Continuing a trend that started after a few years of doing NaNo, I rarely contribute to the forums anymore. It’s sort of a case of “been there, done that.” There are, when it comes right down to it, a limited number of topics possible and they are repeated from year to year. Meaning that nothing much changes. What makes it mildly interesting is how the different threads shape up, starting in October and continuing through November.
First up are the newbies wondering how it all works, do they have what it takes to get through the month, how many chapters should their book contain, and should they go with this idea or that idea?
It’s the stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with writing, or is, at best, marginal that I find fascinating. What’s your favorite clothing to wear when you’re writing/doing NaNo? What’s your favorite drink/snack? What does your writing place look like?
There’s a tea swap, believe it or not, where people sign up to send each other their favorite teas (three varieties, with enough of each for five cups). There’s even a post card swap. New for this year, as far as I’m aware is a thread about Starbucks’ secret menu. According to one spoil sport who worked for the company, there’s no such thing, but there are recipes you can find online and give to the barista to make up for you.
This sort of thing takes up a fair amount of the forums and is, to my way of thinking, a clue to why only a few thousand writers complete the month out of the more than a half million people who sign up. NaNo is just as much a huge one-month social bash as it is a writing challenge. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s ever-growing popularity is due to the social aspect more than the challenge. The always-huge thread about how to up your word-count without actually doing much writing is further testimony.
It’s a great resource for sociologists, if nothing else.