Quick WordKeeperAlpha Update

I haven't been doing much work on WKA lately, mostly because this build seems pretty stable for the time being. Analytics say that I've got a fair amount of users now, at least compared to the last version, whick makes me pretty happy. Honestly, I am really happy with how things are working now. It does everything that I wanted it to do, and a bit more. I'm finding it very handy for my own wriiting, though I suppose your own milleage may vary.

Right now, we're about four days away from the start of National Novel Writing Month, and though I won't be participating (i.e. starting a new story) I will be attempting to write the full fifty thousand words, which means that for the next month, at least, I won't have much time for working on Word Keeper. I will, of course, find time to fix any bugs that crop up between now and the end of November, but I probably won't devote any serious development time until at least the beginning of November.

In all reality, I probably won't do any more serious development on WKA until after the new draft of Imperious is finished. This is mostly because I wasnted to have the second draft done months ago, with the third draft firmly underway by now. Part of the reason that didn't happen is because I sidelined that project due to work on Word Keeper, so now, it only seems right that I refocus my efforts on my own writing now that the program is in a relatively stable and complete state. At my current rate, I'm looking at having the second draft finished sometime early on next year … at least, assuming I make my fifty thousand word goal next month.

In regards to that, I'm doing pretty good. I'm doing my prep work, just like I would for NaNoWriMo, doing my best to write on a regular basis. Undoubtedly, friends and wife will be annoyed with me as a go into a state, of “non-existence” once the first hits, but what can you do? Writing must happen.

So, there it is. The Word Keeper you see right now is the one you can look forward to using for the next couple of months as I get Impervious in order. Starting sometime earlier on next year, look for some updates, including more social features, UI improvements, and more graphing options. I've got a lot of great ideas, and I intend to do a lot of polishing next year. Until then, everyone have an awesome NaNoWriMo and donate! The only reason I can do the things I've done is because they've done a lot of work and done awesome things first.

 


August: The month of where I guess I don’t write

Granted, its been a very mild summer, but August is still a helluva reason to keep inside. Which is good! I don’t write or code very well outside. Trust me, I’ve considered it, even tried it a time or two but it just doesn’t work out well. The glare on the iPad impairs writing, or the bugs are distracting, or the heat is soul-crushing. No no. I was made to be an indoor creature. Melding into my seat and becoming one with the machine. Beep boop beep.

So, we’re 21 days into August now and I still have yet to put finger to keyboard in any sort of writing. While normally, this would constitute a soul-crushing failure on my part, its mostly because I’ve been pouring effort onto WordKeeperAlpha to get it done and out this month. The great news is that I should be able to do just that! The bad news is that every time I look at my writing graph I see THIS:

Graph of no writing

 

Ugh… that flat line accuses me. It mocks me. Moreover, the characters from Impervious are bouncing around in my head, leading rebellions and killing each other every time I start listening to music. Once WordKeeper is out, I won’t be looking at it for a month. I’m going to set myself a nice big writing goal and go to town on it.  It’s about time to start gearing up for NaNaWriMo at any rate.  I’ve got a lot of words to write before the year is over, and I should be able to do that a lot easier with WordKeeper finished, or at least the base features done.

While I’m cleaning up the remaining code and polishing things off, I’m also identifying the next set of features that I’ll be working on and rolling out over the coming months.

  • Blog integration
  • Rewards for completing goals
  • Challenges (1k in an hour) (Don’t know how in the hell I’m going to do that one)
  • Trophies and XP (for more gamification)
  • Author pages so that you can share your progress

I’ve seen a few other projects that are doing some of the things that I’m doing, but no one is really focusing on motivation and word metrics like I am.  I really think that if I can get WordKeeper going and get it a following that I can keep it the best motivational tool for writers our there.  I suppose I have to make it that first, don’t I?  *sigh* Its back to work then, I guess.  At least, after a nice walk in this beautiful August weather.


Feels good!

I don’t know why its so damn hard to write some nights.  Really, its just sitting my butt down in my comfy foof chair, and starting to type.  That’s not actually hard.  Its very easy, in fact!  Plus, I always feel awesome after I’ve done it.  Any length of time, any word count, doesn’t matter.  It feels great to make any sort of progress on any of the stories that I’m working on.

Ugh… So, yeah.  My word count this month, sucks pretty hard.  I suppose Phoenix Comicon is partially to blame for taking almost a week away from me.  I went with high hopes of doing some writing at night, even brought some of the chapters with me that I’m in the process of reworking for the second draft of Impervious.  That plan DID NOT survive first contact with the enemy, and by enemy I mean Con.  Writing may feel great, and be easy once I actually start doing it, but, good grief, does working a Con ever take it out of you.  Anything that wasn’t sitting and moving as little as possible was a Herculean task.  Any way, I got behind, and so far I’ve stayed behind.

That ends tonight though.  I just got done writing over 800 words, which aside from a blog post the other week, is the most I’ve done all month.  My goal, is to crack 10,000 this month, with most of that being on the second draft of Impervious.  Actual writing.  Not outlining, or character description, or plotting but actual new material.  Really, for as long as I’ve been working on that I’ve gotten not enough done.  I want the third draft done by the end of the year, which means I’ve really got to get serious.  If only I had all the bits of WordKeeper working that I wanted working, I’d be able to tell exactly how many words I had to write to get it done on time.  Ah well, that’s weekend work.  Writing is for week nights!

Alright.  Short post this week, but there it is.  I’m back writing, and I want 10,000 words of Impervious done by the end of the month.  Can I do it?  Stay tuned to find out.


Writing Weekend!

Yeah, so my last post was a little heavy handed. I'd apologize, but honestly I'd like to start doing some more posts like that. Things that are more than just status updates, posts about what I'm reading and writing. Every now and again, just talking about things like that seems like I'm taking the easy route. I should be taking advantage of this soap box and telling you all what I think about EVERYTHING! That would probably be a little more interesting than the status quo, right? That and more pictures. Maybe some kittens? People on the internet like kittens. Maybe I'll do a top ten list sometime. The internet also seems to like those.

What can I say? I'm willing to caper and dance for a few more hits to justify my existence.

That being said, I'm not doing any of that tonight. Tonight its a pure puff and status update. First off, I just got done reading Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I wish I was half as good at weaving a story as that man. Ok, maybe I really wish I was just as good or better, but if I were half as good I'd still probably be three times the author I am now. If you haven't read Way of Kings, Words of Radiance or other Sanderson books, you really should. He's pretty much THE guy in Epic Fantasy. Of course, you'll also need to set aside a solid chunk of time, since when he sets about writing a book, his actual goal is to depopulate a forest with his mighty tomes. Words of Radiance clocked in at over a thousand pages and Way of Kings was longer (I think).

After I finished, I spent the next hour just lying in bed thinking about all the sh*t that happened in the last hundred pages and how big a deal it was, within the world. <spoiler>NIGHTBLOOD!!!1! OMG!</spoiler> That should be vague enough that I shouldn't anger anyone.

Work on WordKeeperAlpha continues. I think that I've finally got the main page squared away, save for a few details. The new graphing method works great and should be easily extendable to other graphs as I think them up or they're requested. I've decided to roll the Projects functionality into the Progress page, which lessens the pages I have to make by 1, but increases the difficulty of that page to finish. The good news is that once that's done, WordKeeperAlpha will pretty much be ready to replace the old one.

Thanks to the judicious use of vacation time and a federal holiday, I have a four day weekend starting tomorrow. I intend to use it to catch up on some of the writing that I've been neglecting over the past week. WordKeepers stats are telling me that I've been slacking off way too much, so my goal is to get my average words per day up to 500 by the end of the month. That means either a busy weekend or a busy end of the month. Or more! Either way, I intend to get a chunk or two of Impervious done.

Right now, I'm in one of my favoritest pubs, drinking a tasty cider and have gotten two different character profiles done since arriving. I love writing in pubs, but its a little more expensive than my normal Panera Bread haunt. I'll be moving there tomorrow to get things done. The only thing better than the pastries is free refills of iced tea.

I think that about covers the status update for this week. I have no idea when I'll get around to another meaty post again. Probably the next time that something ticks me off. I'm looking at you FCC.


Time to get started … again.

Hello every one. Well, the holiday break is over and its time to get started on my goals for this year. Before we get to that, I'm happy to report that I got plenty of work done on WordKeeper; finishing design on several new form elements, partially working out what I want to do with the social aspect and getting started on the actual code that will make the whole thing run. It's still got a ways to go before its ready to see daylight, but when it does it will be pretty awesome. The initial release was alwasy intended to be something more of an alpha version anyway; just me tossing ideas at a wall and seeing what worked and what didn't. This will be much closer to what I wanted to do and then some. Granted, my design work leaves a lot to be desired, but I'm hoping that it will be functional more than anything else.

If this version of WordKeeper works, and I can actually manage to get it a little traction with a good user base, I've got long term plans for a version 3.0 where I get a professional designer to tackle the user interface, produce some actual artwork and assetts for me. Right now though? I'm a LONG ways away from being able to afford something like that.

Today I'm taking for my first official writing day of the year. I'm putting my story from NaNoWriMo on the back burner for the time being, while I focus on getting the second draft of Impervious done and work on the writing for Edge of December. My big goal for the year is to finish Impervious and get it to a point where I can either self-publish or start sending it off to publishers. I've got a lot to do with it before then, so its time to get working.

This year I also want to do some additional short story work, maybe try another couple submissions or even try putting something up on WattPad and start getting my name out there a little more. Last year was a great year, but I still wasn't as productive as I wanted to be. That being said, I'm going to focus on building what I started last year and really pushing myself to do more. Video games are great and all, but they aren't getting me anywhere closer to my goals, so I'm going to try limiting my time spent playing some more, making sure that I do my writing every night before I let myself start playing. And yes, I know that these are all things that I've said before, and will probably say again, but as long as I'm trying, I think I'll be doing a pretty good job.

In blog news, you should be seeing things change around here sooner or later as I get a little style actually injected into this poor old beast. I need to get something up besides the default WordPress theme up, and I'm happy to say that should be happening pretty soon. If all goes well, I should have a space up for posting stories that I've been wanting to share, and maybe a few other things. I'm looking forward to 2014 being a really good year. Who wants to tag along?