Archive for January, 2014

We are now four weeks into the year.  Yes really.  Time does fly.  Apart from one day I’ve hit all the quotas again and kept the word count above what is needed.  Which is good, as from tomorrow I’ll have less time on my hands.  There was one day during the week that I didn’t hit all 3 quotas set.  A few things happened that day, those behing going out to meet some people and have a meal, car troubles,which resultes in it being towed, weekly grocery shopping and of course spending time with my wife.  Days like that are why I have extra words banked up.

Block 1: Target: 3500 words. Output: 3754.  Overall total: 15326

Block 2: Target: 7000 words.  Output: 7485. Overall total: 29733

Block 3: Target: 10500 words. Output: 14848.  Overall total: 67288

2014 total to date: 112287.  Daily average: 4010 words.

I was reading various news articles yesterday and I came upon one about a naturally occurring eternal flame burning behind a waterfall – and science has no idea how it is produced.  Which got me thinking about how a place like that would fit perfectly in a fantasy setting.  Fantasy worlds often have places of wonder in them, where strange phenomena produce all manner of natural marvels.

Now given that they are rare and unusual, even for fantasy worlds, they would attract attention, and any visit there is not likely to find the place abandoned, unless in a really dangerous and out-of-the-way place, and not always then.  Consider the climb up Mt Huashan in China, arguably the most dangerous tourist walk in the world.  People have been travelling along narrow plank walkways hammered into the side of cliffs for 700 years there.

So even the most remote places of wonder could have visitors.  You could have hermits and mystics and pilgrims there, merchants taking advantage of it to make a profit or even villages and towns built up around it.  Consider something like an eternal flame.  Maybe an enterprising dwarf tribe has set up there and have used it to power their metalworking business.  Free fire means lesser costs coupled with superior dwarven quality.  A win for all.  Well, the dwarves at least.

So when creating these places of wonder in your worlds, consider how the locals would react to it – and how they might try to make a profit from it.

During the third week, as I mentioned previous, I ran into a spot of bother with the computer, which led me to think around 5 days of work was inaccessible.  Luckily I was able to recover it all and was able to continue making all the quotas I’d set.

Block 1: Target: 3500 words.  Output: 3891.  Overall total: 11572

Block 2: Target: 7000 words.  Output: 7570.  Overall total: 22248

Block 3: Target 10500 words.  Output: 17102.  Overall total: 52380.

2014 total to date: 86200.  Daily average: 4104 words.

The total required for the month to stay on target for 1,000,000 words was 84940, so I have already passed that.  If I keep up the current rate, I’ll make around 120,000, which will help offset later times when I may not be able to hit the quota.

So there I was, having a good day – and then I went to turn on the computer to do the rest of the day’s quota of writing.  What did I get?  Nothing good at all.

An error message popped up saying that the computer had failed to boot.  Never a good thing to see.  I spent a number of hours working on it only to realise that it wasn’t going to work.  On top of that, my most recent backup of stories was 5 days previous so around 20,000 words is stuck on the computer inaccessible.

After a bit more testing, it appears that something has happened to the harddrive, either a bad sector or it is failing or has failed.  I am hoping it is not the later.  I have a lot of files I’d like to get off.  Not just writing, but movies, music, photos, games etc and so on.

If it is just the hard drive, I may be able to afford a replacement for that, but not the computer.  Financially things are tight and I can’t justify the expense of a brand new computer.  It has thrown a spanner in the works, but one I will overcome somehow.

 

Two weeks into the year already – where does time go?  Before long the free time will be gone and I won’t be able to write as much, so I’m trying to take as much advantage of it as I can.  But the writing is going great so far and I have hit every goal quota each day for all three blocks.

Block 1: Target: 3500 words.  Output: 3784.  Overall total: 7681

Block 2: Target: 7000 words.  Output: 7460.  Overall total: 14678

Block 3: Target 10500 words.  Output: 15593.  Overall total: 35278.

Daily average: 4117 words.

During the week, I finished the rewrites of a couple of short stories/novelettes, finished the rough draft of another story that might be close to novella length when the rewrite is done and did a big part of another rough draft, and wrote out rough outlines for fourteen new short stories/novelettes.  A decent week overall.

We are already one week down in the new year, and so one week into the million words in a year challenge.  And so far I am doing better than expected.

For the week, I was aiming to do the following;

Block 1: 3500 words (Setting Document)

Block 2: 7000 words (New Drafts)

Block 3: 10500 words (Rewrites)

Total: 21000 words

What I did was;

Block 1: 3897 words

Block 2: 7218 words

Block 3: 19685 words

Total: 30800 words.

 

As you an see I exceeded all the targets and currently have almost 10000 words in the bank for slower days – and they will come.  Being on holidays does give more time to write than normal.

The Tomb of the Pharaoh’s Brewer – it almost sounds like the title of an old pulp style horror adventure.  But in this case it is a real place.

Japanese archaeologists working in Egypt have found a 3200 year old tomb belonging to Khonso Em Heb, a leading beer producer and head of the royal storehouses.

Such little insights into the past I always find fascinating, but also provide a source of ideas for stories.  This is one that could stir an adventure for Sir Richard Hammerman, seeking out ancient beer recipes while avoiding the menace of the mummy of the ancient brewer who guards them…