Archive for November, 2010

That’s right, the image over there to the right says it all. I won the NaNoWriMo 2010 challenge when at 12:30am tonight I completed my fantasy novel Gorp: Goblin Janitor at 50,023 total word count!! I’m so glad to be done with this and the best reward of all now that this is done is I can finally sleep again. I have work tomorrow so I will be brief here, but it feels great finally finishing my first novel. I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it or not and I really pushed through there at the end. Last night I and 30 minutes of this morning I wrote just under 6000 words, for me that was an epic push after having a full workday before hand.

Now that I’ve finished the first draft, I plan to give it a rest and enjoy some Minecraft for once without the worry about word count or my novel’s story. Then sometime early next year I will begin the re-write process where I will go back over my 1st draft and fix the story, characters, and setting issues. At this point I’m thinking I will remove a lot of the slow boring parts of the training and add in more explorations of the dungeon levels by Gorp and Drut and flesh out their characters a little. I also expect my novel size to grow a little as I expand on my antagonist a little. I won’t give the ending here, but I’m glad it finally ended and ended in a way I can write about and be happy with the result. And now.. for that most well deserved rest….zzzzzz

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28
Nov

NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 28

   Posted by: Jon    in Novels, Writing

I find Mt. Fuji to be a fitting image to use for today’s blog post. Why you ask? Because of all the days of writing for NaNoWriMo, today was the big push. My today word count for today alone was 7176 words!  Going into the holidays I had planned to reach 50k words by tonight and be done with this novel, but that did not happen. I broke down somewhere between Friday and Saturday from burnout. But, I continued to write and haven’t skipped a day since two Fridays ago (according to my NaNo calendar). Too much to cover for 7k worth of words story wise, but basically Gorp got captured by adventurers and a lot of fight scenes ensue. I’m currently at 44,214 words right now so I missed my goal by 5,786 words. Even my Friday revised goal of 45k by the end of tonight was missed by 786 words, but I’ve come a long way and am soooo close to finishing this 50,000 word novel. As tired of writing as I am, I’m looking forward already to the rewrite of this novel sometime 1st Quarter of next year. Even if I were not to make the deadline this Tuesday at midnight, I’ll still finish the novel so I can say I completed it. I did do it afterall within 25 days instead of the 30 that others had. Time to write 786 words before I can go to bed and work in the morning.

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27
Nov

NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 27

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, Novels, PC Gaming, Writing

I’ve come to learn about writing– even if you have the time to write, doesn’t mean that you will or can write. I hate waking up during the afternoon these days off and writing late into the night. The writing has really become a labor recently and Minecraft has been my only break of sanity. I’ve got a mapper for Minecraft called Cartograph, which based on your saved world data, will map out your world according to where you’ve explored. This has helped me a lot with my road building efforts lately. Below I’ve build a cross-section of how I build all the roads through out my single player alpha of Minecraft. I also use sand or dirt for the sides and then cap those with the half stone slabs. I then make all my roads 3 blocks wide using cobble stone. Even if regular stone is already there, I cut it out with a pickaxe and place cobble stone in its place.

Recently, I went exploring to fill up my map in Cartograph and found a nice spot close to the center of the map where I’ve decided to build a medieval fantasy city. It is quite far from my spawn point, so I will be lighting the place up well and walling off the city from the outside. So far I’ve got a walled construction camp made with sand walls. Why sand you ask? Because I had a lot of it and there is lots of sand around should I need to make repairs thanks to a Creeper. The major downside to building walls made out of sand is if a creeper blows up anywhere near the wall, it will take a huge chunk of it, compared to a stone or cobble stone wall. Obsidian is the best as the creeper will not destroy even a block of it, but it’s rare and hard to find. I could see building a small structure out of it, but not an entire wall. Below is the map of my new world made using Cartograph.

 

But this is NaNoWriMo week, what the heck is going on with your story you might ask. Well it’s been really difficult day after day without a break to continue to write. I did write today and made it just over 37k words. I should be wrapping up with 45k words instead. So you can see I’m quite behind with only 3 days left to finish. I don’t really consider Monday and Tuesday as I have to work those days and I’m pretty worn out by the time I get home after work, but it looks like I may have to do a few thousand words this Monday / Tuesday to make it. Currently, Gorp got promoted Chief Dungeon Janitor after a display of truthfulness in a world where it is rarely spoken by the Dungeon Overlord himself. I keep wanting to make my antagonist a real bad ass, but he comes off to be a nice guy most the time, if you overlook the fact that he kills almost everyone. So now that Gorp is in charge of running the dungeon janitors, that is where I’m at. Even though the title of the book is called “Gorp: Goblin Janitor” I really don’t feel like spending more than a chapter or two writing about janitor work, there is so much more to Gorp and I can already tell that he’d rather be working with magic than cleaning dungeon messes. Maybe now that he’s in charge he’ll have more time for other pursuits? Need to get back to writing and I’ll most like not sleep all night or day. It has come down to this final push if I’m ever going to make it. I didn’t get 40k last night like I wanted, because I just couldn’t write. Tonight, will need to be different. I’ll play as much Minecraft as I need as a break, as long as I get my word count over 45k. If I’m not at or over 45k by the end of Sunday, the chances of me finishing this thing on time are slim. I’ll still finish it and do the re-write, I just want to be able to say I did it all in the month of November.

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26
Nov

NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 26

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, Novels, PC Gaming, Writing

Yes! The deadline of Nov. 30th 2010 fast approaches and I’m only at 35,107 words on my novel, instead of 50,000 needed to finish. I pulled a last night last night to get to 35k words before I managed to eventually go to bed around 6am. Looks like tonight isn’t going to be much better. All day I’ve been awake here and for whatever reason, I just could not get into the writing zone. I spent most of my working on plot or playing Minecraft, only to have the game crash and I lost 3 hours worth of work in the game…grrrrr. I that pissed me off enough that I thought I could now abandon the game with hate and start writing. I sat there looking at where I had left off the night before, even read the last paragraph and found out I hated writing at that moment even more than Minecraft crashing on me. So I got something to eat, watched an Episode of Myth Busters on NetFlix and came back to redo what I had lost in Minecraft. All the writing done today was from early this morning. Only 4 days left and I’m at 35k!! If I don’t get to 40k tonight/morning, It’s over. I won’t be able to complete this challenge.

Story wise, Gorp is about to have his first meeting with the Dungeon Overlord. There have been multiple pathways I could have taken the story, but I seem to keep limiting myself for one reason or another. Other writers tell me to just write whatever, disregarding it making any sense, but I just can’t bring myself to doing that. Then again, I am behind and who knows, maybe Gorp won’t remain a janitor much longer. I’m feeling the urge to write now so time to get to it. Tonight, something major in the story will happen.

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25
Nov

NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 25

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, Novels, PC Gaming, Writing

This skull here reminds me that I’m mortal and I sit him up on a shelf near where I write. To be mortal means that if I don’t finish this book now when I have the chance Imay never have another time when I can do this. My writing schedule has changed a bit these last few days. Although I just posted 31k words for my novel, I’m finding that I get most of the work accomplished around 10pm till late in the morning. This means I’m sleeping until noon and slowly getting up to write or do more Minecraft. Its sad that today I accomplished more in Minecraft than I did with my novel. But I did write some today and I will still write more later tonight after posting this blog. I’ve got about 4,250 more words to go before I can sleep tonight. If I want to sleep, then I have to write, this is how I’ve ended up forcing myself to work hard towards a rewarding goal.

I’m finding it a bit difficult on what to write about, although my story is finally headed in the right direction towards a conclusion somewhere in 17 more chapters to go, I’m building up to that point. The dungeon is pretty much unexplored and Grop has completed his first assignment from his new half-orc boss Karlof. Drut is there too, but he works mostly in the kitchen of the Dungeon Mess Hall. I’ve got to find a way of bringing Drut and Grop together so they can get into some trouble, but before I do that, Gorp has to prove himself a bit more to his new boss Karlof. I’ve got about 4 more chapters of random dungeon exploration, before everything is set into motion. I can’t wait to get in that motion either, as everything will build upon the next chapter until I get to the end. Originally, I was going to have Gorp kill the Dungeon Overlord to take his place, but then right before starting this novel, I changed my mind and decide to have the Dungeon Overlord have a change in heart due to something that Gorp does that makes him change his mind, allowing Gorp to take over the position of the Dungeon Overlord. But, now that I’m nearing the deadline of getting this thing done, I’m swinging back to him just killing the Wizard and being done with it. The next few chapters will allow me to determine what type of goblin Gorp really is. The only thing he’s told me as a character so far is that he would rather be human than goblin, likes human women, and is ambitious and wants to move up in the hierarchy of the dungeon.

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24
Nov

NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 24

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, Novels, PC Gaming, Writing

Another day and I did not reach my goal of 30k by midnight. But I was able to reach a bit over 28k with 28,388 words before midnight. With that said, Gorp is finally out of the dungeon today and I’m on Chapter 12 titled “Fireflies”. Gorp has his first assignment after graduating from the Training Ward, to quest for fireflies to make a certain device work again. The place that everyone has pointed him to is inside Ye Olde Dungeon on level 4 in a place otherwise known as “The Underground Forest”. It’s a magical place lit by 3 orbs of lights each about as bright as a full moon. Underneath in a huge cavern fir and evergreen trees grow in an eternal darkness. So glad to finally be done with the training section of my novel. I’ve decided to throw out making maps of all the dungeon levels except the first level which is already done. Because I just don’t have the time to create anymore maps, I’ve instead added to my novel notes the different dungeon levels and any key notes of interests on that level. I’ll just make the levels up as I go along. I’ve got 5 days to complete this at 50k words.

Couldn’t help but play a little single player Minecraft today. Had the urge to explore my new world a bit and found a green island surrounded by water. I leveled off 26×26 squares of land and build a Stonehenge like monument atop it. With the urge to build something old and Celtic satisfied, I turned my attention back to my novel work. Had to map out the Employee Quarters, which is 2 levels. I hate being in the writing zone and then having to stop to draft out a map on grid paper, but it comes in handy when describing the setting for me. Without a map of key places in my world, I’d be a bit lost. Today, I reflected upon how much I’ve learned while doing NaNoWriMo 2010. When I listen to any podcast on writing, I now have a deeper understanding of the material being covered as I know. I’ve been there now and done that. It’s quite a different experience, novel writing vs. screenplay writing. Gorp is bugging me to get back to the story because he’s finally in Ye Olde Dungeon and want to go explore the Underground Forest, so I’ll cut this short so I can get back to my writing. Not going stop tonight until I reach 30k.

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23
Nov

NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 23

   Posted by: Jon    in Novels, Writing

Added a few more words to my word count tonight at the last minute to bring my total just just over 26k. I had to stop in the middle of writing to update my word count before it reset on the NaNoWriMo.org site. I’m currently writing Chapter 11 and with it Grop will be graduating from the Training Ward a little bit early, but the Dungeon Overlord is overseeing the ceremony and Gorp is a bit concerned as he is rumored to kill minions just for being in a sour mood. Originally, I wasn’t going to write anything tonight, but I did anyways at the last 30 minutes of the day. Only 6 more days remain and I’m just barely over the halfway point. I think at this point anyone in my current situation might just call it quits on trying to complete the novel by the 30th of November. But not me, I want to have 50k words one way or another by then. Also, because I didn’t take next Monday or Tuesday off from work I will really only have those days to wrap up any loose end and re-check my total word count before submitting to the site for the official count. With that in mind, I really only have from tomorrow until Sunday to complete my quest of 24,000 more words. I plan to try and write 5,000 words a day until then. I’d like to go over at least 500 – 1000 words just as a safety buffer when I submit. With that goal in mind and it being late, I’m going to bed now and will wake up tomorrow early to get a head start on the writing.

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I thought I had posted yesterday, but it appears I did not. Minecraft pretty much ruled this past weekend and I was never able to accomplish my 30k word count goal by the end of Sunday. I did add about 1.5k to my word count and that was about it for the weekend. Tonight, I did not allow myself to even touch Minecraft under I reached 25k words. I’m now just over that mark and halfway done with the 50k novel. In my story I’ve kinda built up a relation between Gorp and Drut his sidekick. I’m also on a new chapter that puts both of the out of training an into the dungeon finally. Now hopefully the story picks back up. In the re-write of this novel, I may just summarize the training section and write more dungeons and topside world bits to keep the story interesting. As of right now I can’t stand the Training section of the novel and wish I had never gone down that path.

After I finish my word count goal for tonight, I jumped onto a multiplayer server for Minecraft, cleared off a vacant 30×30 square area of the map and built Stonehengepictured in this blog post. After building it, like magic I discovered a huge cavern system directly under the Stonehenge area. I built a Celtic like entrance to the cavern and placed torches around the place to light it up. This will be my new online home for this server. Time for rest.

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20
Nov

NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 18, 19 & 20

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, Novels, PC Gaming, Writing

Regarding Days 18 – 19, I pretty much took an unplanned break. The reason for the break, Minecraft! Darn this game for destroying my word count. I was playing the game on Thursday trying out some new ideas before I started writing. The underworld level known as Nether is where I went to destory some Ghasts that had been detroying one of my connector tunnels between portals. Before this however, I had noticed the game slowing down and sometime locking up whenever I entered the Nether. By now the problem had gotten worse and quickly anytime I entered the Nether, I the game would lock up. I made it out of the Nether through a portal and the game worked fine, so I established the problem was just when entering the Nether world. I still had business to attend to in the underworld, so I entered the portal once more, this time I was able to walk a few steps before the game crashed. I rebooted my enter computer, minimized the screen and set everything to low under video. It improved it for a few more steps then continued to lock up. I changed everything back as it didn’t resolve the problem. I was able to log in a few more times while my game was saved in the Nether. Eventually, that all I was able to do is log in and not move. I made a desperate attempt to enter another portal to make it out of the Nether with my character, but the game locked up on me. I eventually go so bad the game would lock up on loading. As of now my 1st Minecraft world is not accessible or playalbe anymore. This really pissed me off as I had spent a considerable amount of time on this game and created some places I planned to use later in my novel. Needless to say, I ended up starting a new world and that became my NaNoWriMo Day 18. The next day (Day 19) I didn’t even want to think about writing because I was discovering a new world in Minecraft. I didn’t even make it up to my weekly WriteIn up at Bookmans and missed some other writers I wanted to see. As of today, (Day 20) I didn’t touch Minecraft until I had written 1500 words. Then I took a break from writing which was only suppose to last an hour but ended up going 3 hours. I did get some more writing and finally reached a 23k word count. Just shy of 25k, which is the halfway mark. I have 10 days left to complete my novel of 50,000 words. I’ve been trying to get my fill of Minecraft so I can go back and focus on writing but it’s a bit addicting as I’ve started creating roads and tunnels in my new world. Also, pictured here in this blog post of my new world is a Minecraft monster trap. I learned after watching YouTube video such as this, how to make Lava/Water Traps that captures monsters and kill them.

Using a channel and water system the items they drop are then delivered to a safe pickup location where you just sit and have all the items float down to you in a collection chamber underground. It works pretty well, but no one near the level that I see them being used off of YouTube. My next development was to build a dock down by the ocean and from there I started building a 3 space wide road system.

I was able to write today finally, but no one near the 25k goal I had set for myself. Not sure if I’ll be able to get to 30k by Sunday evening but that is my goal for the weekend. 7,000 more words to get there between now and then. You’d think I would just give up by now being so far before, but I remind myself that I started this novel on Nov. 6th and so I’m almost an entire week behind. Next week I only work 2 days and I’ve canceled Thanksgiving for myself so I will focus on just writing. I’m just hoping that Minecraft doesn’t get too much in the way. My sleep schedule is so off right now and I’m told I look like a walking zombie at work.

Storywise, I created a purple moss monster today, which almost killed Gorp my main character. He is now in the lab trying to find out what the monster was as he had a part in bringing it to life, but does not yet know that.

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17
Nov

NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 16 & 17

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, Music, Novels, PC Gaming, Writing

Finally, passed my 20,000 word count goal today. A few days behind but I’m still writing! I took a writing break yesterday and didn’t do anything NaNoWriMo related. Most of the day I enjoyed playing Minecraft after work. After a few days sitting around a 17k word count I began to wonder if I’d ever make it to 20k words. Currently, I’m sitting at 21,195words for my novel. I don’t think I’ve ever written that many words for a novel or story before so for me this is new territory. I’ve also noticed a change in my understanding when I listen to podcasts about writing or read articles on writing because I can directly relate to some of the things being said now.

Today began rather dull and slow. I decided to get something accomplished as the writing was just not happening for me. So I loaded up the T-Pain Autotune applicationon my iPhone and freestyle rapped my own song to the Freaknik song “Save You“. After watching the documentary “Nerdcore Rising” about nerdy rappers who MC their own geeky songs and tour around the country, such as MC Frontalot, I’ve started thinking about trying my hand at Nerdcore rapping about Dungeons & Dragons and other RPG elements. I’d like to write little songs that tell of a story in a D&D type setting. Maybe for my background music I could mix in folk and medieval instruments to give it a fantasy style song. After recording my song I called it “Stuck in Tower” and uploaded it for others to laugh out. It was totally freestyle and I had no idea what I was going to say before I said it. With some planning and practice I’m sure I can get better at this.  

Even though that attempt to rap was only messing around, it made me feel somewhat creatively accomplished and I moved on to dungeon mapping. I mapped out all levels of the Training Ward in my novel shown in the image on this blog post. I then tried writing. Like that past few days it was really hard to even write 300 words let alone 1k. So I looked over my story and decided to write a chapter using my antagonist, the wizard Jamalin Spellslinger. I got 2.8k words out of that chapter alone and it really spiked up my writing creativity. I also introduced one of the later chapter characters in this scene and placed the antagonist scene as Chapter 3. This gave me a subplot that I can later play with and help me character build a little on one of the minor story characters. I ended up writing 4k words today with compared to my recent numbers is really good. I could keep writing, but I need to work tomorrow and should sleep soon. Hopefully, this writing energy keeps going and I can finally catch up.

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