NaNoWriMo 2019 - Write-all

So, where are our NaNos at?

Yes, it's that time again, where we drive ourselves insane trying to create an entire novel from scratch in 30 days. Let's do this.

They've got a new site up at nanowrimo.org and, frankly, I think they rushed it out a bit. It's a bit wobbly. But it's what we have.

The new site has lost everyone's writing buddies, so I'm looking for new ones. I'm PaleoGamer over there. Feel free to friend me up.

So... who else is with me this year?

And for those of you wondering "What the hells is this?", well... here's my standard pitch...

It's almost November, which means it's almost time for NaNoWriMo!

What is NaNoWriMo you may ask? Well, I'm happy to tell you.

NaNoWriMo is "National Novel Writing Month". Every November (and April and July when we hold "camps"), a few million people decide that they are going to write a novel. 50,000 words. In 30 days.

Insane, right?

Here's what is going on, from my perspective anyway. All of us have an innate desire to create something. To express ourselves. But... for whatever reason we don't.

Actually, there are reasons. We tell ourselves "I'm not any good at this." Or, "No one wants to see what I write." Or even just that "I can't do this." We'll call that your inner critic (and the critic's friend, your inner editor). And they don't want you to be creative. You let them decide that you can't do this.

50,000 words. 30 days. That's 1,667 words per day. That's... a lot. And that's deliberate.

If you're going to get 1,667 words down in one day, you have to write. You can't think about what you're writing. You can't go "Is this good?". You can't think "Does anyone even want to look at this?"

I'll give you a hint. At that writing speed, it won't be good. It's going to be an unedited mess. And it doesn't matter.

Because you don't have time to listen to that Critic or that Editor either. Ignore them. It's just you and the keyboard. Or the pen. Or a sharpened reed and a clay tablet. We don't judge.

You need to get what is inside of you, out. Your story. Your idea. Your passion. It doesn't matter what it is. You just need to get it down onto paper. Or a folder in DropBox. You know what I mean.

Nothing between you and your idea. Words on a screen. Or a clay tablet. It's there. You did it. You let your idea out.

You created something.

And the next time, it will be easier. And the next easier than that. And soon, what was once pretty bad will start becoming kinda good. And you'll learn that maybe you don't need that pesky inner Critic or Editor anymore.

NaNoWriMo exists to help get rid of those two. Go to the website and sign up. There are other people there who will cheer you on, give you advice and support, and keep telling you that you can do this. Because you can.

And don't think that just because it's in the name that you have to write a "Novel". Write a collection of short stories. Erotic poetry. Amusing Amazon reviews. Anything. We'll call you a Rebel but hey, some people like that title.

You don't even have to show anyone what you wrote. There's an automated widget that will do the official word count, but it doesn't keep what you wrote. It just gives you a number.

It doesn't cost anything. You don't win anything either. Unless being able to say that you wrote a novel counts as a win. Because, you know, not everyone can do that.

50,000 words. 30 days. Join us.

For once this year I don’t have big projects, family trips, or games I feel I need to play at release. (Most of the stuff I’m interested in is single player). So I’m in.

I’m under my boring name John DeWeese.

Best of luck to you all!

I'm not participating, but I wish you all good luck!

Thank you! I just need spend next week pulling my notes and coming up with a basic game plan.

Since we're only a couple of days away, I thought I'd write down a guide for a cool feature that Scrivener has, so you can write anywhere, on any computer, even without Scrivener installed, and get your writing into Scrivener easily. It's a bit convoluted to set up, but once it is, it's easy to use.

Spoiler:

You need:

  • Scrivener
  • Dropbox
  • A writing program on your remote computer(s) capable of outputting to a .rtf file

Setup instructions:
For the purposes of this guide, I will be referring to your computer with Scrivener on it as your main computer and any other computer or device you want to write on as your remote computer. Also, these instructions are for PC and Android, because that's what I have. But I'm sure they'll get you pointed in the right direction for Mac/iPhone.

  • Inside your Dropbox system, create a new folder (doesn't need to be shared). You can title it whatever you want, but it will be used for the Scrivener Scratchpad app, so I titled mine "Scratchpad".
  • On your main computer, install the "Dropbox Desktop App" from dropbox.com/install.
  • Once installed, make sure you sync at least the folder created in step 1 to your main computer.
  • In Scrivener (you have to have a project open), go to Tools->Options.
  • Under "General", on the right hand side, find "Scratch Pad Notes Location".
  • Click "Choose", and navigate to the synced Dropbox folder. If you're having problems finding it, the Dropbox app default installs to C:\Users\\Dropbox\.
  • Click "Select Folder", then click "Ok" to leave the options menu.
  • On your remote computer, you can use any word/text editing app you want, but it MUST be capable of saving files as "Rich Text File" (.rtf). This is the only format that Scrivener's Scratchpad will recognize.
  • Write something in your chosen text editor and save as .rtf. Make sure you title it something unique and memorable, since that title is how you'll look up the file later.
  • Upload the file to the Dropbox folder you set up in step 1. You can use Dropbox's web interface, or if it's a second computer or device you control, you could install the Dropbox Desktop app again.
  • Back in Scrivener, with your project open, go to Tools->Scratch Pad (Ctrl+Shift+0 by default (zero, not o)).
  • The Scratchpad screen has two sections. The top section lists all rtf files in your chosen location by file title. The bottom section shows the text in the file. From there, you have two options for getting the text into Scrivener proper.
  • First is to copy and paste. This will preserve the formatting in your main Scrivener file.
  • Second is to click (in the Scratch Pad window) "Send file to Scrivener->Copy Document To" and navigate to the correct place. This means the text will default to Times New Roman.

Miscellaneous
If you have an Android device, you can get JotterPad, which is free. Then, follow these directions to export to .rtf,

Last year's NaNoWriMo changed my life for the better. I've been writing regularly ever since and even got a paid writing gig that I'll be working on in November.

So... go get 'em NaNo-ers! Live the dream!

I've been more-or-less consistently writing things for my personal sites for several years now, thanks to NaNo.

I've also gotten a few dedicated readers, who ask when I haven't updated in a while. Which is... kinda scary in a way. But... it feels good to know that people are interested in what I write.

I'm participating this year, but it'll be a nonfiction book.

I'm one of the founding hosts of the Saving the Game podcast, and I'm trying to put together a book based on 7+ years of that - drawing together the interactions between faith, psychology, mental health and TTRPGs.

I've got a massive outline that took me almost three hours to put into Scrivener, and while 50,000 words wouldn't represent a finished product, it'll at least be a good start.

That sounds really cool!

charlemagne wrote:

That sounds really cool!

Thanks! I'm on track on word count so far. I hope it turns out well. I'm trying to get stuff I already know and therefore don't need to research down first, and then I'll go from there.

The feeling of happiness when I have to go back and change a chapter title because that's not where the chapter ended up going.

Also, over 20k words! That puts me 2 days ahead.

Nice Taharka! I'm at 7 K so a little behind. But then again my main goal all along has just been to write at least 500 words or 1 hour a day.