The T-Shirts of NaNoWriMo, part 3

This is the third post in a series presenting the collection of National Novel Writing Month T-shirts that I’ve built up over the ten years that I have been participating (and winning).


2010 shirt

2010 shirt

Black shirt, graphic rendering of a game board representing the novelling journey. Title above reads: NaNoWriMo 2010. Caption on start square reads: 30 days, 50,000 words… GO!

I love games and I love writing so this shirt ought to hit my sweet spot, but for some reason it falls flat for me. Even the strategic use of orange doesn’t quite lift the shirt above “meh” for me.

This year I worked again on book one of the Kissiltur trilogy, trying to turn the energetic but chaotic zeroth draft into something with a bit more conistency. I was also starting to introduce more complex plot elements to make the story more compelling. I wrote a lot this year – something north of 80k, IIRC – but this was only a portion of the text written for that draft. After a final to finish the draft in April the following year (an effort I called FiThDaBoMo: Finish The Damned Book Month) the word count stood at 120k.

… which I am still working on.


2011 shirt

2011 shirt

Black shirt covered in quotes from Chris Baty in various-coloured text. Large pale blue roundel with the quote: “The world needs your novel”. Caption underneath reads: National Novel Writing Month 2011.

This was Chris Baty’s last NaNoWriMo as director of the event, so they decided to commemorate his tenure by quoting him on the T-shirt. A lot.

I rather like this one, myself, or at least I like the core quote because, honestly, this is something I believe: the world does need more people to be writing novels, whether those novels see the light of day or not, because more people being creative would help the world be a better place.

I wrote something new this year, a near-future science fiction story called A Turquoise Song. Or, as more than one reader pointed out, two novels one of which didn’t get finished and which I am working on turning into a complete story now*.


2012 shirt

2012 shirt

Black shirt, graphic of Venn diagram showing an intersection of three circles: 30 days, 50,000 words, and 300,000 writers. Central intersection is labelled: Na-No-Wri-Mo. Caption beneath reads: November 2012

300,000 writers! This is why the NaNoWriMo web site always slows down so much for the first few days of November, although that has been vastly better over the last few years since they moved the site to Amazon’s elastic cloud**.

I was still working on the first book of the Kissiltur Trilogy, now renamed Bluehammer. The mission for this month was to inject plot into the story by writing new material to add to the draft from 2010/2011, an endeavour which almost worked, but which still needs refinement on the storytelling. And the story. And the characters.

Well, I still like the setting.


2013 shirt

2013 shirt

Black shirt, white outline box mimicking the shape of the kind of CRT TV screen that we used to play computer games on. Pixellated title graphics read: National Novel Writing Month / November. Graphic under that of writing adventurers wielding ideas and pencils, with a plot bunny running off to the side. Text below reads: Press Start; sub-caption reads: (c) 2013

This is a terrific motif for the shirt and this year’s graphic concept – the “Press Start” terminology alone makes it great.

I am writing something new this year, and although this will be the tenth time I participate in NaNoWriMo it will only be the fifth story I’ve written.

It’s a science fiction story about a peasant girl who learns she can do some strange things, and the consequences of her finding these things out. I’m very excited about the story, and I am looking to write at least 80k and I’m really aiming for 100k, which would in fact be a record for me.

The Model

Fred the fruits of other warrior labours

Fred the fruits of other warrior labours

Fred cannot run not having a sufficient collection of legs, but he is proud to wear the warrior helmet procured in the course of running of the Warrior Dash in 2010.

That was a good day.





[*] no, not right now. I will come back to Song in December.

[**] NaNoWriMo is pretty much the quintessential scalable cloud application – it has spiky demand over a few very short periods of time, and the rest of the year can be left at a much lower level of resources for the die-hards who still check the forums year round***.

[***] actually not including me.

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