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.