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14 NaNoWriMo Writing Process – Some Nerd Girl Original Webcomic

Every writer who participates in NaNoWriMo knows the struggle that is staying on task. It’s almost as if our brains take the challenge of the 50k challenge and say…. yea, that sounds great and all but LOOK AT ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS.

The true reward is, despite the distractions, hitting that sweet, sweet 50k mark.


 

AlexAlex is our resident Webcomic creator. He grew up in Puerto Rico, but didn’t reach true Nerdom until he came state side when he was in middle school. He’s been drawing since he was five, but has only started posting Webcomics in the past year. You can check out his amazing and original work at tapastic.com/gomezalexj.

15 NaNoWriMo Writing and Acheivement Badges That Don’t Exist But Should

National Novel Writing Month writing badges are a relatively new addition to the NaNoWriMo community, and they’re pretty neat in terms of motivation and feeling a sense of achievement. I couldn’t help but feel like there were some missed opportunities, however – so I recently mined reddit’s NaNoWriMo community for ideas on what badges are needed to fill in the gaps. Here are just are just a handful that we came up with!


SleepAnywhere

1. The Thanks To Sleep Deprivation, I Can Sleep Literally Anywhere Now! badge

Most folks who participate in NaNo struggle with sleep and often have a love-hate relationship with it. Love it when it happens, hate that it takes away from perfectly good free time we could be writing! Now there is an added bonus, which is adaptability! Congratulations, we are probably building some mutant race that is less reliant on sleep 100 years from now!


2. The Master Multitasker. You Did It All. Literally. How?! YouDidItAllbadge

You have kids, a job, a spouse, pets, friends who want to spend time with you (selfish!), side projects, front projects, project projects. You’re insane. And should probably run for President or Dictator or something. I don’t have much to say about this badge because I literally have no idea how you do it.

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3. The You Sacrifice Everything In The Month Of November, Becoming the Quintessential ‘Lone Wolf’ For the Sake of Success! badgeLoneWolf

This is the multitasker’s natural enemy. The Lone Wolf (I have to admit that I fall into this category), understands their limitations when it comes to focus and dedication. It is for this reason they must, regrettably, cut you out of their life for up to 30 days – BUT – it might not take that long. In fact, the more you leave me alone, the more likely you are to see me later in the month!


4. The You (somehow) Survived A Critical Failure And Lost All Your Progress At Least Once And Still Managed To Recover! badgeCrashOverride

Saving and saving your work often is not really going to help you out if your computer chooses the month of November to Bite the Big One. Nor will it un-corupt your text file should you be so unfortunate to be in such a situation. HOWEVER, you, proud badge wearer, were not deterred. Okay, maybe you were for a little bit. Crying is perfectly acceptable in this kind of situation. But instead of giving up, you trudged forward and you know what, you probably wrote a better story because of it. Good on you!


5. The You Have Been Burned In The Past So Now You Have 15 Back Up Plans and Multiple Redundancies For Your Precious Novel! badgeFileHoarder

There is a very good chance that you earned badge #4 in a previous year. For this reason, you do not f%#* around! You are the model Wrimo who has mastered Google Docs, has more back up USB drives than James Bond, and have figured out how to automate emailing your work to yourself as you write it. You are also the file-backup-or-else apostle, spreading the good word to anyone who will listen.


6. The Everybody In Your Home Town Knows About NaNoWriMo Because Of You, You Eager Beaver! badgeEagerBeaver

Hey, guess what? You do an awesome, amazing thing every year that makes you feel really good and creative and fulfilled. And you want the world to know! You get this badge because there is nothing that will squash your passion for NaNoWriMo and telling literally anyone who will listen about it, and… perhaps most importantly… what you are writing this year.


7. The You Have Somehow Managed to Write 10,000+ Words Without Once, I Repeat Once, Actually Describing Your Main Character! badgeRorschach

I am not sure this badge is one you always want. I mean, I guess it really depends on your story. Are you purposely keeping this a mystery? Are you going to get around to it when you can feel your fingers again? I bet you could get a good 100 words or so out of at least telling us what color hair they have and if they are cross-eyed or not. I’m sure you’ll get around to it eventually! (Just please don’t spend two chapters describing a door)


8. The You Are No Longer In Control Of Your Characters And They Are Now Completely Off Script, But Hey, It Is Generating A TON of Word Count! badgeCharactersInControl

I have to imagine we have all felt this pain at some point. Your character wanders out of the scene out of boredom or HEY! there is something shiny over there! Let’s go look at IT! This can be frustrating under normal circumstances, but when it comes to NaNoWriMo, I highly encourage you to just go with it and wear this badge with pride. So what if you might need to be committed later…?


9. The Writer UNBLOCKED! badgeWriterUNBlocked

This badge is earned by those writers who hit a wall. A tall wall. A thick one. A wall made of dead Persians – you know, the usual kinds of walls. And these writers struggle, and struggle, and then it happens. The block breaks apart and you suddenly know what needs to happen! Cue the joy, cue the relief, and cue earning this badge for sticking with it and working out the kinks!


10. The There Is No Way This Is Going To Work, Proceed With Operation Nuke The Site From Orbit! badgeNukeFromOrbit

Unlike the Writer Unblocked badge, this is a wholesale acknowledgement and acceptance of the fact the story you started with is just not going to work. You’re not feeling it, your characters are cardboard, it’s a struggle to write every word. This badge if for those people who nuke their first idea and then proceed to run with another, kicking ass and taking names all along the way!


11. The I-Talked-A-Fellow-Wrimo-Off-The-Ledge! badgeTalkOffLedge

This badge is for all those generous souls who take time out of their writing to help talk a friend, writing buddy or even a random Wrimo off the ledge – be it from having an existential crisis, wanting to edit prematurely, or give up altogether. These badge holders are a big part of what makes NaNoWriMo so special – we have built a community that welcomes every level of writer, along with the entire spectrum of ambition levels – from overachiever to Master Procrastinator. We all support each other in our own way, and none is more important than you, Mr. Ledge-Talker-Off’er. Keep telling people to ‘Hang In There!’

12. The, Guess What? You Get To Write A Novel AND Feel Like Your Face Is Melting Off! badgeNovemberIllness

If you do NaNo long enough, this is bound to be your fate eventually. You spend all of October pumped and ready to go, and then BAM, you start sniffling. At first, there is denial – I’m fine, I swear. It’s just allergies or something. And then the sneezing starts, and before you know it, you’re at that stage of illness that puts you thisclose to making a deal with the devil to get better. Oh, and you’re still slogging through putting words on paper, but you are DEDICATED! And my, what interesting chapters you wrote under the influence of cold meds. This badge is for all those who persevere during illness in November!


13. The This Is Gonna Be a Photo Finish, Pray To Your Gods if You Got ‘Em! badgeLastMinuteWinner

Set Condition 1 throughout the ship! It is the last godsdamn day and you are SO CLOSE! You can’t write until your second-shift job releases you from their evil clutches and then it’s a mad dash to 50,000 words before midnight local time. This badge is for the people who MAKE IT HAPPEN when it’s down to the wire and all hope seems to be lost. Nope, not today, November. Not today.


14. The I Don’t Even Know What Is Real Anymore! badgeExistentialCrisis

When you sit down and decide to dedicate hours to pouring out your heart and soul until you reach a goal of a ridiculous amount of words, there are going to be times where you question reality. Am I Real? What does it mean to be real? Am I God? Do my characters live? What days is it? And where am I while I’m asking all these pertinent questions… It is a serious drag when you go through this existential, transcendental experience and still have to find time to do laundry before work on Monday. Take this badge, you earned it!


15. The I… I Did A Thing. I Actually Did It! badgeIdidathing

Last, and absolutely not least, is this astonishment badge for actually doing the thing you set out to do. You may think think this is just for first-timers, but you’d be wrong. Every time you accomplish this task, you should be proud and a little astonished of yourself. You, a busy human being who has a life completely apart from writing, told a story that was worth writing. You accomplished something that is going to last forever – that story is now fact, and YOU DID IT. You made the thing! Congratulations! Be astonished with yourself!!


Eve2Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen and science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot. You can visit her website at www.somenerdgirl.com. And she really wishes this whole article counted towards her Word Count…

Write Your Heart Out!

I have to be honest – when I sat down to write this piece, I wanted to start by explaining how I was introduced to NaNoWriMo… and then I realized that sometime between my first year participating (2012) and now, I completely forgot how I originally got involved in it. Thankfully, I do remember that that first year – I decided to participate a couple of months in advance, and spent most of October 2012 researching and plotting my first-ever NaNo project.

Unfortunately, that first year was the only year that I was also extremely involved in the local NaNo activities. I live in a small city but we have a fairly large number of participants here compared to our size, and our Municipal Leaders (MLs) were very active and great about scheduling plenty of gatherings – kick-off parties, write-ins, wrap-up parties and the like, as well as hosting online activities via the NaNo website and message boards.

nano_09_static_cling_library_main
But I’m the type of person who stretches myself too thin, which meant that in 2013 I didn’t get to attend any of the official events, though last year I did make it to the wrap-up party, and I’ve always been fairly active in our local Facebook group and official NaNo site message board. I have to admit that attending the write-ins were a big part of what helped me win NaNo my first year, though; I won in 2013, as well, but it was more due to my own stubborn nature than anything else, and last year I unfortunately didn’t even meet the halfway mark for word count before realizing how terribly behind I was and simply giving up entirely.

2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

I also find it helpful that a handful of my Facebook friends participate in NaNo and post about it throughout the month of November. I may not be able to meet up with the ones who live far away, but we tend to encourage each other via Facebook posts, and even last year when I announced that I was giving up, I received plenty of messages telling me that even if I wasn’t going to go for the win, I should keep writing. I didn’t keep writing, but I DID switch back to spending my time working on other unfinished projects, so in a way, National Novel Writing Month still helped me buckle down a bit more than I would have otherwise.

And as for this year? Well, I’ve already begun my research and taken some basic plot notes, and I’m planning on inviting local NaNo friends to my house for our own write-ins, both because I hope that will encourage myself and others to write more, and also just in case the official write-ins don’t fit into my busy schedule.

nanowrimo12_1

I am of the belief that there’s really no one “right” way to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Yes, there are rules – you have to write 50,000 words of a new story to win, of course – but if you want to do that entirely in the privacy of your own home, do it. If you want to accomplish your word count by attending every write-in, that’s great too. If you feel like you can only win if you finish your novel, whether that’s at 50,000 words or 150,000 words, kudos to you. Or if you’re just using those 50,000 words as a jumping-off point (which is what I do) and you don’t complete your story during NaNo, it’s still an awesome way to get started.

In fact, the novel I won with in November 2012 wasn’t actually completed until March of 2013 – I added about 30,000 more words to the 50,000 I wrote during NaNo, and then took my sweet time editing it. But I did finish it, and extensive edits, and in December 2014, I published it via Amazon Kindle Direct. I’m still working on the novel that I began for NaNoWriMo 2013 – and I fully believe that eventually I’ll finish it, and edit it, and publish it, even if that means that I self-publish again.

NaNo-2015-Participant-Banner
The point of NaNo isn’t necessarily to be a social writer, or to write a full novel, or honestly – in my opinion – even to win. It’s simply to write. And it’s wonderful. So here’s looking forward to NaNoWriMo 2015!


TaraTara has been a geek at heart all her life. She has spoken about geek culture at several industry conventions (including San Diego Comic-Con and Dragon Con), Ohio State University, and TedX Sarasota. She also co-founded and co-organizes Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones/Song of Ice & Fire convention in the U.S.. She resides in lovely Greenville, SC in a house full of Star Wars-themed carpets and a plethora of dogs and cats. You can find her personal stories at her blog, A Geek Saga.

I Made A Thing

One might call this post a shameless plug, however I am going to endeavor to make it slightly less shameless by sharing a little about myself as I tell you about this pretty nifty thing I made.

In 2006, my very good friend of many years took on what seemed like an impossible task, so called “National Novel Writing Month,” NaNoWriMo, or, for us super lazy folks, NaNo. It’s a challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days or less in the month of November. She casually tried to get me to take this challenge with her, and as a very good and loyal friend, I nope’ed right out of that.

I wrote for fun, because I wanted to – and when I wanted to, as much as I wanted to. 50,000 words in a month was insanity (it still totally is).

So I sat back and was a spectator as she miraculously cranked out a pretty damn good, and fun, YA-type novel.

novelists_0

When 2007 rolled around, her success made it a little easier for me to reticently say OKAY, I GUESS I’LL DO IT.

That year I wrote 50,000 words in 13 days. You may be asking yourself, how is that even possible? Let me break it down for you:

  1. The atmosphere in November in the NaNo community is electric.
  2. Forcing myself to sit down and come up with a plot, plot twists, and interesting characters resulted in an violent waterfall of enthusiastic (if not particularly GOOD) writing.
  3. Good ol’ fashion competition. I wasn’t just racing my friend on word count, I was racing the entire NaNo forums. As an INTJ, I take my challenges VERY seriously.

The creative high was like none other. I ended up being so grateful that my friend had twisted my arm until I finally caved. Every year since 2007, I have participated and met the 50k challenge. You can check out my NaNo page (and become writing buddies with me!) here.

For seven years, I happily wrote my one-novel-a-year and left it at that. That was, of course, until I met my now good friend Maurnas, who is also a writer. I agreed to let her read some of my stuff and being the bibliophile that she is, she tore through my novels easily. This was a turning point for me because when she was done with one novel in particular, she called and asked me, in a somewhat accusatory tone,

“Why aren’t you published yet?!”

Sure, I had always thought of one day getting published. But it just seemed like one of those lovely daydreams you have to pass the time. Like winning the lottery or being the hero in a crisis situation. But with her very pointed question, I began to understand that publishing was nothing like winning the lottery. It was 100% within my abilities to do. And so I did. I busted a move and self-published my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel Children of the Fallen.

This, however, was not the novel Maurnas was so insistent I publish. That honor goes to the novel that hits the virtual shelves today, October 20th, 2015: Colony One.

Colony_One_3D_Front

This novel was the result of a brainchild between myself and two friends I met standing in line at a little convention you might have heard of (coughDragonConcough). We originally conceived of it as a TV show, being all big fans of Battlestar Galactica and Firefly and all that. Since my script writing talents are shit, I decided to take on this story as my 2013 NaNo novel and loved every second of writing it. We still hope to one day make that TV show happen, but someone with better script writing abilities is in charge of that!

I digress. Colony One is a story that explores the natural progression of untapped capitalism, the after affects of world wide war, world government and government corruption, population control, the human spirit and the core values of humanity. It also imagines a world where we are able to travel to the Alpha Centauri system, and the kinds of people who would willingly make a one-way trip to save Earth from themselves.

Space is huge. Don't think about it for too long, it will cause an existential crisis.
Space is huge. Don’t think about it for too long, it will cause an existential crisis.

So, thanks to a handful of amazing friends who have been, in various ways, my motivation, muse, and inspiration, I have been able to see one of my life’s dreams realized. I can now call myself an author and be proud of the work I put out there.

Colony One might be the best thing I’ve written to date, but it is by no means the last great thing that I will be writing. With November right around the corner, I plan to bust a move on a new novel set in the same universe as Children of the Fallen with alternative characters (see: LGBT). The world will see more of my work, and I hope they are inspired and delighted by it.

You can check out Colony One on Amazon here: http://amzn.com/1516950127. If you read it, and enjoy it, please let me know! Leave a comment, write a review, blog about it, take a joyous picture… it would seriously make my life.


Eve2

Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen and science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. You can visit her website at www.somenerdgirl.com and look up her works of fiction on Amazon.

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