With only just six days to go, are you ready to hit the trail through NaNo Land?
As promised I’m back with more NaNoWriMo trivia, helps and hints.
NaNo Challenges are traditions that help the writer reach their 50,000 work count goal. At any point along the trail you may encounter one of the following:
- The Traveling Shovel of Death – this is a challenge to include at some point a shovel into your story. More often than not the shovel will be used to bury or bludgeon someone – but not necessarily so.
- NaNoWriMo Anagram – this challenge asks you to name a character using an anagram of letters in NaNoWriMo. For example, I named a character “Orwin Mano”.
- Word-a-day Challenge – usually a thread on your regional forum where a new word is listed every day and you must work it into your story that day. Many participants return to the forum thread and post the sentence.
- Word Sprints – this challenge also known as “Word Wars” can be done at a Write-In (more on that later) or online (Via forums, Facebook, Twitter). A time limit is set, 15 minutes or more, and the challenge is to see who can produce the most words during that time period.
- Guilt Monkeys – the Guilt Monkey comes to us thanks to the founder of NaNoWriMo, Chris Baty. Guilt Monkeys will nag you to finish your daily word counts. Here’s how it works – your ML gives out numbered envelopes at random that contain the Guilt Monkeys. To track the movement of the Guilt Monkeys there is thread to post on (Which Monkey was passed to who and why.)You can pass the Guilt Monkey off to another WriMo if you:
- Reach your 50,000 word goal
- Compete in Cauldron of Doom Challenge (you do not need to win),
- Win a Word Sprint,
- Make a donation to NaNoWrimo.
If you don’t want to burden others with your Guilt Monkeys the MLs have a foster home for them until they can be adopted by someone in need of Guilt Monkey love.
- The Cauldron of Doom – this is a difficult challenge that comes to us from Lansing MI. In this challenge the participants must complete 1250 words, in 20 minutes (I’ve seen various word counts for this challenge.)
- Plot Bunnies – as John Steinbeck said, “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” Plot bunnies are really cute and cuddly but you have to be cautious with them. They can lead you to some really wonderful vista of ideas or into a box canyon of despair.
You’ve been working on your novel and now you are stuck – where do you get help? The following are great places to go:
- Write-Ins – NaNo public gatherings. For a Write-in WriMos gather at public place such as restaurant or coffee house and write. It’s that simple. During the event challenges may be issued, prizes awarded and suggestions make.
- NaNoWriMo Forums – there are lots of threads with wonderful suggestions
- Adoption Society – one of my favorite forums. On this forum you will find abandoned titles, characters and plots looking for a good home.
- The Dare Machine – If you want add a twist to your story then mosey on over to the Young Writers Program home page (ywp.nanwrimo.org) and try out the Dare Machine. Push the button and do what it says, for example “have one of your characters go missing for a chapter”.
- Inner Editor Containment Unit – This also come to us from the YWP. Draw a box with a big red button. Now imagine your inner editor – what does she/he/it look like? Sound like? Now push the button, you inner editor has now been removed from your head and into the IECU for the next 30 days and will be kept occupied proof reading the NaNo Website. December first they will be returned to you.
See you at the trail head on November 1st!