Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nano - Triumph

Not quite to the end of the day, but I hit the 50k mark at 8pm this evening, so it seems the right time to put up my heels and ...

Wait. The book isn't done yet. In fact, I'm only in Episode Six (of Ten). Well, then ...

I like the pressure that Nano applies, but in thinking about it, I've seen some better value in the longer-term, macro goal - 50k in a month - than in a daily, micro goal - 1.67k (or pick your poison) per day. Firstly, a daily goal is unforgiving: if you fail, you're done. You can get up and try again the next day, but if you're neurotic like I am (Hi!), that will bother you. Secondly, a daily goal is kind of like a hamster in a wheel: it resets every day. You can write five thousand words and it doesn't really "matter" in terms of meeting your goal. You still have the full word count the next day.

Now, not that is a bad thing: it produces writing. But for me, having my goals and the way I meet them be satisfying, rather than frustrating, is an important factor.

So starting this Thursday, I'm going to start a 7k / week prescription for myself, with a further long-term goal of finishing "Who Wants To Be A Hero?" by Valentine's Day (2011, smart alecks), and for the love of all that's holy hopefully finding a snappier title. Since I still have to finish my editing marks for SaC, for the next couple weeks, as soon as I finish 1k per day, I'm going to move on to editing.

In conclusion: wish me luck!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy ...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a safe and savory holiday, y'all.

This year, I am thankful that ...

(Drumroll, please)

... I can actually cook!

On a more serious note, this has been the first year I've been away from my immediate family, and it's been strange and often lonely. Having them back, not just for a couple days, but for two weeks, has made me appreciate how close we are. I know not everyone has that relationship with their kin, and I'm thankful for that.

On a less serious note, I've received rejection letters on a surprising majority of holidays and my birthday, so I am expecting one today. ;-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Nano progress update: I just started episode four (of ten) and missed my word count slightly for yesterday, but still on track. My parents are visiting and my mother and I went to see Morning Glory yesterday. (Rather predictable, but very cute and clever, and really a lot of fun. Recommended.) I've reached one of the challenges that I have been looking forward to: the dungeon crawl, where I get to abuse my knowledge of RPGs to skewer that genre. This will also give me a chance to -


- do something I set up a bit ago. The host of the "show" has sworn up and down that death is permanent. She's about to show that she's been lying through her teeth. Someone is going to die in this round.

They're going to get better.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Friday of last week, I had a business opportunity crop up with a lot of complicated aspects, so I've been spending a lot of my time working / thinking about that - and when I'm not, I've been very drained and it's been difficult to write. However, I did manage to build myself something of a cushion over that evening and weekend, so as of today, I am 900 words shy of the (Nanowrimo) count I need by midnight tomorrow. Worst case scenario, I squeeze out 450 words per day between now and then. More than doable. Hopefully I catch up some over Saturday, but then my family is coming in for the holidays ...

I'm almost done with the content of episode two. It will be followed by an "off-camera" scene where the judges and other personnel sit down for dinner - or pseudo dinner, considering my classical style gods are probably the ambrosia types. I'm concerned right now that the scenes are too repetitive, but this is something to address in editing. I'm too close to it to determine what to cut.

Also, I am somewhere between proud and guilty that I imagined to make what amounted to a plastic surgery joke and keep it in setting. Also a non-anachronistic reference to "fifteen minutes of fame." This is what I wanted to do: reframe modern concepts so they made sense in setting, then make fun of them. The Nicanan colony of Destia is basically early America (... if Britain were Greece ...) and I've been able to make some fun cracks about the revolution brewing there. And tea.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Saw this great quote today on a whiteboard:

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -- Albert Einstein

Monday, November 08, 2010

On the One Hand ...

I managed to give myself a pretty nasty steam burn making dinner last night.

I sat there regarding my hand, and I thought:

Well, bad news for harp, it's on the right hand.

Good news for writing, it's on the right hand ...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

So I am about 5.5k into my NaNo novel and starting to hit my stride. I've discovered that it's impossible to load the thing down with jokes and still keep the plot moving in a way that a reader will care about, so I've pulled back on the frequency a bit. I've tried to keep odd, bizarre and other amusing phrasing and comments as a continuous factor, while the outright jokes come more widely spaced. It's working out, I think. I can already tell, though I've only hit a few of them thus far, that there are going be some mythology "in-jokes" - I've lampooned some divine tendencies and myths where you have to be familiar with the inspiring material to get the humor.

Names - ah, names. Honestly, I can't work with a character in any extended fashion without naming them, so I am going to take a risk and name each competitor as they first appear. (This will actually be less crazy than it appears, as a few of them were already named in the Casting Call "chapter.") However, I am also going to give them a descriptive label - the diminutive thief, the holy assassin - that will appear every time they come back onto stage for the first few episodes.

This should help people get a handle on them, and it fits perfectly within both genres: reality televisions always have visual labels when they show the characters talking (Greg Sommers -- Pastry Chef, Creme De La Creme), and to go back further, the Greek epics (which is my primary inspiration for the definition of hero, though there's also a shameless sprinkling of thought-line from RPGs such as D&D - I mean, I've got a dungeon-crawl, for pity's sakes) use that kind of phrasing as a poetic beat.