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Word crawl/Nano Crawl
I was amazed that I've never actually seen a Nano-themed word crawl. So here you are. META! At times, the path will branch into an easy/medium/difficult branch - pick whichever one you like. (It doesn't have to be what you're actually doing for Nano!) (Warning: this one's a little long, so don't feel compelled to do it all in one day!)
After hearing from your friends about this "National Novel Writing Month" thing, you decide to sign up and give it a try. Start with a five minute sprint while you waffle about what you want your username to be.
Once signed up, you take a look around the forums. Although the goal is 50,000 words, it looks like there's quite a bit of variation. You decide to set a goal for yourself....
- Your November is looking horrendously busy, so you're not quite sure you'll make the full 50,000 words. You decide to head over to the Rebels forum and set a lower goal. Do a ten minute word sprint to figure out your words per minute.
- You're a bit scared, but it's about 50,000 words, right? You head over to Reaching 50,000 to find some tips. Do a twenty minute sprint while you practice not using contractions.
- It might be your first time, but you're feeling pretty confident. You're shooting for the stars! Head over to Beyond 50k and do a thirty minute sprint to prove to yourself you can do this.
Now that you have a goal in mind, you decide to see what you can do to prepare. The Nano Prep forum looks like just the place! They've even got threads for your style of preparing:
- You're a pantser - you like making it up as you go along. Sprint 100 words while you look for cooking and cleaning tips.
- You're a plantser, right in the middle - you need a bit of structure, but not too much. Sprint 500 words while you warm up with some bonus scenes to get to know your characters.
- You're a planner - there is no way you're going to be underprepared! Sprint 1000 words while you check out a new outlining technique.
Stuff is starting to come together. Time to create your novel! You set a title and a little synopsis. Or is it little?
- Yeah, it's pretty short - roll a 4-sided die and sprint that times the number of words in your synopsis.
- It's average, I guess? - roll a 6-sided die and sprint that times the number of words in your synopsis.
- Uh, I'm practicing for Nano! Wordiness is good! - roll a 10-sided die and sprint that times the number of words in your synopsis.
The Dashboard mentions you can get a badge if you join a region. Wow, there are other Wrimos in your area! How big is your region?
- It's small, but dedicated! Do a three-digit challenge.
- It's a decent size. Do two Fifty Headed Hydras.
- It's one of the biggest in the world! Bahahaha! Do the Epic Music Writing Hour.
Prep is coming across nicely, but you could still use a little help from your fellow wrimos to fill in the gaps. What do you need?
- Well, your main character is still #Namehere. Check out the Appellation Station! Write 300 words and name a new character.
- This supporting character seems a little flat.... The Character Cafe is here to help. Write 700 words and reveal a character's secret.
- OMG what even is setting. Worldbuilding, help me! Write 1200 words and infodump something. (It's Nano - you can edit it in December!)
You decide to check out the Word Wars, Prompts and Sprints forum next since you heard that's a good place to do things like sprints and word crawls ;) The Day One Ridiculous Goals thread catches your eye. What a great idea to get ahead! Warm up for this by doing 1% of your DORG.
November is almost upon us! Your local Municipal Liason (ML for short) is throwing a kickoff for everyone to meet before buckling down to write. You make lots of new friends! Write 10 words for each writing buddy on your list (if you don't use the writing buddies, check your 'Buddy Of' list instead!)
It's November, and you start right in at midnight on your DORG. Write 100 words, and then update your wordcount. Then write another 100 words, then update your wordcount again. Then another 100 words and... The website is stable now, right?
You haven't even hit the first day, but already your inner editor and self-doubt monster are tugging at your sleeves. You know your story isn't cliche, but they won't leave you alone! Maybe the folks in your genre forum can reassure you. Wait... what genre are you writing, anyway?
- You're writing YA, like all the cool kids do. You know, a lot of them tend to run right around 60,000 words, so Nano seems just the right length! Write 600 words to make your monsters shut up.
- You're writing mainstream - so it's okay if it runs a little long, right? Many mainstream novels go up to 90,000 words, so write 900 words.
- You're writing fantasy. Some fantasy novels can be 120,000 words or more! Uh, no one said it had to be done in November. Write 1200 words.
You've made it through the first week, and now your muse has utterly abandoned you. Not to mention your pet won't stop breathing animal-food breath down your neck. You've been Week Two'd! You go to rant/cry/scream over in Nanowrimo Ate My Soul. And you're not the only one. Post a note of encouragement for someone else, then do a 20 minute sprint to get back on pace.
D'oh! The hits keep coming. Now you've got a plot hole big enough to toss a trebuchet through. Someone call in Plot Doctoring! Post a suggestion for someone else's thorny plot problem, then do a 15 minute sprint to pave over your plothole.
Wait... a trebuchet? You'd never heard of one before, but apparently they're popular among Wrimos. so are a number of things, actually:
- But you really like the trebuchet, so write to your nearest 1000 words and throw in a trebuchet. (Note: throwing does not need to be literal.)
- This Mr. Ian Woon is just dying to wander in. Write to your nearest 2000 word milestone and name someone a Mr. Ian Woon or other Nanowrimo anagram.
- Dying, eh? Sounds like a job for the Traveling Shovel of Death! Write to your nearest 5000 word milestone, and kill someone in your novel.
Nanowrimo has started its Donation Day! You're amazed at all the hard work that goes into throwing a massive event like this, and that they do it all with the help of people like you who chip in where they can. So, show some support for Nano (make a donation, or just send the staff a thank you!) and do a #1k1hr (1000 words in one hour) sprint.
You've finally hit week 3, and things finally seem to be back on track. You head over to This is Going Better Than I Hoped to share your joy. While you're there, a few other posters encourage you to go join in the most recent @NaNoWordSprints sprint with them. Wait a minute, this was supposed to be a celebration! Is it that the only way Wrimos know how to celebrate, by writing more words? :P
While you're over
procrastinating reading on the forums, you decide to check out the Dares thread for some possible ideas to add. Ooh, here's a good one....
- Take a dare and write a 10 minute sprint.
- Double bonus points! Write a 20 minute sprint.
- Triple bonus points?! Write a 30 minute sprint.
You know, maybe you've been on the forums a little too much lately. Time to go write without distractions! Write as many words as you have posts.
The Nanowrimo office sends out a notice that it's ML Appreciation Day! Come to think of it, your ML has been working very hard organizing all these meet-ups and sending their pep talks. In their honor, let your ML pick a challenge for you out of the Word Sprints forum (if you don't have an ML/they're not available, pick one yourself.)
At last, you're into week 4 and on the home stretch! You feel like shouting out your success to the world! Thankfully, there's a Shoutouts forum for that! Write until you've hit some milestone you can post in a Shoutouts thread!
After your milestone, you feel like you need a change of scenery. Thankfully, there's a writein going on nearby! After catching up with your buddies, you challenge them to a word war, length of your choosing.
You're writing late into the day, but by gosh, you're determined to hit the end! But when it gets this late, you start to get a little tired... Are you still coherent?
- Psh, you do this all the time. How else do you think you made it through school? Write until you've made five (uncorrected) typos or Nanoisms.
- Pretty coherent, but you stumble sometimes. Write until you've made ten (uncorrected) typos or Nanoisms.
- no caffeine what is words?? Write until you've made twenty (uncorrected) typos or Nanoisms.
You've reached your goal and penned "The End" on your illustrious masterpiece! Or, you know, first draft. Time for the moment of truth! You go to the validator and put in your novel...
- Right on the nose! You write an additional 100 words to even out your wordcount.
- A little bit off. Write 1000 words to get you over the top.
- That dang curly quote bug caught you! Write 2000 words, grumbling the whole time.
You've validated, gotten your winner's certificate, and the month is over. Congratulations, you've survived your first Nano and the month of November! It's December, and you can catch up on all the TV/cleaning/interaction with humans you've missed out on! (And sleep. Oh yes, sleep.) Before you go to your ML's Thank Goodness It's Over party, finish the scene you're on.
(BTW: feeling discouraged about your daily goal? Feel like 1667 is just too much? This word crawl is exactly 1,667 words. If you can make it through this crawl, you can write a novel!)