NaNoWriMo Journal Day 13 (delayed): It’s my birthday!

As with all blogging activities, I could be doing better at this whole journal thing. But really, its hard to write more after you’ve been busting your hump to make your word count. 

Right now, I’m a little behind since I took last night off and played StarCraft. What? I am but mortal and subject to temptation as is any man. Still, since its my birthday today I took the day off work and set about catching up.  This is a nice free weekend for me, so I intend to not only make up for my missed words but get back ahead and on schedule.

Today I wrote another 2600 words, bringing me to 20,700 total. My goal for tomorrow is to hit 25,000, and then maybe 28,000 on Sunday. We’ll see how that goes.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with the story so far. I’ve got space pirates, transforming space fighters, a la robotech, tyranical interstellar corporations, a budding war between superpowers and I haven’t even gotten to the scenes I’m really looking forward to writing.

I’ve kind of split the story into two big scenes so far: the first was our introduction to the Elusive Raptor, captained by Cassandra Trubedier and crewed by a collection of fun (I’m hoping) privateers.  I even included a rather, ahem, sexy scene in this part. Wink wink. ūüėČ

The next part is about the other main character, Alan Cradey, who’s going to start the whole ball down the hill by being pushed just a little too far. Now, he’s going to start pushing back.  I’m just about to the part where he starts pushing, and encounters the good crew of the Raptor. 

Whew! I’m excited! Its fun to write something new and different. Not that Impervious is boring me, but a little variety every now and again is good for an author? Right. Ok, I’m out, there’s birthday shenanigans to get to. Away!


WordKeeperAlpha and National Novel Writing Month

In the beforetimes, there was National Novel Writing Month.  A spectacular explosion of writing and creativity, it brought author to keyboard like nothing since the creation of the typewriter.   When I first participated it was an interesting experiment to see if I could manage to write a full fifty thousand words in a single month.  By some miracle I managed to do it!  It was awesome!  I felt invincible and was keen to keep using their mighty handy tools and graphs to continue on into December.

But then they disappeared: Gone until next November (or the camp event that’s in the summer but we all know that it isn’t as good.) This, I thought, shall not stand, for I have a need for those motivational tools. ¬†Thus was born the inspiration for WordKeeperAlpha. ¬†Now, just a couple short years after my first NaNoWriMo, its a thing that I created that people actually use. ¬†This is enough to blow my feeble mind.

Now, I would never want people to not participate in NaNoWriMo on their website. ¬†That’s where the magic really happens. ¬†You get together with your fellow authors and keep pushing the words out until you hit your goal. ¬†But, if you use WordKeeperAlpha too, and want to keep track of the words you write in November, here’s a quick and handy guide to getting your project set up.

First, if you don’t have one, sign up for an account on WordKeeperAlpha.com. ¬†Go on, I’ll wait until you’re up and running. ¬†… … Good? ¬†Eh, they’ll catch up.

Next, go to your Goals and Projects page, and click the “Add a project button.” Refer to the image below to add in the information then click “Create”.

nanoproject

Bam! You’re already ready to go! ¬†But wait, you probably want one of those nifty graphs like you see on NaNoWriMo.org. ¬†For that, you’ll need a goal, in fact, you’ll probably want two goals. ¬†First, we’re going to create a repeating monthly goal, which is what will create that nifty graph. ¬†Before we do that though, you’ll have to remove any other repeating monthly goals that you might have, or just edit one.

Use the information below.

nanogoal

Make sure you keep the project field blank. ¬†Due to a problem with the way I originally made the code you can’t have a project selected for that graph, but its something that will be fixed in time for next year’s NaNoWriMo. ¬†This means that all the words you log in November will be displayed on the graph…which is a short coming, I know…but if you’ve got time to write more than one thing in November you really have my respect.

Next, you’ll probably want a repeating daily graph. ¬†Use the information below to create it.

dailygoal

There! You’re done and ready to go for National Novel Writing Month!

Some people have asked me if there’s any way to support WordKeeperAlpha, (yes, they really have) and one of the best ways is to spread the word. ¬†The more users I have the better I feel about myself as a human being. ¬†It’s a sweet balm to my black soul. ¬†But, there’s no financial way to do that yet for reasons. ¬†While I will have something soon, this month, if you’d like to do something for WordKeeperAlpha, instead think about going over to NaNoWriMo.org and making a donation. ¬†Without them, this crazy project never would have happened.

In future years, once I’ve gotten better organized, I plan on doing an actual campaign for them, so for now I’ll just send people to donate to them directly. ¬†The good people at NaNoWriMo.org depend on the donations of all the authors they encourage every year. ¬†So if you’ve got five dollars to spare, go and drop it in their tip bucket, or give them a shout out on Twitter or Facebook. ¬†We want to keep them doing what they’re doing and supporting developing authors into the far future.

Ok, that’s enough chatter from me. ¬†I’m six hundred words into my day’s word count and I have much more left to do. ¬†Later, Keepers.


#NaNoWriMo 2015 Preparations

Wow. It’s been two months since I actually sat down and did any writing. I know. ¬†I know. ¬†For someone who, someday, wants to make my living writing this is not the way to go about things. ¬†I’ve got lots of excuses and reasons but really, it just comes down to a profound lack of responsibility. ¬†If I ever want Impervious to be done, I’ve got to sit down, focus, and glue my hands to the keyboard.

And so, that’s just what I’m going to do. ¬† Just… not with Impervious. ¬†November is mere days away, and I’m feeling like the perfect way to get my ass back in gear is to start something new and fresh. ¬†Let an idea that’s been bouncing around in my head for months out to play.

Last year, I tried making the second draft of Impervious my NaNoWriMo project, but it didn’t work out so well. ¬†The year before, I took a break to write something new and different, and it just worked great. ¬†I think that’s because during that first draft you can really give yourself permission to suck a little bit and just have fun with what you’re writing.

So far, I’ve stuck entirely to fantasy because, well, to be honest, I haven’t had to research much for it, so far. ¬†Why do certain things work? Magic, that’s why. ¬†Well, screw it. ¬†I’m going to write some science fiction for this years NaNoWriMo. ¬†I’ve got a fun story in mind that should let me have a lot of fun.

What’s it going to be about? I’m not telling you, random internet stranger. ¬†We’ll see how it goes during November. ¬†Then maybe I’ll share a few details.

Besides, I’m still working on the details myself. ¬†I’m sort of a hybrid pantser / outliner and I’ll be keeping with that this year. ¬†Right now I’m mapping out the story in broad strokes, figuring out what goes where, what characters I need, and what their names are. ¬†The more I can do to streamline the actual writing the better.

By the by, if anyone wants to join me as a writing buddy on the NaNoWriMo.org, I’m sswanson. Feel free to add me and I’ll add you back.

Any WordKeeperAlpha users should stay tuned here. ¬†Tomorrow night I’ll be posting a quick “How To” to set up a Project for National Novel Writing Month and keep track of your words. ¬†I know my system is different than NaNoWriMo.org’s, at least in terms of how you track your words, but I did make it to be complementary. ¬†I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get the new Goals and Projects pages up and running before November, but I’m sure the current functionality will get you through the month.


NaNoWriMo 2014 Postmortem

Well, ladies and gentleman, November is over and its time to look back upon it and gaze upon my fine works.  Courtesy of WordKeeperAlpha here is how I did this month!

NaNo 2014

Final word count for the month was 24438 words, just about half of the required 50,000. ¬†Do I feel bad? Maybe a little, but not as much as I might for past years. ¬†I’ve won two years in a row so far and produced first drafts that needed to be all but rewritten before I felt comfortable showing them around. ¬†This year I was working on the second draft of Impervious, which I found out was perfectly legal to do, (legal for the official NaNo rules) provided I was writing all new words and not just editing existing ones. ¬†Turns out, pounding out that crap first draft is a whole lot easier than pounding out 50,000 words that you actually don’t mind showing people. ¬†While I didn’t hit that lofty goal, I did manage to get a fair chunk of the next draft finished and am now sitting on 11 finished chapters and will be starting in on chapter 12 … well, soon as I figure out what the hell I need to happen in chapter 12. ¬†Still, the writing will go on.

Unfortunately, this means that I’m not going to be able to get the second draft done by the end of the year, which is going to change the date when the third draft gets done, yadda yadda yadda. ¬†What do you expect? ¬†I’m an author and we are a shiftless and lazy bunch. ¬†Still, I’m going to get this sucker wrapped up in 2015 and get the second draft of the sequel started on, with the goal of writing the first draft of part 3 next November. ¬†Big plans, I know, but I think I can hack it. ¬†This year I managed just over 100,000 words, AND created the new and much improved WordKeeperAlpha. ¬†In 2015 I want to average around 15k a month, while still pushing out updates. ¬†It should be doable, seeing as how most of the core functionality is already in place and I’ll just be making regular updates and new feature releases. ¬†How did I do this year? Why, WKA knows that too!

WordKeeper graph for 2014

Yeah, November kind of kicked the rest of the months’ collective asses. ¬†August absolutely sucked in terms of writing, and so did September, but that’s when I was really focusing on getting WKA pushed out. ¬†Still, next year, more writing every month should let me get a considerable amount done. ¬†I’m looking forward to it. ¬†Impervious is really coming right along and I’m excited to show it to people. ¬†I’m not writing December off either … well, I will be writing but… you know what I mean. ¬†Shut up. ¬†No, you shut up!

*pausing for Seth’s post NaNo psychotic break*¬†

Whubba? ¬†Oh, right. ¬†Sorry, I had a little moment there. ¬†I think my cold meds are starting to kick in. ¬†I’m going to go lie down for a bit. ¬†I’ll be back soon with some new WordKeeperAlpha news as well as the awesome thing that happened halfway through November regarding my little abomination of code and graphs. ¬†Later.


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.