Word counts and why they don’t count

Okay, so I administrate over at Distant Fantasies and as such, on a regular basis get to see new sites or existing sites as I just browse the DF Directory. As such I find sites that strike my fancy and while I am not a chronic site joiner I love to be able to suggest sites to my friends and I’ve noticed this blaring trend of waffling.

Now I say that and your first instinct is ‘wtf is waffling’ but waffling is a failure for one to make up their mind. Mind you, I’m a queen waffler IRL.

Next question you ask is ‘wtf are they waffling about’? Well that’s where it gets interesting. It’s their word count. Now mind you, I’m an avid anti-word count advocate. I find that I have as much potency in a one line post as some people feel that you only get from hundreds, if not thousands, of words. That notwithstanding though, I don’t like reading things like:

We’re a no word count site but……

But what? Are you a no word count site or aren’t you? There is no buts in such a statement unless you’re not, in fact, a no word count site. If you add in a “but we like to see at least three paragraphs” or “we prefer that you have at least 200 words” then why don’t you make that you’re minimum? A “no word count” site means that I can post one word or I can post ten thousand but there is absolutely no restriction on how many I am required to put into that post box.

After I read this and it infuriated me, I talked to my boyfriend Cricket about this. Mind you, my boyfriend is a DnD based roleplayer, he uses his dice to determine things while I use communication with my partner. I asked him if he had this type of thing in his campaign, these types of players and he said that he did except his players are overly wordy for the sake of trying to cover all of there basis so they don’t get killed. “I turned the knob to the left really slowly before pushing the door open, just as slowly as to not make a sound” and we both didn’t know of a single person that was legitimately that careful, especially when you consider the setting. I explained to him that for my format that people felt themselves on a higher rank than you due to the amount of words that they post, no matter how relevant or important those words were to be able to progress the story line.

The conversation continued and he asked about how relevant the post content was and I advised him 70-90 percent of it is fluff to fill the word count or time travel posting (time travel posting is responding to parts of the previous post because the previous roleplayer continued past that point and didn’t giv eyou ample opportunity to respond even though your character, would in fact, respond). Time travel posting incites more time travel posting which incites more fluff to fill an arbitrary number for a ranking system that only exists in the minds of the players themselves.

I’m a 17 year play by post roleplayer. I have been through the advanced years when 1200 words were the minimum to be considered a part of the roleplay elite of “Advanced” and I’ve been through the years that 600 words was that and now the new trend is “no word count but”. I’m an advanced roleplayer and after all this time I’ve come to finally a zen point in my roleplaying time to have finally figured out that:

  • This is just a game. I shouldn’t feel like getting onto my roleplay sites is a job. There is no reason for this and I should feel like my relaxation hobby is a chore. Word counts make it a chore.
  • A word count is an arbitrary number to keep up a fascist belief that more is better. I’m going to fill you in, that if it doesn’t contribute to the plot then it’s likely not worth your time to type it out. How many books have you read that a character inner monologues for pages, upon pages, upon pages, that actually keep your interest and doesn’t progress the plot. Sure you can talk about your childhood tragedy for 400 words but how does that help your character now, or the plot that you are trying to progress but posting about how your character shifts uncomfortably and gets a look in their eye that someone might be able to see, that’s proper writing. Yes, I reduced 400 words into a single sentence but the single sentence is far more potent.
  • Word counts kill the muse. I’ve read posts that are amazingly long that give me absolutely nothing to reply to and one liners that speak volumes in themselves that inspire me to write a thousand words. If the situation calls for the post then post it but don’t strangle me with your words because you are obligated or you feel a better sense of self by posting a longer post. It perpetuates a lie that your quality cannot be seen by posting something less then some arbitrary number.
  • Confucius say: “Do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito.” I can’t say how appropriate this is. Your concise words should speak the volumes in your character actions.

 

Really in the end you will play the site you’re comfortable with and if that’s the site that requires 3 paragraphs or nine million words per post, then so be it. I just request that you stop your waffling and either say your no word count because you are or say your a word/paragraph count site because that’s what you are. There is no reason to have a but in your rule about count minimums if you have one set in your mind.

Make up your fucking mind.

Editing

Oh the pain and pleasure of editing!

Pretty much I have gotten stuck somewhere around chapter 7 which is 50 pages into the story. Now I know why I’m stuck, I have neglected important information that one of the characters needs in order to continue on. Well that is never a good thing and often time gets to what I’m stuck in… writer’s block. I’m not fully blocked I’m just having a hard time continuing with the story since the character that needs the information doesn’t have it. So what should I do?

Well if you are like half of the other writers that I know that say “just keep writing” then leave me be. You obviously have no idea, not only how, but why my brain works the way it does. If you are a psychologist perhaps you could tell me. Pretty much, since the story doesn’t have the information my muse/character/person that I’m writing for refuses to continue to write as if they have the information. since they refuse to write I have to go back and fix it. Why not power through it like half of the other writers in the world seem to think I should? Because it doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t work to just keep going. If the character needs the information just powering through it may leave that information out, even in edits. So my brain shuts down until I fix it.

So that being said I have been working on re-reading the previous parts of my story and editing as I go to find the best place to interject the information that I need, to add it so that the character has it. now re-reading some of my chapters I see some of the more major flaws that I had in them. They are even a little stale or lacking in detail which makes me glad for this initial re-write. It makes me happy that I can question my motivation and how I’m portraying the information to the reader. I now know that I need to put forth more detail in my work.

More mannerisms, more information. I realize that I show absolutely no motivation or information for why Fillip or Violet are the way they are or even what happened to Violet and Kane. After this realization I also realized that I never intended to elaborate so you would just have to deal with half the information that you would need to properly understand the character dynamics between them so I need to add that information in somewhere as well. Like how long have Violet, Fillip and Kane known each other? Are they friends? Lovers? Have they ever been? Will they ever be again? What is their relation to one another in the story? While I know that information, I realize that I’m not providing that information to the reader. So in essence a pre-edit edit to fix my writers block is proving to be a good thing.

 

In other news I am thinking about finishing Card Rebellion, the Alice in Wonderland RP I was wanting to work on. I have it half done. I need to finish the detail information and the premade list and once I’ve done that then I think it would be ready. I think I would definitely need a reliable co-admin, someone that could be there when I’m not. Unfortunately I can never seem to find one of those.

Madness news we have a Facebook Connect app so if you like my facebook page you will get Madness updates every time I post. So please do so and you will get e-cookies. I may also be adding a Facebook widget to the sidebar so I can see who loves me most. <333 😉

I have also joined a few Sites, if you want to friend or add me on them just send me a message in any fashion you know how to get a hold of me (which normally is a lot of ways) or PM me on the site directly. The sites I’ve joined are as follows:
RedRoom
Authonomy
GoodReads

Add me, follow me, whatever. I <33 you if you want to chat. Definitely have no problem doing it while I’m online.

Lastly, I think, Knights of Cydonia is doing very well. The activity picked up last week so if you want to be a part of my story book world before it even reaches print (it’s sort of a laxer AU version but it works) then come check us out and join Knights of Cydonia!

NaNo Woes (choosing the right plot)

So NaNo starts in just a few days (you’ll see a NaNo widget go up into the sidebar when it does and I would appreciate cheerleaders and support during this treacherous and tumultuous torment of tantalizing typing) and I’m at a loss for what to write. Now don’t get me wrong, I know the genre, I know the world, I know most of the characters but it’s the story that I don’t know about.

To explain further. I’ve started a world originally inspired but the music group Muse that eventually became it’s own little place in the fiction setting and is now a complete world, with maps, and gizmos, an way of life and everything. It’s a Futuristic Dystopian society and if you want to take a peek feel free. The place is called Knights of Cydonia. So that being said, I have the setting and I have quite a few plots as I have quite a few characters to follow along with arcs that encompass them all. My problem is which story should I start off with.

The story that I want to write, because I am putting off creating the character in the game right now, is a story about my character Mordria, who is a Gypsy that gets driven away from her family pack. It is an inspiring little story because I have the beginning (minus the introductions that I like to do) all planned out in my head. The problem? Is I don’t really have a direction to go with it. I don’t have middle even though I do have an end. So I can’t write a story without the meat but I don’t know what her purpose is in the story in my head.

Now on the other hand I have a completely thought out, what should happen from beginning to end story but after considering what is involved to happen I don’t think it’s the first book and starting in the middle of a series just seems silly but it might be my best option at this point but it doesn’t alleviate the problem that it’s not half as inspiring as the Mordria plot although it is more developed.

Another possibility, of course, is that I spend the next six days pondering the beginning. What started what I have now in the world. How far back do I want to go? I mean the site has a 1100 year old history. Should I write a story about the breakdown in society? I think that’s one of those chronicle books that comes out way after ta majority of others but it would technically be the beginning. When the government rose to power and did their dastardly things but I sort of want to keep some of that stuff safe from the readers and expose it like a blooming flower. I could also go with a Samuel Gufner time line, when the knights were founded but that’s again something that I don’t want to fully expose until later.

I have been developing this world for 6+ months and I don’t know where the beginning is. I guess my best bet would be to start with a character that is involved in it.

Theresa Pulsar would be the character for the New Born Program along with her husband Casius and their family. Again New Born Program is not the beginning of the story.
Violet could be a good start but the question is I don’t know where she begins and her story ends. I think what I should do is start with Julian and Violet. Maybe something romantic! NO! I have it. Julian, Violet, Fillip falling out! This will work wonders…. Maybe. I think it will. This will be perfect. the Story Arc will be Violet’s falling apart, my plan for her in the game so this will be a fun story to write.

Thanks for listening to me get it in order. Story to write: Violet’s falling out with the Knights and her redemption.

Changes and Updates (from the Madness world)

Well I’ve not been updating this properly so I’m going to try and get back into this.

Firstly, I have turned off the Twitter feed into my blog. I thought it was alright to start off with but really it’s more or less just blog spam and I think it keeps me from posting properly in my blog so I apologize for that. I am trying to get back into a scheduled routine, Yoga, writing, baths, bed. Going to bed late is bad for me. T_T

Secondly, NaNo starts next month so get excited for more updates about my writing. I’m actually hoping to take this opportunity and write a full story and see if I can get it published. With how things are going in my life it actually seems like the best course of action and I’ve been world building an RPG that I will be using as the primary setting.

Thirdly I wanted to show everyone my awesome video! I am NO singer but I had fun and that’s all that counts so I will warn you now that any comments on how bad of a singer I am I will delete it immediately. It was done to have some fun. It is a Spoof of Amanda Palmer’s Leeds United song.

Lets see what else. My daughter is doing well in school although I’m having problems keeping my kids from fighting and keeping my sanity. I am easily frustrated and not having a significant other to share the responsibilities with makes my life really frustrating. I mean I have mum to help offset it (and she really does help and put up with my bratty kids)  but it’s really hard all around. Ijust need to work on breathing and patience. Hopefully Yoga will help, I need something to help center me and I think that it will help me with my patience issues. I hate being impatient but I’m having a hard time not being impatient.

In the coding world I’ve been developing a Character mod for IPB3. It’s working very well so far I’m adding and fixing things as I go. My current project is custom fields but I haven’t started working on it yet but I think it will be relatively easy, especially to override the UserInfoPane info.

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Today’s dilemma is something that I’m not sure should concern me. I’ve been wanting to create another character on my site which would make 10 (or 11 if you include DORIS) which would just solidify my role in having 10 out of the 20 characters on the site. Now while I don’t mind having a lot of characters (I’m active with each of them and none are in danger of anything) but I feel that it’s almost overkill to have so many characters. The problem is that I have so many ideas knocking around in my head and I want to play them out but I’m afraid that it would scare potential members that I am monopolizing the RP with my characters although it’s more because there are so few members that my characters aren’t offset by others’ characters. T_T It makes me feel bad because I have the most amount of characters but it also frustrates me because I want to make another character because I have a good idea and I think it should be my choice to make since it is my creative energy.

Now, I had decided last night to make the character and I’m back to being wishy washy on it. I think that it would be a great character to create but I think that I should hold off but that just artistically frustrates me and my muse. I think I will wait for a few more characters to show up before I make her and perhaps I will choose to write my NaNo story on the woman to put it out creatively.

Thanks for listening to my plight while I decided on this, although I still fight to not make the character I think that I will wait until the KoC story furthers and it has been around longer for her to step in or that we get 5-10 more characters on the site.

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Now the last thing I think of is site changes. I am going to change my layout here on Morrigan’s Madness. The colors should stay relatively the same as they are two of my favorites, it’s that or pink. I also am going to create a Listing and maybe start up a fanlisting or two. I will most likely begin to get my site linked at other places so look forward to seeing a lot of changes here on MM but they may be slow, my first priorities is scheduling my life, KoC and RPers Anon. I think that you will all enjoy the changes as I will be adding Twitter stuff, Facebook Stuff and more. ^_^

That’s it for now. Enjoy and thanks for reading.

Not so interesting day

Today I watched the Addams family. Not just any Addams Family but the old black and white show. I think I was watching the second half of the first season, if I remember correctly. It’s filled with such awesome slapstick comedy. I remember watching this when I was younger, obviously not live because, well lets face it, I wasn’t alive in 1965. I just remember watching re-runs of the show when I was younger. The Addams Family has always been a favorite show of my family’s. We often compare our eccentric ways to that of the Addams family.

What else for today? Well I discussed more with my brother about possibly writing his Feargrant/Tnargraef story down. I think, if I can get this in a manageable state to start writing, this will be an extreme challenge for me. Want a few reasons why?

  1. The main characters aren’t generically plain – by that I mean they aren’t human, not moderately normal or pretty in any way.
  2. The main characters are male – I’m a woman and I write best from a woman’s aspect.
  3. One character is a little crazy – Okay, admittedly? I can write nuts very well but there are a few traits, like rhyming, that will be a little more difficult to deal with.
  4. The story is a little intricate but with big holes – I’m trying to figure out the story my brother has in place but trying to understand my brother some days is like trying to understand a circle. You know it goes round and round but you never know why.
  5. Understanding the structure while not understanding the entire why – There are reasons for a lot of stuff but some of it doesn’t make a lick of sense.
  6. Trying to figure out if I’ll have a bit of artistic leisure as I’ll be the one writing it – I sort of prefer the “Here’s the general story, here’s the character, have fun” sort of way.

We’ll see how it goes. I’m still slowly working on that world of mine but both stories inspire me and I just had a fantastic idea for a Dexter Fic that I might write. I really need to finish my other one and finish reading a few things before I start a million new projects.

Speaking of projects I already have Thursday’s comic figured out. Hopefully I’ll get to designing the panels come tomorrow but I think that I might do a few things before I sit at the computer. Namely Yoga.

As for the Yoga thing? I’m a big Yoga failure. I had meant to start it up, do it every morning but Sunday threw me off. I gave into the mum begging thing and I went to church again (something I find to be very good too do handy projects like Komi-himo. I’m going to get back on it tomorrow and not forget on Sunday. I especially can’t forget because my daughter liked doing it with me on Saturday and she tried to do it today without me (she snatched my book and started to pretend that she was learning, really cute actually). I need to do it for me as well. I want to lose weight and then there is my recent stress.

OMG! My recent stress. I must be really stressed because I’ve had the worse stress break outs that I think I’ve ever had. It’s driving me mad. I hope that the Yoga and stuff will help with it. I really miss my Wii Fit. A lot! Like a lot a lot. I want it back so I can feel better all over. If my brother gets a Wii I will get a new Wii Fit game and do it.

What else? What else? Oh! I was able to properly stay up and listen/ watch Tarol again tonight. I really enjoy watching him draw Goblins. He is especially entertaining when people are stupid a few of the things he said tonight:
Quote 1: “I make idiots look like bigger idiots.”
Quote 2: “I feel like I’m dissecting a frog…. made from jerk.”
It just tickled me and made my brother’s lol.

Last thing? My brother discovered Flying Vaginas in FF13.

Hope you’re having a good day. ^_^