If you’ve never heard of Star Reporter it’s not too surprising. It’s a board game that was first published in 1937 with various incarnations coming out until the last version was printed in 1960. My dad played it when he was a kid (I didn’t realize until recently he never actually owned it, he always played a friend’s copy), and he’s mentioned occasionally over the years how much he enjoyed it and would like to play it again. So I found a nice copy of it on eBay and gave it to him for Father’s Day this year. As soon as he opened it and looked at it all he said, “OK, let’s play a game!” My mom was like, “Right now?” and Dad replied “Well yeah!” I’ve now played it twice and Dad has played it three times. It’s an absolutely classic board game, a real slice-of-the-times kind of thing, and pretty fun to play to boot!
Well I ended up finishing the book very soon after the last update! I didn’t make 50,000 words; the book ended up being only around 41,000. But that’s fine, the 50K was their thing not mine. As I told a friend, I was using their thing to motivate me to do my thing; reaching 50K was never the goal, finishing the book was. I would like to make the book longer though; I’ve already been thinking about more plot I can add to it. And of course my description was extremely sparse (I’m not big on description anyway, and when you’re writing for NaNoWriMo it tends to get done even less).
Well it’s sort of a good news/bad news, good news/bad news situation. The first set of news is:
Bad – I fell behind on my word count last week. Work kind of kicked my butt and I didn’t have a lot of energy.
Good – I almost completely caught up this weekend. Here are the current stats:
Words written: 38,027
Words remaining: 11,973
Completion date at this rate: 12/1/14
I wrote 4,209 words today alone! It actually didn’t seem like that many though; I did a lot of short writing bursts throughout the day. 500 words here, 1,000 or 1,500 here and eventually I got to 38,000.
Here’s the second set of good news bad news:
Good – I’m very near the end of the story. Like very near.
Bad – I still have almost 12,000 words to go to hit 50,000.
Of course, that’s not an insurmountable problem. There are many, many spots in the book that can use more explanation, more description, more polish, more of a lot of things. In No Plot, No Problem the founder of NaNoWriMo addresses this issue, and says don’t worry about it because there is plenty to go back and do if you finish the story and are short on words. So I’m not too worried about it.
So next Sunday is the last day of the month. I’ve got three days of work this week, plans to spend all of Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends, and 12,000 words to write. Should be an interesting week :)
Just a quick update on my progress for the novel. I didn’t do this on purpose, but I was just about to hit 10,000 words when I posted the first entry (I did make it that night before I went to bed), and on the night of the second entry I’ve hit 20,000. Actually 20,223 to be exact. Here are all the stats:
Words written: 20,223
Words remaining: 29,777
Completion date at this rate: 12/3/14
As you can see, I have fallen a little bit off pace, but nothing too horrible. I’m less than a day’s worth of words behind. My plan is to kick butt over this weekend and the next. I didn’t realize until a few days ago that Thanksgiving is the last weekend of the month. I was thinking I had another weekend after that to catch up, but nope. I don’t mind doing some writing over that time, but I definitely don’t want to leave myself a huge bunch of writing for that weekend.
Writing a book has been a fascinating experience. I had the basic plot line in my head, but when you sit down to do the actual writing all sorts of little things crop up that you hadn’t thought about. “Wait, why wouldn’t this character have done that earlier?” “How am I going to get the group from point A to point B?” “If X is true, then wouldn’t Y be true also, and won’t that mean this other part isn’t right?” It’s been a lot of fun and very rewarding. I’d like to talk more about it sometime, maybe with the next update. Thanks for reading!
This isn’t game related, but I just wanted to put it out there that I am attempting NaNoWriMo this month! I have had an idea for a book rattling around in my head for a few years now, and I’m finally actually writing it. If you’re not familiar with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short), the idea is to write a complete novel of at least 50,000 words in the month of November. At that pace there’s no time for careful crafting of sentences, perfect editing, or anything else except furious, warp-speed typing of whatever comes to your mind. And it’s fantastic.
My friend gave me this game for my birthday last year. It’s a cooperative game for 2 – 4 players (although you can totally play a solo game too), meaning either everyone wins or everyone loses. There are four characters to play: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern (the real GL, Hal Jordan), and Flash (Barry Allen, the best speedster). Each character has 5 enemies (called Arch Villains) that range from weak to powerful. The villains are trying to reach the Justice League satellite and destroy it, your goal is to take all the bad guys off the board before that happens. It seems pretty straightforward, but there’s a surprising amount of strategy.
For my second Pick 6 I decided to share my six favorite Weird Al songs. I’ve been a fan of Weird Al since the In 3-D days, and narrowing this down to my favorite six songs was tough. Picking #1 was easy; it’s been my favorite ever since it came out and probably always will be. But after that there’s a group of 15 or 20 songs that I could have picked. In fact I picked the final six a couple weeks ago but when I sat down to write this I changed one song out for another. Most of these don’t have official videos, but I embedded some unofficial ones for you to enjoy. And now let the parody begin (btw, it’s a bit of a misconception that all of Weird Al’s songs are direct parodies of other songs; about half of them are totally original)!
Catchphrase is one of my newest gaming obsessions. I got hooked on it by Jimmy Fallon of all people. He regularly plays various games on Late Night, and Catchphrase is one he’s played a few times. Watching a short video or two from the show will let you see exactly how the game is played:
I thought it would be fun to do some Top 10-ish lists here, even if they aren’t game related. I’m calling it my Pick 6. Why 6? Well Top 10 and Top 5 lists are way overplayed, and 6 seems like a nice number that doesn’t get enough love.
My first Pick 6 is going to be my 6 favorite Epic Rap Battles of History. If you’ve never seen them before, ERB pits two or more “historical” (very loosely defined) characters in a rap battle for our amusement. I resisted watching them for a long time even though Youtube kept suggesting them. I finally broke down and watched one…and I thought it was dumb. And yet for some reason I kept watching…and now I think they’re hilarious. Well most of them anyway; some aren’t so great. But here we’re talking about the Top 6, and here we go!*
* – These are not totally clean, although there’s nothing too too bad
Dungeon Roll is a neat little dice-based game that started out as a Kickstarter campaign. My friend picked up and asked me to look at and review it. He mentioned it didn’t really click for him and something about it seemed off and he wanted me to take a look at it. When I first started playing it I knew exactly what he meant; when you first pick it up it doesn’t seem to “flow” very well. But once you’ve got the hang of the rules and the gameplay it evens out and becomes a pretty fun little game.