Tuesday, October 30, 2012


It is Upon Us

Also known as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, which cannot be considered a helpful acronym, since I just had to look it up. Perhaps it would be better as an acrostic?

Naturally, I am
More [than 1000 words before giving up and buying a handle of gin]

You know what? It was a better acronym than an acrostic.

Look, do you know how to do this? You go to the website to sign up, then pick your preferred word-crunching software (or, whatever, quills or pencils if you think you're better than me), and you spend November writing a fifty thousand word novel.

You have two days to get your shit together, and when it's over, send me bits and pieces and we'll do something fun and affirming with them. I'm going to do it too! My novel is going to be about a nurse who accepts a lucrative offer to work for two weeks in Uranium City (remote northern Canadian hinterlands) and her TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS. I'm not letting small things like never having been north of, uh, a little bit norther than the US border come between me and writing eighteen pages of a terrible novel, and nor should you.

Let's do this. Let's REALLY do this.

98 Comments / Post A Comment




this is freaking awesome.@k

Bethany Murray@twitter

I signed up this morning!


Yes. In. Please let the hairpin be a safe place where mediocre authors aren't allowed to bitch about nanowrimo DEBASING THE SACRED ACT OF WRITING !!!

...she commented, moments before beginning a really bad parody novel.


@breccia I do not understand the complaints either. I didn't finish my project last year because I realized my plot was falling apart and I didn't want to completely ruin the story I found dear to my heart...BUT I am eternally grateful to NaNo for showing me that I can write about 2000 words in a day which was a huge boost to my confidence.


@breccia omg thiiiiis. I don't like doing nano (so stressful!) but hey lots of people writing books. Cool, go for it. Everyone can try their hand at writing. I've read some great published novels that started at nano. But omg, the people who complain about how they're all poseurs! Of course I can't read the nano forums either... because there you have mediocre writers kvetching about how ART IS HARD or "it's so easy lol why do you complain so much."

Yeah. Art is hard. I hope you never again say that ebooks are overpriced because there's no physical product now that you know it's real work. To me, that's what I want. More people writing so they realize how hard it is and think that maybe writers deserve real pay.

Hoosier Time

I signed up this morning too! I've been toying with the idea for years but this is the year it's going to happen! Maybe!

Hailey Bachrach@facebook

I did this (and won) for three years in a row in high school, and have somehow never managed to get through more than about three days of it since.


I'm having NaNoReMo instead (like every month). Godspeed, everyone taking part in this!

Daisy Razor

Oh, sure, I'm in. I'm not signing up at the website though because, frankly, I hate pep talks and encouragement.


@Daisy Razor Personally I look for mocking and competition these days, so the emails from the site are right out.

Teeth and Claws

@Daisy Razor I like it both ways. Mocking and competition from friends, pep talks and encouragement in emails from the site. It's very good-cop/bad-cop.


The worst part about NaNoWriMo is actually December, when all your amateur writer friends make passive aggressive status updates about how people should buy their "really good" new fantasy novel ebook. Ugh.

evil melis

you should murder all of your friends sintaxis


sounds like you(r friends) need new friends.


@evil melis hmmm maybe I could turn this into some sort of novel idea: a group of 20 somethings try to get me to buy their BDSM Harry Potter fanfics, pushing me to commit serial murders. If only there were some sort of structured novel writing event that could help me get organized and commit.... Oh well.


@sintaxis Who are these punks who think you don't know where to get your HP BDSM for free?


@JessicaLovejoy Considered writing a 50,000 word ode to this comment, expressing my love for it.

Aaand that's the extent of my Nanowrimo project.


@sintaxis What? Not to be mean, but, who thinks a novel they wrote in a month is good enough to sell? I love you, but I will not come to your Mary Kay party and I will not buy your novel.


@smidge I think it's carry over confidence after they finish the month. All I know is every December I get inundated with pleas to pay for a copy of whatever they managed to squeeze out over the past month.


I'm doing this, except just writing way too much in my regular diary, so instead of a novel at the end, I just get a novel's worth of me whining about how lonely I am.


@pkle "I thought it was a very sad, handwritten book."


@JessicaLovejoy Haaaaa yes. The one line from that movie I still regularly quote!


I'm doing it! I work at a literary non-profit and the whole staff is signed up. I'm preparing for a long month of sleepy coworkers muttering about word count.

Porn Peddler

...I'm writing a novel but not through this so we are all gonna be novel writing buddies no matter what, right?


@Porn Peddler Yes. I'm signed up through the site because I like the festival aura, but I'm just going to work extra hard on the novel I'm already writing.


@Canard @Porn Peddler I was just about to post asking the same thing- I know realistically that due to work and a show opening that I won't be able to do 50,000 words, but my goal is to set aside 30-60 minutes each day to write/edit my novel, more if I have free time.


@Canard I'm editing a novel. That takes about a month or more of full time work, it totally counts! Then I can still slip into the decent writer networky stuff because wow nano is so good for networking.


I'm attempting it! Signed up a couple of weeks ago, even. Can I even vaguely get around to outlining before starting, though? That's a hell no.


In college I was tempted to just count all the words I wrote for my classes, as it would've probably added up to something close. (Well, maybe not in Novemeber, but in October with midterms or December with finals, maybe.)


I'm in! Signed up and went to a kick off party last week. I've tried this for the past 2 years and always made it through 300 words and quit. This time I actually have an idea that I'm really excited about and have been taking notes for since May, so I'm as ready as I'm going to be. Hopefully I'll have a shitty first draft on December 1st!


I did NaNo once in high school and haven't since. I've thought about, but definitely not happening this year, when I have a thesis to write. (And if my thesis hits 50,000 words, I suspect my advisor will give me a sadface)


I want to do this but I have zero workable ideas so far! I am scared to sign up without even a flimsy premise. I'll be so far behind on the first daaaaaaaaaaaay.

evil melis



@evil melis Taming of the Stu.

evil melis


I thought the Space-queen had more affected the Duchess of
Albany-7 than Rigel-Cornwall.


It did always seem so to us: but now, in the
division of the Star Kingdom, it appears not which of
the cryo-dukes she values most; for equalities are so
weighed, that curiosity in neither can make choice
of either's moiety.


Is not this your robo-daughter, my lady?


Her breeding, madam, hath been at my charge: I have
so often blushed to acknowledge her, that now I am
brazed to it.


I cannot conceive you.


Sir, this young fellow's sexbot father could: whereupon
he grew round-wombed, and had, indeed, madam, a child
for his cradle ere he had a wife for his
bed sleep chamber. Do you smell a fault?


I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it
being so proper.


But I have, lady, a daughter by order of MOONLAW, some year
elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account:
though this knave came something saucily into the
world before she was sent for, yet was her father
fair; there was good sport at her making, and the
whorechild must be acknowledged. Do you know this
noble lady, Edmund?


No, my lady.


My lady of Kent: remember her hereafter as my
honourable friend.


My galactic services to your ladyship.


I must love you, and sue to know you better.


Madam, I shall study deserving.


She hath been out nine light-years, and away she shall
again. The queen is coming.

evil melis

ok at a certain point i think i have to acknowledge i don't just like making jokes about sci fi I JUST LOVE SCI FI


@evil melis y u gotta be so good

I also love sci fi. So happy to see SF goodness on a lady blog! Take that, all you boys telling me girls can't have scifi because science. TAKE IT.


I think you mean National Seminar Paper Writing Month, don't you? I'm definitely doing that one.


A novel. Ugh. Ugh, a novel. How about I just continue writing work proposals and mediocre blog posts, but read all of you guys' awesome novels and tell you how great they are? I am a terrific cheerleader, and know many many synonyms for "stupendous."

Chesty LaRue

Nicole, if you need help with the realism of Uranium City, please let me know.


I've always wanted to do NaNoWriMo, but I don't have a book. I do, however, have to write approximately three one-hour plays before June. Has anyone co-opted the NaNoWriMo thing for writing purposes other than novels? Does it work?


@chnellociraptor Only all the time. You just have to make up your own massively unrealistic yet somehow achievable goal. There's actually a forum on the site meant for people like you: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/forums/nano-rebels


@rosencrantz Yesss! Thank you!


@chnellociraptor I was wondering if I could co-opt the NaNoWriMo timeline word-count chart, which I find oddly compelling (I have "won" NaNoWriMo before!), to keep track of my dissertation :/ But it just seems kind of depressing.


@bluewindgirl That's a nice idea, actually, and one that I shall steal!

Fry Fry A Hen

De-lurking specifically to join on this one. I've never done NaNoWriMo before, but I definitely need the kick in the pants. I have a lengthily-daydreamed idea, but only sporadically put actual fingers to actual keyboard. Should the fact that I know virtually nothing about computers prevent me from attempting cyberpunk?

Teeth and Claws

@Fry Fry A Hen Nothing should prevent you from attempting it! The spirit of NaNoWriMo is one of hedonistic abandon, so by all means, write fast and happy. There's always time for more research + editing later.


I can't this year, sadly. Well, not really sadly, since I've never finished NaNo successfully. Best of luck to everyone, though!


I like the name because it makes me think of Bi-Mon Sci-fi Con. 'Mark Hamill! Alf! And many many more'.

I went to sign up and realised that I'd already done it last November and not written a word. Lazy or just well-prepared? It's anyone's guess.

Tuna Surprise

This just reminds me of how I spend my days doing technical writing and will never write for my enjoyment. But everyone should read the latest prospectus I drafted! It's a 25,000 word page turner. It starts out by reminding people that the securities offered under this prospectus are being offered pursuant to an exemption from US registration and you should check the laws in your jurisdiction. But it really picks up when we remind people that they can lose all their money by investing in this security! The final plot twist is who they appointed as their independent auditor. You'll never guess (it's one of the big four - but that's the only hint I'll give).

Teeth and Claws

I'm in. Hell, I've got in-laws coming to stay, I'm hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for people I barely know (on my thirtieth birthday, no less) and it's gonna get cold and dark and wet as hell. Give me some scotch and we will DO THIS.


I've tried and failed the past few years, and this year I've been noticing a sort of down-on-NaNoWriMo attitude around the internet that makes me feel sad and self-conscious about being interested in it. I will probably try again this year, though! (And fail because I'm spending over a week on vacation in Chicago for Thanksgiving, but whatever.) I'm thinking of finding an illustration or painting to use as inspiration, any suggestions? Maybe this one.


@frigwiggin Welcome to Chicago for a week! It's a very writery city.

Emma Peel

Aw man, I want to do this but I'm going on a vacation for about half the month and not taking my laptop! (First. World. Problems.) Would anyone be up for a substitute month later? Maybe January? :)


Welp, I have failed at this two or three times in the past, might as well attempt it again.


ahhh ok ok i super want to do this but my doing so is contingent on getting a 2000-word research proposal done first, which i've been working on, off and on, for WEEKS and have restarted like 5 times. SO let tomorrow be NaReProWriDa, and if that succeeds then i will join you fine people!


I've considered doing NaNoWriMo, but instead of writing a novel I'd use it to get my ass in gear about writing IRB proposals, conference submissions, prepare manuscripts and so on. Unfortunately that's stuff I have to do all year so I can't take a break from it after November. Yaaaay grad school. *waddles off to finish-er, start-a conference submission due in 1.5 days*


I am totally doing it, and it is going to be appalling.


@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails I misread "appalling" as "appealing" and was all, "That's the spirit!"

My bad.


@chnellociraptor I like "appalling."


@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails Something appealing, something appalling, something for everyone, a bad novel tonight!


@Bittersweet Nothing for jerks, nothing for snobs, something to write at soul-crushing jobs...


@chnellociraptor My novel is going to be appalling, but I'm actually pretty excited about the experience.

@Bittersweet and Canard
Old situations, new complications, nothing that's thought out with insight, editing tomorrow, bad novel tonight!


MAYBE I try to write 50,000 words of my dissertation instead! I'm 90% sure that my research is crap and I'm making shit up anyway, so as long as no one tells my advisor, I'm happy to call it fiction...


@Hammitt Ahhh I just posted the same above!

Herriot, shmerriot

I'm using it to actually post to my blog! NaNoBloMo? About vet school and vet ethics. I'm pumped!

Herriot, shmerriot

@Herriot, shmerriot NaBloWriMo!

Emma Peel

@Herriot, shmerriot NaBloPoMo! It's actually a thing, and way more fun to say, because it sounds like some kind of obscure food from outside the Western hemisphere.

Herriot, shmerriot

@Emma Peel Ooooh yes! This is happening! I'll have 2 heaping servings of NaBloPoMo, please. Feeling adventurous!

Be But Little

@Herriot, shmerriot Um... Blog Every Day in November? It doesn't really work during a non-vowel month.


Substitute cookies for gin, and you exactly described my writing process. I'm in.

Teeth and Claws

@Cawendaw I like the cut of your jib.


I have always wanted to try it but this November I am moving trans-atlantic and beginning job hunt and house hunt...soooooo not the best November methinks!

fruiting body

I'm doing it! Despite this month being full of upheaval. I'm just going to write about someone going through more upheaval than I am, so I feel put-together.


SO, should I try for some Literary Fiction(AKA thinly disguised fictionalized version of my own life as a defense lawyer, with some kind of Lesson or Problem thrown in), or Fun Trash(magic and sex and swords and either teleportation or time travel)?

Miss Maszkerádi

@lovelettersinhell Fun Trash!! Fun Trash!!


@lovelettersinhell Try writing a page or an outline of each, and see which comes easier! You can do it!

Miss Maszkerádi

I'm trying to talk my long-distance friend in Poland into collaborating with me on a fun-trashy romance novel with some sort of strong feminist heroine, potentially turning into a parody of the entire bodice-ripper genre. And hopefully including random cameo appearances by famous Polish historical figures. I have no idea how we will pull this off, and I have no intentions of trying to publish the monstrosity that will inevitably result, but I'm gleefully anticipating a month of emailing back and forth an ever-expanding manuscript full of weird English and loopy subversiveness....


I have actually been considering this! I have a brainless job where I'm surrounded by Portugese-speakers all day and rarely expected to talk, so I've been meaning to give myself some kind of intellectual project for a while now just to have something to do with my brain.


I have tried, and failed to do this every year for the past 7 years. Looks like 9 is the charm. I'm in. Also @Countessmaritza I would read the hell out of that romance novel.


Yessss! I think I'll use the forums for their usual helpful boost of communality and wordiness but to finish off my long running, long suffering novel, that needs to be finished before I put it,or me, out of our joint misery.

I did it three times in school (once with some kind of mad dash to the finish line, writing half of it in a day) and it's nice to look over those manuscripts and see they're not wholly bad. Fantasy is so much more fun to write - plot slows down, THROW IN A UNICORN. But then it burnt me out from writing for months after.


I'm totally cheating. I think I'll use it to work on my novel in progress and when I get a little burnt out with that, work on something completely new.

I did it last year and while I didn't finish, it did give me the "Fuck yeah, I can write more than 100 words at a time!" confidence for which I am eternally grateful.


Is this a good place to admit that I am terrified of the fact that I have no subplots, and I'm worried that the emotional conflict/growth for my character isn't enough conflict to actually move the story along?


This will be my 10th year! TEN YEARS! I started in college, so now I feel old (ish).

Koko Goldstein

I'm doing it! I'm writing a screenplay, though, so I'm not going to sign up on the actual site. I'm going to try to prep this week and write one "act" per week, then edit with whatever time I have left. I'm really excited and was up all night last night thinking out some scenes.

Be But Little

I just returned from a NaNoWriMo kick off party. NaNo is fun if you enjoy writing. I use it to bang out really awful first drafts. I spend the rest of the year working on the one novel... just the one. But I do love my terrible NaNo novels.


I'm in! It's year, oh god, 9 I think. I finally managed to do it last year, despite not starting until the 3rd. Went to a pre-Nano gathering on the 13th (the first time since i moved to the prairies. This group is way less weird than the Nano group in Halifax). I don't spend a lot of time on the forums but I do really like the accountability of the wordcount graph.

I'm writing a trashy lawyer mystery. Because nothing says "productive" like "I'm behind on my wordcount so I'm writing Mountie porn."

Nicole, If you need northern info about Uranium City, holler! I miss the north.


@be but little I like your approach


I am in a coursework-heavy grad school semester, so I am thinking of incorporating my work into a writing project? I'm studying a lot of feminist history and getting going on a first thesis chapter so am thinking of a bunch of vignettes about a whole bunch of women doing life and dealing with hard things and good things and loving and being angry and wonderful. Struggling to not make it prescriptive like so much literature aimed at women? idk. I'm tired of male protagonists.


I'm returning after a long hiatus. I'm much better/more diligent about revising than first drafts so I find NaNoWriMo good for prompting me to produce a lot of raw material, but I have to have a good outline or it won't work. I've got one this year, though. Well it's LONG, anyway.

Is there a group on NaNoWriMo for 'pinners?

Teeth and Claws

@bitchycrosstownexpress I'd love to see a 'pinners NaNoWriMo group, myself. My area group is kind of... meh.

Porn Peddler

@Teeth and Claws I'm an idiot and just posted about this thing below, but we should have a google group or something! For all pinner writers!


I just signed up! Never done it before, but always wanted to try it. I don't have a great outline or very firm ideas, but that's what it's all about, right?

Porn Peddler

so where are all us going to check in with each other on novel writing thingz? hairpin group?

fondue with cheddar

I just happened to get a great idea for a novel just a few days ago, and the fact that this happened on the eve of NaNoWriMo makes me feel like I should try. Unfortunately, I'm totally not a writer. Maybe I could write a short story, but this is much too big for that.

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