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Zeke 11-02-2011 12:18 PM

Welcome to NaNuPoMo!

Nope, nothing to do with nudity or postmodernism. (Though come to think of it...) Back in 1999, a group of writers decided that there simply were not enough terrible novels out there. They came up with National Novel Writing Month or "NaNoWriMo", an event for amateur authors to train their churning skill. The goal is to write 50,000 words by the end of the month -- mathematically, this boils down to an average of 100 words a day for each of the first 29 days, and then 47,100 on the last day. Writers who survive the process learn to generate incredible quantity and ignore that other thing. Since '99, there's been a NaNoWriMo each year (it's misspelled on most calendars as "November"), with more participants each time. Last year nearly 40,000 people hit the goal, writing 40,000 novels that were each read 40% of the way through by three relatives, one of whom was lying.

Even if I had no other obligations, I don't think I would try NaNoWriMo. I've seen what it does to my friends. It consumes their lives, overrides their priorities and moral centres. I'm pretty sure I was dumped for it once. But there <i>is</i> something to be said for using totally artificial commitments to develop discipline.

So this month I'm gonna try bringing back an old practice of daily newsposts. Most of them won't be site updates, of course; I'll make 'em where I can, but school has to come first. However, it's pretty easy to make a quick link post. The main reason I stopped doing them in the first place is that I was running out of ideas, but I've had years to build up more since then.

Let's get things started with a highly germane link. Nate the Great started a <a href=""><b>Fiv page at TV Tropes</b></a> a while ago. (TVT itself would definitely have been a daily link a few years back, had I still been doing them; nowadays it's hardly necessary.) I'm glad to see us represented there. As noted, the page is fairly sparse -- it can definitely use some activity. Among other things, I'd be happy to see a broader range of site material represented, and tropes that apply to more than just individual fiver scenes. I'm not <i>quite</i> narcissistic enough to edit my own site's trope page, so <a href="">It's Up To You</a>!

Nate the Great 11-02-2011 01:45 PM

You're in school? What for?

If you guys want to help, but don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of tropes, please consider adding a link to the page to the individual trope pages like I demonstrated on the page.

Zeke 11-02-2011 05:16 PM

Still workin' on the ol' PhD. This is the year I have to finish my comprehensive exams, so it's especially important.

Sa'ar Chasm 11-03-2011 04:57 AM

PhDs are eternal. I don't think they actually ever end, or progress. You just wake up one day on the wrong side of thirty and accept you're going to be here for the rest of your life.

It's a bit like life imprisonment, only I think convicted murderers get a but more respect.

Zeke 11-03-2011 12:27 PM

<i>November 2</i>

NaNuPoMo continues today with a link to a site I often find very useful. One weakness of Google is that it mostly lacks the traditional DOS wildcard search. You can stick a * in a phrase, say "chakotay 1 * 0", and match a word or two, but you can't use ? to match characters or * for parts of words. Someone had to fill this gap (match this pattern?), and <a href=""><b>OneLook</b></a> did so. It's a multi-dictionary search, which is useful on its own, but it also has full wildcard abilities and other handy features. So next time you're stuck on a crossword answer like, I dunno, "P_R_H_S", use OneLook to narrow it down.

(Note to forumites: rather than fill the board with newspost threads, I'll be putting all the link posts in this master thread. Updates will still get their own.)

evay 11-03-2011 12:52 PM

The first time an enthused coworker told me about NaNoWriMo, I practically recoiled. He was all "But you'll have a novel at the end of the month!" and I had to keep explaining "No, you'll have fifty thousand words of crap at the end of the month. Aiming for a pure word count is just logorrhea. Writing a real novel takes planning."

After working with someone who's a "pantser," aka "discovery writer," I find I hold this opinion even more strongly.

Creating a story takes work. It takes preparation, planning, editing, feedback, killing your darlings, rewriting, foresight, and backfilling.

If someone wants to use NaNoWriMo as a way to get over the fear of getting words on the page, or to break writer's block, hey, go for it. But don't pretend you have an actual novel on December 1. You might, possibly, have the start of a novel, if you're ruthless enough to go back and fix all the problems. But you don't have something publishable. Harrumph.

Zeke 11-04-2011 11:14 PM

<i>November 3</i>

Today's link is to one of my favourite comic book sites: <a href=""><b>Comics Should Be Good</b></a>, which recently turned five years old (young'uns). Like this site, CSBG has a mission, one that's expressed in the title: comics aren't always good, but they <i>can</i> be and often have been, and we shouldn't settle for less.

There are various writers, but it's Brian Cronin's baby, and the main attraction is his long-running column <a href="">Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed</a>. It's sorta the Snopes of comics, covering a wide range of rumours; the stories behind them are often more interesting than the rumours themselves, and Brian researches them well. There's plenty to interest even the most casual comic fan. For instance, today's rumours include one about Spock (which a Trekkie will probably know is false just by virtue of having heard the real story).

NAHTMMM 11-05-2011 12:16 AM


Originally Posted by Zeke (Post 78215)
Still workin' on the ol' PhD. This is the year I have to finish my comprehensive exams, so it's especially important.

Good luck! :)

Zeke 11-05-2011 12:55 PM

<i>November 4</i>

Today's link is to the LJ of <b>squid314</b> (Scott to his friends), specifically his <a href="">analysis</a> of the relative unrealisticness of certain popular fiction franchises. He first considers <i>Babylon 5</i>, then <i>Doctor Who</i>... but what's the most far-fetched one of all? The answer may surprise you. (The rest of Scott's journal is worth checking out too, as he's a smart guy in general. He won points with me right off with the pangrammatic title.)

NAHTMMM 11-05-2011 03:00 PM

^ :D Some of the comments on that are pretty good, too.

Zeke 11-06-2011 02:14 PM

<i>November 5</i>

Remember, remember the fifth of November! Specifically, the one back in 2005, when I posted <a href=""><b>Five-Minute <i>Rings</i></b></a>. Yep, this is an X Years Ago post, and today X=6. The '05 Hallowe'en event was a sequel to the '03 event; like most sequels, it didn't quite deliver, but there was some good stuff. My contribution was this fiver of a DVD extra taking place before <i>The Ring Two</i>. <i>Rings</i> packed a lot of scares into a short runtime and laid some groundwork for the movie. As with my fiver of the first film, there are a few in-jokes here for Ring fans; for instance, "general discussion" and "serious theorizing" are shoutouts to the real Ring forum (apparently down right now), which had boards labeled that way.

Why would I relink something so obscure? Let's say it's because Daylight Savings Time is mentioned in the fiver, making it timely. That is the reason. There are no others.

Zeke 11-07-2011 07:10 PM

<i>November 6</i>
<p>Today's link: <a href=""><b>the ringworld</b></a>. I've linked to it before, but that was eight years ago, and it's still the best <i>Ring</i> site around. This time I want to highlight a couple of specific sections. The <a href="">scripts and translations</a> page is a great resource; among other things, it includes full translations by founder J Lopez of the original Japanese movie and the manga of the sequel, <i>Rasen</i>. If you've ever wondered how I became such a <i>Ring</i> series connoisseur in the first place when I've mentioned I can barely watch the freaking things, that's how. The <a href="">fanfic section</a> also has some interesting items, including a spooky sequel, "6155", by J himself (see if you can decode the title!) and two short pieces by nostalgia, an acquaintance of mine whose fic I've recommended before.
<p>But that's odd... two <i>Ring</i> updates in a row? Eh. It's probably nothing. Or maybe I'm just doing it because J vanished off the face of the Earth in '07 or so; four years since last update makes even me look good.

Zeke 11-08-2011 06:12 PM

<i>November 7</i>

Okay, enough <i>Ring</i> stuff. Today we'll do something else. Here's a <i>[kssssh]</i>

Um, guess we got some static there. Here's <i>[kssssh]</i>

<i>[kssssh]</i> think this is really <i>[kssssh]</i> know why <i>[kssssh]</i>

Maybe I'll just <i>[kssssh]</i>


evay 11-08-2011 08:01 PM

Z, quit trying to control the horizontal.

Zeke 11-08-2011 09:05 PM

That reminds me, today [kssssh] described as [kssssh] promotion. I'm not sure [kssssh] tactful or not. Is [kssssh] thing on?

Zeke 11-09-2011 10:01 PM

<i>November 8</i>


I wish she'd stop that. Today's link is to <i>[kssssh]</i> <a href="">Fitocracy</a>.

HA! Didn't see THAT coming, did ya? I mumbled some gibberish and you staticked <i>that</i> out! Now I've posted my link and there's nothing you can do about it!

For those who haven't heard, Fitocracy is an exercise-tracking system. You can use it to keep a record of anything from heavy workouts to taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Of course, a spiral-bound notebook can do that much, but Fitocracy also has a clever hook: it assigns different point values to each kind of exercise and you accumulate them like XP in a videogame. (I'm level 5 so far, if you're curious.) There are simple suggestions for first-timers, and even "quests" that work like trophies/achievements -- you'll trip over some, while others have to be worked for. Technically the site is in invite-only beta, but this is just to keep spambots out; invite links are posted regularly on their Twitter account, or if you don't want to wait, ask 'em and they'll just give you one.

There. That oughta put her in her <i>[kssssh]</i>



Nate the Great 11-10-2011 02:26 PM

Erm, we do have a link thread, y'know. You don't have to abuse a News thread to post them.

Zeke 11-11-2011 04:43 AM



Nate, just... think about that for a while.

Nate the Great 11-11-2011 03:34 PM

Yes, ABUSE. I fully confess to being an inveterate sorter who likes everything to be in precisely defined categories. We have a thread for links, and there isn't a reason in the world why you can't put this stuff there.

Sa'ar Chasm 11-11-2011 08:56 PM

It's his damn website. Let him organise it how he likes.

Besides, News threads for links are an established tradition around here, plus he's got the NaNuPoMoBrovemberwhatever theme going as well.

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