I switched to NaNoGenMo because of similar commitment problems.

Pros:

  • You will probably produce much more than one novel. (I usually produce one during the first half-hour of November 1st just to get it out of the way, and then work on more interesting / complicated projects afterward)
  • There’s a pretty active community, with deep and precise discussions of things like structure and themes, because computer generation of long-form narratives that remain interesting to humans over the course of 90+ pages is a hard problem.

Cons:

  • You need to know how to code
  • The novels you generate will be even less likely to be salable than the hurried work of an amateur human novelist
  • Explaining the concept to people who aren’t familiar with it is even harder than explaining NaNoWriMo, because a lot of people are somehow unaware that computers can write books

Written by

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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