what is a nano

CampNaNo Cabin Update!

There’s still room in O’s cabin for folk to join. In order to get into the cabin, you need to make sure you’ve done the following:  Create your account & project and make sure you uncheck the “I don’t want cabin invitations this session” box on your cabin settings. If you haven’t done all three of these, you can’t be invited to my (or any) cabin. 
Once you’ve done these, just send us a message and let me know your username and I’ll invite people until the cabin is full. 

Once again: any/all genres, projects, and experience levels are welcome – just be a supportive person who wants to write :)

For those asking what is this Camp NaNo thing, we gave a little overview earlier this week.


Martha Jones looks on with a red face. She feels such deep, all-encompassing  embarrassment, the kind that makes you want to hum, whistle, and walk away like you didn’t want any living soul know that are an acquaintance let alone a friend of the man who is about to shame himself so fully and completely in the middle of the Bard’s own home.

The man formerly known as the Doctor – the man whom she had seen bring down evil empires with a flick of his wrist – is sitting in a rowboat on a slow-moving river that runs right through the middle of Stratford upon Bloody Avon, getting ready to offer to the public an impromptu piece of performance art that he had dreamed up the night before in one of those weird dreams of his.

Martha sees bagpipes on the floor of the boat. She slaps her forehead. He would be playing the bagpipes.

“There is no way he knows bagpipes. The Doctor knows how to play bagpipes, I bet.”

But this self-proclaimed performance artist who has set up a little shopfront on the High Street doesn’t.

“And I’m supporting you, you buffoon Three jobs! Three!” she shouts at him.

She closes her eyes and groans. First had come that lovely scruff. But he hadn’t stopped. He’d grown it into a somewhat acceptable beard. But he hadn’t stopped, and now he was actually sculpting it. What was next? A pointy beard like some Scottish demon?

She throws up her hands and groans again, rolling her eyes so wildly that she can almost see her brain. She can’t walk away. She has to make sure the idiot doesn’t fall and hit his head and drown. Stupid chameleon arch. Stupid Family of Blood.

And then the show begins:

“My name is Alistair William Wallace Rob Roy Bonnie Prince Charlie McDougaliesh,” he trills. “I am here to affirm my allegiance to Scottish secession and declare my rightful throne, for I am the grrrreat, grrrreat, grrrrrrrreat, great, grrrrrrrrreat, grrrrrrrreat, grrrrrrrrrrreat grandson of Bonnie Prince Charlie himself.”

He presses a button in his pocket, and music begins to blare from speakers that have been hidden along the riverbank.

Scottish Gaelic Punk.

Out come the bagpipes

We’re about halfway through NaNoWriMo this year and I wanted to make a reminder to everyone who’s struggling to reach word counts: it’s okay.

There’s a strong tendency in writing communities–especially among inexperienced writers–to think that the amount of words you write in a single day is reflective of how well you write. It isn’t. NaNo is anything but about being a great writer–even the team behind it make that clear. NaNo is about learning to stop self-editing. It’s something a lot of writers struggle with; to write and rewrite a scene until it’s perfect before moving on. It stops up the creative process, it leaves your story dead in the water instead of growing.

There are a lot of different ways to write, but learning to do drafts is invaluable and that is what NaNo teaches. To write as fast as you can, to get your ideas out in sloppy bursts of color. Not to create a masterpiece. Not even all NaNoers follow the guidelines of NaNo in the strictest sense. Some use this month to edit their works. Some set more modest goals than the official ones. Heck, I’m actually using this month to take a break from writing after doing it nonstop for a year. Make your NaNo about you and what you want to accomplish. Use it to learn.

The way NaNoWriMo is devised, even if you reach all 50k words, you will be left with something misshapen and far from readable. And that is good for new writers. You’ve learned the first step. You’ve created a thing of passion and now you must go back and mold it into a thing of beauty. Maybe you won’t be able to. That’s okay. Start a new project. Take what you learned this month and use it in every writing endeavor afterwards.

The word count doesn’t matter. It’s the writing that does.

nanowrimo asks!
  1. How many times have you participated in nanowrimo before?
  2. What are you working on for nano this year?
  3. Do you do any other kind of ‘massive creative output in a month’ challenges?
  4. What’s your favourite thing about doing nano?
  5. What’s your least favourite thing about doing nano?
  6. What do you tell the non-writer people in your life about what you’re doing in November?
  7. Why did you pick your current project to work on this month?
  8. Tell me about your protagonist!
  9. Tell me about your antagonist!
  10. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
  11. You got ships? Tell me about your ships.
  12. Is there any character who has surprised you so far?
  13. Is there any plot development that has surprised you so for?
  14. Do you make use of the nano forums?
  15. What do you do in order to get unstuck/make word count?
  16. What kind of writing program do you use for nano, and is it different from your normal process?
  17. What is your favourite thing about this particular project you’re working on?
  18. Does your writing style differ during nano, and if so, how?
  19. Do you go to any in-person writer meet ups?
  20. How many times have you cried?
  21. FREE QUESTION ask whatever u want
What are you all doing for NaNo this year?

I’m finishing the story that I started in 2012, continued in 2013, and haven’t worked on since…  It’s 138,000 words from two years of NaNo, and it has maybe 15k or so left in it.  So I’m a NaNo Rebel this year!  Probably won’t hit that 50k but even more rewarding will be finishing my story! (my NaNo blog is @showmethearmsaloft if anyone cares!)

But what are you working on??

A note about NaNo Markers

I’ve noticed a lot of NaNo schedules share the same system of allotting words, alternating between 2,500 and 1,250 words. For some of us, who like to do big chunks on weekends but struggle to write during the week, this may be a good system. This is my first year looking at markers, and thus, my first year noticing how quickly that system puts me behind–technically off schedule.

It took me a while to figure out what was going on. I have, after all, already done NaNo twice. The issue was, I’ve never really participated in NaNo, or observed any schedules. So when I broke down how I would write 50k in one month, I just split it into how much I’d have to write per day (approx 1,700) and then wrote that. Because I am used to a system of writing daily, simply extending the minimum for my daily word count made much more sense than the alternating push system.

What I’m getting at here is, you may have your own path to 50k. You may take some days off entirely. You may write 100 words every hour every day. What works for you works. And although it may look like you are technically “behind” this may not be the case. Go with your instincts. Your ideas about your own writing are generally the best.


the song that SHOULD have won this year’s Melodifestivalen (for those who don’t know; that’s Sweden’s competition to choose which song we send to Eurovision Song Contest)

the worst part is he got the most votes from the viewers, but since we have an “international jury” that gets to vote as well and he didn’t get enough points from them he didn’t win. fucking stupid system.