NaNo: meetings and splinter groups

Sunday, October 25, 2009 7:20 | Filed in Fiction/Writing, Local Interest

So, it was the NeNaNoWriMoMe today in Newcastle, at Caffe Nero in Newcastle. With the event set to kick off at 2pm, I made sure I got there a little early — a smidge before ten to — and looked around for the obvious bohemian types.

There didn’t appear to be anyone furiously scribbling away in notebooks whilst looking pale and consumptive, and nor could I see any signs with bizarre-sounding acronyms scribbled on them, so I sat down at an empty table with my coffee and started reading my book. At least, I thought, when they do turn up, the fact that I am reading will surely mark me out as a potential novelist.

By about five past two, I was beginning to wonder if I was in fact in the write place, but just when I was starting to feel I was going to spend an hour reading instead of actually speaking to people, up popped astroducky to ask if anyone else was here for NaNoWriMo. We were quickly joined by three others, including another blogger and storyteller — La Mouche.

We then sat around together as a fivesome wondering what we were supposed to be doing and whether anyone else was going to turn up before finding that a large group of NaNo people had gathered after us in a different corner of the room. Of course, by the time we became aware of them and joined them, we were kind of ‘out on a limb’ in terms of seats so I didn’t particularly feel we were fully capable of joining in as much.

It might have been helpful if the organiser had cast around the room somewhat before starting up, particularly since we’d been there on time, but also the problem was caused by the fact that there were really too many people to have in a small chatting group — you could maybe have got away with 10-12 people around a big table but 18 or so is not feasible. Hopefully there as people drop out (and I have no doubt some will), this group (which is planning to meet in Caffe Nero, 2pm, saturdays from now until the end of November) will become a bit more manageable.

But while I didn’t feel I got to chat with the main group particularly, our splinter group (for those with a Python bent, let’s call us the Judean Popular Peoples’ Front) did I feel get to chat, and I found out a little bit more about the backgrounds of other people, got some kind of feeling for what they were planning to write, and more than anything else, it was nice just to know that other people were planning to take part in the same sanity-threatening writing marathon.

I left a bit early (well, to be honest, I don’t know how early — I don’t know how long the thing was supposed to go on for) because I wanted to be away comfortably before people started spilling out after the match, and what with feeling stuck out on a limb, I felt I’d achieved as much as I was likely to that day — chatting to and swapping emails with the Popular Peoples’ Front — and so I thought I’d call it a day for the time being and call back the following week.

And there’s still time to join National Novel Writing Month. You are supposed to write from the 1st to the 30th of November, so you’ve still got a week or so. Indeed, I managed to persuade someone else to sign up yesterday. Please don’t feel you have to write 50,000 words either. That’s the ideal target, but just give it a go and see where you end up. Last year I took part and wrote no words, so this year I’m hoping to write more than that.

I’m also hoping to make it a bit of a social thing: to get to know some new people, to support each other trying to write our stories, and generally to have a bit of a laugh while we’re on. See y’all next saturday…

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

1 Comment to NaNo: meetings and splinter groups

  1. La Mouche says:

    October 25th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Jack! Great to have met you too. Yes, I was also very pleased with our little group! I will be working next Saturday but we’ll keep in touch and hopefully arrange to meet up at some point this coming month! Cheerssss

Leave a comment