EWW6: Boldly Word Where No Words Have Worded Before

Boldly Wording

The Evening of Writing Wildly fundraiser is back for its sixth year!

We can’t all go to the Night of Writing Dangerously. I know we all really want to, but $300 is hard to raise, especially when airfare to San Francisco, hotel costs, time off from work, and what all else has to be added into that. Since we can’t all go and we all really want to, we here in Atlanta have our own mini-NoWD:

The Evening of Writing Wildly.

Or EWW, because NaNoWriMo HQ had already used an acronym that couldn’t be pronounced, so we one-upped them with one that can be pronounced. Horribly.

We may not have all the glitz of NoWD–because our budget is just slightly above $0–but for a modest $20, you can join us for a cozy evening or writing, socializing, coffee, writing, raffles, (possibly) guest speakers and/or pep talks, games, writing, food, coffee, and writing!

We here at NaNoLanta ML HQ (not a real thing) have been toiling hard to make the 6th Annual Evening of Writing Wildly better than ever, and something truly miraculous has happened: On this day, October 18th, 2017, we know EXACTLY where we’ll be on November 19th, 2017.

We’ll be in the Evans Conference Room C on the lower level of Evans Dining Hall on the Agnes Scott College Campus located in Decatur, Georgia. It has many tables and many chairs–enough to fit a whopping 50 people, in fact–with plenty of space for Pot Luck. You’re even welcome to have an authentic college on-campus dinner before EWW in the Dining Hall upstairs for $6 (we think it’s $6).

We’re so prepared, we have a map.

100% More Prepared

100% More Prepared

Park over there, write over here. Look how easy that is. If you’re bringing something heavy, I’m sure you can temporarily park in P10. Agnes Scott is being super-awesome and providing the room AND encouragement from faculty visitors, so let’s be as awesome to them as they are to us and park in that Parking Garage on South McDonough Street.

Oh, they’re also providing refreshments, but we don’t have to go nuts on their snacks this year.

What I’m alluding to–as well as stated explicitly because, despite over a decade of NaNo, I have no idea how to tell a story properly–is this year we’re bringing back POT LUCK! You’re not required to bring anything, but we’ll have tons of space for a smorgasbord and if we have way too much, everyone gets to take home a plate of food to power you through your Sunday word-fest (and beyond?).

We’re going to do our best to get everything labelled, so be sure to tell us what you’re making on the sign-up sheet. If there’s anything special about it, like it’s vegan or it’s prepared in an allergen-free environment, include that as well.

Please sign up here. Your name should be whatever name you tell us when you hand us your payment or when you pay online here. We’re using YouCaring again to manage credit card payments. They’re a pretty awesome fundraising site, but they do ask a bunch of info about you that I don’t care about and will ignore as much as possible, so please don’t make matching payment to sign-up name too complicated.

It’s surprisingly difficult to get a reliable head count in advance, so we’re offering a reward for early payment.

I'm a much better crafter than photographer, promise.

I’m a much better crafter than photographer, promise.

It’s a progress meter! This cute little space themed IRL progress meter is 2″ x 6″, so it’s small enough to fit on your desk or pretty much anywhere else. Move the rocket along the scale and it feels almost like flying through space, swearsies.

You can pay any of the MLs in cash, and we’ll do our best to keep a couple of these on hand. Just in case, it doesn’t hurt if you shoot the ML a message in advance so s/he makes sure to bring one. We’ll definitely have them at Kick-Off and the All Nighter. If you pay online and need us to mail it to you, we can work that out, but there will be some assembly required.

To Recap:


November 19th
Agnes Scott College
Evans Dining Hall Conference Room C

Entrance Fee: $20
Payable in person (cash) or YouCaring (credit)
special gift for advance payment

Sign up on this spreadsheet today!

The Wild World of Not Planning Anything Ever

Yesterday, Kate wrote this post about using Pinterest for planning. I read it with my usual mix of awe and “that sounds fake but… okay.” Don’t get me wrong—I have so much respect for planners. The idea of knowing what your novel will look like before you start writing it is incredibly impressive to me. I really admire anyone who’s smart enough to have it all figured out ahead of time.

Accepting You’re Not a Planner (at ALL)

That said, I’m completely incapable of planning. I barely even know what I’m writing about when I set out. I usually get a vague idea, and then things come together once I start writing it. “Um, so I think I want to write about a pregnant superhero… living with her wife… on a secret island.” From there, I usually Google pictures of gorgeous island cities while crying over how long it’s been since I took a vacation until my brain figures the rest out. “Why do they live on a secret island? Is the wife a secret government scientist? Is it a whole community of secret government scientists? What if my protagonist feels isolated because she’s not a scientist? Do they make fun of religious people like her? Oh! Maybe the loneliness drives her to make friends with other supers on the island…”

Truthfully, that example is pretty much the most planning I’ve ever done for any story. If I make it that far, I pat myself on the back and take a well-deserved three month break before writing a single word. Oops. But it’s a good example of how my brain processes things, I think. I often joke that my subconscious is a better writer than I am, because it’s usually not until I send it off to someone else that I even realize half of what I’ve written:

“I love the way you use sunlight over and over again as a symbol for the ‘blinding’ emotions!” (Wait, I did that? Wow, you’re right! I’m awesome!)

“The parallel between the cookies at the beginning and end was amazing.” (Oh snap, you’re right! I did book-end the story with symbolic cookie eating!)

“This character’s arc is so beautiful. I loved how the cat slowly becomes the replacement for the kid they lost at the beginning.” (Huh, I never even thought about that.)

Turning Coasting into an Art Form

Of course, I attribute a lot of this luck to voracious reading. Just like you can accidentally absorb a good sense of rhythm and an impressive vocabulary from reading, you can also absorb a nuanced grasp of plot and symbolism. But that only gets you so far.

For me, planning stifles all of my strengths. It just kills my whole writing process. When I was younger, I took all the prep advice to heart. I mean, you’re a bad writer if you don’t outline, right? What kind of author starts page 1 without knowing her characters’ favorite colors and tragic backstories? But the results of my planning were lackluster at best. Planning sucked all the fun out of writing for me, and I found myself dreading each chapter as I came to it. (It doesn’t help that I’m NOT a linear writer at all!) The years I planned were, almost always, the years I lost NaNoWriMo.

Now that I’m a more confident writer, I trust my process. I’ve found I do best jumping all over the place, writing whatever I’m most excited to write at that exact moment. I don’t start on page 1 without knowing everything about my characters; I start on page 113! I only write linearly and form a half-baked plan when I’m going back through and finishing the book. And that doesn’t happen until December (or if I run out of ideas to write near the end of November).

Harnessing the Power of Virtual Scrapbooking

So how does Pinterest help with my process? It’s just one of many tools I use, but it helps me passively work on my novel whenever the inspiration comes to me. Whether I’m scrolling through tumblr or researching an article for work, I frequently run across things I want to toss into my story. Pinterest works like a writer’s notebook for me. Using the browser extension, I just pin it to the relevant board (like this one) and continue procrastinating working on other things. As you can see from my example board, I can pin images and articles about every aspect of my character: breastfeeding, lesbian parenting, fashion, Catholicism, island living, personality type, hairstyles, superhero memes.

I don’t have any rules about pinning stuff. Should I make a board for the entire story or for each major character? Should I pin just aesthetic stuff, just research stuff, or everything that vaguely reminds me of the board’s topic? The answer is always yes! I do whatever works for a given situation, and I change my mind frequently.

Then, during November, I can skim through my Pinterest board and be instantly inspired. The visual factor really helps me snap instantly into writing mode. And if I’ve saved a cool infographic or article for research purposes, I just search my pins for it. It’s way easier than digging through a hierarchical bookmark folder labyrinth.

Staring Blankly but Calmly into This Year’s Void

TBH, I haven’t made a board for this year’s story. I’ll probably do that during November, when I run out of ideas but am not ready to start the linear fill-in-the-blanks process. For now, I’m way ahead of my average! I already know the protagonist gets back the London, and I’m pretty sure she’s gonna shoot the antagonist. I feel like such a planner this year. Time to take that hard-earned three-month break.

Do you use Pinterest? Have you found a way to collection inspiration and research that you think is way better? Let us know! (I’m always looking for the newest and shiniest stuff.)

the wild world of planning

So, true story, my first NaNo was a spontaneous decision. I’d come across the site through StumbleUpon and thought, “well this could be fun.” What followed was a month of desperately trying to come up with 1700 words a day and mostly being frustrated when the words wouldn’t come. I finished at about 10K that year, and I realized, for me at least, planning was going to be a necessity.


I’m a big fan of the outline, and character profiles make my heart happy, but one of the most beneficial tools I’ve found for planning is Pinterest. It’s free and easy to use, and you can set up boards full of different kinds of inspiration-word charts, character profiles, or just random images for your novel.


The first year I won NaNo, I sat down in October and made a list of 30 words/ideas/concepts that I knew I could write about. I took that list and found images to match, crafting them into a Pinterest board. Every day, I’d go to the notion of the day, and use that to drive my writing. It meant writing way out of order, and sometimes writing parts that didn’t make the final cut, but it got me to 50k.


Whether that concept speaks to you or not, Pinterest can be a vital support system on your journey to a novel and beyond. If you already use the platform, try searching “NaNoWriMo” or even just “writing” and see what you come up with.


Now if only Pinterest could tell me what to write this year…back to planning for me!


To 50k and Beyond my friends!!

Greetings Nanolantans! Nano 2016 is upon us!

Greetings, Earthling Writers! If you’re new (or newly returned) to the U.S.S. NaNoWriMo, please pay attention to these special in-flight instructions. They will help you make the most of your 2016 journey, and they can help you avoid panicking in an emergency.


You’re lucky enough to have 5 captains (read: municipal liaisons) for this voyage. Municipal Liaisons are returning WriMoers who have volunteered to help make your local experience out of this world. They help newbies, send out local pep talks, coordinate and connect people to write-ins, and distribute swag. (Among other things.) Please take special notice of their friendly mugs, and feel free to contact them if you have Atlanta-related questions, concerns, or comments:

Home Region

One of the most important ways to stay plugged in this November is by making Atlanta your home region. This will help us keep you informed in case something exciting is going on or an official write-in gets canceled at the last minute.

To make Atlanta your home region, go to the Atlanta forum and click “Join this region” (if you haven’t already). Then go to the Regions page and click “Make this region my home” next to where it says USA :: Georgia :: Atlanta. That’s all it takes!


Write-ins are the heart of NaNoWriMo. For a few hours each week (or just once, or several times a week), you can get out of the house or the office and focus exclusively on your novel. Each write-in is different, so be sure to read any info posted with the location and time. For example, some write-in hosts might prefer an entirely silent 3-4 hour writing session. Other hosts don’t offer any dedicated writing time at all, so you will need to put in headphones to get work done. Most write-ins fall in the middle, however. Often, people will spend half the time writing silently or engaging in word wars, while the other half is dedicated to goofing off or hashing out plot details.

The MLs will be hosting weekly write-ins (each) in various cities, where you can grab stickers and other cool stuff. We’re also hosting several official fancy-pants events:

  • IKEA kick-off party on October 29
  • TBD on November 5 (maybe)
  • All-nighter on November 12-13
  • Evening of Writing Wildly on November 19
  • Thank God It’s Over (TGIO) parties from December 4-11

(All dates and events are tentative. For the most up-to-date info on all NaNoLanta events, read on to learn about our calendar!)

Here are a few write-in essentials:

  • Notebook and pen or laptop/tablet/phone and charger
  • A few dollars for food or drink, if applicable
  • Headphones and something to plug them into!
  • Power strip—not required, but you might be someone’s hero!
  • A friendly attitude

And a few suggestions:

  • Try to let the host know if you’re planning on coming (and then let them know again if you can’t make it after all). This way, the host will know whether or not to wait for you if no one shows up in the first hour or so.
  • Feel free to show up late and/or leave early.
  • Feel free to show up early and/or leave late.
  • Be friendly but polite; avoid confrontations and teasing (even in a friendly way).
  • Alcohol IN MODERATION ONLY, please! Most write-ins won’t have alcohol, but a few might. Please don’t make it awkward this year!
  • Try to buy at least something small from the venue if you can afford to.
  • Don’t feel bad about not buying something if you truly can’t afford to.
  • Don’t talk so excessively or loudly that you might disturb other writers or patrons.
  • Try not to frustrate others by constantly asking for names and other suggestions. (Try Googling “name generator” or posting on the forums instead.)
  • Don’t talk during silent writing times/word wars.
  • When in doubt, talk to the write-in host or PM an ML!



If you can’t go to an in-person write-in, you should definitely consider joining an online one. One place to do that is the NaNoWriMo IRC chatroom. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I’d like to point you to this lovely chatroom guide. The guide should help you get chatting in no time!

Note that Georgia :: Elsewhere already has some virtual write-ins planned for this year, and we are discussing some Atlanta-specific ones as well!


Our Google Calendar contains all of our events and write-ins. If you have (or create) a Google/Gmail account, you can add our calendar to yours so that write-ins show up in your normal Google Calendar. To do this, just click on the little “+Google Calendar” at the bottom of our calendar widget on the main forum page or our events page. You can even get reminders via email or pop-up for any events you want to remember to go to!

Other Questions

Still have questions or concerns? If it’s about NaNoLanta, contact one of your friendly neighborhood MLs. If it’s about NaNoWriMo in general, check the FAQ or post on the forums. (Or ask a friendly neighborhood ML. We’re nice.)

Thank you for choosing NaNoLanta for this year’s voyage! Please buckle up, as we will be blasting off before you know it. And don’t forget to introduce yourself and find a write-in near you. 🙂

Friends Don’t Let Friends Screw Up a 10K Goal

This afternoon, JFCJames made a devastating confession to me:

He has never won a Camp NaNoWriMo.

I didn’t know how I should feel about this. Betrayed? Bewildered? Offended at an emotional level the depths of which could only be reached by entire buckets of chocolate? I mean, I thought I knew this guy, you know? I thought we were friends. We plotted together, we planned, we even wrote stuff together. I made him a lasagna. He bought me throwing knives. And come to find out, he’s never even won a Camp NaNo. It was all a lie.

No, seriously. He bought me these knives.

No, seriously. He bought me these knives.

I’ll be straight up here, there was a minute there where I was like SHUN HIM SHUN HIM AND HIS STUPID FAILURE. And then I remembered, dude, I’m lapixystix. I’m amazing. I’m not a shunner, I’m a motivator. And so humble, too.
So I plotted, planned, ate some fajitas, painted a chalkboard wall, and realized that I had to force James to win Camp this year by threatening to stab him with the throwing knives he bought me.

Just kidding. Please, no one stab James with rainbow titanium throwing knives. I don’t want to go to jail because he has issues hitting goals.

No, really, what I DID decide to do is barrage James with a month of motivation, and I need everyone’s help. James has seen me at both my most exquisitely motivational (and so humble) and at my most #ihavejustwrittenthestupidestpileofturd-tional, so I don’t know how far pep-talks from me will actually go. But if you, every single one of you, sends him a reminder that he needs to write and not watch that–OH DEAR GOD STOP WATCHING THAT JAMES–then maybe, just maybe, James will actually win a Camp.

...to pester James.

…to pester James.


You can send him a pep talk at the nanolanta web site. Make a post dedicated to him on the NaNoWriMo forums, send him private messages filled with promises of rewards you totally don’t have to follow through with in NaNo mail. Pester him on the chat room if he’s around. Post a motivational meme on our facebook. Make a comically long speech via tweets @nanolanta.

If you know James personally, blow up his phone, metaphorically or literally. Nothing gets the point across quite like shards of electronics. Meet up with him for lunch and then withhold food until he writes a thousand words. Bribe him with fancy pencils and questionable anime.

Come to a Write In. We’re hosting a couple of them, starting on April first.

Oh, and since I’m launching a sort-of movement here, I felt like a name and banner were necessary. Something with a bit of zing, a bit of a hook, ad a lot of motivation. I think I got it with this one:



No, seriously. Because this will only be posted until James wins Camp, and this is an abomination.

In Support of Camp NaNo

I love NaNoWriMo. Considering how my entire Autumn is pretty much consumed by ML life, I don’t think I need to prove my devotion. I’ll always love NaNo, and I can’t see myself ever taking a break from it, but I’ve done this for eleven years now. To be honest, it’s become…easy.

2013: The year NaNo became easy.

2013: The year NaNo became easy.

I know many of you have struggled for years and have yet to get the ol’ Purple Bar. I know there’s also a minority of you who laugh at my measly 50-75k counts. I don’t mean to rile anyone in these groups when I say NaNo is easy, but I think it speaks to a flaw in the system:

Writing is not One-Size-Fits-All.

Fifty thousand isn’t a logical goal for many people. It’s probably not reasonable for most people. And I get it; NaNo is like a marathon. You have the average people who are just trying to finish and are happy to just cross that line. Some make it, and some don’t—although marathon runners are way more likely to finish than WriMos (sorry). And then you have the people who scoff at 26.2 miles, so they have to make their own motivation and set time goals most people think are insane. Analogous WriMos, you know who you are (50k days? Seriously?)

Oh, and then you have the people who are like, “Twenty-six miles? Have every single one of you gone insane? I don’t drive twenty-six miles in a morning; I’m certainly not running that,and don’t even bother to try.

Does this mean every marathon should come with different start and end points for people who struggle to finish, and clocks should be optional but not for the speedy people, they only get to win if they run it in under three hours, and hell, those of us lard-butts out there can totally get rascals to ride but make sure they’re equipped with iPads because Saturday is my Netflix binge day? Of course not. A marathon is 26.2 miles whether you like it or not.

Did someone say 'marathon'?

Did someone say ‘marathon’?

The point I’m trying to make (both poorly and redundantly) is 50,000 words is only a legitimate challenge for a few people. The rest of us have to make our own goals in order to make November meaningful. Thanks to the saved stats on the NaNo site, I can now make it a goal to be my previous year’s completion date. I’m sure there will come a time when I can no longer shave off days, but I’ll always be able to squeak out a couple more words than last year. And many of you get to around November 26th and say, “Umm, my goal is now 25,000 words,” which I respect and wholeheartedly support. You’re not a winner in the strictest sense, but you keep writing and you finish with 22,438 words and it’s not even your personal goal but whatevs, that’s 22,438 more words than you had in October.

And for all of us who don’t take 50k seriously, there is a solution:


I’m writing on my tablet, that’s sort of like roughing it.

Camp NaNoWriMo isn’t a marathon race, it’s a fitness boot camp. Which sounds really cheesy (at least in my brain), but it’s all about YOU. YOU decide what you want out of it, YOU set your goal, YOU stick to it, YOU get a Winner’s ribbon for doing what YOU said you would.

Were you only able to write 10,000 words in November before the enormity of 50k squashed you, but you really think you could do 15k because 500 words per day is easy? You get that 15k ribbon.

Does your brain say WRITE WRITE WRITE but your heart say EDIT EDIT EDIT? You get that edit ribbon.

Is your Documents folder a graveyard of unfinished stories that just need a month to hunker down and write a couple climaxes? You get that completed manuscript ribbon.

Do you just hate how easy it is for us novel writers to shove together 50,000 words while you’re sitting there with your rhyming dictionary trying to hammer out some iambic pentameter?

You can still get a
haiku omnibus ribbon
You poetic beast.

(Get it? It’s a haiku.)

And sure, maybe you have to fudge data a bit to make it work—this year my goal is to devote 60 hours to writing, so I set my goal at 60,000 words and will have to do some conversion to stay true to it—but that’s not the point. The point is write.

Or something. Pep talks aren’t really my thing.



Oh, and there’s one generic ribbon for everyone who completes. But wouldn’t it be super fun-fun if there was a haiku omnibus ribbon?


Think you can write better editorials than me? I don’t doubt it. Contact lapixystix via NaNo mail if you’re interested in blogging for us!

lapixystix’s Tour of (Mostly Marietta) Atlanta and Write-a-Thon

Today’s the last day. By now, you know if you’re going to win or not. You’ve already won, you have an impossible (for most people) number of words left, or you’re in range. Even if you’re in that incredibly daunting range–for most of us it’s the low 40k’s–you know if you’re going to win because you’ve already decided to spend your entire day writing or you’re throwing in the towel. I’ve never known anyone to lose with over 45k; somehow, you’ll do it.

I don’t want you to give up if you’re in that 10k-to-go range, but I won’t judge you. Not to your face. And if you do want to face a truly incredible challenge today, I want to be there with you. I’m not coming to you, though, because that’s crazy, a bit stalkery, and impossible if there are two of you who exist independently of each. So I’m going to tell you exactly where I’ll be, all day, writing.

In honor of you. I’ve already won. Suck it.

STOP 1: Loving Hut (Sandy Springs)


Loving Hut
220 Hammond Drive NE
Sandy Springs, GA


This is NOT the Norcross Loving Hut. This is by the Sandy Springs Whole Foods and Kroger off of 9. There are two floors so if you don’t see me (look for the hot pink laptop), check the other floor.

STOP 2: Dunkin Donuts (Marietta ATP)


Dunkin Donuts
2022 Powers Ferry Rd
Suite 100
Atlanta, GA


If you went to the All-Nighter, this is the Dunkin Donuts across the street. Small but plenty of seating plus a nice patio if we happen to get good weather.

STOP #3: Cool Beans Coffee Roasters (Marietta Square)


Cool Beans Coffee Roasters
31 Mill Street
Marietta, GA


Come prepared; we may end up sitting outside, which WILL be cold. We’ll do our best to get a spot inside, but it’s limited. The good news is: HOT COFFEE!

STOP #4: IHOP (Marietta)


179 Cobb Pkwy S
Marietta, GA



Come count down the final hours of NaNoWriMo 2015 at IHOP! This is the location just south of the Big Chicken on Cobb Parkway.

JFCJames’ Nanoblogmo novel goes wild

Ahem. So, I was about to give up on nanowrimo because my lack of time and what not. But thanks to my good friend Ali (<3) I feel like I should try to finish. I AM FUELED by the power of a winner. The idea is, it doesn’t matter what I write, I should just win instead. Sometimes, during a year like this, I bet many of you have had years like this as well. Be it all the plot bunnies ran away, life got in the way, or some other reason. There is not any way for you, in your mind, to finish your nanowrimo. You’re so far behind and life isn’t giving you time to write novels, instead it throws lemons at you as if they are going out of fashion. Or it is lemon season. It is okay in times like this to abandon your plot and focus on winning first, if it is to win. HOWEVER, I do think plots are as important and if the story really matters to you. Even losing is winning because publishing is a good feeling too. I personally am not publishing this novel, it was an idea that I wanted to try out. To try to write a depressing novel very alike that of Mattkinsi, one of the municipal liaisons of nanolanta past. Unfortunately, it seems that I was unable to accomplish this idea in the end, however that doesn’t mean that I should ultimately give up on nanowrimo as a whole regardless the amount of time I have to write a novel. I think that “lead by example” was my ultimate goal this year. But I have instead given a lethargic approach that is a bad example of how to nano. I want everyone out there to do whatever they need to do in terms of their novel. Yes, many feel winning is everything, but also many agree that their novel is mor]e important. Neither are wrong. Both are ultimately important. Nanowrimo is an adventure that brings people together, it is not really about winning, it is about a sense of community and friendship for it is the least competitive thing. Even the rebels are welcome though many regions like you to believe rebelling is “illegal” or “wrongful”. They are very much welcome. There is no need to feel like what you are doing is right or wrong. Nanowrimo should be a celebration of our love for writing and an accumulation of our aspiration of wanting to be published one day. Twisting it to any other way, I feel is just against the very essence of nanowrimo itself. That being said, back to the novel. By “back to the novel” I mean “I am going to do whatever I feel like and ramble”

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JFCJames’ Nanonovel 2015 Chapter 11

Erm… my plot bunnies all ran away and I am without a plot now. But even then, this has to continue until we reach 50,000 words. So far we are at the 20% mark yay~ I personally am very excited about IKEA and the rest of the events. And even with my ridiculous amount of behindness. I feel like that I can make it to 50,000 words. I am not quite sure how I am going to update these chapters that follow. Since making several chapters while behind breaks the flow whenever I post one. So I guess I’ll do the logical thing which is to e plot best just to restart and try again with all the plots. Or at least attempt to rescue the plot. I don’t know how successful I am going to be, but I am going to try. Being behind is never quite good and I usually am not this behind. But hey, EWW is around the corner and so is thanksgiving. Then again, without a plot to go at this point, I might have to start anew.

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