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NaNoWriMo (November 2019)

Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Valka D'Ur, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Well, this is it. The big one. The one that means I and anyone else who takes this on will spend the next 30 days striving to reach the goal of 50,000 words.

    I'd been getting numerous emails from the site over the past few weeks, saying they were revamping the website, but not to worry because everything would still be there.

    Well, when I logged in, I found that the new NaNo website is an absolute freaking NIGHTMARE. And no, I don't mean in the Halloween sense.

    For one thing, the color scheme is light pastel. I can barely read anything. For another thing, it took an insanely long time just to figure out how to register this year's project. There is nowhere that plainly states where you can update your word count. All they have is a "+" sign. I can't figure out how to add an image to represent my project; apparently I'm supposed to drag a picture from somewhere. How does that work? My current avatar is still the same one I used for Camp NaNoWriMo, and it's not suitable for the regular NaNoWriMo (honestly, a cartoon beaver isn't the sort of image I want with my 11th-century medieval adventure story). I'm afraid to try to change it.

    The "support forum" is more like the comment section of a blog, and there's no give-and-take communication. There's also no Contact Us link, so finally I just looked them up on Facebook and told them (whoever decided that this website change would be a good idea) what I think of the changes (not a hell of a lot) and that it is extremely NOT user-friendly to people with vision problems.

    All in all, it's much worse than it was before, and for a moment I contemplated just saying "the hell with it, I'll continue the story and forget this headache"... and then remembered that I already pre-ordered my winner's t-shirt (should ship in about 3 weeks). Therefore I have to finish, or I'll feel like a fraud when the t-shirt arrives.

    Apparently they don't even have the "edit daily word count" feature working yet (if you forget to enter your words one day or make a mistake you can go back and fix it later; right now that feature isn't working).

    Oh, and apparently the website thinks that 50,000 divided by 30 is 1740, or somesuch. It isn't. The default daily target has always been 1667, so I decided to aim for a minimum of 1700.

    My first day total: 1720 words.

    48,280 to go.
     
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  2. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    :clap:
     
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  3. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    Yes, the redesign is a bit garbo. Deleted all your friends, merged with the Camp accounts (but all my Camp projects are listed as 0-word failures, so that's nice). Is there even a Cabins feature? No clue. I'm certainly not in one. The Buddy Search feature still doesn't work. It still thinks I don't have a home region—that is, until I click Find Home Region and suddenly poof, there it is!

    It was worse before November 1. The log-in outright didn't work, most pages error'd out.

    I signed up and I convinced three others to participate. But I will likely end up writing nothing.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    :confused: I don't know what this means. Garbo was a silent-movie-early-talkies star, celebrated for her line "I want to be alone." Garbo was also the code name for Allies most effective double agent in WWII. Neither seems to fit here.

    Valka, sorry for that brief post. I was in a very snarky mood, and instead of being sympathetic, I was in danger of making an intelligent donkey post, which was the last thing you needed.Bottom line is: I'm proud of your effort. :goodjob:
     
  5. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    Early-mid millennial/late gen-z slang for "garbage."
     
  6. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Thanks.

    Yeah, I was horrified when I saw what they did to the site. Apparently some people have made different themes and there was some voting going on, but if any are available to use, I have no idea how it works. I need something that isn't pale grey and pastel. And for some reason my stats page went wonky last night (according to the "support forum" I'm not the only one this has happened to).

    There is absolutely NOTHING on that site that is intuitive or user-friendly. They should have started on this last December, and maybe by now everything would have worked right and there would be a bit of a choice in themes.

    The tally of my projects and my total wordcount isn't accurate, but I'm assuming that's because I haven't always had the same username and they can't figure out that I've always used the same email address. It would be nice to have credit for all my projects, because they're only counting the ones under my current username. I've done a hell of a lot more than 3 consecutive contests, though I've only won the November one twice. Assuming I get through the rest of this month, this will be the third time.

    There are so many frustrated people there right now...

    The cabins are only for Camp NaNoWriMo. They don't have them for the November event. It's irritating to have the buddies list zapped; my long-time writing buddy has been a guy from Kentucky, who's been an online friend for 15 years and who got me into this in the first place.

    At least you probably have a real home region. Mine is Alberta - Elsewhere, because if there are any other people in Red Deer doing this, it's news to me. There probably are, but even so I'm not really the sort to go to RL writing meetups. Transportation is an issue, and so is time. I still need to research some things, and if I'm going to ask for ideas or suggestions I'd rather ask people here, since most folks on CFC are more familiar with medieval adventure stories and history than the average citizen of Red Deer would be.

    I've been thinking about posting the YT walkthrough here of the game I've been adapting. I've been asked about it, and it would be nice to show folks just what it is that's had me so absorbed for over a year now.

    Thank you. :) I assumed you meant that you were offering encouragement for a good first day. At this time last year I was woefully short, but then last year I was trying to continue my Park Ranger project and hit writer's block (and still haven't gotten entirely past it).

    That said... a crazy crossover between Kingmaker and Park Ranger popped into my head some time back and it's been on my mind lately. One of the things about NaNoWriMo is that if one idea isn't working, try another, no matter how weird it might be. So I might just incorporate this goofy story in which the Kingmaker character time travels (and changes location; Kingmaker's setting is somewhere in northwestern Europe while Park Ranger's setting is in a weird alternate dimension where part of Canada's Jasper National Park coexists with a fictitious national park in Washington state) to the 21st century and meets the Park Ranger character... and runs smack into 21st century ideas of gender equality. In the kingdom of Griffinvale in the 11th century, women do not run around in trousers, command men (unless they're a queen or duchess), or work as game wardens. When he gets back home, he realizes that there really isn't any good reason why women shouldn't be able to do certain kinds of jobs (or even be taught to read, for that matter), and sets about implementing some new ideas. Of course some of the peerage think he's gone nuts, and others say, "Well, he always has had some odd notions, let's see where this goes and if it causes trouble we can always remind him that he has two cousins who also have a legitimate claim to the throne..."
     
  7. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Day 2 total: 3525 words.

    The website is bizarre. Because I haven't done any timed sprints, my stats page informs me that my writing speed is 0 words/minute. :dubious:
     
  8. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    3525 words while typing at 0 words/minute? Sounds to me as if they're using quantum mechanics. :badcomp:
     
  9. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    They have a feature where you can do timed sprints. I don't see the point of that, since I know approximately how long it takes me to do the 1700 words/day I need to get this done (about 2-3 hours, allowing for thinking time, feeding the cat, microwaving a couple of slices of pizza, and taking a bathroom break). Therefore, they think I do zero words per minute, yet somehow 1805 words happened today.

    Here's what part of my stats page looks like:

    nanowrimo-2019-day2-stats.png

    Note the little green "+" sign. Clicking on that is what brought me to a dropdown form where I could update my daily total. The site is not remotely intuitive anymore (not that the other one was, either, but at least I was more familiar with the old one and it wasn't this pastel hell that I can barely read).
     
  10. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Day 3 total: 5381 words.

    Wherein on the day of the King's murder, Sir Michael gets out of bed, gets dressed, has a brief conversation with his father, Duke Stefan, and I left off in the middle of Sir Michael having his breakfast in the Great Hall. At this point only the villains know what's in store for everyone.

    Count "Chocula" is sitting at the head table, where he really shouldn't be, but since he's friends with the Queen, nobody dares to tell him to go sit where he's actually supposed to.

    At this point I'm not writing about any of the game's protagonists. Sir Michael is a character I invented, because neither of the two younger protagonists were given any friends in the source material, and I thought that was an oversight that needed correcting. Now I'm exploring this character, trying to get to know him so I can incorporate him into the rest of the story (both the original and alternative versions) where he can be most useful. This is a character I like, and so far he hasn't decided to take any odd turns to the absurd or to the dark side.
     
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  11. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Day 4 total: 7121 words. Par for Day 4 is 6668 words, so I'm getting a decent number of words going here. Just 26 days to go...

    So today Sir Michael finishes his breakfast and has a chat with a fellow knight, who informs him that his wife is expecting a child in the spring. Michael is happy for his friend, and spares a moment thinking about the woman he had wanted to marry. But since arranged marriages are a thing in this time and place, most people of the nobility don't get to choose for themselves (this includes the men as well as the women). The parents make the arrangements, and depending on how close they are to royalty, the king might decide to exercise a veto. Alas, the lady Sir Michael wanted was married off to some knight who doesn't even live in Griffinvale (of course I'm going to let them meet up again at some future point; at this time they haven't seen each other for a bit over two years).

    Michael then goes to the armory where he's scheduled to do some training with a class of aspiring young soldiers.

    Seems like a quiet, mundane day so far, right? It's about to get unquiet pretty soon, even before the class is over...
     
  12. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Day 5 total: 8945 words. Par for Day 5 is 8335.

    Today saw Sir Michael leading his class of students through some exercises. There's been a little matter of discipline and a minor injury. Tomorrow Michael will learn of the king's murder...

    (I'm pacing myself carefully this time, allotting about 2.5 hours for actual writing. At other times during the day I'm constantly thinking about the story, and occasionally writing down any bits of action or dialogue that pop into my mind that seems worth saving, no matter where it happens.)

    NaNoWriMo sent me a "5 Day Writing Streak" badge. :)

    nanowrimo-2019-5-day-streak-badge.png
     
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  13. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    I deleted my NaNo project yesterday as I hadn't written anything with my broken keyboard and just wasn't really into it.

    But today I whipped out the new keyboard and I started writing. It's really quite strange, as my mind was blank while writing. I wrote 2688 words in 90 minutes. Quickly glanced it over and it's coherent, so in theory I have a project for NaNo. And it's not even a fanfic. A few days of being 1000 words over the daily required word count will also catch me up to par.
     
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  14. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    :dance:

    Good for you! :thumbsup:
     
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  15. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    I was not expecting this :popcorn:
     
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  16. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Synsensa routinely writes rings around me, at least in word count.

    But I'd guess that if @Luckymoose is participating this year, he's probably close to done by now.
     
  17. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I'm a bit behind posting here...

    Day 6 total: 10,667 words
    Day 7 total: 12,382 words
    Day 8 total: 14,138 words

    Par for Day 8 is 13,336, so I'm still comfortably ahead, even with the ridiculous issue of quotation marks being counted as individual words.

    At this point, Sir Michael has been saddled with the task of teaching a group of misfit teenagers (around 15 years old) some of the disciplines they'll need to know in order to some day become knights - those that don't quit or fail. He's not optimistic about this, as teaching isn't his forte and coordination isn't his students' forte.

    After the class, Michael decides to get in some archery practice, and who should turn up at the archery range but... Count Chocula, who challenges him to a "friendly contest." Michael gets out of it due to the weather (it starts raining; this is the rain that starts falling in the game shortly after the king's murder). The rain will continue all day and most of the night.

    At this time Michael doesn't know about the king's murder, but he will shortly. His most immediate concern is how to get out of the archery challenge, because Count Chocula is a political enemy at court and nothing good can come of this...
     
  18. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    :cheers:
    Maybe Michael could win. :yup:

    Does your story take place in Jolly Olde England? If so, counts should be called earls. Their wives are countesses. :crazyeye:
     
  19. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I've been considering posting the walkthrough videos from YT, so people can see for themselves what sort of game I've been adapting (some folks have asked questions about it, where to find it, etc. and this is a way to see the basic story without having to play it).

    I realize that by the standards of most people on this forum, Hidden Object games are extremely tame. My suggestion to anyone who chooses to watch these is to ignore the obvious "hidden object/puzzle-solving" aspects of it, and please do ignore the obvious absurdities of where and how some of the hidden objects are found. I'm not writing about every single step the character takes when he's going through the actions he performs throughout the game. Some will be condensed or tweaked, while others won't be mentioned at all.

    It's the story that I've found absorbing. That, the setting, the music, the characters, and the possibilities for prequel material, expanding on the events during the game, and what happens after "the end" is what's made me write over 150,000 words (so far).

    There are some details in the artwork in the backgrounds and puzzles that I noticed, and those gave me some story ideas. These are things the game didn't explicitly mention, but should have, in my opinion (many reviewers have said the game is too short and should have had a couple of extra chapters).

    There are walkthroughs of the beta version of this game, and some of the details are a bit different (ie. the layout of the Ulmer residence is somewhat different). These don't make a fundamental difference to the overall game, but they do make a difference to a fanfiction writer who has a compulsion to be as true to the source material as possible. In this case, I've chosen to use some details from the beta version rather than the commercial one, if they make the story more intricate, flow better, or offer more scope for storytelling.

    Anyway... here is part 1 of the Collector's Edition (there are 2 bonus chapters after the main game; these make a mini story that takes place a couple of weeks later):



    Note that the actual title of the game was changed recently (not sure why). It's now listed as "King's Heir: Rise to the Throne." Otherwise, as far as I know, the story is identical.

    It's not clear where the game takes place. At first glance it looks like a fictitious kingdom in England, but the main character's last name is German, and the clothing is a mix of British, Celt, and 19th-century American (due to the main character's father wearing suspenders of a type that weren't invented until over 500 years later). There's one scene where I keep yelling at Randall to turn around so I can verify just what kind of garment he's wearing over his tunic. In the SCA we were taught a fair bit about what specific garments look like from the front and side, but not so much from the back.

    There are a couple of people who have posted some informative medieval-themed video series on YT. One is about a whole slew of details about the sort of lives knights led, and the other caught my eye when I noticed his video on why Tudor houses were built as they were. This game takes place long before the Tudor era, but the buildings are like the ones described in the video.

    Griffinvale's capital city is located in a huge lake (I decided it was a lake because if it's not, I'd be wondering where the people get their fresh drinking water from and why the main characters' house wouldn't be flooded at every high tide. It's foggy and rainy there, so in that respect it's basically an alt-universe English location with a mix of people, styles, names, and so on. Since the game developers decided this is how it would be, I just mentally shrugged and went with it.

    Both the Count characters are villains. And since this is a mishmash of various countries' peerages, names, and customs, it isn't critical that all the ranks be English.

    According to Wikipedia, "Count" is one of the Welsh ranks. And honestly, neither of these characters deserve a higher rank. And since Chocula is not into women (that I'm aware of; he could surprise me as I continue to develop his character) and no sane woman would ever have Badrick, what their wives are called doesn't matter. They're not married. :p

    Michael could win, but it wouldn't be politically safe. :hide: Michael's father is one of the most powerful men in the kingdom (he's a duke and one of the king's advisors), but Chocula has the ear of the Queen... and she has zero scruples about ruining people's lives, sometimes for really petty reasons.
     
  20. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    From Valka's post in Raves:

    [party]:rockon::banana: Half down; half to go.

    Va-va-va-Valka! :w00t:
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019

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