Statistics! AtoZ Challenge Reflections, San Francisco Writers' Houseparty, and ROW80

It's time for some statistics!

First up, reflections on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April:

I loved it! Once I hit upon my theme, back in December, the rest was legwork. Or finger work...

In 2011, I held a week-long contest to celebrate the fact that I'd reached my 500th post, after nearly four years of blogging.

At the time, I sorted many of my previous posts into groups, which made for easy referencing, especially of story material. (Also because I've never tagged my posts!) When I celebrated reaching my 1000th post during last year's A to Z Challenge there wasn't time to sort all the posts between 2011 and 2016.

What better time than now? I’m actually going to go over 1,000, and collate all posts to the end of 2016! And I’m going to link to every single post (except for the A to Z posts, which are mostly summarized), something I didn’t do in my original 500 compilation, or even in my 900th post compilation.

I spent a few hours here and there over the next few months collating and scheduling all of my posts -- and then I hit on the idea of featuring a fellow blogger under each letter as well. Not only did I want to celebrate more of this wonderful blogging community, I figured it would hold me even more accountable to commenting, since I'd want to share that day's post with that day's blogger. And now my blog is all tidy!

I just filled out the survey on the A to Z site (go take it!) and realised I both received more comments and commented on more blogs than I thought I had. I was feeling guilty for not commenting on many, but now I feel a little better. In a way, not having the linky list worked well for this, as I didn't have to stare at a list of 1,000 blogs and feel overwhelmed!

On the other hand, I miss being a minion! I'd like to carve some time in the next year or two to go back to being a more active participant.

Thank you to this year's hosts!

A to Z Team 2017

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh @ Alex J. Cavanaugh

eremy Hawkins @ Hollywood Nuts

Heather M. Gardner @ The Waiting is the Hardest Part


Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored Diary

John Holton @ The Sound of One Hand Typing

J Lenni Dorner @ Blog of J. Lenni Dorner

Second set of statistics are for the wonderful writers' houseparty we held in March on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community, set in San Francisco in 1860!

Here's all the research we did in the two weeks leading up to the party!

There's no way to describe the madness and emotions that result from a houseparty. Night at the Museum was our 12th party; here's a list of all the houseparties that came before. It seems odd that we haven't had any since 2013. There have been a handful in other places (using Google Docs for one houseparty was an interesting experience -- seeing other authors typing in real time!), but not on the Forum. I've missed hanging out with some of these characters!

I wish I could find a nice collage of images to give an idea of what a rollicking good time this was. Here are some key words to whet your appetite (because the story's still there and you can go read it at any time!):

Emperor of the United States (Joshua Norton)
Spaceship named after the Endeavour
Starship/sailing ship called Starchaser
Tiger Moth
Oriental Hotel
Step Out of Time bookstore
Victorian boots
Magical paintings
Truth serum

And so much more! Here are some fun Houseparty statistics:

# of days of writing: 10 days for the party (not counting research, commentary, or debrief)

# of days in party time: about 24 hours!

# of participating authors: 16

# of words: 180,000+ (mine were over 20,000!)

# of official characters: 37 (plus assorted crew from the Endeavour, at least 5 to 10 others by name and a raft of gang members, panda cubs, etc.), including Kedi the non-cat cat and DonDon and PooPoo the pandas

# of unofficial characters: a lot. Lokinfey, owner of the bookstore; the proprietor at Ghirardelli’s; the waiter at the Cobweb Palace, plus a spy panda and the owners of other establishments, and Emperor Norton

# of explosions/crashes: 1 character murder, a few other murders, 1 engineered tunnel collapse, and one hat filled with puke

# of casualties: sundry kicks and bruises, one shot, and quite a few lies uncovered

# of love stories: quite a few couples reconnecting, and one teen romance!

# of references to songs: many to The Beatles, one to Chad and Jeremy, one to the Divine Comedy, one to the Carter Family, one to Duran Duran... Here's the San Francisco playlist!

# of locations from which authors submitted posts and commentary: office; in a seminar when supposed to be getting ready to lecture; somewhere between Burkina Faso and Togo; the loo; the grocery store; soccer field while at kids' game; car; bed; kitchen table while trying to ignore family...

least # of hours of sleep in one night for authors: 2

Value of character revelations and scenes that link directly to works in progress: priceless

And the third update is for A Round of Words in 80 Days!

We're in round 2 for the year and I keep forgetting to officially check in!

I've slowed down a bit -- meaning that I'm not writing or editing every day -- but I'm still on track with the main items I wanted to accomplish by June-ish:

Druid's Moon
Enter all handwritten changes: Done
Send to betas: Done
Incorporate beta notes: Done, except for overarching character motivation changes. For this I need...
...One more reread of the novel: To do
Possibly some more research: To do
Epilogue: To write

The Charm of Time
Enter all handwritten changes: Done
Some research: To do
Three missing scenes: To write
Epilogue: To write
Send to betas: To do

All of this before the end of the month!

I leave you with our San Francisco 1860 Houseparty playlist...

What was the last collaborative writing project in which you participated?

Are you already looking forward to next year's A to Z?


Cool you had more comments and got around to more blogs. That giant list was intimidating to many. If the list comes back, I'm sure someone will snatch you up as a Minion. Or you could be part of the Challenge team.
S.P. Bowers said…
Wow, you've been busy.
Em-Musing said…
Wow, you are a very organised writer. Admire that. And yes, I will participate next year in the A-Z Challenge. I had an idea and for the life of me, can't remember. Oh, NO! But I will either remember it or come up with another.
Nas said…
Hi Deniz,

Its awesome that you managed to get around more and you had all your posts ready! It pays to be organised!
Hi Deniz - I'm in awe of your ability to summarise everything and give us the facts and figures. I'm just glad you enjoyed the A-Z ... it's fun having you around.

I've never done a collaborative writing project - but glad your Compuserve group of writers managed and achieved so much ... amazing.

I am seriously considering not doing the A-Z next year ... I can dream up loads of themes ... but the time element isn't right just at the moment ... trouble is ... the A-Z dwells with me!

I'm listening to the Saloon Houseparty Playlist ... cheers Hilary
sage said…
Oh, I missed the house party...
Zan Marie said…
What a fabulous summary of the SF house party! It was a blast!
Wow, you have been so busy!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks so much, everyone!

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