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Thoughts on NaNoGenMo pt. 1

June 6, 2014

Man, I’m still glum that I missed National Novel Generation Month. I mean, my state of mind was such that I couldn’ta done anything worthwhile, but, you know… Anyway, I guess I can live vicariously by looking at the different generation methods people used.

So the goal is “Spend the month of November writing code that generates a novel of 50k+ words.” and “The only rule is that you share at least one novel and also your source code at the end.” If I remember NaNoWriMo, it’s not really a competition, more like a challenge to encourage people to do something, and this is more or less the same. It’s a little hard to tell how this could be judged anyway, since the books aren’t really anything you’d read through closely.

1. dariusk

Looking through the completed issues page, it looks like the first person to finish was dariusk, who organized the thing.

This is not dariusk

This is not dariusk

The book is called “Teens Wander Around a House.” (4MB pdf) The “action” was generated by a text adventure generator written by someone called catseye. dariusk used text from dreambank.net, which is apparently somewhere that people post dreams. In this case he used a bunch of descriptions of dreams by teenage girls, with some dreams by a child molester halfway through. For dialogue, he grabbed text from twitter, mapping text that followed specific question templates (such as “why do you…”) to the first turn of a dialogue pair, and text with related templates (such as “because…”) to the second turn of a dialogue pair. There are some great ideas there, especially the text sources. It’s a little unclear exactly how they are put together. The text generator seems to drown out the other two sources, but you can kind of see their effect.

2. erkyrath

Next up is erkyrath’s offering “Redwreath and Goldstar Have Traveled to Deathsgate“, which is pure dialogue and seems to be based on some kind of in-joke related to a fantasy novel series.

this is not dariusk

This is not erkyrath

The generator looks like some kind of grammar that uses templates to recursively build a set of dialogue pairs. It definitely deserves closer study. Here are some more details.

3. juhana

Then there’s juhana’s shakestweetes, which is a set of plays with Shakespeare-like titles. Looks like the script grabs a bunch of tweets and collates them. Straightforward, but effective.

This is not juhana

This is not juhana

Gotta wait til later to look through some more…

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