[Note: Radioactive Alchemist is no longer around on Gaia, so this year it's my job! Thanks to RA for the thread layout and awesomeness. biggrin]
[[Note x 2: Thanks to Diamond Rika for the sticky! ^_^]]
What is this, you ask? This is the Gaian Summer Writing Months, that's what! Since quite a few people are in school or otherwise occupied during November when NaNoWriMo takes place, we came up with the idea to host our own during the summer (for the Northern Hemisphere, at least - sorry, Aussies!) when people usually have more time. We've also made it longer: three months instead of one, and much more flexible: you set your own goal.
To sum this whole thing up:
When: June 1st through August 31st (you can do it for just one or two of the months if you're busy)
What does SuWriMos stand for, again? Summer Writing Months.
What's the purpose of this thread?
It's a place where you can talk about what you're going to write and get help on your novel idea. Once SuWriMos is in full swing, come here to get support and help for problems you may run into.
What's this NaNoWriMo thing you mentioned?
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and (hopefully) turn out a rough draft of a novel (or perhaps the start of one). If you want to check it out, their website is www.nanowrimo.org
Do I have to join the guild to participate?
Not at all! But why wouldn't you? There is no fee to join the guild, and it's open to the public. If you'd like, make a post in the [http://www.gaiaonline.com/guilds/viewtopic.php?t=22894985]Goal Declaration thread to let us know you're in and what your goal is.
What am I supposed to do?
Pick a goal, and write! You've got three months. You can write all three months, or just two or even just one. You set your own goal; the minimum is usually 50,000 words unless you're only doing it for one of the months or have a really busy schedule and want to do less. If you reach your goal before the three months are up, by all means aim higher!
What if I don't have a specific word count goal?
We support non-specific goals too! For instance, if you want to get a story finished but don't know how many words it will take, just make finishing it your goal. If you're working on a big piece, your goal could be getting X number of chapters/scenes written, or reaching a certain point in the story. Editing/revision goals are okay too.
So it's sort of a contest...is there a prize?
Your prize will be the satisfaction of having finished a rough draft of at the end of it all, and bragging rights for having written a novel. What more does a writer need?
Are there any rules about what I can and can't write?
If it's fiction, it's game. That includes fanfics. If you want to write non-fiction too, go ahead, but unless you're writing an autobiography then you'll probably need to do lots of research, and research takes time so it's generally better to go with fiction. Scripts are fine too.
Can I use this to finish a story I've already started?
You're encouraged to start something brand-new, but you don't have to. Sequels are fair game, as well as completely rewriting a story from scratch. If you do chose to use something you've already started, it's only fair that you don't count the words you've written previously.
Do all the words have to be in one story, or can I write two or three shorter stories and add them up?
If you want to write a couple shorter pieces and add them up, it's okay.
What if I reach my goal at the end of August, but my story isn't finished?
Keep writing, of course! It may take you longer, but with such a good head start you're sure to finish eventually.
Do I have to get my word count validated when I'm finished, like with NaNoWriMo?
Nope. You don't have to turn in your novel to anyone for validation. If you say you've reached your goal, then we'll believe you. Since there's no prizes, there's not really anything to gain by lying about your word count - you'll only be lying to yourself.
You keep talking about a guild... where is it?
It's here! It's public so you don't need to join to post, but joining is free :'D
I just noticed this thread now... This idea is brilliant, hopefully it'll drum up some activity in the Writing Forums too. Is it possible to have a link for it in the original stories/prose section as well?
This sounds nice! I don't think I'll participate myself, but I can hang around and help out people. I'm pretty involved in NaNo and my usual output for that is a 100K. I'd make a general goal of finishing one of my fanfic projects, but that's a goal right now too...