nanowrimo

What happened to Digital Dragonslayers?

“Zinda the Dragonslayer” by eisu

On 1 November 2013, I started writing Digital Dragonslayers. As planned, I wanted to devote the month to writing a non-fictional piece about my life as a MMORPG gamer: how I started, why the genre plays an important role in my life and how it influences others. Within the first days, I was able to amass quite the word count. Without much ado, the lines and formulations just came to me, manifesting on the digital paper of my Google Drive. Then, however, something happened. Around the 15.000 words mark, I noticed something.

I was done.

At least, it felt like I had encapsulated everything I wanted to say about the life of a MMO gamer. I re-read my script, but in a way, I had covered everything I had set out to cover. Sure, I could have started cleaning it all up, adding a description here and there, but that would have never taken me to that 50k cap of NaNoWriMo. I was simply done…and that frustrated me so much I canned the thing.

Yesterday, I skimmed through it again, and noticed that I had given up too early. Sure, I had already covered a lot of what I wanted to say in those 15.000 words, but I’m not done yet. Re-reading what I wrote has given me ample ideas of what to do with what I already have, and how I’ll expand on it. Sure, I might have “lost” NaNoWriMo, got I won a treasure trove of blogging topics.

So yeah, I didn’t slay the dragon that is NaNoWriMo, but you will certainly hear of Digital Dragonslayers in the future…in one way or the other!

No more zero days

Many of my readers are heading into their second week of NaNoWriMo. For some, keeping up with the word count is easy like sunday morning, while others have fallen already behind. Some, however, are also considering to give up the fight, knowing they will never reach those 50.000 words within a month. They look at what they have written and whisper: “this can’t go anywhere. How am I supposed to finish this?”. Then, they stare at their word count, wondering how they will make the average of 1.667 words a day. With a frown on their face, they close their document or throw their papers around the room. They have given up.

If you are one of those people, I salute you and congratulate you on the balls to just screw it. However, I urge you to write on. Does that sound like a paradox? Well, here me out.

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A quick update

Yes, I am still alive. Yes, I’ve been doing stuff. And yes, I’ll give you a quick rundown:

  • NBI is over now, and I have to honor to have been awarded the Good Monicker Medal this year. Thanks and shout-outs to all the other participants and winners, it was a blast! 😀
  • NaNoWriMo is in full swing, and my project “Digital Dragonslayers” is trudding along. I have to admit, it’s pretty hard to write a piece of non-fiction, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I won’t make it to the 50.000 words at the end of the month. Still, I have this special NaNoWriMo feeling again, caused by just writing, writing and writing.
  • BlizzCon is also on, and we’ve been introduced to the new World of Warcraft expansion. I will give you the full monty later, but here’s my opinion so far in a few words: cautiously hyped.

Well, that’s it for now. Have a great weekend!

NaNo Prep: a rough structure

NaNoWriMo is less than a week away, and I’m knee-deep in my preparations for it. So far, I feel like I have the rough structure for Digital Dragonslayers down. Essentially, the book will be made up of three parts:

  1. A history of MMORPG’s
  2. Defining a Digital Dragonslayer
  3. The lives of the Dragonslayers

Each part will comprise several chapters, and I make it my goal to not focus make the historical parts too boring. Readers should get an entertaining overview of the genre, not feel like they have to take a re-sit of their most hated high school class.

Anyway, I’m still looking for MMORPG aficionados who would like to tell their story. Murphy over from murfvs.net already offered his support, and I will surely come back on that offer. If you feel like you have something to contribute to my project, hit me up!

NaNo Prep: what is a “digital dragon slayer”?

What did I get myself in to?

First, I decide to participate in NaNoWriMo. That’s no biggy. I mean, I’ve done it before, so what could happen right? Right?

Well, ambition happened. Planning to write an informative discourse about the lives of MMO gamers turns out to be more work than I expected. Researching the history of the genre and trying to get some gamers to share their stories with me is taking more time than I had estimated, and so I guess I’ll be going into November (and thus into writing the damn thing) ill-informed.

Oh well, NaNoWriMo is meant to create drafts, not finished books. Right?

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NaNo Prep: of rebels & dragonslayers

Sometimes, you just gotta give in and start a revolution. It worked for the French (kinda), the Americans (sorta) and, more recently, the Egyptians (well…), so why shouldn’t it work for me and this year’s NaNoWriMo? Eff yeah, I’ll be what they call a “NaNo Rebel”!

So, how does one rebel during NaNoWriMo? Well, while all the other abiding participants write some fictional story about dragons and the people who slay them, I’ll be busy writing a non-fiction tribute to the real dragonslayers: MMORPG players. That’s right, this year’s project will be a written look at the history of these games and the people who play them.

Working title? Digital Dragonslayers – when office clerks become fantasy heroes.

Why am I not going for a novel like many other participants? Simple: this fascinates me. I’ve been a part of this hobby for years now, and I would love to mix my practical experience with more knowledge about the evolution of social games and the thoughts and motivations of fellow gamers. It’s gonna be an exciting experiment in many ways!

There’s research to be done and people to be spoken to. If you have some fascinating insight into the history of MMORPG’s to share, or if you would like to share your story, hit me up in the comments below or send me a mail at the.chindividual@gmail.com

Go now. Those dragons won’t slay themselves!

NaNoWriMo: preparing for the madness

Hey kids, September’s almost over! You know what that means? Yes, October is almost upon us! And you know what that means? It’s almost November! November, the month of pre-Christmas madness, transitional shitty weather and, most importantly…NaNofrickingWriMo!

Last year, I participated in this month-long write-a-thon, blindly writing a story of at least 50,000 words. The end result, a sci-fi supernatural action story dubbed “Warlox” is still haunting my Google Drive, I haven’t done anything with, but the fact I got myself to write more than 50,000 worth in just four weeks is something I’m really proud of. This year, though, I want to raise the bar. This year, I’ll do this right. I won’t just blindly rush into the jungle that is writing. I will draw my map, set my course towards a firm plot, and fight my way through the constricting vines of plotholes, the dangerous Mary-Sue-Beasts, all the way to the hidden shrine of that total word count.

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Back from a break

Hello world! As you might have noticed, I haven’t updated my blog much over the last week. There’s a good reason for that, though: I was busy enjoying one-and-a-half week of vacation, starting with a long weekend in Berlin, and ending yesterday with a massive amount of sushi. My batteries are re-fueled now, and you will hear more often from me again.

To start, I want to give you a quick newsflash of what I’ve been up to, and what you can look forward to:

  • I’ve started making YouTube videos. My first video can be found here, and the next one will be up later this week (say…Thursday). It’s completely new to me, but I really enjoy making these. You can look forward to other kinds of videos and podcasts in the future!
  • I decided to drop the Strange Sunday column for good, noticing that I don’t have enough strange ideas to write about every week. I will compile an overview of all the past editions this week.
  • More Courage is on the way!
  • I have to really catch up with my writing for Camp Nano. Where’s the drive and motivation I had back in November?
  • Talking about on the way: Neverwinter will be released at the end of this month, and I will surely check it out. Maybe I should use that as an excuse to get into livestreaming?
  • Oh, and I’m surprised by how cool Warframe is. Didn’t expect too much of it, but I’ve been playing it over the weekend with Dee, and it’s actually pretty rad. If you like co-op third-person action akin to Mass Effect, check it out!

So yeah, that’s what’s been up so far. It’s great to be back, and thanks for visiting this blog even while I was lazy updating it. You guys rock!

Going camping

team fortress camping engineer guitar

“Camping” by FlopHouser

You might ask yourself a few things. Why did the Pope truly step down from his office? Is there life on Mars? Is Canada really such a nice place to live? What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? Sadly, I can’t provide you with answers to these questions. However, I can answer that one question you have been asking yourself since a few days: what the heck is that weird logo on the right doing there, stealing space from the most popular posts? Well folks, that logo indicates that I’ll be camping in April, literally. Well, wait, not literally in the sense that I will be outdoors getting myself bitten by insects, but literally in the sense of writing. Would that be literary rather than literally? Questions, questions, questions…

Anyway, as the logo indicates, I will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo coming April (and probably also in July), which means that I’ll be writing a short story of at least 20.000 words in that month. It’s not much, considering I survived NaNoWriMo 2012 which had me writing more than twice that amount in the same time. The difference with that contest from November is that now I have a blog to vent my writing frustrations, so prepare for an author’s rage next month.

Luckily, my housemates will join me in the writing madness, so I’m looking forward to a month filled with write-ins, writer blocks and really strange plot twists, all crammed into a small house in the Netherlands. We might not be camping outdoors, but if you bring us some tents and fire wood, we can turn our kitchen into a nice, literal (or literary?) campsite!