Twenty-seven five

So this NaNoWriMo stuff has continued to go absurdly well; I’ve now passed 27,500 (twenty-seven thousand, five hundred) words (see figure) in this year’s novel, which is ridiculous.

I used GPT-3, via the Shortly client, a bit more today than on previous days, for ideas and names and the contents of pieces of text that needed to be relatively random, and so on. I generally paste in the last few paragraphs or the current chapter-so-far or whatever, and then hit “Write for Me”, and then undo and re-do a few times before I get something that either gives me a good idea how to continue, or even that appeals to me enough to copy and paste into the novel and then edit to be right.

It doesn’t feel like cheating, but it does feel really interesting. It helps that the novel is very random and really open to anything whatever happening. I wonder how useful someone writing a more usual novel with fixed characters and a known plot and outline and stuff would find it.

I’m also continuing running around in AI Dungeon, which I’m convinced is keeping the old narrative voice and typing fingers oiled up. I’ve also brought in a few characters and incidents and references (but not directly any words except a few sentence fragments) from my AI Dungeon adventures, into the novel.

Since I’m too lazy right now to update the davidchess dot com nanowrimo landing page, and just in general, I will write down some words about the prior NaNoWriMo novels (and attempts), in order from the first time:

  • In 2001, before the current NaNoWriMo website records even began :), I wrote Straight On To The Exit, a relatively straightforward real-world story with (oh, I’d forgotten that!) a set of questions at the end of many of the chapters, and with a cute gimmick that let me basically write whatever words I wanted when I ran out of ideas.
  • In 2002, I wrote In Dark, a science fiction story set on and within the body of a giant comatose lizard floating in interstellar space. Perhaps my favorite setting so far. :)
  • In 2004 (don’t remember what happened in 2003, probably I was just sensible), I wrote Take Good Care Of Yourself And Others, a more (um) realistic near-future science fiction story basically about the world just before the Singularity, in which I used excerpts from actual spam that I received as decorators and wordcount.
  • In 2005 I wrote Diveritmenti, an epistolary novel with an unreliable narrator, which might be a vampire story or something.
  • In 2006 I think I was busy being clinically depressed and discovering Second Life (which helped a bit with the clinically depressed thing),
  • In 2007 I wrote Another Door, about a house that’s larger (well, much larger) on the inside than on the outside. This one had very little (that I can recall) in terms of gimmicks for wordcount, and an impressive ending; this is one of my favorites (well, they all are).
  • In 2008 I wrote Strangers (aka Shore Leave), another relatively straightforward contemporary science fiction story, about the impact on all concerned of the arrival of the first interstellar visitors to Earth, in the form of a crazy chaotic world-ship containing hundreds of different species (probably).
  • In 2009 I wrote “Silence. Silence. Silence. Silence.“, which is more of a long poem or chant or experimental song lyric or something, and might well be considered cheating given the amount of repetition in the text.
  • In 2010 there was just too much going on.
  • In 2011 I started but did not finish Murder in the Castle of Wizards. A little humbling failure is good, sob.
  • In 2012 there was like a big snowstorm and power failures and so on.
  • In 2013 I did NaPoWriMo instead, and wrote thirty poems in April; that was fun!.
  • In 2014 I did NaNoGenMo instead, and wrote a program that wrote “Gazanduwo U“. 50,000 words, none of them in any human language as far as I’m aware. (I did put this on the NaNoWriMo site; awfully close to cheating!)
  • In 2016 I wrote The Mercy of Fate, in which I explicitly rolled the dice to determine the direction of the story in various places; I will have to re-read this sometime to see how it worked out. I don’t remember having been very satisfied with it.
  • In 2019 I wrote Pillsbury Baccalaureate, basically science fiction, which starts when a person discovers he has memories that aren’t his, and leads into adventures with machines for exploring (something like) alternate universes.
  • And here we are in 2020, just over 27,500 words. :)

So in some sense this is my eleventh time doing NaNoWriMo (not counting the NaNoGenMo year), this will be my tenth NaNoWriMo novel when I finish it, and I’ve also done NaPoWriMo once and NaNoGenMo once. Not bad!

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