It is three in the morning. You are trapped in a hotel conference room with nineteen assorted other lunatics and various variations on the theme of laptop. The space in the middle of the ring of tables contains a large, loud man wearing a dress and pretending to hide behind a very small chair. Another man is dressed as a witch, and someone else has turned up in a onesie. Writing progress ranges from “I am five thousand words in already on one of my six ruthlessly outlined projects” to “We’re three hours in and I still don’t have a plot” (or, in one case, “Not started writing yet, too busy making Batman hats for people”). Every so often, someone – not always the same person – gets very excited about the velociraptors, which are, apparently, breeding.

In other words, NaNoWriMo 2015 is here, as celebrated by the “Come Write Over” event in Birmingham. We got a surprising amount of writing done, and filled two bin bags with empty monster cans and pizza boxes.

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