Monthly Archives: December 2010

Ironic, my dear Watson (via Word Nymph)

As a shameless infomaniac, this is certainly an interesting turn of events. I watch Jeopardy! every day, so there’s no way I’ll miss out on watching this. Looking forward to it now.


Ironic, my dear Watson Perhaps you have read the news that in February, for the first time ever, a computer will compete on Jeopardy! You might remember when an IBM computer beat chess world champion Garry Kasparov in a six-game match in 1997. IBM’s latest challenge was to build upon that feat by taking technology to an even more difficult and complex level—building a computer that processes natural language, complete with humor, irony and sarcasm, as well as nuances, … Read More

via Word Nymph

When we Last Left our Hero…

Dead Snow Angel

Image by CarbonNYC via Flickr

Coldness. Everywhere. Even with no sense of direction, he could feel the chill north, south, east, west, and everywhere inbetween. He was lying prone, surrounded by…something. Something cold, at any rate. He tried to lift his arms, and found that the substance encasing him yielded with minimal resistance. He lifted his head tentatively, only to find bright light beyond the cold material. Opening his eyes, he found the world quite similar to the one he’d left for dreams of darkness. Truly, only a thin layer of snow distinguished this land from the one in his memory. He had survived November, and now played host to December.

In other words, I’m back! I can’t say I succeeded in writing a novel in the past month, but I agree with Ishana enough to say that I didn’t fail, either. I know my story a lot better now, even after only 16 000 words. I also see glaring holes in it, but not nearly as glaring as my project from last year. I also learned that I’m more of a plotter than a pantser, since my writing derailed in the midst of a section of story not outlined in my notes. So that just means I go back to planning, and write my story piece by piece. My first NaNo attempt has done nothing more since I wrote it than collect dust and comfort the homeless with its smoldering corpse. The basis was sound, but a critical flaw in the worldbuilding inclines me toward not continuing it directly. If I ever go back to it, it will be from the ground up, refining it into a workable product. Which I’d like to do eventually, since I like the characters so much.

This year’s attempt, on the other hand, I could conceivably continue, once I do some more planning. I might have to strike the last part from the record, but it’s largely salvageable. The last part is questionable at best, though, since I introduced a character I was saving for later, a plot twist I was saving for later, and nearly introduced another character I was saving for later, before abruptly stopping. But I’ll go back to it, in time. I might even leave in the last section, sans the second new character. I have to keep some things a surprise, after all. There’s little to gain from playing all my cards so early in the story.

I was also pleasantly surprised by how well my characters made their own decisions. In particular the one I introduced in the last part, Aryxander, seems to be the most autonomous. I never expected to find him working for the lowlife Terrick who had appeared early in the story and never again since, and I certainly didn’t expect him to do something majorly game-changing much later on in the story. But even I’m in the dark as to the extent of that one, so I really can’t go telling you guys.

In other news, I’m now a contributor at Class of Last Year! I’m forced by the author’s whim to write under the name Spencer[at], but it is indeed me. Thus far, that has largely consisted of Rickrolls and Words of the Day. Actually, I might steal Will’s and/or my own Word(s) of the Day, and post them over here. We’ll see.