NaNoWriMo Fun and Useful Resources

With NaNoWriMo almost upon us, I thought I’d post a few links to some fun and useful resources.

Designer David Seah has made available a printable NaNoWriMo word count calendar for 2013. It can be downloaded in PDF format on his website.

NaNoToons is a daily web comic about NaNoWriMo. You’ll recognize yourself and fellow writers in the characters.

Author Chuck Wendig offers solid NaNoWriMo advice along with the usual hilarious dose of snark on his blog “Terrible Minds.”

Not satisfied with your word processor as a novel writing tool? Literature & Latte is offering NaNoWriMo participants an extended free trial of their writing software Scrivener. As an added incentive, NaNoWriMo winners will receive a 50% discount off the purchase of the software.

Still don’t know what to write? TV Tropes has created a couple of hilarious, yet oddly useful generators with endless story ideas from their huge inventory of tropes and media lists.

The story generator does just that, generates story ideas.

The pitch generator comes up with high concept pitches for your next agent meeting. My favorite was “A Charlie Brown Christmas” meets “Say Yes to the Dress.”

Useful? Well, I gave the above pitch a little thought and came up with this idea for a romance.

Chuck Brown, an injured placekicker with the Minnesota Vikings, returns home for the holidays and his upcoming New Year’s Eve wedding to psychiatrist Lucy van Pelt. However Lucy seems to have gone crazy in her quest for the ultimate wedding gown. She’s even signed up for a reality TV show. Chuck suspects this might be a ruse for Lucy to take one last shot at her old flame, the show’s musical director, Schroeder. After his fussbudget fiance flies to New York for the show, Chuck takes refuge in Christmas preparations. Can his loyal dog and a red-haired beauty stranded in the snow help him see the red flags and have a truly happy New Year?

Fun, though not necessarily a story I’d like to write. Nonetheless, it did get my creative juices flowing. You never know what trope might lead to your own original story.

Good luck to all who are participating in NaNoWriMo this year!

Stuck on Homestuck

Wherein I Sort Of Become a Stuckie

I haven’t posted in the past few days because I’ve spent most of my free time trying to catch up on Homestuck.

What is Homestuck? Good question, but there is no good answer.

It could be called a web comic, but it so much more than that. Homestuck incorporates comics, animated gifs, text, Flash movies and Flash games in an epic undertaking that is, to date, upwards of 5000 pages in length.

The story begins as the tale of four teenagers who play the beta version of a computer game, Sburb, and inadvertently bring about the end of the world. They manage to escape to an alternate plane where a higher destiny awaits each of them. Oh, and there are trolls. And these trolls are immensely popular.

The core audience is teens and young adults, called Stuckies, and they are obsessed with it. Homestuck is popular among the cosplay crowd at anime and comic book conventions, even though it exists only on the Internet. Here are some photos I took at Fanime 2012 in San Jose, CA.

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Mike Rugnetta of PBS’ Idea Channel likened Homestuck to James Joyce’s Ulysses. I think he’s got a point. Check out the video below to get some idea of what the deal is with Homestuck.

Confused? Don’t worry. You’re supposed to be. Homestuck has a wiki, of course. It’s helpful, but dense, with layers upon layers of information. It’s a useful guide for when the story winds back around on itself and you’re trying to figure out who or what a certain character and/or thing is.

Homestuck is part of a larger work called MS Paint Adventures. The creator, Andrew Hussie, wrote and drew three other interactive comic adventures before beginning on what became his masterpiece.

I’m on Act 4 and there are currently six acts with at least one more to go. On top of that, Mr. Hussie has decided to create a Homestuck game. To raise the money, he’s appealed to the Stuckies with a Kickstarter fundraising page. The primary goal was to raise $700,000 in a month, starting on September 4, 2012. As of this post, he has raised over $1,155,000. Pretty impressive and a testimony to the popularity of Homestuck and the strength of the fan base, especially considering the game won’t be delivered until June 2014.

So, if you’re looking for something to read/watch/play/experience or are interested in exploring a cultural phenomenon, you might want to check out Homestuck.