First of all—welcome to NaNoWriMo, and to the channel. Although this channel was the original and once the official IRC channel for NaNo, it is currently unofficial. But it is still the best and is the home of some of the craziest Wrimos.

We hope that you have a great time not only writing your novel, but chatting with the rest of us as we work alongside you. Well, some of us. A few of us just don't really write. Given the topic of the channel, it is most active in November, but it is also active the rest of the year.

Now, a few things that one should know before chatting.

IRC Knowledge & Etiquette

Here are a few tidbits and pointers that may help one to keep from looking like a newbie to chatting, even if you are!

As a nod to the origins of IRC, the words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this section of this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 (and yes, the capitalization does matter).

  • One MAY change their nick by typing /nick newnick, where newnick is whatever one wants to change it to. However, IRC doesn't allow spaces in nicks, so a nick like "The End" will simply show up as "The". If one wants two words in their nick, they SHOULD use either CamelCase, some_underscores, or maybe even dashes. There's a bunch of other punctuation that is/isn't allowed in nicks, some for legacy reasons. Legacy meaning "IRC was originally for Finnish people", in some cases. They used what we (English speaking people) see as weird punctuation (namely {}|[]\ (all of which are allowed in nicknames)) to represent characters of their language (Ää, Åå, Öö, Øø) in their character encodings before Unicode (or even ISO-8859-1) was popular. (And encodings other than UTF-* mostly became popular because Microsoft didn't want to rework FAT to properly support Unicode.) In short: fucking Microsoft fucking with their fucking fuckery. A few things about nicks that MUST be taken into account:
    • One MAY change their nick to indicate status.
    • One MUST NOT change their nick for a cheap joke. We once had a long and very stupid conversation where we all changed our nicks to things like "You", "Me", and "Nobody". It was confusing and irritating, and repeats will not be tolerated.
    • One MAY change their nick if your previous choice doesn't suit them, but one SHOULD NOT go changing it all the time. We want to know you by one name. Just because you know who you are doesn't mean that we do!
    • Once one has found a nick, one SHOULD register it with NickServ, by typing /msg nickserv register password email, replacing password (which is, by the way, case sensitive) with one's chosen password, and email with an email address. This prevents anyone else from using the same nick. Then, when one logs in to the chat, one can log in with Nickserv by typing /msg nickserv identify password.
    • Nicknames MUST contain only the following classes of characters — letters (a-z A-Z), numbers (0-9), and special characters: backslashes (\), backticks (`), carets (^), curly braces ({}), dashes (-), pipes (|), underscores (_), and square brackets ([]). Nicknames MUST start with a letter. See RFC 1459 section: 2.3.1 Message format in 'pseudo' BNF; _ isn't there but everything else is from that is. See the UnrealIRCd documentation for proof it's allowed on GoodChatting. I suspect GoodChatting hasn't enabled any other character sets beyond the default allowed, but I suppose it could be tested…although preferably not in #nanowrimo. :P
  • People will possibly say things that display differently than normal statements. We call these actions. In many clients, this text will show up as purple, or in general a different colour than the regular text. One MAY do this themself by typing /me actiontext, where actiontext is whatever action they want to "do". And if you start abusing actions, be prepared that you will be the butt of a lot of jokes involving your dubious ability to actually communicate.
  • One MAY send private messages to another person either by clicking their name and selecting the option, or by typing /msg person message. If anyone needs the person and message explained to them by now, too bad for them. They can deal. However, one SHOULD ask permission before PMing someone. Some people do not like to receive private messages out of the blue, and many people consider sudden or unwanted private messages an invasion of their personal space and/or their privacy.
    • One MUST NOT ever, ever use private messages to harass another person, not that you should be harassing someone else in the first place. That will get you banned from the chat room and quite possibly banned from the server.
    • One SHOULD always feel free to send a private message to an op if need be, or alternately, to send an email to
  • In many IRC clients, one MAY do something known as "tab-complete", where one only has to type the first part of somebody's nick and then press the tab key in order for the program to finish it. This isn't supported in every client, however, and it is only included because it gets mentioned a lot in channel (when it confuses Marius for Max or mousse).
  • There are many other channels out there besides #nanowrimo (though none of them are quite as cool as ours). If one wants to, one MAY join another channel, by typing /join channel, where channel is the name of the channel one wants to join. Then there's always all the other IRC networks and all the multitude of channels not on the same network/server. But that's an entirely different question to begin with.
  • If one wants to be sarcastic or snarky, one SHOULD mark their remark with a ;) or a similar identifier at the end of the line. Sarcasm doesn't transmit very well over text, so please be explicit about it, or we will just assume you are being a jerk. Of course, we might do so anyway if you're being one even without failing at sarcasm. And jerks don't get treated very nicely around these parts.

#NaNoWriMo Hints

These are a few things specific to our channel that will help to keep you out of trouble.

  • DO WHAT THE OPS SAY. For emphasis, seriously. DO WHAT THE OPS SAY. Please. DO WHAT THE OPS SAY. Don't give any of the ops trouble, just do what they say. If they tell you you're being annoying, stop. If they tell you to drop an argument, do it. If they tell you to move a conversation to another channel or change the subject, go. The ops are here to ensure that everyone enjoys the channel as much as possible. Neither the internet nor this chat room are democracies. As for freedom of speech, that's what #elsewhere is for.
    • If you have a question about why an op made a particular decision, please feel free to ask either in channel or via PM.  However, their decisions are final, and repeated questioning/appealing/complaining/backtalk (especially in the channel, as opposed to private message) isn't likely to help your cause.  If you truly feel that an op has abused their authority, please direct an email (with logs included) to so that we can review it further.
Be obscure clearly.
~E.B. White
  • A lot of people try to squeak by with stuff that is warned against in this document here, but not in some ridiculously specific terms. The FAQ is not a legal code, okay? Even if the IRC knowledge section MAY be set up as an RFC. It exists to give you an idea of what's going on around here, but the ops have discretion in their judgement and can use it as they see fit. If we ban, for instance, cats, and you try to sneak a tiger into chat and say it's OK because it's not specifically disallowed: no. That ain't gonna fly. No one likes rules-lawyers anyway.
  • No racism/sexism. That alone should explain itself. And black person jokes, Jew jokes, all of those fall into this category of what you're not supposed to be doing.
  • And well, not even a snarky comment about this one. There will be no jokes about child abuse, pedophilia, incest, or rape. Absolutely none. And none means none, not saying it and then saying that you were joking and trying to get away with it. Jokes that are only told for the shock value are neither welcome nor tolerated in the chat. And really, not tolerated. This means that the bodies … what bodies? There are no bodies because no one will ever be able to find the bodies.
  • We speak English here, as noted at the very beginning of this page. This is a writer's channel, and generally people do not appreciate excessive amounts of either chatspeak or leet.  We do understand that English isn't everyone's first language, and are more than willing to be patient if your spelling isn't great, but saying things like "so wAt Iz Ur pl0t lol omfg plz tell me !!1!" will not make you any friends. Neither will excuses about why you are using chatspeak. It's just irritating. Chatspeak is more likely to get you kicked for being an idiot. Also, chatspeak is not a language, nor is it a valid variant spelling system for English.
    • Sometimes, side conversations do happen in other languages. Geekspeak is a frequent choice. This does not mean leet, you miserable plebeian. As far as we care, leet is 100x worse than chatspeak. As long as it isn't interfering with another discussion in the channel this is just fine, but please remember that the channel is an English speaking channel.
  • This is the internet (no, really?) and many different sorts of people hang out in the chat. Sometimes there will be people that you disagree with on some fundamental level, but we ask that you practise tolerance and understanding, and that if you are having a discussion, it stays both respectful of all parties involved and civil.
  • Please don't yell all the time. For those of you who don't know, THIS IS YELLING! YELLING IN IRC, MUCH LIKE REAL LIFE, SHOULD BE RESERVED FOR VERY SPECIAL OCCASIONS! JUST IMAGINE THAT YOU'RE IN A COFFEE SHOP SOMEWHERE TALKING TO A BUNCH OF FRIENDS! YOU DON'T WANT TO BE YELLING ALL THE TIME, NOW DO YOU?! IT LOOKS REALLY STUPID! Remap your caps-lock key to ctrl, kids. Because man xmodmap is actually your friend. There's also the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, for you poor Windows-using sods.
  • There is no newbie quiz. We do not haze newbies. We do not haze people. Though we are certainly assholes very often, and will give people shit for not being consistent, or anything else we can give people shit for. Anyone who tells you that you have to do some certain thing (other than read this FAQ) to be accepted in the channel is full of it.  Hopefully that clarifies this.
  • If you get kicked, do not auto-rejoin. Some IRC clients can be configured to reconnect you to a channel immediately after you get kicked. We also don't care if other channels you're in do joke-kicks a lot. We mean it. Plus, we do joke-kicks and we still tell you not to auto-rejoin. Suck it. Or go teach your grandma to suck eggs. This does not go over well here. If we kicked you, chill for a bit, then come back. Automatically rejoining after you've been kicked you very well could get you banned.
    • On the subject of auto-things, auto-reconnecting can be annoying if you have a bad connection. You may be temporarily banned until it clears up, just so we don't have to watch you come and go and come and go and … you get the idea. You'll also be subjected to some very bad jokes about interactions between adhesives, you, and the channel. Duct tape and staples not being the worst of them by a long shot. You've been warned. If you think you might start dropping, please just don't idle in the channel.
  • We take privacy seriously here, for those who want it. This means:
    • No ASL. This means no asking for age/sex/location. (As opposed to American Sign Language, which is perfectly okay, if a little bit hard to type in.) It is intrusive and rude. Also, when every newcomer to the room asks, it gets annoying. By the third time, it's really annoying. This also applies to asking any one of these particulars. "I was just asking how old everyone is" isn't a defense against "No ASL". Not only is it  rude to ask such personal information of people, it is also entirely and completely irrelevant to any discussions that might spring up, for the most part.
    • A number of users here have disabilities of various types. If they choose to volunteer information or talk about their disabilities, that's their choice. Don't push them for more information than they want to, ask them how they're able to use the computer or, similarly, how they're able to cope; such questions range from tedious and annoying to outright offensive. if you're truly curious, you are encouraged to use Wikipedia for some research—it's quite informative, actually.
    • If you want to know someone's personal details, ask in a private message.  This includes asking about NaNo usernames, email addresses, LiveJournals, MySpaces, personal websites, Facebook accounts, and anything else a person might not be willing to share with the whole channel. Keep in mind that no means no just like in real life!, folks. If they don't want to share, they don't have to.
    • The ops want to know if someone is asking inappropriate or annoying questions in channel or in private messages. Oftentimes a chatter will not report it to an op as it might be embarrassing or they might not think it is an issue. Send an op a private message anyway. If it is a problem, the ops will handle it. If it isn't a problem, the ops will know to watch out in case it becomes a problem later.
  • You may talk about whatever you like in the channel. However, if your discussion is making people uncomfortable, or seems inappropriate to #NaNoWriMo in some way, you may be asked to move your discussion #elsewhere. We're not just being snarky; there really is a channel called #elsewhere for you to carry on conversations that people in the the main channel object to. (Of course, private messages work just as well if there are only two people interested in the conversation anyway.) Join it by typing /join #elsewhere.
  • Don't be a jerk (or a dick). Seriously. Most of us come here for fun, and we generally try to keep the channel fairly pleasant. If you do want to be part of a heated discussion, then take it to private messages or another channel altogether.
  • If you want to talk about sex, it's perfectly all right. However, there is a general guideline for talking about sex in the channel. Acknowledging that people have sex is not inappropriate, but the details about how they have sex can be. Please be sensitive and considerate to others. In other words, we really don't want to hear about how the penis goes into the vagina, the bodily fluids produced, or any of the ropes, chains, or handcuffs that might happen to be involved. That's way too much detail.
  • Aside from #elsewhere, there is no op-sponsored censorship in the channel.  This doesn't mean that we're encouraging you to speak only in expletives (for cursing is the crutch of the illiterate, after all) or discuss sex all the time, but please don't ask the ops to crack down on discussion of things rude, crude, and vile. It isn't going to happen. However, this does not supercede the fact that you need to DO WHAT THE OPS SAY.
  • No unauthorized bots. Talk to juliebug or Fish (he probably won't be in the channel, but you can PM him) before bringing your bot into the channel. It will make life easier for all of us.
  • Do not flood the chat with randomness. Honestly, this should be a no-brainer. That means /dev/urandom is out as a source of inspiration, *nix users.
  • Watch what you copy and paste into the channel. If you spam the channel with tons and tons of text, regardless of how well-intentioned it may be, you will likely find yourself on the wrong side of a kick. If there's something you want us to read, please link us to it (using Pastie,,, and other such sites is a wise choice in that case), or find some other way to give it to us without flooding the channel.
  • Excessive whinging/whining/complaining/emo will not be tolerated. If people ask you to stop, whether they be ops or not, you need to do so. We're sorry that your life isn't perfect. Neither are ours. An overabundance of "My life is so horrible!" type of complaints kills the channel faster than a serial killer on speed. Plus, drama whores are so very, very '90s.
  • In the same vein, no drama competitions. The only thing worse than whining is competitive whining, where everyone tries to prove that they have the worst life of anyone in the room. No one wants to hear this.
  • No bananaphone, All Your Base, badgers, Potter Puppet Pals, or other overquoted memes. Or, in fact, anything else of the same, usually rabid, meme nature that 4chan (or the rest of the Internet) spawns. This should need no explanation.
We all suffer greatly in the name of poor art.
  • During what we consider the off-season(between 1 December and 1 October of the following year), the channel is a little more relaxed than it is while we are preparing to write and writing our novels. Things you can expect during the off season include the occasional joke kick and even more rarely, when the moon is blue and made of cheese, a little bit of Russian roulette with the kick button or an even more random kicking of everyone in the room at once, purely by accident, more in depth and heated discussion not getting sent to #elsewhere, and a lot more general randomness. However, all of the above points do still generally apply. And people even still write when it isn't November.
    • Regulars in the room for both on-season and off-season will not be exempt from following the rules while NaNo is upon us.

Now, to the more pleasant stuff:

  • We've got a bot named BattleJesus, who arbitrates Word Wars and remembers brilliant and/or stupid quotes, among other things. He has an instruction manual. This should be the first place you turn to when you have any BattleJesus questions. That said, there are a few things that are worth mentioning regarding BattleJesus.
    • BattleJesus arbitrates Word Wars. Word Wars are timed writing events. The premise is simple—write as much as you can in a limited amount of time. BattleJesus times the contest, announces time remaining, and gives the cut-off. You can start a Word War by typing !startwar pause length, where pause is the length of time until the Word War starts (maximum 15 minutes) and length is the length of the war. If you have a BattleJesus problem, talk to Jude.
    • Something to note: if BattleJesus seems to ignore you for some reason, it's probably because you've used up all of your "energy". You can only do so many things in a limited time—that's to keep people from flooding the channel with bot-generated garbage. Not to say that your brilliant channel quotes are garbage. Actually, yeah, they usually are. And more than one of them at a time is always annoying. Sometimes, also, even if you haven't used all of your energy, an op may ask you to stop if the bot output of prompts or quotes or twists is interfering with conversation. Just wait, and try again later.
  • Have a good time on the channel!
  • Sometimes we play a game called Worldbreaker. It's an incredible way to generate a setting. If you have questions about Worldbreaker, ask one of the ops, or Phil. We miss you, Phil.