Friday, January 31, 2014

January. Not Bust.

So I am trying to decide on a good war-cry of awesomeness for right now. This moment. This day.
The first one I tried was a simple "BAM!" but that felt a little flat. I am thinking about a "Fus Ro DAH!" or something. Oh well.
But I had better explain exactly what just happened.
Exactly what you are thinking just happened!
But let me share the details.
A few days back, I admit I got very tired of the encouragement I was receiving by tweet. It was making me feel worse about the days I missed writing, to the point that I felt like writing less. So I asked ya'll to stop and you did (thank you very much).
And I basically stopped writing, too. I wrote probably a few hundred words this whole week until today.
Until today.
Today, as a matter of fact, is the last day of January. And when did I say I was planning on finishing? Oh yes... by the end of January.
I just wrote the ending. And I think I have every bit of story that I will need to do in this second-drafting from the beginning to that point. Which means everything. Which means the second draft is done.
But how did I do that?
I wrote 5,678 words today. I just counted them with Microsoft Word. That exact number was a hilarious bit of chance (I like how the numbers progress one after the other).
It's done.
There will be plenty of editing and revising to come, and I will probably have to fill in more patches as Aubrey and I integrate our drafts... but drafting is done. And that was the goal.
Thank you very much to each and every one of you that supported and encouraged me! You were phenomenal!
However the scores come out, I am sure that Faith B. and Zoe S. are the two in front. I am pretty sure Zoe S. still has first. But I will see to it that you both get prizes, because the fast completion of this book was basically owed to you guys and your pressure and encouragement and all! Thanks much to everyone who played the game!
My left-wrist hurts abominably, since it doesn't get supported while I type, so I am signing off now. In the comments, request a character by name and I will provide some sort of sneak-peek line that they say in this second draft for whichever character consensus demands.
Thanks all again so much! I am off to party, and find a wrist brace!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January or Bust Day 8 and 9 Summary

Looks like the poke wars have come down to just Faith and Zoe. Or have they?
Anyway, Day 8 I wrote 536 words. On that day (January 20th) I was poked by.... oh my... Let me check my records more closely... only Zoe. You, who brought me to Holy Worlds, are not my last fan apparently. That will strengthen your lead considerably. All 536 words to Zoe.
Day 9... is just Zoe and I will count my dad because he asked about my writing (surprise, Dad! If you ever find this you got in on the game!). I will use a six-sided die to decide how to split the half word. Evens for Zoe and odds for Dad...
It's Dad's. He claims 357 words, and Zoe claims 356.
Now, if someone can come and prove they poked me on those days, the scores will be adjusted. I am just saying my records aren't showing it.
Congrats, Zoe for building your lead! That game is not over, though, because once I invent a way of claiming bonus words in advance of the divisions (like I did for Day 1) then a come-back is possible.
Other note: it looks like I may finish the draft in advance of deadline. If that happens, then I will keep the game going through January anyway and find a way to create a word value for revising and editing. Those numbers will probably be very high with how I count them, so the last few days may prove to be of critical importance!

Monday, January 20, 2014

January or Bust Day 7 Summary

1595 words today! Woot. I barely pulled that out. I struggled hard early in the day (some of these may need re-writing) but late night stuff turned out better. It was so rough I had to write non-linearly, i.e., not just keep forging ahead in the plot, but skip up to easier stuff. Now to go check on your guesses, and open my regular email account for the first time today, not to mention check my Twitter for the first time today.
Here were the guesses I received:
Faith B. guessed: 1543 words
Zoe S. guessed: 1542
Now Zoe, that was a neat trick, not letting Faith get away from you by guessing almost the exact same! I would call it cheap but I won't. You two were also the only pokers from today! That should solidify your lead. You were both very close, but not quite within 10 words. So you both get the +128 bonus. And the words will be divided evenly (797.5) except...
I don't want to give out half a word. So I will ask my roommate, who knows nothing about either of you, to whom I should give the bonus word.
Total scores for the day are:
Faith B. (797.5 + 128 + 1)
Zoe S. (797.5 + 128)

I won't tell you how my roommate picked, but he picked Faith. I think that means the gap is only like .5 of a word.
Time to get to bed. School night!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January or Bust Days 5 and 6 Summary

So Friday I didn't write a whole ton. But I did make a very big point about writing something. There were 718 words written that day (the 17th). I was poked by the following people:
Faith B.
Zoe S.
Rebecca S.
and I don't think anyone else. Ya'll can correct me if I am wrong and I can redo the math, but that means that Friday each of those three captured 239.3. I don't believe in giving out thirds of words so we are gonna do the randomization thing again, though this time I won't use my 20-sided die. Instead, I will pull out my Silmarilion from my shelf and look at the first word on the page to which I happen to open. If it's first letter is H or before the spare word goes to Faith. If it is in between I and P (inclusive) it goes to Zoe, and if it is after P (which has most of the rare letters, so it's fair to give it 10 letters) it goes to Rebecca. Not sure how that stacks the odds but we will see.
"It has been told how by the guidance of Ulmo Turgon of Nevrast discovered the hidden vale of Tumladen; and that (as was after known) lat east of the upper waters of Sirion, in a ring of mountains tall and sheer, and no living thing came there save the eagles of Thorondor."
That goes to prove that Zoe got the bonus word today, and that it is totally okay to begin chapters with really long and complicated sentences that reference a lot of different proper nouns. So Faith and Rebecca got 239 and Zoe got 240.
Now for Saturday's work.
763 words today (technically yesterday because I am up late). The same three stuck at it and will be dividing the words again. Again they are not perfectly divisible by 3. 254.3 words to each is not acceptable. So we will use the same method but use my The Lord of the Rings instead.
"Namarië, Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
Nai elyë hiruva. Namarië!"
I guess it is Zoe's day, or that Tolkien liked her. So it would be 254 to each but 255 to Zoe except...
You see those dots above the e's? Some of the a's had accents but I did not know how to do that. I did know the dots above e's though from typing Sharkey's alias name on Holy Worlds before. So for that she gets bonus words equal to the number I roll on my 20-sided die (I love making up rules as I go!)
16 bonus words for Sharkey! This time I will do the math. For Friday and Saturday the earnings go as follows:
Faith B.: (Friday: 239 + Saturday 254 = 493)
Zoe S.: (Friday 240 + Saturday 255 = 495)
Rebecca S.: (Friday 239 + Saturday 254 + SPECIAL 16)

You may have noticed I have not in quite a while given bonus words to someone at the beginning for being the first poker or whatever. That's because now I see that if I make up my system after the pokes and words are in, I can kind of end up picking the winners (especially when Faith and Zoe are about five words apart). So sometime (hopefully on Sunday) I will make up a road-map of how the bonus words are acquired so that someone can finally get a lead in this game (maybe even one of those kind of back there like Elise P. or Rebecca S.). Until I get that all written out, scores will keep going like they have so far, with completely random things giving away the decimals of words.

This Sunday I have a large amount of homework to do, but that means I may be in the industrious mood and turn out very productive. So it could be very few... or very many. We may not know until it is too late.
Tell you what. For Sunday, besides poking to earn portions of my day's word count, I will award bonus words for trying to guess my Sunday word count. If you are within 1000 words on your guess, you get 50 bonus words. If you are within 500 words on your guess, you get 84 bonus words (because multiples of five make it too simple). If you are within 100 words on your guess, you get 128 words (because it's easy to write in base two)(just kidding). If you are within 10 words on your guess, you get 250 words (because multiples of fifty become cool again). And if you hit it right on the nose (that means the exact number of words), you get 444 bonus words.
To make sure I cannot rig the results, I will not be logging into my regular notifications email account until after I have done all my writing for the day. I will go log out of it now so that I don't by accident. If somehow I forget or otherwise find that information, we will just have you guys guess again for a different day and scrap Sunday's results. I don't want there to be any way I am picking the winner in this game.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January or Bust Day 4 Summary

1593 words today, spread among the following people, in order of ease in which I found it to find and record their poking:
Zoe S.
Katie D.
Faith B. (she's not giving up easy)
Elise P.
So you all get 398.25... but I think having a .25 is weird. So I am going to randomly decide one of you to get full credit for that word... time to find a die or something... aha! This one is 20-sided. 1-5 for Zoe, 6-10 for Katie, 11-15 for Faith, and 16-20 for Elise.
It's an 11! So she gets a full 399 while everyone else gets just 398! Let's all hope that somehow it comes down to that one word so we can blame my die rolling.
Faith is so good at doing the totals for me that I will just let her do it, since I am lazy and want to go to bed. I am pretty sure Zoe S. is still in the lead.
Don't forget, you're competing for Aubrey's undying gratitude (and I think she said something about cupcakes?) and some real prize (not to devalue Aubrey's undying gratitude) that I will cook up! And I promise it will be better than the idea I just had, which was to mail someone my ancient candy that is just sitting around in the dorm. That wouldn't be fun at all (unless you like months old Dots still in the box?), and I want to make this fun!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January or Bust Day 3 Summary

Today, David needed a break. Wednesday is my 5-hours-of-class day, and I had a few other responsibilities. That and having pumped out over 4000 words in the last two days. Excuses aside, I wrote 483 words today. Conveniently, it was a day of very little poking, also, so I could just blame that, hue hue hue.
There is good news, though. Those 483 words rounded out another scene block and got me closer to parts where old work might still be salvageable (I can dream, can't I?). The world building is coming through much clearer in draft two, also. The good news is that I think I can revise my total estimate down from 50,000 words. There are now technically 8 "scenes" left, about half of them much shorter than the ones I have worked on the past few days, and with far less room for me to expand as I go. My last scene, which felt much longer than expected, was just shy of 3000 words. So, as I suspected when I set that high 50k word goal, sure enough it will be more like 30k or less. 30,000 / 19 = 1,578 words each day from here on out, which is much more doable.
In summary, trend line looks good!
Scores for the day (sums will be another night):
My records indicate that Zoe S. was the only one to poke today (tisk tisk to all of you else, unless I am missing your pokes, in which case I will, as I have said before, re-do the math). So all 483 go to her, and unless I miss my guess that puts her in the lead...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January or Bust Day 2 Summary

Today, I pushed out an even 2,100 words, including a 72 word revision of the opening, which I quoted on my Twitter.
Pokers today were Faith B, Elise P, Andrew A, Zoey S. (that is the name you go by, right Raven?), and, curiously, the Unaccepted twitter account itself (don't worry, I am not so devious as to give myself or Aubrey credit in this game).
So I am giving the bonus 100 words today to Zoey because she was the lucky one whose tweet got retweeted by Unaccepted (don't worry, wasn't me, so I am not picking winners).
So Zoey comes in with the most words from today, at 600.
The rest (Faith B, Elise P, Andrew A) get 500.
Totals? It's 9:20 and I worked hard all day. Someone do the totals for me. Or maybe I will edit this post tomorrow with totals, but my mind is quite done.
And if I missed someone poking me, please bring it to my attention. I can adjust the scores easily, and since I am in charge (I just like saying that) I can do that!

Monday, January 13, 2014

January or Bust Day 1 Summary

Today, on my goal to writing the rest of the second draft by the end of January, I pushed out 2,022 words before I could feel quality draining away from my writing. Since second draft stuff has to be good I am quitting now.
Now to see who has gained the most credit for today's words by prodding me throughout the day.
The score was divided among four participants, which is not bad for day one.
Faith B. was first to prod me today, claiming (I am making up rules as I go along) 100 words automatically before they are divided. That means she claims a total of 580.5 words.
The other three (Elise P., Andrew A., and Sharkey) each claimed 480.5 words.
I do not think I will give bonus credit for first, tomorrow, though. I will probably make up something each day that deserves credit. Welcome to how I run contests when they are fueled by what is left of my creativity after doing nothing but school, eat, homework, and write all day. (Oh yeah, I also researched law schools today. Talk about daunting. The median GPA at these places is a 3.9? how do you even get a 4.23 at a regular college? Mind blown).
Also, important note: Aubrey and I are still working out a prize. I'll make sure you get something cool.
Other note: I checked again today and it is looking like 50,000 may have been about double as many words as I will actually need to finish the draft. Aubrey has handled more of the writing in the second half of the story (with Philli's perspective) than Philli covered in the first draft, so I (as the writer of Q) do not need to do as much. I am still going to try to push for about 2,000 a day though until I am done.
Time to go do something unproductive and pointless for a bit before going to bed. It was a good day.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Marathon Week on Steroids

Some of you may have been around for the first "Marathon Week." It occurred in July of 2012, and featured me pushing out 18 updates to the old Red Rain fanfic.
Aubrey and I have made it a goal for me to finish producing the Crook Q (official title!) draft by the end of January. She is very nice, usually, about my slipping past deadlines, but I have been doing that for an awfully long time, and I very much mean to make this one (hence one reason I wrote 1000 words tonight).
By my count I have nineteen days left in January after this one ends in about fifteen minutes (feel free to correct my count, especially if you find me some extra days). I estimate that about 50,000 words need to be written to finish the second draft of Crook Q. I have given a relatively high estimate, so it shouldn't be more than that, and may well be less. I had Google do the math and 50,000/19 is 2,631.something words per day.
But I think I can do it, if I try hard, and you guys goad me. Believe it or not, I am in a position that goading really helps. So if you still read the blog, or find it from where I link to it, I suggest you start goading if you want this draft soon! Good places to goad are my Twitter @DavidJHartung, this blog (as comments to the posts).
To encourage goading (goad-ception) I am inventing a little game. This the game where we see who can harass me the most into writing.
If I am to complete this goal, I will have to be writing everyday, hopefully a few thousand words at a time. I will divide "credit" for those words among those who prod me into writing each of those days by contacting me one of the two ways above (or another one, if you can invent it!) (maybe bonus points for inventiveness...). Anyhow, I will divide credit for each day's words among all the people that kindly harass me into writing more and faster. You can only prod me once per day though! (Too much harassment is not a good thing). At the end of January (whether the second draft is done or not) I will total up who has accrued credit for the most words of my writing!
So obviously the strategy is to prod early and often. You will get more credit on days I write more, so not every day will be claiming the same amount of credit. I will probably make up bonuses for first to prod on any given day, most creative threats from prodding... kind of whatever I want. I am in charge here, after all!
Also, bonus of keeping up on me is that you can get sneak peeks at the new language that is going into the second draft (and by that I just mean how I am writing differently, not some boss new fantasyesque language showing up out of nowhere).
I am kind of new at this promotion deal, but I am sure Aubrey or I can cook up some manner of prize for the winner, if we get decent participation. So get out your red-hot writing prods and lets see who can make me write! (other than myself. I promise not to win my own contest).
[Incidentally, if I pull off 50k that fast, it will be like a miracle because that is faster than a NaNo novel...]