So shortly before the start of this month, I published a rather daunting list of things I have going on this month. Seeing as how we’re around 2/3 of the way through the month, this seems like a pretty good time to follow up with a post on how it’s all going. Give me a moment while I open up the old post . . .
Right. My goals, in the original order:
Write About 1667 Words/Day on This Novel Will Fail (NaNoWriMo)
This is the main reason I haven’t updated about November before. I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t really enjoy talking about stuff when it’s not going well, but seeing as how this is a tendency I’m trying to get over, here goes.
The truth is, this is actually going very well.
That statement needs a qualifier or two, though. See, I’m way behind on NaNoWriMo right now. Way, way behind. As of the end of yesterday, I had 16.5k words written. As of the end of yesterday, to be on schedule, I *should* have had 30k. So there’s a difference of about 13.5k in there somewhere. How many words I need to write per day depends on how you interpret the deadline – yWriter5 tells me I need to write 3043 words/day, while NaNoWriMo.org claims I need 2805. I like the NaNoWriMo version, as it seems to interpret the last day of the deadline as a day on which I can write; I suppose yWriter is basing its number on the assumption that there might be an editor expecting to receive a manuscript on the last day of the deadline, which is fair.
But tangents aside, I’m about 8 days behind on NaNoWriMo, with twelve days to catch up. Can I do it? Sure. Will I do it? God knows. I sure as hell don’t. Will I be upset if I “fail?” Hell no. Part of the reason I planned such a stressful November for myself was to push my limits, to see what I can pull off. Another reason was to try and break me out of my bloody long block on writing in general, and Derelict in particular. Both of these have been rousing successes. Earlier this month I blogged that I had broken my previous all-time-high word count by about 1-1.5k when I clocked in at around 3500 words at the end of the day. I didn’t blog about it last Friday, but I hit a little over 5k words that day, which breaks my old new high by a similar margin. This is a big deal for me. Several other local NaNo-ers I’ve talked to say that they usually have at least one day during NaNoWriMo where they hit 10k. This feels like a thing that could happen to me. Bearing in mind that this time last month I considered 2k/day something I could probably eventually reach, but didn’t expect to get much past that, this is a huge deal.
So: NaNoWriMo. I’m way behind, but win or lose it’s been a huge success this year. Moving on.
Write 1 Chunk of Game Design (or something) Each Day
On target. I’d be somewhere into next month if I let myself mark off future tasks as done here, but that would defeat the point. Pip and I have been making huge strides on Zosias, mostly regarding spellcasters and spells. For the first time in about five years, Zosian spellcasters have one master list they can refer to when selecting their spells, instead of around six. (There are good reasons it’s been a mess for so long, but that’s beside the point. Also, in my home games there’s still the 3.5 Spell Compendium, Complete Book of Eldritch Might, Arcana Unearthed, and Arcana Evolved: Spell Treasury to dig through, but that is truly beside the point.)
Read a Book Every 2 Days
A little behind – either 3 or 6 books behind, depending on how you count it. I added some “finish a book” tasks on various odd-numbered days to bring my total count for the year up to 100 if I get it all done. I am not in the least bit concerned here – my behindedness here is basically a fundamental property of Skyrim coming out and Minecraft hitting 1.0*. Since I plan to read through the Chrno Crusade manga again soon, which is seven books long and likely to take me an afternoon or so, I actually count this as on target.
Obtain a House
Failed. It turns out that the fellow who pre-approved us for a home loan was incompetent or something. Luckily my realtor wasn’t, and with the help of her and a banker friend of hers, we found out that he actually couldn’t finance us before we were out a thousand dollars or so on inspections and appraisals, which was preferable to the alternative. This was actually a bit of a relief, because the process of getting a house is pretty stressful. We’re going to wait a year or so, until we’re in a better position, and try again. We should be in a better position by then, because there is reason for tentative optimism in:
Look for a Job
As noted above, tentative optimism. The job market is definitely a hell of a lot better than it was when we moved up here . . . two? three? two years ago. “A hell of a lot better” is not necessarily “good,” but still.
Continue Being Summer’s Dad
Rollicking success. Summer still exists, I’m still her dad, and we generally get along quite well when I’m not denying her God-given right to as much candy as she believes herself capable of eating.
Generally speaking, November is going crazy good, especially considering the daunting list I had going into it. Of my stated goals, I have one fail, one behind schedule but fundamentally successful, and four on target. There’s also my ninja goal of “keep working on Derelict draft 3,” which is mildly suicidal but theoretically on track. I had a 10k day on it this week, which sounds more exciting than it is because the day’s work basically involved slotting 10k worth of useful scenes from draft 2 into places where they would fit in draft 3, and occasionally editing them slightly or making notes for future edits. So mostly copypasta. It’s clear now that draft 3 is going to be another rough draft, with a fourth cleanup draft to follow; assuming that I get draft 3 done by December 20, I tentatively plan to finish draft 4 by February 20.
Well, I’m signing off for the morning. November isn’t going to finish itself. Er, you know what I mean.
*I had my first Hardcore-mode death. I was crossing a frozen tundra at night on the way back to my base while watching Desert Bus, and I stepped in a 1×1 hole with a lava lake at the bottom. It was actually a pretty awesome way to die. I liked that world, but I like this story more.