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.

Updating sites

So I’m in the process of updating Morrigan’s Madness and Morrgasm. I was thinking that Morrigan’s madness needed something new and improved for a skin (still working on that) and just a makeover all around.

Excitingly I added a new plugin that I think will be helpful. It’s an all in one Social media plugin. I find that I forget to Tweet when I post and having something do it for me is always fabulous. Plus it takes a load off my shoulders for it.The plugin is Jetpack and is downloadable through WordPress so if you have WordPress and want something that really integrates social media into your site, I’m enjoying it so far, I would suggest it. Only piece of advice I could give anyone about it, there is a built in like feature and any posts created before installing the plugin don’t seem to be able to use it, but if you update the post it will fix it (no changes need to be made) and you can use the mass edit and just choose “Update” and it will leave all posts as they were and fix the bug.

Let me add into that:If you are using the Jetpack plugin and are having an issue with the Like link constantly showing as “Loading” edit the post and then publish it and it will fix the issue.

I have decided, with the discovery of this plugin, that I will also be installing WordPress on my main site, Morrgasm.com so look for that in the next week.

Not much originality

So my boyfriend today said I need to focus my site creating juices toward one site and get the traffic up enormously and then from there market and see what we can do about possibly revenuing it and making it to where I don’t have to have a conventional job anymore. Thinking about it, I agree but where to start? I don’t have enough motivation most of the time to keep to one project (my current ten projects proving such a thing) and figuring out a way to drive traffic to my site is elusive to me.

Of course I’m sure the first site that you think I should get going is probably Morrigan’s Madness and that seems almost a good idea. It’s the site I’ve had active and going for the longest and it’s also my blog but I don’t know of much that I could legitimately talk about that would drive more people to my site. I don’t have much originality to be honest. I talk about my strife in life and who wants to hear that? Not even I like to hear myself whine and yet I do it on here like I’m some entitled blogger or something. <_< Not really but you get what I mean.

Then there is my new site splash page Morrgasm which should be some sort of Morrigan content site with links to all of my projects, what I’m working on, what I’m doing. It’ll likely have a feed from here to keep the information flowing. It seems like a good idea but what would I publish to this site to make it worth visiting other then links to my other sites. Transferring content I don’t think is a good thing to focus on but I think that if I make it my MAIN site then it would be worth it. It would be like the ultimate splash page.

Next possibility is to really focus one of my two comic ideas. Those have the most monetary potential if you consider it. There is Morrapocalypse or Wootflakes.
Now Morrapocalypse is the Apocalyptic/Dystopic Comic that is there to both teach you something about surviving a dystopia and apocalypse as well as exposing some cliches. The skin is not done and I have no presence whatsoever but it does have a domain sister of Morrdystopia that has a forum on it.
Wootflakes on the other hand is a geeky little spork that has mostly nerd humor. The skin is done but needs to be re-created and I already have some basis done I would just need to focus on getting them up regularly and advertising it.

My other option is RPers Anonymous which is the site that I have the most focus on but the hardest time finding a software that is worth it and I can’t afford to straight upgrade my server to a VPS to get the software that mostly works and I certainly don’t have a few thousand to throw down to get it made and I’d have to go back to school to get the personal knowledge because all the crash courses that I’ve been through doesn’t really teach me proper security and security is important for what I’m looking for. So this idea is my primary one but I don’t have the money to throw at it.
I guess with this, if I wanted to upgrade, I could do hosting packages for RPers for small fees and it would include cPanel but I don’t know I guess it would depend I’d need enough interest in it to make up for the cost of the VPS. It’ would be something simple like maybe 3 bucks a month or 5 a month with Morr Support. I guess I should see how the free hosting goes first.

Last one is RP Status which is mostly supposed to be an addition to RPA so focusing on it would be silly other then posting to it updates. So it wouldn’t be worth it without it’s counterpart and see above for the problems with that.

I guess there is one other, Faerie Reverie which is supposed to be a site (whenever I finish it) about kids especially my kids even though they drive me crazy. It could be something of an ideas to play with your kids (as I normally don’t see pretty sites like it) but that would require me being a more involved parent and I don’t have time for it most of the time. I’d have to figure out ways to make things fun for my kids without spoiling them.

Another idea is to get Sex is Business off the ground which again would require a little money from me including getting my breasts done like I want to do and fixing my teeth. This one would be the site that I have photos of myself for sell in naughty ways. This is my preferred method but I don’t know how to market a site like this. It would definitely be a ton of fun starting out with certain photos and moving from there but again what to do.

My other domains like Knights of Cydonia, Card Rebellion, and Brain Damage are all RPGs so they aren’t something to make money off of as they are simply hobby. The others Woothappens and Lady Pirate are re-directors to other domains and I just have them for prettiness and show. So needless to say these aren’t options.

Now what do I want to get from my endeavors? Enough money to financially support my ability to stay at home and work on them. This is my end all goal. With that it would give me the ability to do my other desires including writing a book without the drain of muse. So needless to say I’m already blech about this all. I want so much more and I can’t attain it and I can’t make a decision on what to focus on.

I think my primary focus (until I decide) is to get Morrgasm up so I have my proper splash site and to-do list and determine my top priority. Feel free to post your opinion of this here as I’m always looking for feedback and suggestions. If you like an idea let me know and I’ll try and put more weight on that.

Distant fantasies Contest – Support Morr Please!

So there is a contest going on at Distant Fantasies to help get the word out about the new Tweet Feature from their site to promote your site on Twitter! Yay them! Fun for RPs to get the word out their further! So I figured I’d let you all know about it:
https://twitter.com/#!/DistantFantasy

That’s where it is. I’ve already followed it and tweeted the word. If you tweet the word feel free to post on the “Boards2go”
http://boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?user=distantfantasies
Of course you can help Knights of Cydonia or any site that you’d prefer to be featured there and the ways are here:
http://distant-fantasies.net/featured.php

Have fun and thanks for supporting your local neighborhood Morrigan

Networking

So if you knew it or not I’m working on writing a book and to do that I’ve been reading a rather informative book on how to get myself published. Mind you I’m an extremely slow reader and I have had little time to actually do any writing with being exhausted from work but I’m trying really hard. I have my game plan in motion on how I want to continue I just need the time and focus to do so. So, back to the explanation, it talks about networking and making a market for my book, finding that market or seeking it out. Now, that sounds like a great plan but I find a few flaws with that system.

Who is my market?

While I want to believe everyone is my market, obviously my market will stray to the Sci-Fi fantasy people and even maybe on the slightly gothic side.

Well Sci-Fi is an extremely broad realm, where would I start?

Well you’d think at Sci-Fi sites, but I go to a Sci-Fi site and all I see are things about pace and things. So I have a niche of Sci-Fi right? Dystopia. Because that is a sub genre for Sci-Fi that my book should fall into.

Where do I go for Dystopia?

http://dystopia.com/ That’s the obvious choice right? But where is the community behind that? There are great film and book suggestions there but where is the community I’m looking for. So lets google it. When you google Dystopia you get facts and lists of Dystopia as a genre, still no community right?

Well what about who inspired it? Muse.

Well there is a great community that follows muse but what would make them interested in a “Muse inspired Dystopia”? What would draw that crowd to me as a writer? Well our love of Muse but I’m not a deeply musical person. I love music but how does that fit in with a book that I want to publish to promote it? Well get the people and they will love it? Well I want to but how does one wriggle there way into the community of something so intertwined? What would one do to try and reach out to other Muse fans and tell them that I am inspired to write a book that might be to their fancy as it is inspired by the same music that they listen to? How would one truly integrate themselves?

Well there is always building a website?

Well I have websites. I have many in fact. I even have a roleplay based in the world that I have created for this book, mind you it is far more lax then the actual book will be because I have to make it playable but it is a website dedicated to the world the book is in.

Then get people attracted to the site!

Ok! Come to http://knightsofcydonia.org join and RP! Did it work? Did I get you hooked enough to join? Have questions? Ask me there. *tests said theory*

Another method is to do things like Podcasts and Tweets and Facebook about myself, about my book, about things my book is about and things like that. Well that’s fine and dandy if I were making a book on how the world today is a Dystopia but I am not (mind you I do believe modern day America is a modern day Dystopia, ruled and controlled by the market, want to know more show your interest and I will blog about it). Now Podcasts, Sure, I’ll do a podcast but what would it be about? Same things I’ve been talking about? I really want to start building this world of people interested in my work but really where does it start for a fiction writer? Where would I push to get people to like me as an author?

My answer to that is through my blog here. While I only update semi-regularly I think that this is my best bet to gain any interest whatsoever. I do post my chapters to my Fanfiction here. I think that I may try to write short stories and post them here too. I certainly think that it would do me a world of good to concentrate on something that will focus me artistically, even if I’m tired. It says to work hard and work tirelessly. Well I’m already tired so lets either get changed into a vampire or turned into a zombie so I can work even harder. I want to do this. I CAN do this! I have never wanted something to be completed so badly in my life.

Here is my attempt as a working tirelessly person:

  • I will try to post something on this blog at minimum bi-weekly.
  • I will try to post a short story set in the world I am creating at least monthly.
  • I will try to keep this schedule as best as I can, even when stressed, tired or otherwise physically and mentally strained.
  • I will try to respond to all tweets/facebook requests and blog comments in a timely fashion.
  • I will try to keep up with my social networking medias so that you know that I am diligently trying to get this done.
  • I will try to post updates as far as which chapter I have completed and how many words are done on the story, periodically.
  • I will try to be a better person/mother/girlfriend/daughter/sister even during times that I may feel pressured or sad.
  • I will try not to cop out and talk only about my emotions, having ideas and writing them down when I get them.
  • I will ask for advice on things that I may not know much about.
  • I will make myself as available as I can to both connect with people and be helpful in things that you may need help with.
  • I will get published no matter what it takes.

Coding Inadequacies – From Brain to Code

So I was talking to a friend and one of my fellow RPers Anon administrators and neither of us are very happy with the Social networking softwares that we have found to change RPers Anon over to the new software that we find fills the needs and dreams we want to make for it. We already switched to Dolphin which is alright but it certainly is just “too much” and not very intuitive. There are far too many dependent modules and it is far too expensive to get the features that we want. So we’ve been looking into other means of getting the results that we want.

We’ve tried Elgg, which looks like the most promising but the support in the community is lacking as well as the basic functionality that we want for the site.
She’s tried Drupal (the bane of my existence)
I’ve looked at other softwares and they are either expensive or ugly to even look at let alone consider skinning.

Now that leads to the reason why I’m even blogging at the moment, I WANT WHAT IS IN MY BRAIN TO JUST APPEAR. I Want the code to just appear from my head, perfectly formatted, and give me what I want. I’m nowhere near coding savvy enough to make something that is secure and nice. (I’ve tried and it was a very poor attempt back then, let alone looking back on it now). I really want something not too elaborate or needy. I mean the basic things that we want is:
Members
Messaging
Friends
Groups
Fan Pages
Statuses of some sort
Notifications
An update of what the person is doing around the site
Discussions (preferably just in Groups I don’t think I need a general forum anymore at all)
Site Directory (Which might be integrated into the Fan Pages)
Profile Comments
Liking things on profiles and in groups (to go into what the person is doing on the site)
A Default Portal page that has this information laid out in a nice fashion.

Now looking at the list I feel like it’s a lot of stuff (especially since I have a feeling it’s not the entire list) but there are things that irritate me and I want something that my members can really connect with for RP. I don’t want a basic forum. I want an honest to god, made for RPers, by RPers Social Network but I can’t afford to buy someone to code something for me.

Maybe if someone loves me enough they will be inclined to help me out. I’m not a complete coding dunce but I’m a poor mum. Maybe I can exchange awesome Morrness (posts and IMs and Tweets and general time spent) for some intense coding help or even some development help.

Wishful thinking I’m sure…