Friday, December 28, 2007

Here's What D&D Is All About


Merry Christmas, all!

James has three new hobbies: Making sudoku puzzles, building Lego Mindstorms NXT robots, and learning operatic arias for tenor! I'm actually enjoying this vacation, despite the fact that I only just today finished my work on the DMG, which should have been done a month ago. Tomorrow I get to return to the novel I've so woefully ignored...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Passionate Connection?

I'm having way too much fun with this.

Can't Find a Clever Title for This One

Various stretches of beach, maybe? Anyway, I'm not sure there's a whole lot of words where this is possible. I sort of stumbled on these with the help of a (long)  list of 9-letter words and the Internet Anagram Server.
So what's up with the sudoku, you ask? Well, a week or two ago I was writing a couple of pages for the DMG about puzzles, and learned some things about how to make them. I like solving puzzles, though not ordinarily in the context of a D&D game. Anyway, last night I was home alone, at the end of a very long week of work (at the end of a very long month), and I was back in the situation I was in during my vacation in September: I didn't know what to do with myself without working. So I did the Scientific American Sci-doku, and the question occurred to me of whether you could do such a puzzle with two words, rather than just one. The intersection was interesting, so I went looking for words that would work in parallel. I stayed up way too late last night working on this one. The problem was not making the letters fit, but coming up with a set of givens I could put them into. I opted for an easier pattern today and managed to finish it, so hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight.

Hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hella funny

This pleases my sense of symmetry. And it's hella funny, you might say.

That's my first-ever sudoku, by the way. Let me know if you get the joke.

Also hella funny: An interview with a tiefling and a gnome.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Writing 'n' Stuff

Two Storm Dragon reviews: Mania Books and Publisher's Weekly

This morning I finished the sixth draft of an outline for Dragon Forge. There are still some holes and themes I need to think through a little more, but I think that I could start writing tomorrow, only a week behind schedule. That means I have to make up 6,000 words over the next 19 weeks, which should be easy to do. 

Meanwhile, Dragon Forge is back in its editor's loving hands. So that's one thing off my plate.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is finished, of course. So let's see. I am:
• Still writing the Dungeon Master's Guide.
• Just about finished outlining Dragon War and ready to start writing.
• Trying to finish the Dungeon Master's Guide art order.
• Trying to keep in touch with the Monster Manual and Player's Handbook now that they're in editing.
• Working closely with Bill Slavicsek and Mike Mearls to hammer out the last lingering rules issues in the game,
• Still trying to get the house looking beautiful, though my mother is already here and my brothers arrive in the next couple of days.
• Still feeling stressed...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another Storm Dragon Review

Graeme's Fantasy Book Review has posted a . . . not altogether unfavorable review of Storm Dragon. He gives it seven out of 10. 

Bits I liked:
"There’s also a real sense of purpose about the writing that I found refreshing. Wyatt doesn’t hang around or take you off down blind alleys"
"The story itself is a good one and will keep you interested . . ."
". . . there’s enough there to make me look forward to seeing how the trilogy pans out . . ."

Check it out. Heck, I'm just glad people are noticing it.

But to make myself feel better, I will also post snippets from the good folks on the Worlds of D&D forums :

Zot: "One of my favorite Eberron novels so far. Absolutely no hardcover regret here"

Jetty: "It is a great book and rightfully published in hardcover. . . it has a good story, great characters, interesting locations and a lot of surprises. "

DragonReader: "the book is excellent. James Wyatt has crafted a great story and populated with a bunch of extremely interesting characters . . . . This was a very well written and engaging book. It really grabbed my attention and kept it all the way through."

Sturm Jaeger: "The characters are fascinating and the plot is very intriguing. . . I enjoyed the entire novel. Interesting locations, complex characters you care about, excellent action scenes, fun dialogue. Very well done!"

Go check out the great forums over at Worlds of D&D—lots of Eberron authors hang out there, too.

Oh, and read Storm Dragon, too. Five out of six readers surveyed loved it! 

Me? I am:
• Writing the Dungeon Master's Guide
• Outlining Dragon War
• Revising Dragon Forge
• Finishing the Player's Handbook art order
• Trying to keep in touch with the Player's Handbook and Monster Manual now that they're in editing
• Starring in a production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
• Still trying to remodel this darned house, before my family arrives for Thanksgiving.
• Feeling a little stressed...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Things I've learned on my vacation

It's been kind of a strange week. It turns out that I really like writing, and I enjoy my job. And that actually makes a vacation a little strange. I've dipped my toes into a couple of novels, but they were both fantasy and thus felt like work. I played WoW until very late last night, getting my warlock on Argent Dawn up to 40th level and his felsteed. I'm not enjoying the game like I used to, though I did feel like I was achieving some degree of play skill last night in recovering the Troll Legends from Zul'kunda. But even so, playing a warlock feels like button-mashing—I'm hitting the same buttons in the same order for most fights, and the only issue is how low my mana is running. Hm. I should post on my Gleemax blog about button-mashing.

I watched news of the new iPod announcements with eager anticipation yesterday, and whooped at the announcement of the iPod Touch. I've wanted one of those since the first rumors preceding the release of the iPhone started circulating, and my old iPod is experiencing hard drive failures, and tomorrow is my birthday... I'm disappointed that it's basically a nano with a touch screen (i.e., very limited storage). I consoled myself with the realization that everything on my current (20 GB) iPod will fit on the 16 GB iPod Touch, but then I realized that I don't have any video on my current iPod. If I want to have all the season 2 episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender on my iPod, that will eat space. The practical course is to buy an 80 GB iPod Classic. But the iPod Touch is cooool...

And we've been spending a lot of time on the house, finally making what feels like progress. We ordered furniture for our living room/solarium. We ordered our kitchen cabinets. We've primed the solarium's 20-foot-high walls, painted the dining room, finished painting our bedroom. About the only significant decision yet to be made is what kind of countertop we want. (Well, bedroom furniture is the other big one.) So we're making progress.

I have learned that I'm not very good at painting walls, and that I don't like not being good at something.

On the other hand, I've been reminded that I like power tools. I particularly like disassembling things, and my new power saw is cool. Today I cut a big sheet of plywood to replace the one in my son's loft bed, which was moldy or otherwise allergenic. That was cool.

But what this is all circling around to is that I sometimes feel like I need a hobby—something that's not remotely related to work that I can do to rest and recreate. A vacation where I'm very intentionally avoiding anything that feels like work really drives that point home. I could be spending time (when I'm not working on the house) working on my next D&D campaign or writing the articles I owe DUNGEON Magazine or outlining my next novel, but those are exactly the things I'm trying to not do this week. What's left?

I can only do so many sudokus in a day before my brain starts to melt. The non-fantasy books waiting to be read are borderline academic, and that doesn't feel very vacationy, either. Scouring the internet for any reader reactions or reviews of Storm Dragon seems like a monumental waste of time. 

So tonight I finally started to get a glimmer of the whole wide world of the internet that's out there. This is actually kinda funny. I stumbled on Yet Another Damn Blog some time ago, completely at random, and found that I liked some of what this guy had to say. He's a self-described "average redneck feminist poet woodworking database geek. With a goofy hat." Much of it means nothing to me, but I keep checking back. So today I found a link to this story, which is wonderful and eye-opening and thought-provoking and . . . I don't know what. Read it and reflect.

So maybe there's more to this internet thing than the eleven web sites I visit every day. More even than Amazon and Google and Wikipedia. More than the random musings of friends and colleagues. There are ideas out there . . . lots of them . . . thought-provoking and interesting ideas put out there by smart and interesting people I don't know. 

You know, now that I think about it, there are smart and interesting people on the net that I do know, and maybe I should spend a little more time keeping in touch with them as well. Huh. Maybe I'll do that now.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Interview with me and Keith Baker

An audio interview with me and Keith Baker, done at GenCon, has been posted here at Fist Full of Comics & Games. It's fun!

New list of my writings

Back on the old site, I had a list of all my publications. It was updated through mid-2004, and then I switched over to blogland and it withered away. I tried setting up an Amazon astore, but that was unsatisfying. So I finally turned that list of publications into its own blog. Every product I've worked on in the last ten years is there, with some editorial comments, links to the relevant pages on, and links to buy the books from You can filter by year or by category. It seems to be working pretty well.

Check it out!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Storm Dragon Tidbits

The First (?) Review!
A very favorable review has just been posted on The Beezer Review. Many thanks to the author, BeezerMN, for such a thoughtful review—and for calling it to my attention! The same review appears on the page for the book.

"With this novel, Mr. Wyatt has proven he will no doubt make a name for himself as a fantasy author. I, for one, hope his career is long and storied as his books are a joy to read. I can easily see myself recommending this novel to many, many people."

Wizards' Press Release
I had no idea this was written and put out. Only some deep digging through Google search results turned it up. A more focused Google search reveals that it was picked up, though it appears most widely on financial pages for Hasbro. Huh.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Storm Dragon on

Now that it's September, the Wizards books site is prominently featuring Storm Dragon. You can get some awesome wallpapers now, in addition to the sample chapter and author profile that have been up for a while. Check it out!

And remember, as the real estate agents say, if you like Storm Dragon, the highest compliment you can give me is to recommend my book to others . . .

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Well, That Went Even Better Than Expected.

Zokutou word meter
114,572 / 112,600

Since I last posted, I wrote another 1,376 words and finished the book. Epilogue, "part starts," and all. That was quite a day: 4,007 words total.

With an 8-hour work day in the midst of it all.

That feels all right. Time to email it off. I guess I can sleep in tomorrow. Good night!

This, My Friends, Is What It's All About

It has been an awesome writing day. I wrote a perfectly respectable 1,292 words this morning, bringing the second-to-last chapter to a close. Then I went in to the office feeling like I couldn't wait to read whatever I wrote next! Then at home this evening, with my wife at rehearsal and my son happily reading about Animal Crossing: Wild World on some web page, I've cranked out another 1,339 words, at least half of that last chapter, and I have that same feeling. I guess that's a good sign that the book is a page-turner, if I can't even wait to write the next page!

If all goes well, I'll finish at least the last chapter tonight. That would leave only the epilogue (you know I love my epilogues) and the "part starts"—likeStorm Dragon, each of the book's four parts are going to start with a few verses of the Draconic Prophecy, which I need to pull together. That should be easily within the realm of what I can do in the morning, then I can email the whole thing off and be done with it for at least a couple of weeks!

My plan is to enjoy a solid 9 days off from work and perhaps about another week off from writing in the mornings. Then I want to get a good, solid start on the outline for Dragon War. Having that under my belt will mean (a) that when I do any revisions necessary for the final draft of Dragon Storm I'll be able to think more about what's coming down the pike, and (b) once I'm done with the final draft of Dragon Forge I'll be able to plunge into writing Dragon Warwith as little delay as possible. Which is good, because the first draft of that book is due on April 1...

What a happy, happy time next spring will be. I'll be wrapping up my hardcover trilogy, and book 2 will be hitting the shelves. The Fourth Edition Player's Handbook will be coming out. I'll be coming up on my 15th wedding anniversary and thinking about doing something crazy like jetting off to Italy to celebrate. Yeah, after this week of vacation, I'm basically living for next spring. C'mon, April!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Storm of Dragons

Today is the official release date of Storm Dragon! I saw it at Barnes & Noble this evening, but Border's didn't have it in stock yet. Amazon shows it in stock and indicates that it's number 33,593 in Books. Very exciting!

Oh, and I did an interview that's up on the Wizards site.

Have you seen my YouTube video? I'm pretty sure I revealed too much, here. Hard to take it back now, though.

I've added a link to my "blog" on the Gleemax forums over on the right. Eventually, that will move off the message boards and onto a proper blog page. What's the future of in the world of Gleemax? Answer hazy, ask again later.

Finally, Dragon Forge. Have I mentioned that I'm taking a vacation next week? Labor Day is Monday, my birthday is Friday, and Hasbro gives us our birthdays off. So at the cost of three vacation days I can spend 9 days out of the office. It's my plan to be finished with Dragon Forge by Friday morning so that I can relax on Saturday, play in Andy's D&D game on Sunday, spend some time at GwenCon the next weekend, and put in some serious work on finishing up our new house during the week in between. I'm really looking forward to this vacation, and in particular to not setting my alarm for 6 A.M. every single day in order to get up and go write. That, my friends, is incentive.

So my current word count is . . .
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
108,643 / 112,600

If you're particularly clever and observant, you will have noticed that I'm cheating a bit, here. Up until now, I have put 120,000 words as my target. My contract actually specifies a total between 100,000 and 120,000. I tend to write long, so I've been aiming for the higher number. When I reached the halfway point time-wise and the one-quarter point word-count wise, I revised my goal somewhat. This current target is based on a realistic estimate of how much more I actually have to write to finish the book—about one and a half chapters plus an epilogue. (My chapters average a little over 2,400 words.) So that's an honest 96.5%, and a confident assertion that I'll turn in this book on Friday.

Speaking of which, why am I writing this instead of that??!?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My GenCon blog!

For the duration of GenCon, I'm posting blog updates over at Go check it out! Sneak preview: I was one of the lead designers for Fourth Edition! (I am lacking my iBlog software, so I know I'm messing up this page. Sorry! Go read the other one!)

Monday, August 13, 2007

My GenCon schedule

Today I remembered to bring it home at last! Here's what I'll be doing, officially, at GenCon this year:

1:00–2:00 Book signing with Keith Baker
4:00–6:00 Dungeon Delve/Wizards booth

11:00–12:00 Eberron Meet & Greet
2:00–4:00 Dungeon Delve/Wizards booth
4:00–6:00 Eberron seminar

10:00–12:00 Dungeon Delve/Wizards booth
12:30–1:30 Book signing with Keith Baker
2:00–4:00 D&D Q&A Seminar
4:00–5:00 Eberron Meet & Greet

10:00–12:00 Kids & D&D Seminar
12:00–2:00 Dungeon Delve/Wizards booth

Unofficially, I sure hope to play some D&D in there, and Charles Ryan is talking about gathering folks from his old d20 Apocalypse game for another reunion this year! Should be plenty of fun to be had.

Maybe I'll see you there!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fun with Dungeon Tiles

I've been playing in a monthly game run by Andy Collins, which he calls Greyhawk Dungeons. It's kind of a old-school dungeon crawl-type campaign, which includes parts drawn from some of the classic adventures of D&D, and in some cases whole adventures. For example, we delved into White Plume Mountain to retrieve the three weapons of legacy, Wave, Whelm, and . . . Eventide. (That was for my swordsage—it's a legacy weapon from Book of Nine Swords.)

And the point of my telling you all this is . . . to share my pictures! If you're familiar with the adventure, you might remember this room, number 26:

I was impressed by the effective combination of Dungeon Tiles with good old-fashioned Battlemat.

In the original adventure, the monsters on the terraces were giant crayfish, giant scorpions, sea lions, and manticores. In the revision we did a couple of years ago, the giant crayfish were replaced by hammerclaws. I can't remember what's represented by those chuuls...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Storm Dragon

It bugs me that prototype covers get out there, on Amazon and even on the Wizards web site, and they never seem to go away. Here: I scanned the cover of the actual hardcover book.

And on the Dragon Forge front:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
90,069 / 120,000

Monday, August 6, 2007

Storm Dragon Sightings

I've been remiss in mentioning this sort of thing. Heck, I've been remiss in mentioning anything. But I have one of the first copies of Storm Dragon to come off the presses, and I think it will be available at GenCon—which, incredibly, is only a week and a half away! It's competing with Ed Greenwood and Jean Rabe on the Wizards book page, and its own page doesn't have the final cover, but there is a sample chapter posted. Go check it out! And then buy the book. It's worth reading in hardcover. Trust me. ;)

I am scheduled for two signing sessions at GenCon, sitting alongside Keith Baker both times. There's also an Eberron meet & greet, or maybe two. I don't have my schedule in front of me, so I'll try to remember to post the times when I do.

On the Dragon Forge front, I've been writing like a screaming maniac, with a target of 1,000 words a day. I've hit that target 44 of the last 51 days, so I'm feeling good. Normally, I set targets and continually fail to hit them until a crunch time at the end. This time, I went into crunch mode close to the halfway point of my writing time, and I've sustained it against all expectations based on past performance.

So here's where I am:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
84,970 / 120,000

My deadline is pretty much Labor Day, which is the week of my birthday. I'm planning some kind of vacation.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Been a while... Here's some news

Yeah, no excuses. Life's busy; life's always busy.

Some news:

Storm Dragon comes out in about two months. I have two advance reading copies, which Wizards sends out as publicity and to solicit reviews and maybe blurbs for the dust jacket. The cover will look a lot better than what's on, and the title will be more readable than what's on the ARC. And I fixed the last line before the final book went off to the printer. I had a lot of trouble with it.

I'm waist-deep in the second book of the trilogy, Dragon Forge. Here's exactly how deep:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
44,467 / 120,000

And we bought a house. We're trying to get the house ready to move into, thinking about getting ourselves ready to move into it, and also thinking about getting my mother- and sister-in-law here from Michigan to move into our old house. Craziness.

On the plus side, I spent a pleasant evening playing Pokémon Battle Revolution with my buddy, my son. Life is good.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Math Things That Make My Head Explode:

Are there more even numbers or odd numbers?

Clearly there are more of either than there are prime numbers.

Different sizes of infinity make my head explode.

This is more fun than head-exploding: Counting by nines is a palindrome:
09 18 27 36 45 54 63 72 81 90

Have I posted that before? If so, I couldn't find it, and I apologize.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Coffee Cup Thought for the Day

The Way I See It #204
Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure. Never forget your Personal Legend. Never forget your dreams. Your silent heart will guide you. Be silent now. It is the possibility of a dream that makes life interesting. You can choose between being a victim of destiny or an adventurer who is fighting for something important.
Paulo Coelho
Novelist. His works include The Alchemist, The Zahir and The Devil and Miss Prym.

I really believe in the notion of identifying your dreams and working your butt off to achieve them, practicality be damned. My wife and my sister-in-law both use me as an example of how you can get a job doing what you love if you're willing to work hard enough for it.

Interestingly, the last sentence of that quotation is also a reasonable summary of the theme of Storm Dragon. Which is finished (as far as I'm concerned), by the way. In the editor's careful and loving hands. 

So I'm in Starbucks with my profound coffee cup, grateful that the guy behind the counter didn't hear me say "for-here," and working on the outline for Book 2 of The Draconic Prophecies.

It's a great life. Despite these 12-1/2 hour work days.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Writing and Revising

I had a strange realization this morning. I am finding the task of revising my novel for a final draft much more daunting than the task of actually writing the thing.

See, the writing process was very straightforward. I took my outline to Starbucks every day and put more words on the page. It was a purely linear process—even though I wanted, at times, to go back and revise things I'd written before, I didn't have time. So I basically started on page 1 and wrote straight through to page 294 or whatever it came out to be. I could measure my progress day by day, as demonstrated by the word meters I put up here once in a while. A very manageable process, once you get past the initial, "Holy cow, that's a lot of words."

But working on the final draft now, I feel like I'm confronted every day with this enormous behemoth of a novel, and it's hard to know where to attack it. I've been trying to handle it as a linear process like writing: Start on page 1, make edits according to the notes that my wife and my editor have given me, and carry on through to page 294 or whatever it turns out to be. But it doesn't really work like that. Much more than in the writing stage, I feel like I have to think about the novel as a whole. I need to think about the arc of the main character's development, and make sure that the change is happening at the right pace. I have to jump around within the document a lot more, sometimes moving chunks of text from one place to another, and occasionally leaving little "@@" marks in the text so I remember to go back and mess with stuff later. It's a much more challenging process. 

I don't remember In the Claws of the Tiger being like this. I feel like the linear revision process worked for that book—maybe because I had more time for the first draft, and I'd already gone through it once myself before I even sent it to the editor. 

Well, daunting or not, it has to get done. I know it has to get done, because I saw the book listed on Amazon. I'll keep you posted on how it's going.

Whee! We got a Wii!

Turns out, I am in fact the best father in the world. Sorry to all you other fathers out there reading this who might believe you have a claim to the title. I know it must be disappointing.

OK, just kidding. But I earned enormous brownie points. See, Monday was my son's birthday. We had talked about getting a Wii for Christmas, but it didn't happen—largely because I pooh-poohed the idea of going and standing outside of Best Buy for hours before they opened. And we figured they'd be easier to acquire after Christmas, and my son's birthday is in late January. Seemed easy, right?

Well, demand hasn't gone down, but supply is starting to rise. And I happened to see in Sunday's ad fliers (which I've been checking from time to time) that both Best Buy and Target were advertising new stocks of Wiis. So Sunday morning I got up and went to Target five minutes before they opened. Ha! So from there I went pretty much straight to Best Buy, an hour and a half before they opened. I was about the 30th person in line, with maybe 10 people in line behind me. After about an hour, they came down the line and gave out tickets, and I got one. We gave it to my son on his birthday, and he was just stunned. It was awesome.

So Mike Mearls has talked quite a bit about the Wii phenomenon over on his blog. And I have to say I agree with him. It is incredibly cool and innovative, and I think it's seriously awesome that my son and I can play on more-or-less equal footing. My mother, in town for the birthday, took a little more getting used to the controls, but she beat us in bowling once, too. And the hard-core gamers I work with want Wiis too. That's really cool.

But the coolest thing about the Wii? Well, the Starbucks cup I held through all that time I was waiting in line sums it up pretty well:

The Way I See It #198
You can shower a child with presents or money, but what do they really mean, compared to the most valuable gift of all—your time? Vacations and special events are nice, but so often the best moments are the spontaneous ones. Being there. Every moment you spend with your child could be the one that really matters.
Tim Russert
Host of NBC's Meet the Press and author of Wisdom of our Fathers

Because the coolest thing about the Wii, much like our experience with World of Warcraft, is that we play it together. And we're buddies forever.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Holy Cats! has a page for my new novel! The Storm Dragon: The Draconic Prophecies, Book 1. Apparently it's coming out August 28, which is about a week earlier than I expected. And it showed up on Amazon (as our products often do) a few months earlier than I expected...

Want to see? Take a look at my new store! When you get there, click on Fiction over on the right.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bruce Cordell on Outlining

My co-worker and friend Bruce Cordell posted recently about his experience outlining the first novel of his new trilogy. It was neat for me to read another author's thoughts on a process we've all gone through, and to compare my own feelings about it.

Bruce said he's never been a fan of outlines, preferring to just write as he goes. My sense is only slightly different: I never even thought about outlining a novel until I was asked to submit one. I always assumed that when I did write a novel, I'd sit down and write from the beginning to the end, making it up as I went along. And over the years I made a couple of feeble stabs in the direction of a short story, writing as I went along, and each time sort of petered out, not knowing where the story was going. 

So when my editor for both Tales of the Last War and In the Claws of the Tiger asked for, first, a pitch (a pretty brief summary of the plot of the book) and then a chapter-by-chapter outline, I was taken aback. But I found myself able to write such outlines. And then, much to my surprise, I found that having an outline made it possible to write the story or the novel. I sat down every morning with my mocha valencia and knew what I had to try to write that morning, even if I didn't know exactly what words to put down. It turns out that is the hard, or at leas the time-consuming part. To sit down and know what the characters have to discuss, what they need to do, what needs to happen in the world around them, and to struggle to find the words to express all that can be pretty disheartening. Usually once the caffeine from that triple-shot coffee delicacy kicks in, the process gets easier.

Like Bruce, I enjoy both the structure an outline provides and the freedom to deviate from it. As I wrote this novel, I kept a file called "working outline," which I used to guide my day-by-day writing, but also marked up thoroughly, so that it remained a faithful outline of the plot of the novel even as I veered away from the original plan. There's at least one place where I wrote, "Wow, that chapter ended up very differently than I expected!" and then struck through all the rest of the text of the outline for that chapter and filled it in with something new. And when I got to the last couple of chapters, I threw the outline away completely. That working outline file also served as a handy place to make notes about things I wrote that I knew I wanted to pick up later on. It was a handy thing to have alongside my actual novel file (one big Word file, ending up at 1.8 MB!). 

I also kept a character file, with some basic information about each of the major characters in the novel. I had notes about D&D stats (I never statted these ones up completely), physical description, mannerisms, and favorite exclamations. For In the Claws of the Tiger I had a timeline file as well, where I tracked the action of the novel day by day. I started one of those for this novel but fell away from it... I'm sort of wondering if I should go back and fill it in to make sure I'm not making any weird mistakes about continuity. 

So there it is—a reaction to Bruce's comments, with some extra thoughts of my own about the writing process. Make of it what you will...

Oh, Yeah, There's This...

I've been remiss about updating, partly because I got a .Mac subscription in September and I'm still trying to decide in my head if I want to move my blog to that server and perhaps even let the domain name go. That would make me sad, but how long has it been since I've done any work (or any gaming) in Aquela? A very long time.

But the important thing is this, as of this past Sunday (the 14th):
Zokutou word meter
120,555 / 120,000

I've started working through the manuscript toward a final draft. That's a much happier place to be: sitting at Starbucks with my printed manuscript on one side (covered in my wife's notes), my editor's notes on the other side, and a cinnamon dolce latte in my hands, without any word-count target for the day. There's still some time pressure—I need to get this done so that I can start outlining and writing the next book! Oop—did I spill the beans?