#nanowrimo Rules & FAQ

Proudly helping aspiring authors since October 2006!
Last updated 6 November, 2015.


  1. Do what the ops say. For emphasis and seriously, do what the ops say. Don't argue about it, just do what the ops say. The ops have operator status (indicated by an @, &, %, or ~ in front of their nickname) for a reason, and exercise their better judgement to make chatting a pleasant experience for everyone.
    If you do have a question about why an op made a particular decision, please feel free to ask either in channel or via PM. However, decisions made are final, and repeated questioning/appealing/complaining/backtalk (especially in the channel but also in private message) is more likely to harm your case than to help it. The internet isn't a democracy, and neither is this chatroom. If you truly feel that an op has abused their authority, please direct an email (with logs included) to nanowrimo [at] goodchatting.com and notify both the channel owner (Rowan) and Fish so that we can review it further.
  2. Importantly: If you are under 13, you cannot be here. No exceptions. If you're one of those kids who is responsible and capable of handling themselves among adults, sorry. You still need to leave.
  3. English is the primary language of this channel. We will try to understand you if you don't speak it perfectly, but please be aware that if we can't understand you, there's really no point in chatting here. Chatspeak and leet do not count as English, and will generally piss people off. On occasion, side conversations happen in languages other than English, and this is acceptable as long as it's not interfering with the main discussions in the channel, but please remember that this is an English speaking channel.
  4. There will be no racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or statements of the like. That alone should explain itself.
  5. The following subjects are off limits for humour: child abuse, pedophilia, incest, rape, domestic violence, bestiality, dead babies, Naziism/genocide, … This is not an exhaustive list, and off limits means off limits. Jokes told only for the shock value are neither welcome nor tolerated in the chat, and we will not be lenient about this, and you will not escape the banhammer should you complain about our inability to 'take a joke'.
  6. Additionally, one may not link to obscene and pornographic material in the chatroom. No exceptions. Because teenagers are permitted in the channel, both the network and channel staff would be legally liable should one's parents flip out. So don't. It won't be tolerated.
  7. We have a side channel called #elsewhere. If your discussion is making people uncomfortable, anybody, including normal chatters as well as ops, may ask you to take the discussion #elsewhere and that ends the discussion in the main channel. You can join it by typing /join #elsewhere.

More Generally…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 unless the discussion is disruptive or otherwise violating the rules. However, this does not supercede the fact that you need to do what the ops say.
  5. We take privacy seriously here, for those who want it. This means:
    • No ASL. This means no asking for age/sex/location. It's intrusive, and it's rude. Not to mention that when every newcomer to the room asks, it just gets annoying.
    • A number of chatters 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 (and ideally, ask if you can message first). 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, 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.
  6. Do not flood the chat with randomness. Honestly, this should be a no-brainer.
  7. 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 quite quickly. 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.
  8. Speaking of links, no link spam. Only link us to something once in any given period of time, and if you're uncertain, ask before linking to it again. Repeatedly trying to get people to read the same journal entry, story, or article will probably just irritate them into not reading it, which defeats the purpose of linking it in the first place. If people are interested, they will click on the link the first time, and if they aren't interested you'll just end up annoying everyone by trying to make them read it.
  9. No bananaphone, All Your Base, badgers, Potter Puppet Pals, or other overquoted memes. This should need no explanation.
  10. 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, 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 (including things such as JulNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and other endeavours which may be cause for further stringent enforcement of the rules).
    Regulars in the room for both on-season and off-season will not be exempt from following the rules while NaNo is upon us.
  11. No unauthorized bots. Talk to juliebug or Fish (leave him a message in #goodchatting) before bringing your bot into the channel. It will make life easier for all of us.
  13. 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. Additionally, we generally don't find people doing something like "/me dies" or "/me /wrists" very funny, so don't do it. Just don't.
  14. 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.
  15. People sometimes try to squeak by with stuff that's warned against but not entirely specifically. See the point at the top, of do what the ops say. This document is not a legal code. It exists to give you an idea of what's going on around here, but at the end of the day the ops have discretion and will use their judgement as they see fit. If we ban, for instance, cats, and you try and sneak a tiger into the chat and say it's okay because it's not specifically disallowed: no. That ain't gonna fly.

IRC Knowledge & Etiquette

As a nod to the origins of IRC, the key 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).

  1. There is no newbie quiz. We do not haze newbies. We do not haze people. Anyone who tells you that you have to do some certain thing (other than read this document) to be accepted in the channel is full of it. You MUST read this document. Hopefully that clarifies this.
  2. 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. 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.
    If you have a bad connection and are auto-reconnecting, you may be temporarily banned until it clears up. If you think this has happened, please PM an op and we'll clear it up for you right away.
  3. 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. 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 a single name. Just because you know who you are doesn't mean that we do! Seriously, don't go and keep changing your nick all the time. It's annoying at best.
    • Once one has found a nick, one SHOULD register it with NickServ, by typing /msg nickserv register password email, replacing password 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 maxh or mousse).
  6. If at all possible, it is RECOMMENDED to set your IRC client up to use UTF-8, which is a character encoding that will let your client see accented and special characters. If you need help doing so, please ask, but it can save a lot of trouble and confusion later.

Lastly, and probably most pleasantly!

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. Secondly, Aerdan maintains BattleJesus and is responsible for most things related to the bot. 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 or BattleJesus disappears, talk to Aerdan.

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. 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.

Sometimes, we also 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, and if you want to play, just poke about and see if there's enough interest.

And of course, have a good time on the channel!