NSTB offers a plenitude of events to keep you engaged every day. Take some time to read about all the different events we offer or just jump in right away!
Our six-month challenge as well as the Warzone weekends are, of course, both events. They are already explained in the challenge guide! This section concerns itself with events that haven't been explained yet.
Here's a quick overview:
Daily Topic Daily
Tell us more about your world or story by answering the daily question!
Word Goals Weekly
Pledge daily and weekly word goals to build that consistency!
Dare you pertinatiously fossick through the balderdash? Don't know what you just read? Then you'll enjoy our daily vocabulary lessons!
Prompt Competition Monthly
All teams field three participants that write a story or chapter to a given prompt. We decide the theme anew each month!
Word Wars Always
Participate in writing sprints and compete against other members who write at the same time.
Members who have finished their drafts present their stories and talk about their writing process. Ask them anything!
Dungeons & Dragons Occasionally
The occasional one-shot Dungeons & Dragons session in voice chat hosted by an NSTB member!
Every day, our moderator Brian challenges you with a new question about your stories in the
What is your antagonist's most painful memory?
Daily topics lead you into thoughtful spaces you haven't gone before. Our hope is that they ultimately improve your writing while also giving you a chance to share with the community.
What weird talent—perhaps useless or irrelevant—does your main character have?
Another day, another word goal!
Word goals challenge you to get some daily writing in. Every morning, Aystia posts a word goal in
#word-goals, with a random target for everyone to work toward. Of course, it'll hopefully
just be a start, and you'll write much more!
In addition to a daily word goal, we also work on setting weekly, monthly, and long-term writing goals. We're a community, here to support you every step of the way with planning and accountability!
Today I want you to write: 397 words.
(And don't forget to fold your laundry!)
SP still has to write this section. It will be added as soon as possible. For now, if you have any
questions, please visit the
#whats-that-word channel among discussion channels.
Our monthly prompt competition pitches nine members from three teams against each other to write the best story to a prompt. Each team fields three members—how they choose their combatants is up to each team.
During roughly the first half of the month, once chosen, combatants have time to write their entry to the given prompt. We decide the prompt anew each month and members can see it before they sign up for the competition.
When the submission deadline has hit and (hopefully) all entries are in, the judges will get to work. They, too, are NSTB members, also chosen by the teams, but required to be impartial. Our point system is relative: judges have to rank each entry, usually in different categories, in contrast to all other entries.
"Let me wait longer and I'm gonna kill a judge!"
— An unnerved combatant crying about the time judges need for fair and balanced rankings.
Once the points are in and the winners have been determined, they are announced at the end of the competition. First to fourth place earn five to two points for their team, while all other participants earn one point for their team, no matter where they end up.
Relative Grading System
I have very few points. Is my story bad?
No! As explained above, we employ a relative grading system. The nine entries earn points on a scale from 1 to 9 points. Let's say you earned 2 points in the category Characters. That does not mean your characters are only ¼th as good as those of the top entry. Rather, all submitted entries could be highly competent in the character department. Perhaps the top five stories would have earned "five stars" in absolute terms, while your story would have earned "four stars". While a relative ranking system is excellent when it comes to fairness for the competition, it does not fare as well when comparing raw point values.
Join us in
#marathon-wars for sprints and even longer sprints,
A sprint is a period of time during which you try to write the most words that you can. The Sprinto bot can start sprints, track word counts, and report results at the end of the sprint. Your fellow NSTB members join you in the fun! (They will. Trust me.)
To start a sprint, simply go to one of the mentioned channels. Then type
_sprint 30 to start a
30-minute sprint, or any number of minutes up to an hour.
"I should be writing! I'm in a sprint!"
— Aystia, who always manages to distract herself during sprints. Still makes first place, though.
Once a sprint has been announced by Sprinto, you can join the sprint by typing
_join x with
x being your current word count. Example:
Once the sprint has finished, you should update your word count with the
_wc x command,
x being the word count you arrived at after the sprint. Example:
That's more than enough to get you started! See how other members interact with the Sprinto bot to find out more about it. Learning by doing! You could also read the documentation, but who does that anyway, right?
During a spotlight, one of our members showcases his or her work. A spotlight lasts 24 hours and usually takes place on weekends, though week-day ones can be arranged if necessary! They are open to any member who has completed a project of any length during a challenge.
"Your magic is a drug. Don't do magic, kids."
— Potato, during Aystia's spotlight
A set of starter questions help jumpstart each Spotlight. These 4 questions cover: a basic pitch, the struggles of writing, future plans for your story, and advice for first-timers.
"Now is it DYE-own, DEE-own, or DEE-awn?"
— SP, getting into pronunciation during Neonflare's spotlight
After you have answered the starter questions, it's up to the community! From lengthy discussion about how to keep Skymouth from being lonely, to Cat-Elf horoscopes, Spotlights can go in a hundred different directions. Regardless of where the spotlight might end up, it's a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our fellow writers. We schedule Spotlights in advance! If you qualify and would like to host your very own spotlight, send Aystia a DM to let her know, and she'll get you set up!
Dungeons & Dragons
Our member Puck presents one-shot Dungeons & Dragons sessions hosted in voice chat. Check out the
#dnd channel for more information!