WN08 Preptober

🔥 Alchemy of Creation

It’s October, which to some means it’s Preptober! At the beginning of the year, when I did FAWM, I also decided that I would do NaNoWriMo this year, in prep for FAWM next year. So October rolls around, and I had completely forgotten about it, until I hear others talking about NaNo. So, what am I going to do? Open myself up to the possibility and see if I find an idea ripe for the taking.

There was no mention of NaNoWriMo last week in my notes, because I hadn’t even thought about it. I it was barely on my radar. This week, I’ve been thinking about it and working with some ideas on paper, and I have the seed of something. So, fuck it. Here I go. 50,000 words here we come.

The official NaNoWriMo Prep process is six weeks long. Six steps, really. I could do that in two weeks, right? The last couple of weeks are about project and time management, which I’m less concerned about.

My biggest concern is that without an outline, I will have no structure from which to write. But finding time to write, I have been doing morning pages on and off most of this year. I know I can write about 750 words in half an hour, and 20% of them will be gibberish. And 600 words morning, afternoon and evening is word count. Now, editing is hard, but editing is not the target. Don’t expect to see the first draft. I already have time blocked out on Wednesdays and Sundays for creative projects. So I can get myself ahead. Which gives some slack, as I’m not used to writing long narratives. The trick is keeping those words on-topic.

Working on an outline this week and next is finding a way to make a writing session sustainable. Going through the official prep has given my process some structure, and having the outline will keep me on the rails once NaNo begins. With it I’ll know where I’m starting each writing session, and it will help me get to the end of it.

📯 From the World

Ryan Singer at Basecamp has put a book out. Basecamp seem to actually do what Agile Software Development should be; high quality, customer-focused work in a low pressure environment. Yet, the way they run is counter to many of the standard practices.

I’ve been looking forward Shape Up since Ryan Singer went through their process on the Getting Real Youtube Channel a couple years back.

What stood out was the Hill Chart. Yes, it’s a it’s a feature in their app, but it’s an interesting model for describing risk at different phases of a project. There are at least two different types of work. There is discovery work, like research and design. This is the uphill part. And there is the execution. Once you understand the problem, getting it done feels like a downhill task.

They’ve built their entire project process around the risk of uncertainty, pulling a lot of it forward. To the point where they don’t even commit to a project until they have explored and shrunk the scope to reliably fit in a six week time-box with 2-3 people.

💎 Rethinking

So, NaNoWriMo… That’s a timebox. As a four week project, we have a clear target, the word count, and significant editing is clearly out of scope. By following the prep process, having characters and an outline, removes the biggest barriers to starting to write.

Ryan makes a point in Shape Up I hadn’t considered before. When you’re defining your work at the same time as trying to execute it, you can design yourself into a corner. Here, I’m making it possible to have a story with a beginning, middle and end. There’s still plenty of room for creative freedom, but I know I’m writing this book, not just any book.

📍 A Point on the Timeline

Cyberpunk Red

We left off with Camden and D311B0i breaking into Dr. Carver’s office. Our black market contact would be taking it over since Dr. Carver is dead. D311B0i is more oblivious as to the state of his own building than you’d expect. He was only now noticing that Dr. Carver had reinforced some of the walls and added security doors for the main entrance. The side-door, however, was a standard glass-panelled, wooden door. That one couldn’t even take two good kicks.

Waiting room. Consultation office. In the back another set of reinforced doors. There was a keypad, but best let the tech take care of this. By this point Alex and Apogee Borne had been released from the police station. Camden went back and picked them up. They were in a dour mood. But, Alex’s mood brightened when Camden mentioned that Dr. Tero was around since he’d offered to fix her netrunning gear.

Alex gave the doctor the latest info on her gear, while Apogee got into Dr. Carver’s operating theatre behind the office. Dr. Tero then ran a test and yes, Alex’s hardware was in a bad way.

In Dr. Carver’s kit there was an external firewall block. It would reduce the speed at which Alex could work in the net, but keep her from infecting more hardware. Make it safe to jack-in! Alex tried this out on Dr. Carver’s computer and went through various layers of encryption and counter-measures to unlock the contact list. Stims may have been involved. She had just been operated on. But she got through.

The new doctor was very pleased with This and in the scheme of things, this goes some goes a long way towards a penniless netrunner retooling their gear.

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