Sometime this weekend, the calendar gnomes pulled a fast one on me and changed the month to October. The weather up here dropped about ten points, we got a little rain, and my oldest boy got a job up here in Crescent City. All in all, a very pleasant set of circumstances that caught me unawares. A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.
Since it’s the beginning of a new month, it’s time for a status report
The September Experiment
The results of my comedy tweet experiment turned out to be enlightening. I got a lot of good responses, by which I mean they’re being seen and well received. I also had to work really hard to fit within the 140-character limit of Twitter, which turned out to be a good exercise to me. I tend to be wordy, and this is a good way to work on that.
I note that Twitter is considering a change to a 280-character limit. I’m not sure this is a good idea. The limit is kind of arbitrary, hearkening back to the SMPP protocol, if I’m correctly informed, and there’s really no reason for it other than when Twitter started up, that was the limit to what you could put in a text message. There’s been a lot of pressure from the Twitter community to increase the limit, and it sounds like they might cave in.
I don’t think it’s a good idea. Already, people with a longer thought to share do like I do: they write a blog post and use Twitter to introduce it and include a link. Increasing the character limit might be a marketing ploy on Twitter’s part. If people can fit their post into a larger limit, there’ll be no need to link outside their service. But, I don’t think 280 will be any better. It’s like getting a bigger house because the one you have is too full of stuff. You just end up acquiring more stuff.
Still, I only have two followers on Twitter, so that platform is more of a just for fun sort of deal. Most of my followers are on Facebook, and that will continue as my platform of choice for the foreseeable future. Twitter can do whatever it pleases. I’ll still be working on tightening up my writing.
In other news, I still haven’t set up that contest I’ve been talking about. I need to get that done.
The Plan for October
My challenge for October is to finish The Temporary Hero and get it off to my editor. I’ve passed the midpoint and am now approaching Warp Nine on the thing, so I think this is an achievable goal. I need to get it done because I have plans to participate in NaNoWriMo (more on this in a moment) and I need to clear the decks.
I think I’ve mentioned before, the first half of a novel goes slow, at least for me. No matter how much planning I do, there’s always a lot I don’t know about a story when I start writing it. Twists and turns I didn’t expect pop up, characters speak to me and change from their starting points, and timeline errors become glaring, throwing everything into chaos. By the time I get to the midpoint and stuff starts getting serious, the story picks up steam and things just flow. Suddenly my fingers struggle to keep up. By way of stats, my average word count for the first half of the book was between 750 and 1000 words per day. Now, I’m hitting 2500 – 3000 before my wife pries me away from the keyboard for dinner and family time.
Write a novel in a month. I don’t know if I can do it. It’s a daunting challenge, but I’ve been itching to give it a try.
I’ve had this idea floating around in my head for quite a while. A fantasy novel set in a video game about an ork mercenary. Surprisingly, there’s a genre for this: LitRPG. My twist is that half the novel is about his real-life counterpart, his player, a displaced IT worker who can’t find a job and makes a meager living from the game. When an “ancient” artifact arises, leading to a series of real-world murders, the real question becomes which side of the story is reality?
The working title is Terms of Enragement. Hopefully, you’ll see the results sometime next year.
What would you like to see?
I’ll close with an open call for suggestions. What would you like to see me write about? Is there anything that strikes your fancy in one of my posts? Help me out and drop me a line in the comments.