National Novel Writing Month has grown into something special over the years. As far back as 2003 I wrote the NaNo challenge alone. I love it because momentum is my friend when it comes to fiction, as I have posted before. At some point in later years NaNo Regions started, connecting wrimos to other wrimos in their categorized region—and if a wrimo–a writer facing the NaNo challenge–fell outside of a populated area that a NaNo Region is named after, say Philadephia, then there would be an “elsewhere” region, say PAelsewhere. We got chatrooms for our regions. I tend to be a recluse so I cannot say when this happened, but we got Timmy.
Timmy is a robot that lurks in the chatrooms. You can command him to keep track of time blocks that you want to write during—apparently at some point the term “word war” was assigned to this phenomena. Assign a time frame and see if you can write a record number of words during that time, either your own record or against others in the chatroom. However, I find Timmy has greater values.
1. The challenge command (note, my alias is Kiryoku):
Timmy challenges Kiryoku: include a fellow WriMo in your novel but change their gender and keep their personality.
Timmy challenges Kiryoku: Have squirrels covered in glitter appear at random.
Timmy challenges Kiryoku: Have Timmy in your story get killed by a flying fridge.
His responses are random and amusing. My…a flying fridge!
2. The get command:
Timmy gets Kiryoku a huge cup of coffee.
Timmy gets Kiryoku some hugs.
Timmy gets Kiryoku a miniature giant space hamster.
The robot has feelings. If you finish a comment with a frowny face he tends to deliver on hugs and other heart-warming gestures.
3. Sometimes Timmy does not need a command and does things on his own initiative:
Timmy looks back and forth, then slinks off…
Timmy hurls a purple mountain’s majesty fridge at Kiryoku.
Timmy looks back and forth, then slinks off…
Timmy trips and drops an atomic tangerine fridge on himself.
He has this obsession with exploding novels, throwing people out windows onto piles of pillows and, most especially, throwing fridges of all sorts.
4. This year he seems to be practicing magic as well.
Timmy prepares the summoning circle required to bring Lugia into the world…
Timmy attempts to summon Lugia, but something goes horribly wrong. After the smoke clears, Nemesis is left standing on the smoldering remains of the summoning circle.
Sometimes it works out, sometimes it does not.
5. Less often he tries to banish the mythical beings he once tried to summon.
Timmy gathers the supplies necessary to banish Poseidon to the outer darkness…
Timmy completes the ritual successfully, banishing Poseidon to the outer darkness, where they can’t interfere with Timmy’s affairs!
6. However, chatroom wrimos tend to be most amused with the robot’s efforts to herd cats.
Timmy collects several pale yellow boxes, and lays them around to attract cats…
Timmy herds cats towards Kiryoku. Kiryoku is razed by a rout of rambunctious Ragamuffins.
7 and 8. We are least amused with his poor singing and over-achieving dancing.
Timmy screeches out some words from ‘Illegal Mistakes’, and all the nearby windows shatter… Ouch.
Timmy dances the Thunder Clap so well he should be on Dancing with the Stars!
9. You can order Timmy to attack…most weapons and attacks do not correlate to a reasonable damage point system, but at least he watches Dragon Ball Z (note to people that did not grow up watching DBZ: 9000 points is a big deal in the meme world)
Timmy hits Kiryoku with a gravestone with the inscription: “RIP Inner Editor (??-October 31st)” for 2 points of damage.
Timmy hits Kiryoku with a towel with “Don’t Panic!” printed on it for 843 points of damage.
Timmy hits with applause and cheers and all around cool stuffs for OVER 9000 points of damage.
10. Lastly, he works in the fantasy black market.
Timmy gets Kiryoku Godzilla riding on a unicorn.
A new awesome gimmick in the NaNo chatrooms are the velociraptor swarms. Timmy will randomly spot a velociraptor and record its occurrence whenever someone types “velociraptor” or “velociraptors.” Needless to say this turned into quite the game. How can we get the highest number of velociraptor sightings while legitimately using the term in context? In other words, it was an unwritten rule that we must never simple enter “velociraptor” over and over.
When you have gathered enough velociraptors they will swarm to another chatroom and “after a violent battle” a number of the other chatroom’s velociraptors may be dead. Yes, Timmy tallies how many our team killed and how many came to our chatroom and killed ours. Once we even had “ghost velociraptors” because, as part of the random number generation, ZERO of our velociraptos went to a chatroom and killed several of their velociraptors. Very commendable to command supernatural dinosaurs, if I do say so myself.
Maybe next year the program can track velociraptors in all chatrooms and we can make a more legitimate velociraptor competition…like a rank board! That would be fun, assuming more populated regions would have a likelihood of velociraptor sightings proportioned so those of us in less populated regions are on an even battlefield.