NaNoWriMo 2017 aka write ten pages then give up

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  • Your-Mother 21 Sep 2017 15:32:23 734 posts
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    Getting to that time of year again, I suppose. Who's in?

    In:

    Name: Gremmoo
    Title:
    Summary:

    Name: wuntyphyve
    Title:
    Summary:

    Name: The12thMonkey
    Title:
    Summary:

    Name: Skirlasvoud
    Title:
    Summary:

    Name: rice_sandwich
    Title:
    Summary:

    Name: Phattso
    Title:
    Summary:

    Name: sun_jumper
    Title:
    Summary:

    Name: Metalfish
    Title:
    Summary:

    Name: HarryPalmer
    Title:
    Summary:

    Maybe:

    Deckard

    Die in a Fire:

    SpaceMonkey77

    Edited by Your-Mother at 16:15:18 26-09-2017
  • wuntyphyve 21 Sep 2017 15:58:12 9,486 posts
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    I stalled the last two years. Said I would never do it again. I really don't have time.

    Fuck it, why not. I'm in.
  • The12thMonkey 21 Sep 2017 16:16:48 490 posts
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    Yeah, I'm down. Got an idea I'd like to take a swing at.
  • RelaxedMikki 21 Sep 2017 16:44:51 2,252 posts
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    I have a story idea about a Russian hippy who discovers a way of growing diamonds.

    That is literally all I have. More like the set up to a bad joke than the precis of a literary masterpiece... 😞
  • Skirlasvoud 21 Sep 2017 16:53:46 2,938 posts
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    I'm in, with the same interactive story I wrote last year.

    It has improved thanks to criticism I got here last time, and thanks to the help of a fellow Creative Writing student I knew from Uni, doing check-ups. Somebody complained of me not "being a native speaker" was a problem last time. A Professor English literature disagreed after I ran it by him. :p


    Let's not make a big deal of NaNoWriMo this time though. Last time we did this on the forums, we started with a bang and the event ended on barely a whimper.

    Gonna get less excited reading other people's work and leaving comments too. I made a fool of myself getting as worked up as I did.
  • rice_sandwich 21 Sep 2017 16:58:37 3,210 posts
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    I'm still working on last year's effort but I might as well jump in again. I don't have any ideas so will need to start thinking and try to plot something out. Making it up as I went along didn't work out too well last year.
  • Phattso 21 Sep 2017 16:58:57 21,967 posts
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    I'm in. Third year for me. Hope to do better, and actually finish something this time!

    Skirlasvoud wrote:
    Let's not make a big deal of NaNoWriMo this time though. Last time we did this on the forums, we started with a bang and the event ended on barely a whimper.
    The NaNo threads have been happening here for years and years dude. The fact that you're new to it (as, indeed, am I) and don't yet know where your boundaries/limits are shouldn't impact anyone else who wants to go at this all guns blazing! :)

    (P.S just being a Professor of English Lit doesn't make you the Final Word on All Things Ever.... #JustSayin)

    Edited by Phattso at 16:59:49 21-09-2017
  • Skirlasvoud 21 Sep 2017 17:02:37 2,938 posts
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    @The12thMonkey
    @wuntyphyve

    I'll enjoy seeing the products of you two.

    The ghost beach story and the time team tale where the two pieces that stuck me by the most, alongside the noir-ish detective and Metaldog's own Sci-Fi espionage story.

    Almost a pity to hear you're going for something new.
  • The12thMonkey 21 Sep 2017 17:12:27 490 posts
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    @Skirlasvoud

    Oh, don't worry - Dawn Four, the story I featured last time, is still going strong. I'm in the process of getting the first volume sanity checked by family members. I mean, they know zip about the genre, so if it makes sense and/or entertains them, I'll know I'm on the right course with it. I'm deep in re-drafts for the second volume, too.

    But this time, I've had an idea on the backburner since NaNoWriMo last year, and I'd like to run with it and put all the other bits on hold for November.

    Edit: it's near-future, post-Brexit. Let'sGo should probably not read it.

    Edited by The12thMonkey at 17:13:00 21-09-2017
  • Skirlasvoud 21 Sep 2017 17:16:41 2,938 posts
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    @Phattso

    Hehe, not being one, but having the short-lived supervision of one gives me confidence that I can fully rival native speakers. ;) Confidence is like ink and knowing what criticism to absorb is a skill.
    Like I said, some of the criticism I received here last year was incredibly useful.

    I'm going to play the long-game on this one. I'll use NaNo to get excited, but not burn myself out like I did last year. I want to stick to the project I have the other 335 days a year too.

    My gun's firing on half-blaze. :D

    Did you do one and post it on Eurogamer last year Phattso? Can't rightly remember. Looking forward to it in any case!

    Edited by Skirlasvoud at 17:18:43 21-09-2017
  • Phattso 21 Sep 2017 17:18:37 21,967 posts
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    As a one-time student of English Lit, I can tell you that the majority of professors that I came across in that field were fucking morons. YMMV. :-D

    Perhaps you can fully rival a native speaker... perhaps I'll see you at the Amazon Self-Publishing Awards in 2018. ;-)
  • Skirlasvoud 21 Sep 2017 17:24:24 2,938 posts
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    @Phattso

    Haha! Cheers and similar luck/hopes for you mate!

    ===

    I'm actually thinking of going through Steam and Ios for publishing my narrative story as a "game" maybe!

    I'm using Inky as my Interactive Story scripting tool. It's creators have used it for "80 Days" and "Sorcery!" as well, which are also available on Steam. I can easily code my work into a Unity thing.

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/381780/80_Days/

    If I manage to game-ify it enough, buy some assets, get a programmer and get an illustrator (already contacted) on board, it might end up mighty fine.

    ... at least I don't lack for aspiration, if nothing else. :lol:

    Edited by Skirlasvoud at 18:29:05 21-09-2017
  • Rivuzu 21 Sep 2017 17:30:14 16,610 posts
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    I'm really tempted by this every year, and I've got the same idea knocking in my head that's been there for close to a decade now. I know all the beats, all the characters, and every event.

    Every time I sit down to try and write something? BLAH, YOU FUCKING MORON, YOU CALL THAT WRITING? YOU COULDN'T WRITE YOURSELF OUT OF A PAPER FUCKING BAG YOU CUNT. DELETE THAT SHIT NOW BEFORE SOMEONE SEES IT. GO ON. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, YOU WEAK WILLED SHIT, DO IT.

    CTRL+A, DEL, cry.
  • Decks Best Forumite, 2016 21 Sep 2017 17:51:19 10,951 posts
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    I might give it a whirl this year. Is it like a full novel you're supposed to do or just a short story?
  • Skirlasvoud 21 Sep 2017 18:03:52 2,938 posts
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    @Rivuzu

    Like I said, confidence is ink. Don't worry Rivuzu. Just operate in the understanding that all of us suck equally. That's how I manage to post here until I get crippled by how good others are. That's just between my ears though.

    Edited by Skirlasvoud at 18:34:01 21-09-2017
  • Skirlasvoud 21 Sep 2017 18:06:25 2,938 posts
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    @Decks

    OFFICIALLY you need to write 50.000 words in the month of November, from scratch. If you want to go all-in, you can even sign up at:
    https://nanowrimo.org/

    UNOFFICIALLY, just do whatever and share it here. Plenty of us bend the rules. Write an existing story, make it interactive, go do a poem. Do whatever creative idea is on your mind. Entertain us and illustrate! You're good at that! ;-)
  • mrpon 21 Sep 2017 18:24:44 33,717 posts
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    Came for the SpaceMonkey, left disappointed.
  • challenge_hanukkah 21 Sep 2017 18:31:04 5,213 posts
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    @SpaceMonkey77

    You've simply got to take part.
  • Your-Mother 21 Sep 2017 18:38:06 734 posts
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    Just think of all the coin self-publishing his unedited NaNo could bring in.
  • wuntyphyve 21 Sep 2017 18:56:58 9,486 posts
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    @Skirlasvoud cheers man! I actually totally forgot about that! Maybe I'll go back to it then?
  • wuntyphyve 21 Sep 2017 19:00:24 9,486 posts
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    @Rivuzu just give it a go man. First time I did nano I got so consumed by it I did over 100,000 words. I didn't care if it was shit or not and funnily enough I have never even been back to it. But I loved it and it was a hell of a thing. So just enjoy it, start it and just let it lead you because it can be fucking brilliant just to get the stuff on to the page, regardless of what follows.

    The following years were less successful but still reckon I've got the bulk of a second book and lots of bits done. I'll never do anything with it but it can be really fucking cathartic writing. I had a bad week at work mid month so came back home and killed a lot of people. Glorious.

    Edited by wuntyphyve at 19:02:23 21-09-2017
  • Rivuzu 21 Sep 2017 19:53:10 16,610 posts
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    I'll have a think on it. Still piecing together the world building for my next d&d campaign I'm dming for which starts in a week. Also, see other unrelated excuses. Or something.
  • Metalfish 21 Sep 2017 20:15:33 9,191 posts
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    Still writing that one from 6 years back. 170k now, btw. The rewrite and edit will probably kill me. I think the last bit of feedback I received on here was it was boring.

    Writing is one of the most excellent ways of wasting your time, I highly recommend giving it a go.
  • SpaceMonkey77 21 Sep 2017 21:22:54 996 posts
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    @challenge_hanukkah

    That's true, but I'm writing multiple projects so I have to go where my brain takes me. Will keep such contests in mind for the future, though. Thanks for replying.
  • Your-Mother 21 Sep 2017 21:36:53 734 posts
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    Metalfish wrote:
    Still writing that one from 6 years back. 170k now, btw. The rewrite and edit will probably kill me. I think the last bit of feedback I received on here was it was boring.

    Writing is one of the most excellent ways of wasting your time, I highly recommend giving it a go.
    are you George R R Martin
  • sunjumper 22 Sep 2017 01:56:46 3,371 posts
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    I'm in.

    Last year was a total bust, the year before that was horrid, but I won't give up now.


    @Metalfish have you written more? If yes I would love an update. I really like the adventures of Elias Renna, Sired in Vain, Kadred and the others.
  • Metalfish 23 Sep 2017 09:39:50 9,191 posts
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    Your-Mother wrote:
    are you George R R Martin?
    Yes, but more boring.
  • Metalfish 23 Sep 2017 09:47:01 9,191 posts
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    sunjumper wrote:
    @Metalfish have you written more? If yes I would love an update. I really like the adventures of Elias Renna, Sired in Vain, Kadred and the others.
    Glad to hear you're back in! Last thing of yours I read had more ideas in a paragraph than some books.

    Anyway, I suspect last time you saw my scrawlings, it was half the length, so yeah. Update soon, I guess.

    For those of you worrying about writing 50 thousand words, that's probably the amount I'll end up trimming from the end product....
  • Skirlasvoud 23 Sep 2017 11:40:29 2,938 posts
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    @Metalfish

    ... At the risk of tilting things (because I don't want you to draw the wrong conclusions about otherwise excellent writing)

    Not boring, just lacking a certain amount of storyflow: Cadence, focus and sense of time.


    One example, if we must bring up George RR Martin.

    This is how he switches between character viewpoints:

    ...
    His fur was white, where the rest of the litter was grey. His eyes were as red as the blood of the ragged man who had died that morning. Bran thought it curious that this pup alone would have opened his eyes while the rest were still blind.
    "An albino," Theon Greyjoy said with wry amusement. "This one will die even faster than the others."
    Jon Snow gave his father's ward a long, chilling look. "I think not, Greyjoy," he said. "This one belongs to me."

    Catelyn

    Catelyn had never liked this godwood.
    She had been born a Tully, at Riverrun far to the South, on the Red Fork and the Trident. The godswood there was a garden, bright and airy, where tall redwoods spread dappled shadows across trinkling streams, birds sang from hidden nests, and the air was spicey with the scent of flowers.
    The gods of Winterfell kept a different sort of wood...
    ...

    Then Grand Maester Pycelle was looming over him, holding a cup, whispering, "Drink, my lord. Here. The milk of the poppy, for your pain." He remembered swallowing, and Pycelle was telling someone to heat the wine to boiling and fetch him a clean silk, and that was the last he knew.

    Danny

    The Horse Gate of Vaes Dothrak was made of two gigantic bronze stallions, rearing, their hooves meeting a hundred feet above the roadway to form a pointed arch.
    Dany could not have said why the city needed a gate when it had no walls... and no buildings that she could see. Yet there it stood, immense and beautiful...

    George constantly takes a good, long time to sprinkle incidental detail throughout his writing. The detail is coherent and keeps working on a single subject. Also important is how the descriptive writing is layered. Caty's Riverland woods are contrasted with those of the North. Dany wonders about the practical meaning of the horse gate into making an observation of the landscape. I can derive meaning and context from that. This also slows the passage of time, or the amount of objects focused on in the story, into anchoring me. I'm appreciative of this because the detailed writing is excellent, but it also makes me anxious to see what will happen next. When it does, like Catelyn meeting Ned or Danny talking to her escort, I'm into it almost instantly since the scene was set. Also important is that there's bits of internal monologue. I know Caty is a stranger in the North and Dany is moving into strange new lands. This anchors the reader into that character's mindset. All of it roots a reader into having an experience inside the story.


    He slid down one of the banks into a field that had been left fallow, following animal furrows meandering through the yellow grass that reached up to his knees and shivered in the breeze. Insects chirped unseen in all directions. It was like so many fields he had lain in, staring at the stars and waiting for the sun to rise again. But right now, the Ironhearth sun was bright and unforgiving, much too strong for a pale northerner like him. He ambled on, only pausing briefly to observe an escaped goat grazing in the far corner of the meadow.

    In a windowless hall, several hundred miles north, a great fireplace crackled and roared as a second pile of documents was heaped into its centre.
    Her lecture was probably wasted on this clerk. Still, this needed a witness. “Even if you deal in information, it is prudent to ensure that some things are left unwritten. And if someone does happen to be stupid enough to write said things down, that they are disposed of swiftly.”
    “The stupid people? Or the, wri-”
    “Don’t worry about that. You’ll only confuse yourself. Thank you, but go away now -I’ve got things to burn.”
    The clerk bowed briefly and fled. As soon as he left, General Jernis picked up a pair of tongs, carefully plucked the papers from the fire and dumped them into a tray that was then quickly filled with sand. If you were quick enough, and knew just where to put them, this little performance rarely resulted in any real damage. With a brief shake, the papers were gathered together and stuffed into a drawer. No real damage at all.

    Elias found himself back on the road again. His short cut probably hadn’t saved him that much time. He could see some of the larger buildings at Gree. It was not a substantial settlement, only a pair of farmhouses and the almshouse which kept the farmworkers and travellers who drifted through inebriated enough to forget the day’s hardships. The stable was set a little way apart from the hamlet, partially obscured by a copse of tall, pale trees -like most official buildings outside the capital, it did its best to remain inconspicuous.
    Elias passed the almshouse, loitering for a minute to listen to the drunken chorus pouring from within. It was not pleasant, and seemed to be the opposite of the fragile and intangible melody of the Grand Market. He considered stopping in to enjoy the fruits of the harvest, but thought against it. He was still on duty, after all. Momentary lapse with Farward’s wine aside, he followed the rules on such things. Privately he might admit a couple of rather important ones may have been ignored, but life always seemed to be more complex than the rules planned for. And those who made the laws seemed just as willing to break them, if not more so.
    This bit might just be the most representative of the comments I made last year.

    Here, all of the detail is rather monotome. They're all incidental and un-layered. Each is a separate point of focus. Most of it reads as something that happens, rather than a contemplative synergy that manages to hit the pause button upon a certain subject. It's not bad - not bad at all - but it doesn't help the story to have a flow or rhythm.

    Therefore, when Jernis is introduced for the first time in the text, she doesn't make an impact at all. The story hasn't slowed down to give her the light of day. When Elias finds himself on the road again, he just gets back to ambling through the singular, unrelated lines of detail.

    The internal monologue, for as far as I can keep track of it, is usually just observations about others around them, rather than managing a reflecting on the person's own internal world and struggles that would make them emphatic.

    Martin would have thrown an anchor in there. Maybe that windowless hall, several hundred miles north could be a ruin, for maybe a page long, which than accurately reflects upon Jernis' history and scarred life? Maybe the cold reflects on her bitterness? Maybe you could make the two work together in properly establishing her and the scene, or the world around her.




    Now, no more of this "my writing is boring" malarky! I've no doubt you've created a sprawling and vibrant world!
    My critique was more complex than that and I don't want you to draw the wrong conclusions. Maybe after you cut down 50.000 words, you could reinvest them!

    I'll say no more of your work than this (though I am looking forward to reading anything new you've come up with). I've given you enough of a hard time already and I don't want to be as dominant critiquing others in NaNoWriMo 2017, as I was the last time.
    I've my hands full not being a hypocrite and succeeding in making the same mistakes myself! :p Got to keep my own criticisms in mind.


    And AGAIN, this is MY opinion, derived from the style of writing that *I* prefer. If you've committed to a different style that others like the most; go with it! I'll shut up from now on.

    Edited by Skirlasvoud at 14:03:09 23-09-2017
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