NaNoWriMo is finally here and with it all its amazing creatures coming out of darkness. Maybe you’ve never heard of this weirdly named phenomena, and I don’t blame you. Consider this your entrance into Alice’s rabbit hole. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and people from all over the world (not national anymore, I guess) convene to complete one final goal: To write a 50k-word book in 30 days. No one expects this to be “the greatest novel of all time” or “the next Harry Potter.” The goal of the game is really just to get those creative juices flowing and inspire people to just….write. Write badly, write slowly, write as much as you can! Check out the official NaNoWriMo website for all the information you need to get started!
In the spirit of this very stressful exciting season, I am here to introduce you to a few of the creatures you might encounter over the next month, if you choose to join in.
This is the person that comes to write-in events, joins fellow writers for coffee shop writing sessions but seems to be there mostly for the snacks and to socialize. They will chat the day away while getting up for more coffee or snacks every few minutes. They will also be sending you messages on Facebook to chit chat about how hard it is to write, while giving you funny looks over the screen of their laptop. The social will be the leader of most of the giggly moments of interruption. They will chew loudly and open noisy packaging of food. They may or may not spill a drink on the table. They mean well…
The Binge Writer
This is the NaNo that for some crazy miracle manages to go an entire work week without writing (or even worrying about writing) and then spends the weekend catching up, writing around 10k words in between 10 cups of coffee. Listen, I don’t judge. In fact, I applaud you for conquering not NaNoWriMo but NaNoWriWeekends. These are probably the people who wrote 10 page essays in college the night before they were due and somehow still managed to score an A-. I envy you so so much. Also, what kind of coffee do you drink? Just wondering.
The Old Flame
This is the NaNo who created an account in 2012 and as a Phoenix, rises from the ashes to “give this another shot.” Listen, I’m rooting for you. I want you to succeed. In fact, I’m already proud of the fact you remember your login credentials to your Nano account. That’s half the battle…..kind of. Welcome back aboard!
You’re basically committing one of the biggest crimes in NaNo culture. You struggle making your daily word count because you spend all your writing time re-writing and editing what you did yesterday. Unless you’re back for another round to edit a novel you’ve already finished drafting/writing, that’s cool. I personally edit all the time, maybe it’s ingrained in me to do so. As long as editing on the go aligns with your personal current writing goals then you are absolutely free to tell others to “mind their own f*cking business, dam**t.”
The Nano Champion
You’re not new to this, in fact you love to bring up all the years you have successfully “won” NaNoWriMo at any and ALL opportunities. I’m just beyond jealous that you have accomplished this much, so this is why I’m calling you out. In reality, I too would brag non-stop if I had completed twenty 50k drafts in the past decade.
The Plotting Machine
You are dedicated to starting on the right foot and spent most of October doing prep work for your novel. You know everyone’s names, their history, their parents’ history and even what foods they are allergic to. You know their Myers-Briggs and their Hogwarts house. I applaud your enthusiasm and organization but mostly how inspiring you are to the rest of us mere mortals, who open the computer on November 1st and just anxiously stare at a blank screen for at least an hour.
You dedicate a good chunk of the day to motivate other NaNos, whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, forums, or even at your local events. Bless your heart, you are the purest form of a NaNo and probably also a Hufflepuff. Unless this is a tactic to justify not having enough time to write your own novel. I expect to see you cheering me on as I crawl out of November at the finish line (yes, I am prophesying my own success which also makes me my very own cheerleader).
The One Who Must
Not Be Named
This NaNo spends at least a week at the beginning of the month contemplating what to name their characters. Because it has to feel right, you know? I know what you’re thinking, this person is just another Plotting Machine. I’m here to tell you they are indeed different creatures. The plot machine is a sophisticated, organized and self-disciplined creature. The Namer is really just wondering how to make their characters sound unique but not too unique. Like I said, it has to feel right. If you are a Namer, I am here to remind you that Ctrl + F + Name of your Character is a great way to change your mind later, when the book is actually written. You’re welcome.
Tag yourselves and let me know what other creatures you have encountered in the wild during NaNoWriMo. I am all of the above except for the Nano Champion or the Plotting Machine. Are we surprised at all? See you at the finish line!