Sunday, 31 October 2010

Stop the Zombies...start the NaNoWriMo

Hi all,

Ok, so my lovely Co-ML Terry has declared I must stop playing Plants Vs Zombies (boo!) and come back to the land of NaNoWrimo (yay!). Luckily for me, having taken a week off work to go road tripping around Ireland I have successfully finished the entire game and had the honour of watching the plants and zombies band together at the end to make a cute little music video, so I figure I can survive turning it off for a while! :)

So, tomorrow is the official start of NaNoWriMo 2010. Hopefully you are all plotted up and ready to go...if not, have no fear as half of us are flying by the seats of our pants with you, so plotted or not, we are looking forward to seeing you all at Spoons tomorrow for the official kick off.

I received a jolly little parcel this morning full of fancy NaNoWriMo postcards and stickers for you all attach to the front of your laptops/coffee mugs/foreheads/etc so those of you who were at today's Write In should have those already. If anyone missed out I have a little stash of them that I will bring along to tomorrow's Write In at Spoons, so let me know if you didn't get any loot yet so I can get you all stocked up.

Now, there are some rumours...some very true rumours of a few internal wars going on. By wars I mean 'healthy competition' whereby members of the NaNoBeans will be competing against each other's word counts to try to avoid serious embarrassment. Terry and myself are having an ML word war that involves the loser (i.e. whoever reaches 50,000 words last) running amok with some pom poms. Terry has also challenged all newbie NaNoBeans to try to beat him to 50,000 words as well, so check out the NaNoWriMo regional thread on the NaNoWriMo website to join or make your challenge!

Well, thats about all from me for today as I have to run back to the plotting table to make a few last minute updates. Good luck to you all for tomorrow and your novelling and Terry and I will see you for the Ready, Set, Go! :)

Look for the NaNoWrimo and NaNoBeans signs around the tables if you are new or just a little lost and as always remember that there will be cake, no matter how many or how few words you write, there will always be cake! :)

See you tomorrow NaNoBeans! :)

Beaming up...

Saturday, 30 October 2010

...Get set...

So, the Kick-Off is over, and we have only one day of planning left (hello and thanks to the Wrimos who turned up!)...

If you want a few hours to figure out your plot, a few character details, or ask your fellow writers for hints, tips or advice, come along to Starbucks on Princes Street at 2pm tomorrow!

See you there,


Thursday, 28 October 2010

On your marks...

Hi folks!

Karen's in Ireland right now, so I'm flying solo...

As I write, we have 264 Wrimos with their NaNo-home in Edinburgh and more than half are new to NaNoWriMo - welcome, all of you!  A grand total of 636 are following what's going on in our forums, too.  (This is a bit more than Newcastle and a bit less than Glasgow, if that helps you put it in perspective).

We've also got a kind mention in The Edinburgh Reporter.  I hope everyone's getting a buzz of anticipation for NaNo - the time for plotting, planning and stocking up on chocolate/caffeine/obscure pop-culture references is almost at an end...

Hope to see you at the Kick-Off; failing that, come along to a write-in!



Sunday, 17 October 2010

Plotting...or Plants Vs Zombies???

Hey peeps! :)

I have stolen Terry's laptop to send you some Sunday NaNolove in the afternoon. We are all here in Starbies, writing away (where are you - why are you at home reading this when you should be here drinking lattes and playing Plants Vs Zombies *cough* Sorry, plotting your novels with us???).

Here, Terry wants to say Hi! :)

*passes keyboard to Terry*

umm.... Hi!  (echo; sound of breeze; tumbleweed passes by)
We've still got a few write-ins left before the Kick-Off on Saturday 30th October: Thursdays at 6pm at Spoon Bistro, and Sundays at 2pm at Starbucks.  We have a whole bunch of daft ideas for things to do in/at the end of November, but it's probably best to keep'em under wraps for now... :)

*Karen snatches keyboard back; she has a major case of withdrawal after her companion cube/ laptop was incinerated...*

Yes, tears...little Bettina Netbook is living on the mythical technology farm with all my past iPods and computers of yore (sobs quietly). But yay huzzah, on Tuesday I shall return with the overly pink new spandangly version of my former Netbook...the as yet unnamed companion cube v.2.0.

[This was a triumph. ~Terry]

[What me writing on a laptop...yes after a week I have nearly forgotton how to...wait what is this thing...CLINK CLUUUUUUNK THONK] :( ~ Karen

[I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.  Kind-of.  ~Terry]

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sunday Inspiration

Happy Sunday everyone! :)

So, who is freaking out that they have no clue what to write about yet for NaNoWriMo 2010? Its only a few short weeks away and you can't work out who your protagonist is, what they are trying to do or where they are trying to do it. Have you come to the conclusion that every one of your ideas is utter rubbish and there is no point in even starting, because everything is so rubbish? Well have no fear, because that rubbish idea is actually utter genius! Seriously, I promise you, all you have to do is add a little colour to that rubbish idea, paint the walls fuscia, buy some golden chairs and pretty soon you will have a tale so weird and wonderful that it will put Tim Burton to shame. 

You may be thinking that your idea has nowhere to go. You want to write about a highland cow, but you think that all they do is stand about in rainy fields all day looking bedraggled. What if that cow could talk though? What if that cow was an evil villain plotting to take over the world, what then? That cow is no longer just munching on grass in a field, now it is plotting with the other cows on how to break out of the farm that holds it hostage so it can put its dastardly plan into action. Suddenly you have a plot! 

So take that bad idea you had on the commute to work the other day and get your mental paint brushes out. You can start with anything, just use your imagination and run wild! Take this short story by John Scalzi (Creative Consultant on Stargate Universe) for example. His bad idea started with a yogurt (yes, a yogurt!) and ended up being a fantastically mighty tale about humanity.  

When The Yogurt Took Over - John Scalzi

So, the next time you start to panic that you have nothing to write about, just remember that your bad idea is actually an awesome idea in hiding. You just need to dust it off and give it a purpose. 

Everything that exists - from highland cows to yogurt pots - can, in your world of fantasy and imagination, have character, hopes, dreams and emotions and can survive for good or for evil. It is for this very reason that I leave you with this excellent piece of advice for the day...

Stay away from the yogurt, for it is evil and if given half the chance will take over the world and quite possibly eat your brains! 

*Beaming Up*


Saturday, 2 October 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010 is nearly here!

Good Morning Guys!

How are we all today? Good? Good! :)

Well today is Saturday and as of yesterday, the 1st October 2010 the NaNoWriMo Registration is officially OPEN!

What is NaNoWriMo? Well if you have to ask, you are probably new around here, but thats ok...we like fresh meat at the table. Hello newbie...HUGS!

NaNoWriMo is a really short way of saying National Novel Writing Month and thats what we are all here for. Its a chance to dig out your pens and pencils, get your laptops and netbooks whirring, dust off your typewriters and start flinging words down on the page like a crazed author at the asylum. The challenge? To write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days! I know, scary huh, but seriously after the first week its easy as pie. You get your rhythm, work out when to sleep and when to write. You realise that there is no time for worrying about spelling and time to think 'did I put that comma in the right spot back on page two'. You begin to think like a NaNo-novelist! 'Who cares, just get those words down on the page and do it fast, I can fret over those pesky commas later'. The great thing is, you don't even need to have written a word in your life before starting the NaNo-challenge and it really doesn't matter if you write stuff that absolutely sucks! No, seriously, I'm not kidding...writing really badly is fabulous!

As the genius that is Wil Wheaton (yes that bouffant haired starfleet academy wannabe from Star Trek Next Gen) tells us:

"The advice that I always give writers is the best advice that was given to me. Don't be afraid to suck...and you're gonna suck, and thats ok! Its easier to fix a page that is full of words that suck, than it is to fill up a blank page, its much less intimidating. I operate like that. I'm on the first draft of a story right now and its terrible, but its ok because I know that when I get around to fixing it, its going to eventually get to where I want it to be."

So get started, right now...stop procrastinating and take five minutes out of your day today to think about the characters that live inside your brain and let them come live in our world for a time. Make that time November and come join us all for a month of solid word crunching madness. You have to be a little crazy to make that decision to plough through a 50,000 word writing challenge and expect to still be alive at the end of it all, but guess what. We did it last year and we are all still here. In fact we loved it so much, we continued to meet up every single week since to edit our masterpieces and eat cake. Thats right, cake! You can't be expected to put in all that work and not at least get a slice of cake to chow down on.

So, now you are wondering what to do, huh? Well, I'll make it easy for you...just follow these five little steps and you will be a novelist in no time:

1) Sign up for NaNoWriMo 2010 at the following website - it is completely free to do and will give you all the information, forums, video diaries and free stuff (yep, stuff!) that you need to get can even go there and buy a T-Shirt (you know, 'Been there...Bought the...'). There is a little Sign Up Now button at the top of the page, see it? You got it! Press that button and sign yourself up.

NaNoWriMo 2010 - Sign Up Now

2) Now you have signed up, join the Edinburgh Region group (thats us!) by going to:

- My NaNoWriMo - My Regions - Europe::Scotland::Edinburgh

3) There may be messages here (read them and learn some more about us, we are pretty darned awesome!).

4) See that Google Calendar on the page? Get your diary out and fill it up with all the Write In dates and Events we have posted. Come along to as many as you can manage, even if you have missed a few, we don't mind and remember...there will be cake! :)

5) Visit our blog at:

NaNoBeans Blog

Have a read through, check out our photos (so you can recognise us when you attend Write Ins for the first time) and become our friend on Twitter and Facebook:

Twitter: NaNoBeans

Thats it, you are now a NaNoBean! Welcome and we look forward to seeing your excited/terrified/happy/tired/stressed/thrilled little faces throughout NaNoWriMo 2010!

I'm excited, are you? Brilliant! So get going, right now - you don't even have to get out of bed if you don't want to, but you do have to sign up for NaNoWriMo 2010. Why? Because we think you are awesome and we want to meet you, so follow the five easy steps above and we shall see you soon at NaNoWriMo 2010!

High Five my lovely novelists! :)

*Beaming up*