Thursday, 24 November 2011

NaNo definitions

I did do a quick search, but this doesn't seem to have been done before. I was a bit surprised, but that leaves the field clear for me!

You see, I was inspired by the fact that NaNoWriMo is affectionately shortened to NaNo to go looking for nano-style words. There are heaps! And then I wrote my own definitions for them... (Unfortunately I couldn't find a way of adding this into my novel to increase my word count.)

P.S.: I would just like to affirm that these are all real words. I didn't make them up (any of them).


NaNo definitions

– a lunatic who eschews the world for the month of November in favour of pursuing ridiculous word goals.

NaNobiology – biology that has absolutely no basis in reality that is invented by a NaNite during November in a hurry because research is forbidden. See also: NaNophysics, NaNotechnology, NaNoscience.

NaNochip – junk food eaten to keep the brain spewing out words.

NaNocomputer – the usual instrument of choice for NaNites.

NaNobot – inhuman person capable of writing 50,000 words in five days or less.

NaNogram – a measure of the weight a NaNite gains during November through going to too many write-ins and eating too much sugar thereat.

NaNomagnetism – the force of attraction of NaNoWriMo (greater than any other known force in the universe) that brings NaNites back every year (despite having a real life and important commitments) and drives them on through the month.

NaNomaterials – anything and everything that can be put into a novel.

NaNomechanics – brave people who go back to tinker on their novel after November is over instead of relegating it to the back of a dark closet where it belongs.

NaNomedicine – coffee, sugar, or alcohol, as preferred/needed.

NaNometer – a measuring device that goes from nought to 50,000. Uses the NaNoscale.

NaNoparticles – floating specks of inspiration that tend to collect in high concentrations at write-ins and meet-ups.

NaNophysics – physics that has absolutely no basis in reality that is invented by a NaNite during November in a hurry because research is forbidden. See also: NaNobiology, NaNotechnology, NaNoscience.

NaNoplankton – drifters floating in a great ocean of words.

NaNoring – the growing and darkening stain on a NaNite’s desk from the multiple cups of coffee being consumed during a writing frenzy.

NaNoscale – a measuring system where the basic unit is 1.667. As used for the NaNometer.

NaNoscience – science that has absolutely no basis in reality that is invented by a NaNite during November in a hurry because research is forbidden. See also: NaNobiology, NaNophysics, NaNotechnology.

NaNosecond – a long period of time, such as that a NaNite takes to get ready because of suddenly having a plot idea that needs to be written down (shortened to ‘second’, as in “I’ll just be a second”).

Nanosized – a huge thing, especially of an undertaking.

NaNosomnia – the inability to sleep because of seething story ideas in the brain.

NaNotechnology – technology that has absolutely no basis in reality that is invented by a NaNite during November in a hurry because research is forbidden. See also: NaNobiology, NaNophysics, NaNoscience.

Nanotubule – part of the IV drip a NaNite carries throughout November to directly inject caffeine/alcohol/sugar [delete that which is not appropriate] into their bloodstream.

NaNovolt – the energising jolt of a sudden plot solution.

NaNowired – the state of a NaNite during November, when on a high due to overdoses of caffiene, sugar, and/or alcohol as well as a rising word count.

NaNoworld – a nice, safe place where NaNites live in November that has lots of caffeine/sugar and very few dishes.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

NaNoWriMo advice

I have several friends who are doing NaNo for the first time this year, so I wrote this for them. Now I am the Palmerston North ML this year, so I thought I would share it in case it was useful for others.


Some brief (and hopefully humorous) advice for the undertaking of the crazy ride that is NaNoWriMo (affectionately known hereafter as NaNo) from one who has been here before.
(Note: Some of these are more serious than others. I trust you can tell the difference.)
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. It’s a first draft. Makes mistakes. Mess up. That’s the glory of a first draft, because you can go back and fix it later. Just have fun. Leave perfection for the second draft.
WRITE. This is the absolute most essential thing to do. You can plan all you want, think all you want, but unless you sit down and write the story you’ll never find out what happens. Write at least 50 words a day. Write at least 10 words a day. Every day, write something. This keeps the story active in your head. And even if you only write 100 words a day for the whole month of NaNo, that’s 3,000 words you wouldn’t have written otherwise. So take off your editor’s hat, put the phone off the hook, and WRITE.
MIRACLES DO HAPPEN: Written yourself into a corner? No problem! Just write “And then a miracle occurs” and go on as if that incident never occurred. You can delete it later: right now you need the word count.
DON’T LOOK BACK: Don’t reread. It’s a first draft. No one cares if your main character changes her name three times or if she’s now driving a Panzer when she used to drive a Sherman. Never read back more than a few paragraphs and that just to remind yourself where you left off. Move on.
IT DOESN’T MATTER: Your six-year-old could write better than this? It doesn’t matter. Your characters are more wooden than Pinocchio? It doesn’t matter. Your plot makes no sense? It doesn’t matter. You can’t remember the difference between ‘disinterested’ and ‘uninterested’? It doesn’t matter. You can deal with all that stuff later: right now all that matters is getting the story down on paper. It’s a first draft. It’s not supposed to be perfect.
THERE IS NO DELETE KEY: For this  month the delete key on your computer does not exist. White-out and twink are mythical creatures you only think you’ve heard of before. So what if that was a terrible line you just wrote? Who cares? It’s words on the page. Move on. I recommend putting a sticker on your delete key that says “Pressing this button will cause the end of the world”.
SKIP AHEAD. Is this bit boring and you don’t feel like writing it? Type “And stuff happened” and skip on to an interesting bit. You can fill in the gaps later. You don’t have to write everything right now.
LET THE CHARACTERS DO WHAT THEY WANT. If you’re writing a Regency Romance and your characters suddenly decide to go on a five month trip to the Himalayas to hunt for yeti, let them. It’s a first draft, you can take it out later. It’s easier not to fight characters and they can take you interesting and unexpected places. (And you might find that actually what you wanted to write was an action/adventure yeti hunt and not a regency romance after all.) But the point right now is to get words on a page. If you have to blow up the nearest star to get the story moving again, do it. Nothing’s permanent, you can go back and undo it. The important thing is to get writing.
BREVITY IS NOT YOUR FRIEND: Never use three words if six will do. Or rather: the foolish and unnecessary use of inappropriate brevity in your story writing will needlessly shorten the amount of writing you find yourself capable of doing so it is both imperative and important that you should instead be as prolix and verbose as you possibly can in order to get that word count skyrocketing in a hurry.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO WRITE 1,667 WORDS IN ONE SITTING: 1,667 may be your daily word count for NaNo, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Sure, some people can churn out 4,000 words in one go but most of us can’t. Write 500 words before work, 500 words at lunchtime, 500 words before dinner... Write 250 words, clean a room, write 250 words, clean the next room... Find what size chunks work for you. (Of course, if you feel like writing more, go for it!)
YOU’RE PAID BY THE WORD, NOT THE LETTER: Don’t write “obstreperous”, write “shirty”. It takes less time to write (especially if, like me, you forgot how to spell “obstreperous” and had to look it up) and gets the same meaning across. Use those good old Anglo-Saxon words like fight, love, and sleep. Short and sweet and simple.
MULTIPLE NAMES ARE GOOD: Give your characters two names (Mary Sue!). Give them three. It gets you two or three words closer to your goal instead of one every time you name them. Or you could refer to them by their full name (“Daniel Jackson” = two words!). If you can give them a title as well, so much the better (“Colonel Jack O’Neill” = three words!). And forget pronouns, use the full name at every opportunity (“Jack lifted his gun and glared at his enemy” = 9 words. “Colonel Jack O’Neill lifted Colonel Jack O’Neill’s gun and glared at Colonel Jack O’Neill’s enemy” = 15 words!)
HAVE REALLY REALLY LONG CHAPTER TITLES: E.g Chapter Four: In which bad things happen, as we might have suggested previously were going to happen although it has taken us an awful long time to get to the point where they do happen despite the fact that the events in this chapter were actually what was supposed to be the start of the story and so we’re an awfully long way behind while somehow an awfully long way ahead. These can be deleted later, but can give interesting insights into what the author was thinking at the time of writing...
If there was only one piece of advice you were to take away from this it should be: It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’ll repeat it, because it’s important: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. Also, have fun!