Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ok, so it is November, and the annual occasion of "NaNoWriMo," a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, writers around the world sign up for NaNoWriMo and try to write 50,000 words before the end of the month.

I recently joined a group on our internal Chatter site (like Facebook, but internal to my company) for Writers and some of the folks there were talking about doing it. I've always fancied myself a writer and love this idea, so I decided to go along for the ride.

We're on Day 3 of the challenge and I thought I'd jump over here to do a quick update. Isn't it funny -- now I'm worried about "wasting" my words over here, versus putting them to my "novel." C'est la vie.

My friend Debbie Talley gave a great tip (which I didn't follow, but still think is a great idea) that last year she wrote out 30+ index cards with writing prompts, prior to Nov. 1st. If I had a plot in mind going in, I definitely would have done that.

So, anyway, the big news of this post is to let you know about a tool I found that I'm loving - it is called Write Or Die. You put in your target word count, and amount of time, set a few other options and away you go! It has a tracking bar at the top to show how you're doing on your word count, and another for your time. If you stop typing for more than a second or two the screen starts to fade over to a bright red color, and after about :10 an annoying sound (of your choice!) begins. I chose the 'bad violins' (or something like that, is what the sound is called), and BOY does it work! I HAD to start typing just to make that noise stop!! I set a goal of 1000 words in 1/2 hour (there is a twitter hashtag you can follow for others attempting to do this - #30min1k), and according to WOD I met it! (OK, the disclaimer is that the 1012 that WOD said I got only showed as 940 on Word, but still - 940 words in 32 minutes - I think that's great!).

You can also follow @nanowordsprints on twitter for word sprint suggestions (which I haven't found too helpful, personally).

Anyhoo - just checking in. Now to leave you with, hopefully, a smile... I had a silly idea this morning for a gimmicky novel about the future, where the English language has evolved (devolved) to the point that common phrases were converted to their TXT equivalents. Here's a sample:

"Well, teeteewhyell, got a meeting."
"OK, teeteeeffenn - just elmeekay if you can catch lunch later."

That's about it. Teeteewhyell!!


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