Host: Lizzie Gudkov
Location: Milk Wood
Date: November 5 2015
NaNoWriMo is a demanding challenge and getting stuck is not an option. We'll address a few simple ways to turn a virtual world into your NaNoWriMo backup plan.
Outline of the Workshop » Links to the different posts
1. Problems during NaNoWriMo »Part 1/4
1.1. Real Life
1.2. The Story
1.3. The Writing
2. The Writer’s Path – Support, Information and Writing Opportunities
2.1. Meeting Other Writers and Readers
2.2. Writing Opportunities
3. The Story – Immersion »Part 2/4
3.1. Finding Locations
3.1.1. Destination Guide
3.1.2. SL Travel Blogs
3.1.3. Suggestions of Friends and Fellow Writers
3.1.4. Roleplay Sims
3.2.1. Windlights and Sounds
3.2.2. Writer Tag and Cautious Interacting
3.3. The Macro Approach »Part 3/4
3.4. The Micro Approach
3.5. Going beyond Your Comfort Zone
3.6. The Roleplaying Approach »Part 4/4
3.8. Avatar Names and Looks
1. Problems during NaNoWriMo
The initial enthusiasm is starting to wear off. Real Life is now putting a lot of pressure on you – kids, family and your job. Everyone wants to have your full attention back.
On top of that, you start having doubts about your storyline. Your characters, if they are like mine, decide to disrespect the outline you’ve crafted so carefully. Unexpected events take place. And you find yourself wondering – now what?!
I’ll start by referring to our paths as writers in general and I’ll progressively narrow it down to the elements of our stories.
2. The Writer’s Path – Support, Information
and Writing Opportunities
2.1. Meeting Other Writers and Readers
Attend informal meetings with other writers in Second Life to discuss books, stories, and ideas for characters, writing techniques or other writing events taking place in-world.
– These informal meetings tend to be rather chaotic when they don’t have a pre-established topic. From my experience, people have a propensity to ramble aimlessly.
–They also tend to focus on their own work only and not on expressing their opinion on the work of fellow writers. You’ll witness boring parallel monologues and little real interaction.
– You have the opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas.
– You can also exchange useful information - programs for writers, websites and other online and off-line resources. Writers are always looking for new options to increase their productivity and they enjoy sharing this information with their peers.
Attend Open-Mic events
– When Open-Mics are not specifically organized for writers, the type of feedback you receive is basically “I liked it” or “very interesting”; as a writer, you learn very little.
– It is interesting to share your writing and receive immediate feedback. In Second Life, there are many Open-Mic events for people to share poetry, but there are also a few where you can share your stories.
As it happens with everything, it does depend on what you need and on what you’re looking for.
Attend informal writing sessions – These usually have no rules. People enjoy sitting together in-world while working on their individual projects. So, co-presence becomes a motivational factor.
Attend writing challenges – You have a prompt, a time constraint and/or a word count target.
– Some people have told me that they don’t like the pressure - the time pressure and the word count pressure.
– They don’t like to feel that they are in a competition, because everyone tries to write as much as possible.
– Also, at some writing events, the stories are shared at the end and people hesitate to share a rough draft, especially if English is not their first language. And we have a lot of writers taking part in our events whose first language is not English.
– A challenge presents a great opportunity to work out your “writing muscles”.
– The practice will boost your writing pace.
– You establish a writing schedule and a routine.
– You create a sense of companionship with writers you meet on a regular basis. Having writing buddies (or accomplices, as I prefer to call them) keeps your motivation high and you become more productive.