language fluently, it's Swedish, which she considers impolitic to use in Finland.

14:

But surely the process as a whole takes longer than 'just' the writing? That's not to denigrate the writing stage in any way at all, but I imagine there must usually be some sort of planning and/or preparatory stage where the ideas ripen in your mind.

Anyway, thanks for the link to the Nanowrimo initiative - a fantastic idea that I'd not previously encountered.

15:

"I started learning $language" is entirely normal usage, particularly if you're starting to take lessons in an Nth language from scratch.

As Bellinghman says, "I [could use|need] more $language lessons" would be more normal constructs if you had learnt $language to tourist level, and wanted to raise it to, say, High School certificate levels.

16:

I have until the 7th to hand over my grad thesis, but I still have a couple of pages to write before going for corrections and formatting. I am, also, incredibly burned out and, thus, don't think I'll be able join on the nanowrimo, which is a shame, because it's a really interesting question.

Ok, this may sound dumb, but... is there anywhere on the net that people that have no aspiration to publish the stuff they've written during nanowrimo could post their novels for critique & such things?

17:

Well, I've tried the past two years, and something always seems to come up to consume my time. Last year it was my dad succumbing to cancer, so I'm a little gun-shy to go again.

18:

I've tried NaNoWriMo every other year for the past four or five, and always ended up getting no further than 2% done in the first few days and dropping it. However, I've never been particularly handy with narrative writing.

19:

THE CLAIM. Seven runeslingers go prospecting for magic (or technology indistinguishable therefrom?) in the ruins of an ancient city. A post-apocalyptic Western fantasy.

My baby turns five weeks old today, so probably I don't win. But what the hell.

20:

I did Nanowrimo a few years ago, and made it, but it was a struggle.

My novel was about a group of people doing Nanowrimo, which gave me a framing device for writing fragments in multiple styles, and ensured there was always a growing point I could bash some word count on.

One of the characters wrote a book about a group of people doing Nanowrimo, with shorter fragments from each of the embedded works ...

The downside was that I didn't write any sustained piece of narrative, nor try to keep a characterisation going for any length of time.

My take-away understanding was that dialogue is really hard - mine always seemed wooden, and much the same regardless of the character. My admiration for professionals, like our esteemed host, went up another few notches.

21:

Maybe this is finally the year to put "Greenmantle meets The Terminator" into print then...

22:

I'm doing it again, for the second time. Last year the sheer enthusiasm of the whole thing, along with having a few close writing buddies really had me going on schedule until about day 20 or so, when real, paid work stepped in and said "tsk, tsk, tsk."

But this year... this year I am bloody launching people into bloody space, en bloody masse.

23:

I haven't tried NaNoWriMo before, for the simple reason that I haven't been able to see how to fit my way of writing into the form that NaNoWriMo requires: Typically I write and revise at the same time, finding it hard to move on past each sentence until the sentence flows just exactly the way I want it to (which inveitably leads to re-writing entire chunks of text on the go); but the objective of NaNoWriMo is, if I've understood correctly, quantity over quality.

I'm not knocking it -- I know of a couple of people who've turned out entire novels from NaNoWriMo, and gone on to sell them through Amazon's self-publishing system (no best sellers yet, but they're not churning out pap either). They have admitted that what they produce tends to require quite a bit of editing after the initial rush to get it all down on paper.

There are of course plenty of folks who can produce quantity and quality, and as I think Charlie's example of THE FULLER MEMORANDUM illustrates, the combination becomes easier the more you write (particularly for published writers with the dispassionate feedback of editorial staff) -- you become better at writing what you want (or what you intend) to write on the first draft.

I was also struck by a couple of posts that mentioned running out of inspiration, and I remembered advice from several other professional writers (paraphrasing as I go here!): Inspiration will only take you so far, that you cannot rely on it to power you the whole way through a novel length piece of work, and that you have to learn to call on the Muse not wait for her to call on you.

24:

Apologies to one and all: Re-read my last paragraph and realised that it came off as seriously condescending -- it wasn't meant that way, just thought of it as good advice!

25:

I started _A Brilliant Marriage_ this morning, though I've been outlining for a week. I have my first and last lines (last lines are quite important for me, because everything seems to head in that direction even if my outline has been thrown out the window after the first five minutes). It's a Regency romance, one of the larger branches of shared-world writing available, about a newly-made Duke (at first he thinks it's a hoax, till he sees the crumbling estate and towering pile of debts he actually inherits) and the Bookish Miss who wins his heart (ok, she's got a thumping great dowry, which never hurts).

Of course, the gunshot that nearly bags him the first time he visits his new home lets the Duke know that perhaps this wasn't a good idea after all...

Fortunately, he made a few friends in the Army while helping to fight Napoleon, and invites them over so they can play, too. Since the unemployment for discharged veterans after the Napoleonic Wars was um, high, they don't mind this new job at all.

26:

I'm using November to reset my writing enthusiasm and rebuild my writing habits. While I don't expect to hit 50k, I'm starting a new novel and piggybacking on the peer-pressure and enthusiasm of NaNoWriMo to help me get back to writing regularly.

If I come out of it with a fair chunk of this novel and some enthusiasm of my own, I'll be pleased.

27:

Well, I had hoped to finish my current novel in time to start a new novel for NaNoWriMo. Yeah...

So, instead, like Charley I am not going to do NaNoWriMo 'properly', but I am going to commit to 60K words by EOM.

28:

Thanks for highlighting NaNoWriMo.

I'm working on a sequel to The Ghosts of Deep Time, which grew out of last year's Nanowrimo. Someone's story inspired me to write about time travel from a...different perspective.

29:

I signed up last year but failed on the follow through. I'm making another run at this year. I'm going to use Scrivener for writing and DropBox so I can have access all over the place. I really wish Scrivener had an iPad/iPhone app so I could really write anytime, anywhere.

30:

Maybe I'll include my second book in it.
Despite being a religion/religious interpretation of H+ and Zero State I'm sure that many will consider it a work of fiction!

31:

Not strictly NaNoWriMo, but inspired by it: I'm going to try and write the bulk of my thesis by the end of the month. "Only" 20-30kwords, but this allows for inevitable reworking of some data and the joy of getting to grips with LaTeX. I'm planning to post progress on Facebook to keep me on track, alternating with pictures of our new kittens so my friends don't all hate me by the end.

32:

I'm also in the Not So Much Write An Entire Novel As Finish Ongoing Projects This Month camp. As far as actual novels go, I am planning on finishing the first draft of the current WiP (which is 92% complete acccording to the handy NanoWriMo Word Count Meter). Wacky little dark comedy about werewolves and cranky gods.

I also hope to finish this little freelance project http://www.edenstudios.net/beyondhuman.html-
it's an RPG Book and not an actual novel, but writing is writing.

33:

Charles, I thought you decided to swear off Scrivener because it wasn't open enough for you. Or was that a specific project related decision?

34:

In spite of an ever tightening schedule, I decided yesterday to give NaNoWriMo a go this year. However, I'm not working on a novel. Instead I'm writing several short stories. I have a fairly long backlog of ideas.

So far so good. I made a nice start at lunch today on a near future SF story titled "Clunkers". If I can keep the pace up, then I should get about 4-5 stories out of the month. That is more than I've written in the last three years. I'll probably hit 20k words at my current pace.

Lunch writing is being done on my iPad using Pages and a Clamshell Bluetooth keyboard (basically turns the iPad into a defacto netbook. It slows me down a bit, but keeps me from using my company laptop for my stories. At home I'll likely use my personal laptop and Textpad.

35:

You said it. Pace car, for revisions.

And that sequel I'm contracted for? I'm writing it on Scrivener. Not because it simplifies the initial draft, but because it'll make the re-writes so much easier.

36:

Nothing this year. While I don't write badly, I do write painfully slowly - which suggests NaNoWriMo would help me considerably, if only it didn't conflict with my local SF convention and other commitments. Perhaps I could start a training-wheels version and, like Thom above, pound some more words onto old projects.

37:

They do writing months at other times, Scott. Check their website, and see if there's one you can fit into your schedule.

38:

Having another go, though I've long since learned that I'm doing it only for my own amusement these days...

Stasis

"Tom is eleven years old. He's been eleven years old for a very long time, and he'd really like to grow up. But that is not going to happen for as long as he lives at The Institute. Richard never intended to go into teaching. Certainly not the strange parody of real teaching that he does at the Institute. And when he did, it was strictly for the one term, while he got himself back together. But he's been at The institute for going on two decades now. Almost as long as Tom has been there. And he's beginning to feel as trapped as the kids he looks after. Both dream of escape, but can either cope with life beyond the walls of the Institute...."

Or - The downside of indefinite life prolongation...

39:

I got my outline and characters and setting work done last week, and I can type bloody fast (90 w.p.m.), but work schedule and some of the constraints that NaNoWriMo place (I don't always have access to internet, so I'd have to copy-paste pretty often) will probably stop me from finishing the novel. It will at least give me a kick in the backside so that I'll at least have a rough draft that I'll polish the rest of the year.

40:

A kinda-retro weird little optimistic far-future mostly-hard SF space opera/exploration story. An eclectic interspecies crew of mutually-weird aliens go traipsing through the ruins of a space-cadet's-wet-dream empire trying to find out who these people were, what happened to them, and the best way to sell all this as valuable infotainment and academic research to the folks back home. The viewpoint character is a non-Western human woman a generation removed from an Earth that has actually resolved issues of poverty, environmental damage and social strife. The macroculture emanating from that origin point has strung a network of cultures between the stars, and is neighbored by several other macrocultures that got where they are by solving different problem-sets in different ways.

It's sort of a loving tribute to Naomi Mitchison's "Memoirs of a Spacewoman", with a dash of Ursula LeGuin's Hainish cycle, and with a little more chewy science goodness inspired by Joan Sloncewski's older stuff.

Except really painfully amateurish and bad.

41:

Rather off topic, but seriously impressive - go to youtube and type in "Boston Dynamics Petman"

42:

I'm doing NaNoWriMo this month after putting it off for years. This is the first time that I've been a) financially secure b) not in school and c) not already working on a project, so I figure there's no excuse not to.

So far I've got a single sentence, but I plan to get to 2,000 by the end of the night.

43:

Pulp-style space-opera.

2371 words so far. Don't expect your word processor to match the official count when it goes active.

Phrase of the day: "stabilised dioxygen-difluoride".

Remember, folks, they don't have to be good words.

44:

I always preferred Chlorine Trifluoride:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine_trifluoride

"t is, of course, extremely toxic, but that's the least of the problem. It is hypergolic with every known fuel, and so rapidly hypergolic that no ignition delay has ever been measured. It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water — with which it reacts explosively. It can be kept in some of the ordinary structural metals — steel, copper, aluminium, etc. — because of the formation of a thin film of insoluble metal fluoride which protects the bulk of the metal, just as the invisible coat of oxide on aluminium keeps it from burning up in the atmosphere. If, however, this coat is melted or scrubbed off, and has no chance to reform, the operator is confronted with the problem of coping with a metal-fluorine fire. For dealing with this situation, I have always recommended a good pair of running shoes!

45:

That was then. Scrivener is now in public beta on Windows and Linux/Intel, which is good going. (An iOS port would probably be a bit much to ask for right now from what is basically a 2-3 person company ...)

46:

good luck with the Computational Maths exam.. By coincidence, I have a Discrete Maths exam on the same day in the morning...

47:

For those who know the tune for Louie Louie, you'll realize that if you start the song with "C F F F, oh no, I said we gotta go. Yeah yeah yeah yeah..." you can have a lot of fun making lyrics from there.

49:

I didn't know Charles Hamilton or Billy Bunter. I can guess now where George MacDonald Fraser really got his inspiration for Flashman. It had to be something more than just a throwaway line in n Tom Brown's School Days.

50:

I'm writing an utterly preposterous far-future sci-fi-fantasy-dystopian-hardboiled-detective novel that involves witches, giant talking clocks, gorillas, and four-headed birds from other dimensions, a murder, an ancient book, a shadow government controlled by a rogue corporation, shapeshifting families that vie for power, and a golem made entirely out of syringes.

It's ludicrous nonsense, but I'll be damned if it isn't the most fun I've had writing in a long time.

51:

I was going to be using NaNoWriMo as a pace car for the book-in-progress as well but another writing project has presented itself, one which has a deadline, so alas, not this year. But! The other project has the potential to make me money and start a new career. So it's worth it.

52:

My sister guilted me into returning to NaNoWriMo after getting derailed a couple of times (10000+ words mysteriously lost when computer crashed because of funky power surges on fishing boat I was trapped on and the next year a power cable frying and leaving me unable to type four days in due to aforementioned wonky power on -different- boat). I was feeling slightly guilty for breaking the rules by returning to a book I'd previously started, but it is encouraging to see you running alongside in the same race, Charlie. Thanks for the boost.

53:

I'm giving it a go again for the first time in a couple of years. Last attempt in 2008 only saw me getting halfway to the total, but I worked through December and early January and had a 65,000 word novel by the end of January which I was happy with (the happiest part was just finishing something!)

Quietly hopeful this year again, but considering all the things I have to fit into the month, I'm not entirely sure what the likelihood of doing 50,000 in 30 days is. But again, if it can be finished in the next 1-2 months, I'll still be happy with that.

And I can't help but think that if I was doing it fulltime, 50,000 words in a month would be very easily achievable...

54:

I'll be leveraging the energy of NaNoWriMo to attempt to get some traction on my programing project, which is an attempt to virtualize the process of taking a stack of index cards to the library and learning about history. I hope to write 4-5000 lines of code during November, which will hopefully bring the project to a point where it will actually be useful to history students and/or scholars.

Maybe next year I'll start working on my novel again, which makes the observation that any species gets the singularity they deserve.

55:

P.S. As soon as I finish painting the TV room... sigh.

56:

For anyone who's looking for something to write about, here's an idea that came up at conversation over dinner:

In the spirit of the Occupy movement, college students all over the US unionize, in an attempt to control spiraling education costs, fewer class choices, and lack of transparency about where the money's going."

Yes, I know why public school costs are going up (in some cases), but this came up in a discussion of how costs at a particular private university are going up even faster.

Something to think about: what would happen if "Student Union," started meaning something a bit different?

57:

Oh..? I thought your issue with it was that you didn't want your words to be locked in to a particular app (not that they are with Scrivener). I'm probably misremembering your comments about it though.

58:

This nanowrimo I'm having my first crack at a novel length piece of writing.
I checked the rules and "thematically linked collection of short stories" is allowed, so I'm diving in, and just writing my way through it, and will decide once there's no way left to prevaricate, whether it's a set of short stories sharing soe characters, themes, and settings, or a novel that starts with separate threads.

59:

I must confess that I am using NaNoWriMo this year to give me a month of peace and quiet. I have warned one and all (my sister who calls at least once a day, the dogs and cats that seem to think I'm their servant, and my husband who insists on requiring me to be present in the here and now on the weekends he is able to come home) that this is my month, November, in which I will pursue my dreams, please and thank you. So, I lift a glass to NaNoWriMo. And no, I don't drink it or I would lose concentration thereby lessening my chances of making that magical word count by November 30th. However, there is a very good port waiting for me on December 1st!!!

Bon chance to each and every one of you this month!

60:

NaNoWriMo winners also get a discount voucher for Scrivener, and the time-limit on the Beta is extended over the NaNoWriMo period.

There are all sorts of different tools. One of the things about NaNoWriMo is that there are people there using just about anything you can imagine. It's worth signing up for that.

61:

Debout! les damnés de la terre
Debout! les forçats de la faim
La raison tonne en son cratère,
C'est l'éruption de la fin.


My French Teacher was in the French student riots in the Sixties. and ran a local poetry-zine. At least we were taught to avoid the CRS.

62:

I was keen to try it this year, but I'm wrapped up in the Stanford online ai-class module until December, so I'd better not.

63:

Typically I write and revise at the same time, finding it hard to move on past each sentence until the sentence flows just exactly the way I want it to (which inveitably leads to re-writing entire chunks of text on the go); but the objective of NaNoWriMo is, if I've understood correctly, quantity over quality.

As I understand it (and I am not a professional writer, I just know quite a few), one of the purposes of NaNoWriMo's enforcing quantity is to break you out of the habit of polishing each fragment as you go along. There is no point whatsoever in producing the perfect line of dialogue if the scene in which it occurs shouldn't even exist. If however you've been forced to actually produce something of short novel length before you're permitted to go back and polish the individual gems, you can then concentrate the polish on places where it will survive.

If programming terms, it's the equivalent of "Get it right, then optimise".

64:

Definitely going for it again this year. The last two year's efforts have been best described as learning experiences but as long as I'm learning I'll keep working on it.

65:

This Novemeber, I'll be writing my first novel. And that sentence contains more optimism than a college student being visited by venture capitalists? Presidential candidates the night before the New Hampshire primary? The Jehovah's Witnesses' current prediction for judgement day?

This is motivated by the fact that I've recently moved, and now have a 50 minute train ride each way in my commute. And a netbook. So I certainly have the time.

The novel in question will be a Mythos/Atlantean sword&sorcery tale.

66:

It is something very different from what you may have been taught at school. It's about writing at length, and organising the time to do so. Can you imagine being given the time and space to write 50,000 words by any school teacher you have ever known? Have you ever known a teacher who could write anything at that length?

My mother's english teacher wrote successful books. My own spent far too much time on staffroom politics.

My teacher would be surprised by the quality and quantity of what I've done. If she's still alive (the most recent reference to her is from 2008).

67:

I'd read that. As Stephen King oncesaid (and he should know), "sometimes all you need is a big mac and fries"

68:

Nice to know that you will be chugging along with the rest of the Nano Novel Writers. Thanks for posting about NANO! Good Luck!

69:

I'm nano'ing. Charlie, you obviously like Scrivener since you're using it, but is there any particular Total Win feature that bumps it over a word processor?

70:

Check out Peter Elbow's _Writing With Power_. He talks about "free writing" and "focusing". Essentially, you stop being trapped in the process of "writing sentences". People don't read sentences, they read stories. HA!

It requires that you become comfortable with being "wrong", over and over, until you are "right". Amazon has the "Look inside" option active on the books. Google "Writing Without Teachers" and "Peter Elbow" to find different excerpts from his first book, and essays. Fun stuff.

71:

bellinghman, paws4thot, thanks for the language comments!

As for the topic, I feel more comfortable writing even short story fiction in Finnish than in English. I've read much in English - I've been reading adult fiction in English for almost as long as I've been doing that in Finnish, so I feel comfortable with the language, but still my output function seems to be geared for Finnish.

I do use English in writing at work and in hobbies, as roleplaying in an international MMOG seems to almost require it.
There's also some tabletop gaming material I've been writing in English (mostly onto my hard drive) because, well, the audience is pretty much English-speaking.

I admire Hannu Rajaniemi a great deal for writing a novel in English, though I do not know his history and how long he has been using English.

72:

Any time; working with native speakers is the only way most people (I know a couple of exceptions here; see http://www.maiamadness.com/ ) ever get from "speaking good gramatically correct $language" which you already do in English to "speaking $language like a native".

Hannu's book is in my "to be read" bookcase, but I need to finish "The Highest Frontier" and then read a book by a friend before anything else.

73:

Mikko, I've known Hannu for some years -- he lives in Edinburgh, did his PhD here, and speaks English with native-level fluency. More to the point, he's been writing fiction in English for many years (I first met him via the local SF writers' workshop), to the point where his Finnish publisher agreed to employ an experienced translator to translate "The Quantum Thief" into Finnish. (Hannu being (a) busy running a company and (b) not as proficient at writing fiction in Finnish as in English.)

74:

I don't do NaNoWriMo itself, because it's the sort of quantitative target that tends to jinx or impede my storytelling - I write faster without them. Also, it's fast enough to demand my binge-writing mode, if it were to work at all. That's a phase-change: significantly faster than 50K/month while in operation, but most unlikely to last so long, on account of the mental stress and physical deterioration that goes with it. I'm usually better off avoiding that.

I do, though, seem to draw energy hearing from all the other people whose processes dovetail with NaNoWriMo rather better, so it still turns out a plus for me.

75:

@63:

Oh, how I appreciate that sentiment; I've written entire chapters of stories in the past that although I've loved, have wound up being junked!

I really don't want to be down on NaNoWriMo -- as I mentioned, I know several folks who've found some level of success through the process -- but I really can't do the write it all first and revise later approach, it just doesn't seem to work for me (there are certainly parts of stories that once I'm in the flow, I'll write continuously for a while and then revise, but it doesn't hold for me for a whole story). But I'm not a professional writer either, and perhaps I'd need to change my habits if I ever do veer in that direction.

In the end, the most important lesson, and the only thing that appears to be common to all writers, seems to be the old chestnut: Write every day.

And I would say that NaNoWriMo works hard to teach that lesson!

76:

My issue was that I want to be able to work on any lump of hardware that happens to be in my hands at the time; that, and the ability to export my data. Wrt. data export, Scrivener is no better or worse than most word processors. Wrt. cross-platform capabilities, it is now getting much, much better -- indeed, it's coming to rival Apache OpenOffice (until their Android and iOS ports show up).

NB: For reasons I shall not explore further in public I am awaiting delivery of a maxed-out Z0MG tomorrow. I'm sure it, Scrivener, and I will enjoy a productive nanowrimo together. (While $COFFEE_SPILLER enjoys its predecessor.)

77:

I've put a chapter out on a private mailing list, a bunch of amateur writers who work in a sort of shared world, and I'm getting compliments. That makes me feel good.

The worrying thing is that they see things I hadn't noticed in a character.

78:

NaNoWriMo emphasises that the quality of the words isn't counted.

Maybe it wouldn't be cheating to write a chunk, revise, and submit the original and a diff file to the word-count?

79:

I'm not sure that you can really cheat (unless you've you've got an infinite number of monkeys and typewriters locked in your basement!), is the whole thing policed, can you be kicked out out of something that seems quite informal to start with?

The real problem for me is that the way I like to work kills my daily word count, on occasions dropping it to an effective zero.

80:

Dave_the_Proc @ 79 - The real problem for me is that the way I like to work kills my daily word count, on occasions dropping it to an effective zero.

Check out Peter Elbow's _Writing With Power_, that I mentioned @70. It will help you break the crippling habit of "writing sentences."

81:

There is a counting tool that is implemented later in the month, and you have to submit your work to that, to be counted as a winner and have bragging rights.

So, as long as Charlie can exclude the initial bunch of words, as long as he can submit for counting only what he wrote in November, there's nothing to say he can't be counted as a winner.

Me, I've cleared to 10k line after 4 days. I now have to shop for groceries. And I have set up the justification for the zero-G latex-clad lesbian sex scene. Well, as much justification as such a scene ever needs.

82:

Well, I seem to be writing something, though I don't think it's going to be novel-length, and nor am I writing fast enough for Nanowrimo. But it's almost the first fiction output I've created for about five years that wasn't an RPG character's back story, and I'm doing minimal editing as I go, so I hold that I'm writing to the spirit of Nanowrimo.

I'm using TextWrangler on the Mac, and saving it to Dropbox so I can do some work on my iPad if inspiration strikes me away from my desk and near some public wi-fi. I'll probably use iA Writer on the iPad. The almost daily output is going to my LiveJournal, though I'm too shy at this stage to post the bits publicly. (Friend me if you want to read it.)

The something was inspired by a thread in RPG.net about movies viewed backwards where one of the movies was The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy is the antagonist, and I haven't figured out who the protagonist is yet (I suppose it should be The Wicked Witch of the West, but it's been done, and besides, sticking strictly to the reversed storyline, D. should be creating WWW in a few thousand words or so). I'm thinking of RA Lafferty as I'm writing, but it's reading more like Moorcock so far, I think.

83:

I signed up but my worrying over my Angelina Kitty has superseded any thought about a lot of writing right now. Her condition is improving, for reasons not to be shared in polite company, and I may resume my pursuit of it though i'll be behind.

(She's feeling better, eating and getting around and doing other normal cat things, though she has decided the sheepskin under our bed between J and I is the Perfect Bomb Shelter for an elderly cat. )

Best wishes and good luck to all!

84:

This is my seventh time participating, and this year shows a departure from my usual horror-tinged fantasy theme. I'm going with balls-to-the-wall science fiction. I wouldn't exactly call it hard SF (I'd say it's about as hard as refrigerated marzipan), but I'm making a deliberate effort to not just write a fantasy novel and replace the fireballs with rayguns.

I'm working on a sort of space opera-esque technothriller (the new kind of thriller, where the suspense is largely replaced with guns). The basic gist: a freelance secret agent is killed on the job, and put back together by his employers, an organisation of ethical transhumanists called the Temple Institute. They shoot him up with experimental nanorobots that constantly modify his physiology, making him the first adaptive cyborg, and then send him off to stop a sinister plot with galaxy-wide consequences.

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on November 1, 2011 7:51 AM.

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