Posts tagged ‘napowrimo’


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!


NaPoWriMo 30


A stone
A smell
Light through a window
A half-heard phrase
One line of a poem
opening some long-neglected vista in memory

We are so often surprised by bliss.

What could be sweeter?


NaPoWriMo 29

Dactyls are Dharma, too

Here in the midst of the ten thousand thingummies
Hearing the voices of ten million throats,
Feeling compassion for those who have aching knees,
Those who build bridges and those who dig moats.

Sitting in zazen and counting the in-and-out
One and a one and a one and a one,
Mind somehow caught in this insistent rhythm, I
Tick like a clock sitting here in the sun.

Dharma is silent but Dharma is noises and
Dharma is stillness but Dharma is speed,
Why should I think that the circling second-hand
Isn’t precisely the sound that we need?


(More dactlys)


NaPoWriMo 28 (only one day late…)

Triolet in three that she wrote while waiting for rescue

Oxygen is low,
Power running out.
Turning down the flow,
Oxygen is low.
They’re coming, sure but slow,
I have no breath for doubt;
Oxygen is low,
Power running out.


NaPoWriMo 27 (the latest yet!)

The Shah’s High Wizard
is a small dark-haired girl,
curled sleeping on his shoulder,
lithe in harem silks,
breathing softly.
But when her soft eyelids open,
behind them is Hell.


(I wrote a fragment of a short story about these two sometime recently, maybe as part of that “750 words” thing that I appear to have completely given up in favor of NaPoWriMo; so here they are in a poem!)


NaPoWriMo 26 (late again!)

However long
The days have been,
We fit together
Like puzzle pieces.

Like a song
Skin on skin,
Cotton and leather.
The clock ticks.

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NaPoWriMo 25


The yonderboy
coming stob afetch the wain
tonnies a corith of sleag,
and follerein sloy,
cafitches in the tully-sain.
Borringen pleag.


NaPoWriMo 24

Sometimes just three lines
would be too many.


NaPoWriMo 23


My first is the ocean,
My second’s a train,
My third is in paean,
My fourth is in pain,
My last is the ending
of both near and far,
My whole is the air,
between us and that star.


NaPoWriMo 22


The sunlight
coming in the window
makes a perfect edge
on the tiles


NaPoWriMo 21

Lisa Marie Drops 50 Pounds!

Lisa Marie drops 50 pounds!
Right on her toe!
“Owch,” says Lisa Marie!

Do you think that hurt?
I bet it did!

Have you ever dropped anything on your toe?
Did it hurt?

Did someone do something to help you feel better?
What could you do, to help Lisa Marie feel better?

What do you think Lisa Marie should do now?

What do you think you should do now?


NaPoWriMo 20

One is an apple,
Two is a bone,
Three is a riddle
When nobody’s home.

Four is the center,
Five is the edge,
Six is for beetles,
Under the hedge.

Seven is supple,
Eight is a light,
Nine is for daybreak,
But ten is for night.


NaPoWriMo 19

The rain is heavier now
but it’s only rain
and there is time to breathe


NaPoWriMo 18

This hatchet has seen honest labor, I think,
but not this century.

I wonder about the last person to use it,
as the tool that it was.

When he put it down, in the corner of the shed,
did he know it was the last time?

That its work was over,
with that last quiet clink
of metal coming to rest
on stone.


NaPoWriMo 17

Walking Cross-Country

He says he’s writing a computer program
to simulate
walking cross-country
in an unknown place.

Where you might follow a brook upstream
and be surprised by
a forest lake
sparkling in the sun,

And follow a path around it
to a ramshackle house
at the end of a dirt road
where a woman with dark hair and soft eyes
opens the door
and smiles a welcome.

And I say that that sounds cool,
and I also say,
that the real world has surprises like that, too,
and even soft-eyed women,
and he should maybe go for real walks sometimes.

He turns to me,
like he’s about to say something,
but then he just shakes his head
and goes back to the keyboard.


NaPoWriMo 16

White rice,
some chicken breast,
a pile of vegetables,
and pineapple with curry sauce;
these gifts.


Rather different flavor of cinquain than back on the seventh. Using that always-reliable source of inspiration: lunch!

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NaPoWriMo 15

Long Winter

A scarred hand
throws another log
onto the fire

Flame booms
and rises

Orange light on a boar’s tusk
mud-chinked walls
human hillocks breathing
under piled furs and skins.

the old winds howl.

Where are we now?

Where are we now?


Written mostly before the events today in Boston (and we are all safe, and were nowhere near), but seems not inappropriate. Love and energy to all impacted by that, or any other hardships, always.


NaPoWriMo 13


My love is like a monster truck,
With giant muddy tires.
My love is like a flamethrower,
Lighting hungry fires.

My love is like a hurricane,
The wildest that ever blew.
My love, you see, is all about me;
I barely notice you.


NaPoWriMo 12

Nothing said with words is true.
But they can point
beyond themselves.


NaPoWriMo 11


Time and the clock
Time and the tide
Time and the father
Time and the bride

Time in the pocket
Time in the hand
Time over water
Time over sand

Time and the field
Time and the heart
Time now to join
Time now to part

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