NaNoWriMo 2017: Events and Support for Virtual Writers

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With November here again, that crazy literary marathon known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is back! We’ll be offering an exciting calendar of writerly delights – word scrimmages, write-ins, as well as inspirational workshops, talks and articles from successful authors.

Join our Second Life® group Milk Wood Wrimos for event reminders and follow us on Twitter for daily tips – you’ll find lots of great links under the hashtag #virtualwrimos.


We are excited to announce that we’ll be hosting a selection of online workshops again this year. Click on the link below to participate at the specific time. These workshops are held in Second Life®. For details on how you can participate check out the following article.

All scheduled events take place at the Milk Wood Writing Group area or in the writing room at Book Island (Sundays at 12 noon PT). Please be aware that the clocks go back in the US on the 5th November and on the 29th October in the UK, and we go by Pacific Time (PT), also known as SLT in Second Life®.

NaNoWriMo Prep Write-In
Hosted by Harriet Gausman

Click here to teleport to the writing area

Wednesday 25th October, 2017
8am PT / 11am ET / 4pm GMT

NaNoWriMo is a demanding challenge and preparedness is key. Join us for our NaNo prep write-in where we’ll share some storyboard and plot development resources in readiness for November. Then we’ll all sit down together and begin to plot in a timed writing session. Come prepared to work both during and after the meet. We may also take a field trip for added inspiration: so bring your hiking gear.


NaNoWriMo Workshop with Huckleberry Hax
Ten plus years of NaNoWriMo: what have I learned about writing stories?

Click here to teleport to the event

Friday 27th October, 2017
3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm GMT

2017 will be Huck’s twelfth attempt at NaNoWriMo and – hopefully – his eleventh successful one. His first go in 2006 put an end to almost a decade of writer’s block and he’s still now processing why that was, over three quarters of a million words later. In this workshop Huck will share some of the insights he’s had as to why writing a novel in this way can unlock your identity as a writer, and how everything we get taught about writing stories in school might just be completely wrong.


NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party

Click here to teleport to the event

Tuesday 31st October, 2017
3pm PT / 6pm ET / 10pm GMT

A chance for you to meet your fellow Wrimos, pick up the goodie bag and titler, and chat about your NaNoWriMo ideas. If you’ve worked on your plot, setting and characters during our prep session, bring along a brief summary to share with the other participants. You can read it out or share via a notecard. Fancy dress a must! This year the theme is ‘twisted fairy tales’, so be creative. We’ll be looking for originality and flare. Best outfit wins a prize of 2,000 Lindens and a month’s free stall rental.


Setting For Writers
Hosted by Aoife Lorefield

Click here to teleport to the event

Wednesday 1st November, 2017
8am PT / 11am ET / 3pm GMT

Setting, at its simplest, is where our story takes place. It can be as simple as a locked room or as complex as Middle Earth. How do writers create a sense of place? How do we decide how much to say, and how to evoke the “where” without tipping into boring description?

For this NaNoWriMo session, we’ll consider how setting works in stories and how we create it through our words. We’ll touch on setting as another character, setting in various genres, and why it’s never enough to just say “present day”.

Bring questions, ideas, and your favorite examples of wonderful settings.


Creative Conflict
Hosted by Ercila Robbins

Click here to teleport to the event

Wednesday 8th November, 2017
8am PT / 11am ET / 4pm GMT

Ercila will discuss building tension, creating conflict, and developing altercations between characters – verbal and physical.

The goal is to show how characters come into contact, what interchanges occur to cause conflict, and how that conflict is resolved through various means, including physical fights. Unlike epic battle scenes, a fight between two people is personal, intimate, sometimes chaotic, and always challenging.

Ercila is a crime novelist with four books under her belt, a poet, a former newspaper editor and a retired criminal attorney. She’s also been an instructor of business law and legal writing at her local community college, and has won awards for her poetry, including the University of Vermont graduate student award for poetry for 1997. She has her B.A. from the University of Maryland, European Division, and her J.D. from Vermont Law School. She is a 10-year veteran of Second Life®.


Writing Fight Scenes: The Anatomy of a Fight
Hosted by Doyle Slen

Click here to teleport to the event

Wednesday 8th November, 2017
9am PT / 12 noon ET / 5pm GMT

Following on from Ercila’s talk on creating conflict, Doyle will share how to put together a convincing fight (which could be anything from a one-on-one or a battle with several components); he’ll also talk about what to look out for and how to prep for it.


Finding Inspiration
Hosted by Emerian Rich

Click here to teleport to the event

Thursday 9th November, 2017
9am PT / 12 noon ET / 5pm GMT

Emerian will share a fun way to inspire you when you’re stuck. Word Roulette, the Imagination Game is a great way to generate ideas for stories, keep your mind active, and open up the idea stream inside you in a relaxing, non-stressful way. She’ll also talk about writing with friends with a view to building an idea book.


Vision Pages for Writers: Journal your writing dreams to life
Hosted by Raina Anatra

Click here to teleport to the event

Thursday 16th November, 2017
8am PT / 11am ET / 4pm GMT

As a writer, you’re already skilled at using your words to reach others, but what if you could use your writing to help yourself?

What if you could improve your writing process and enjoy writing a lot more?
What if you could zoom ahead with your writing projects with greater ease?
What if you could do all this in just a few minutes a day?

Writing vision pages can help you do all of this and more!

Join us to learn more about writing vision pages, a simple, fun journaling practice that helps you manifest your writing dreams using the power of your imagination!


Mastering MS Word for Novel Writers
Hosted by BeeBee Bekkers (BB) Professional Word-Wrangler, novelist

Click here to teleport to the event

Monday 20th November, 2017 (Session 1)
8am PT / 11am ET / 4pm GMT

Tuesday 21st November, 2017 (Session 2)
8am PT / 11am ET / 4pm GMT

Write and publish your novel with software you likely already have and know how to use. Easily adapt your manuscript for ease of writing, for submission to agents and publishers, and for print publication, print on demand, and ebooks.

Session 1: Working Clean in MS Word. Keep it simple for maximum adaptability. We’ll use custom styles to create an infinitely adaptable template you can use over and over again. Simply update the style definitions to change the look of the manuscript. Also: tips on using ‘search and replace’ to clean up an existing manuscript.

Session 2: From MS Word to World, or surviving publishing gone wild. Disclaimer: While I’ve produced oodles of press-ready PDF files (for offset printing, print on demand, and onscreen viewing) and several novels in epub format, I haven’t worked with Kindle other than for testing purposes. However, the concept is the same as for any ebook: produce something that both looks good and is responsive to the reader regardless of the appliance used to view it.



Click here to teleport to the writing area

NaNoWriMo /Word Snatch

Monday – Sunday at 8am PT / 11am ET / 4pm GMT. Held throughout November.

Writers’ Dash & 500 Word Snatch

We also have a Writers’ Dash running every Monday-Friday at 6am PT and there’s an additional Word Snatch at Book Island every Sunday at 12 noon PT.

The Dash session begins with a prompt, and a timer is set for fifteen minutes. Participants then write feverishly for the allotted time, using the word (or picture) as inspiration. The key is to disengage your inner editor and write freely (don’t worry about perfection). As well as being useful for sketching out notes and scenes before November, and for kick-starting your writing sessions during the month, these sprints are a fun way to increase your word count. For those attending the Dash sessions, there will also be an opportunity for you to receive a brief critique from fellow writers.

Word Scrimmage Events on Second Life®

Random word wars held during November. Most battles begin on the hour and last for 30 minutes. Look out for the start and end notices from Milk Wood Wrimos. Feel free to start your own scrimmage by posting an alert in group chat.


If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit our sim in Second Life® then make some time this November. You’ll find an incredibly diverse and active community of writers and the level of support is second to none.

Our Second Life® NaNoWriMo word meter will be up and working on the 1st at our virtual writers’ camp, and you’ll need to join the Milk Wood Wrimos group in order to obtain our participant titler. Be sure to pick up the free gift box for virtual Wrimos at the camp. It’s full of fun writing resources to use in Second Life® and beyond.

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