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Camp NaNoWriMo 2018

Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Valka D'Ur, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I keep getting cheerful, encouraging emails advising that Camp starts in April... and I still can't move forward on the project that got stalled last year.

    I honestly don't know if I'm doing anything this year. I'd need a LOT of prep time in the next 3 weeks, and given RL domestic issues, I don't think I'm going to get it.

    If anyone else wants to give NaNoWriMo a go this time, feel free to post, ask questions, give updates... even if I don't end up participating myself, I'm always willing to offer suggestions and encouragement. :)
     
  2. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    I have to admit I'm increasingly fascinated by NaNoGenMo and wish I had the skills to participate...
     
  3. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Your link isn't working, Plotinus.

    I googled it and this jumps out:
    This may be well in keeping with this contest, but it's definitely not in keeping with the spirit of NaNoWriMo. The NaNo site has ways to detect if people just post 50,000 repetitions of the same word, and while it's on the honor system, I can't imagine anyone feeling good about plagiarizing, even something from Project Gutenberg. After all, you're not really competing against anyone but yourself.
     
  4. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Yes, of course, but the point it's making is merely that those would be admissible entries in that particular competition, not that they'd be very good or interesting (and they'd still require some work, since you would have to write the code to do it, though it wouldn't exactly be difficult).
     
  5. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Well, I will concede that a novel consisting of nothing but the word "meow" might have a different meaning to a cat... given that "meow" can have multiple meanings and nuances, depending on what body language is going on at the time.

    Is one of the goals of this to see if a computer code can produce a real novel that makes sense?
     
  6. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    I think so. But I get the impression that there are different goals one could have too. For example, the one I was most impressed with is Hard West Turn by Nick Montfort. He wrote a program that basically searches Wikipedia for accounts of recent shootings in the US, extracts words, sentences, and sentence fragments from them, and then reassembles them with some connecting words and sentences of its own (I don't know the details of it, but the code is posted to look at too). The result is oddly powerful. Like most of these computer-generated texts, much of it doesn't make sense, either in the sense of forming a coherent narrative or in the more basic sense of being grammatical. But the piling of sentence upon sentence describing fragments of atrocities, all jumbled together, creates an overwhelming impression of this wave of awfulness in modern American society. The fact that we know that these have been dispassionately pasted together by a computer somehow enhances the effect: each person you read of in these lines is real and these events happened, but you don't have any context for them other than the bleak life of "the man" into which the algorithm has woven them. Also, as the text progresses, new themes appear in it, and the sentences begin to break down as phrases and, increasingly, single words are just repeated over and over again, as if the computer itself can't handle the material any more.

    I found that a lot more interesting than any (impossible) attempt to program a computer to write like a person. This is clearly written by a computer and couldn't have been written by a person alone, but it derives a special sort of power from that.

    Anyway, that's just what I've been thinking. I don't want to derail the thread!
     
  7. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    In the movie "Hallelujah Trail," Burt Lancaster orders his men to "move in a somewhat parallel direction" to the temperance marchers, a maneuver he calls "detached contact."

    In April, I shall be keeping detached contact with NaNoWriMo, in that I have about 30,000 more words to go in my Wee sequel: Eternity. I've already written a large part of it, but at the current time, I wrestling with mapping out the rest of it. For example, last night I focused on my elevator pitch: a clear, concise, compelling summation of the story, which allows you to succinctly respond to the question: What's your novel about?"

    "Eternity is a board game played by the gods. Their board is the world, and the playing pieces are its people. In this particular game, adventurers set out from the city of Tâelè for the city of Iolo with the intention of stealing the Elixir of Immortality. Meanwhile, adventurers from the city of Iolo set out for the city of Tâelè with the intention of stealing a magic mirror containing the Great Quill, a legendary prophet. None of the adventurers realize they're just pawns of the gods."
     
  8. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    Ah, Camp Nano. Good luck! I guess I could just count my normal writing towards a reduced goal and participate.
     
  9. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Nice to see you back, @Luckymoose. :)


    I still have 6 hours to decide if I'm going to participate this time.

    Considering that I'm having trouble composing a 250-word paragraph for Synsensa's writing competition over at Ideas are Like Stars (anyone who's a member there is welcome to give constructive feedback when everything is posted; if you're interested but not a member, follow my sig), doing Camp NaNoWriMo with zero prep time seems nuts.
     
  10. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Okay, 5 1/2 hours later, I have the beginning of a NaNoWriMo story. I have no idea if it'll go anywhere, but at least some words are better than no words (and I've had plenty of NaNo experiences where my word count could be expressed as the nice round number called 'zero').

    Day 1 total: 611 words.
     
  11. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Day 3 has come and gone, and my cumulative word count is 2126.

    It looks like the story will work, so 27 days to go...
     
  12. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    This has been a massive crash & burn for me. I've had borderline bronchitis all week, had my best friend return [briefly] from the US, and picked up a nasty sunburn. I doubt if I've written 1,000 words. :sad:
     
  13. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    :(

    It's early yet. You can still catch up, since this is a Camp event and you can change your target goal until April 20.

    My own current total is 3155. I've been averaging somewhat over 600 words/day. That's not bad for a Camp event, though it would be disastrous for the main November event.
     
  14. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Current total words is 4730. I had a very productive day yesterday, after having to do some rewriting because I went off on a wrong tangent. Luckily it didn't require too much editing, and after that things went along nicely.

    Did you decide to participate, @Luckymoose?
     
  15. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Day 8 total: 5245 words.

    NaNoWriMo sent me a discount code for 25% off NaNoWriMo merchandise. If anyone would like to take advantage of it and didn't get one, PM me. I'm not sure how long it will be valid.

    They've got some t-shirts, posters, notebooks, some books on writing tips, and some other things.

    Unfortunately, what I actually wanted (post card versions of some of the posters) is sold out. I might get a poster or two, depending on how much the shipping charges are.
     
  16. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    :nope: Thanks but no thanks.
    Congrats on the 5245 words. :salute:
     
  17. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Friday the 13th brought many frustrations, but NaNoWriMo wasn't one of them. I've been keeping up with my daily writing, always more than the minimum, and my current word count is 8211.

    An unexpected part of this project is needing to do some research on national parks and the education, training, and duties required of park rangers. So I'm learning stuff, which is always a good thing. :)
     
  18. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    Smokey the Bear. Smokey the Bear.
    Huffin' and puffin' and sniffin' the air.
    He can spot a fire
    Before it start to flare.
    That's why they call him Smokey.
    Smokey the Bear.
     
  19. Buster's Uncle

    Buster's Uncle AC2 Co-Owner

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  20. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I used to have a Smokey the Bear teddy bear. :) Actually, I have an old photo of myself standing next to a giant statue of Smokey the Bear, somewhere in British Columbia (or it could be in Alberta; I was about 4 at the time, so I don't remember exactly where the picture was taken). Smokey the Bear seems to be a North American phenomenon at this point, so it doesn't matter where he originated.

    I'm not planning to have a forest fire in my story, although there will of course be mention of fire safety.

    It's an odd thing about the source material for this fanfic. The game supposedly takes place in the Northwest region of the U.S., in the Rocky Mountains, but one of the scenes in the game is clearly Maligne Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. At some point there are both kachina dolls and RCMP knickknacks offered for sale in the souvenir shop.

    And yes, I plan to have my character address these inconsistencies. I've already been mentally envisioning parts of the story taking place on the Trans-Canada highway between Alberta and British Columbia, so maybe this is some alt-universe where the countries' borders are different. It probably wouldn't be something I'd have thought of if whoever chose the settings for the various scenes in the game hadn't plopped part of Banff National Park into the U.S.

    But that said, there are duties and responsibilities that any park ranger would be expected to have, no matter which country they're in. My research is focusing on some of the details I hadn't known about their jobs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018

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