What a beautiful start to December!  I live near a park, and this is the view of one of my favorite places on the path.  Go out and enjoy the weather if you’re able!

One week since I won NaNoWriMo.  My current word count is 67,246, or around 7,000 words more than last week.  Wondering where the extra 10,000 or so words came from?  I started November with 9,953 words, and added 50,000 over the course of the month.  7,000 words this week isn’t as much as I wrote weekly during NaNoWriMo, but isn’t anything to sneeze at, either.

Slowing down was not my original plan, but things happen.  First, I took a class on Tuesday night that took up the whole evening.  Second, I had a cold, which did involve sneezing.

Worldbuilding

No longer can I say it has been twenty years since I’ve taken a writing class.  I attended a Methods of Worldbuilding class, taught by Mary Robinette Kowal. It was both informative and entertaining, which makes it a win in my book.  She’s part of the Writing Excuses podcast, which I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed.

She talked about some questions to ask when developing our worlds, and going three deep in those questions.  For instance, why does this world have self driving cars?  From the list of those answers, ask why again.  Repeat.  I liked this process, not just because it is truly helpful, but because it reminds me of something I use at work every day – the Five Whys.   Yes, I did link writing to a quality management concept.  That won’t be the last time!

I spent a lot of time Worldbuilding before starting my current draft of my novel.  Some might say too much time, and that I strayed into the land of Worldbuilding Disease.   I reject this idea, because I was having fun.  What is the point of all this if I’m not having fun?  I’m not making money on it and I have no deadlines, so I’m going with the theory fun trumps efficiency.  And that says a lot, coming from an efficiency engineer.

Big Plans

In other news, I signed up for a thing!  What kind of thing?  The podcasters on Writing Excuses recommended attending conferences.  I’ve been looking into them, and everything I found would involve travel so I wanted to pick something awesome.  Many things looked awesome, but none quite as awesome as the Writing Excuses Workshop & Retreat.  IT IS ON A CRUISE SHIP.

Just to clarify, it is on a cruise ship.  There’s a writing workshop on a cruise ship.  The cost of the workshop and travel make for a cost/day less than that of other conferences I was attending, and those conferences do not include a cruise ship.  It also seems to be aimed at the Sci Fi & Fantasy geeks like me, which is another plus.  And I’m going to say cruise ship again, just because I can.

Scrivener 3

I upgraded to Scrivener 3 for the Mac, and I love it.  I loved it before too, of course. It is shiny and has color coding and counting and all the things.  Also, one can write in it.  I’ll post about this fantastic software some other time, but for now just know it is available finally.  Scrivener 3 for Windows will be out sometime in 2018.

Reading

Of course I also read this week.  Reading is fun!  I completed Ghost Talkers by the same Mary Robinette Kowal mentioned above, as well as Daring Greatly by Brené Brown.  I started re-reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.  This last one is the 10th Anniversary edition, which includes several fun extras at the end so pick up a copy if you enjoy the book.

All three of these were good reads, and also good pillows.  I leave you with Aragorn, resting on Ghost Talkers.  He also enjoyed Daring Greatly, especially the bookmark as a mid-nap snack.  The Name of the Wind proved a bit too big for quality napping, and I’d gotten better at holding him and reading at the same time.  But he tried!

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