It’s got a little overshadowed by Ten Little Astronauts and Craft Keep, but yes, I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month again this year! However, I’m not writing a novel this time around. I’m continuing last year’s massively interactive fantasy story, Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure. The upshot of this is that although we’re only six days into the event, and although I only really got into it on Day 3 myself, the project is already more than 60,000 words long (50,000 from last year, plus 10,000 words of never-before-seen storylines from the past six days).
I’m planning to tackle Camp NaNoWriMo in April, so this seems as good an opportunity to offer everybody one last chance to get my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel, Face of Glass, for free. I’m doing this as part of a Virtual Book Fair, which ends tomorrow (March 3rd, 2016). After that, the book will only be available through the usual (bookstore) channels.
But back to the main thing: Camp NaNoWriMo. Though I’ve participated in (and finished) the main November event three times now, I’ve never even attempted one of the camps before. Partly that’s because the timing isn’t as convenient (they run in April and July, and my Julys have other commitments), partly because the idea of setting my own word count goal just doesn’t appeal as much as tackling a straightforward 50,000 word novel.
However, this year I’ve already got a project in mind (and subscribers to my newsletter may already be able to guess what that might be). It’s unlikely this project will warrant a word count of 50,000 words, so in this case the set-your-own goal works out just fine. If nothing else, I’ll be glad to have NaNoWriMo’s word count statistics available to me, since they do a great job of making it obvious how productive you’ve been so far, and how much more you need to put in to hit your target by the end of the month.
Is anybody else planning to tackle this event? I gather that one key difference between the November NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo is that writers are sorted into cabins. Though I’m quite happy to just shuffle myself into a random one, it would be good to team up with people I already know.
It’s Day One of National Novel Writing Month, and so far I’m on track to reach my goal of a 100,000 word interactive story by the end of November. At this rate I’m actually expecting to exceed the word goal by a considerable margin, but only because it’s proving more challenging to keep passages short than to let them grow to however long they need.
I got the idea for this story while on the way to a Halloween event yesterday, so it’s maybe not as well planned out as it could be. Still, with 16 of the 512 planned alternate endings already finished, it seems to be going smoothly so far.
Find the work-in-progress here, if you dare.
It’s worth noting that I’m prioritising complete storylines over early branches, so at the time of writing your only option for the first five passages is to sit in the dungeon moping. However, there is already a lot of variety after that point. Enough that I hope people won’t be disappointed by this very early version of the work.
Also, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo yourself and would like to add me as a buddy, my profile is here.
I’m done! I handed in my dissertation earlier this week, which means the entire MA course is all wrapped up. Besides getting the dissertation mark back, that is. If I’ve worked out the numbers properly, then my final result will depend entirely on that one 20,000 word story and its accompanying rationale, so at this point I’m trying not to think about it too much. The work’s all handed in, so there’s no point fretting.
Instead, I’m thinking about where I’ll go from here.
The main thing will be trying to find less a job and more a career. One good thing about the MA besides the actual instruction (and the degree itself, provided nothing goes horribly wrong) is that it’s helped me focus on one particular area I want to get into. I’m planning to look for a job writing for games, possibly through QA testing, which I hear is one way into the industry as a whole. Having done a fair amount of interactive fiction at this point, as well as writing for one game that’s since reached quite an audience, I figure that games could be a good niche.
With that in mind, I’m hoping to do a lot more interactive stuff in the very near future. I’ve actually got one new interactive piece ready right now: Project Pandora 2.
It’s a direct follow-on from the first Project Pandora, so if you haven’t had a go at that yet then this would be the time. I’m hoping that some of the technical workings of the Project Pandora series will prove useful for my NaNoWriMo project this year. As I was far too busy to tackle the event in 2014, I’m planning to make up for that this year by producing 100,000 words instead of the usual 50,000. However, in order to make that goal not-totally-impossible, I’m planning to cheat by producing an extremely large non-linear story rather than a start-to-finish 100k novel.
I’m still not absolutely set on how that non-linear story will play out–I’ve got a whole bunch of mutually exclusive ideas in mind–but I figure that it’s beest simply to go into November with whatever idea I’m happy with at the time. I will probably be doing a significant amount of planning maybe a week ahead, though, as it’ll be extremely important to know when the reader will be making major decisions and when those decisions will pay off (or come back to haunt them. It’s all good).
In the meantime, I’ll be working towards getting my fourth flash fiction anthology together, and I’m aiming to have it on sale very soon. Currently, I’m planning to make the book available on the 10th of October. That’s barely more than a week away! There’s still a lot of work to be done (not least choosing a title and creating a cover), but it’s been long enough since Flash Fiction Month itself that I’d like to get the collection together as soon as possible.
Finally, though I’ve finished all the work for my course, it turns out that I’m technically still enrolled at the university and could remain so for some time. As far as I’m aware, that means that my access card should still get me into the buildings and even let me use some fairly impressive audio equipment. I don’t know exactly how often I’ll be able to spare the time, but ideally I’d like to record some stories and maybe even put together an audio collection.
So that’s pretty much it. I’ve finished my course, Project Pandora 2 is now available, and the new book should be coming out on the 10th of October.