ToPuWriMo, short for Tortoise's Puzzle Writing Month, is my puzzle-writing project for the month of June, inspired by such other ventures as NaNoWriMo and NoPoWriMo. In a nutshell, my main goal is to write and publish one new puzzle for each day in the month of June; you can find the puzzles here as they are posted. I also have some specific goals I would like to achieve along the way, and some guidelines to keep me from losing my sanity.
- Write at least one normal crossword and one cryptic crossword during the month. For some reason, I find it easier to write variety grid puzzles such as Marching Bands and Some Assembly Required, so it will be good practice for me to write in more conventional formats.
- Write at least one puzzle each week which is not a "word puzzle." This probably means some sort of logic puzzle, but could be something else altogether.
- Over the course of the month, I would like to produce an extravaganza consisting of around a dozen puzzles plus a meta. This will take some planning. Which brings me to...
While I want to aim high with ToPuWriMo, I don't want to set myself up for failure. Therefore, I am putting some guidelines and allowances in place for the sake of my sanity.
- While I would like to post a puzzle a day, puzzles do not have to be written on the day that I post them. In particular, I will be going on a couple of camping trips during the month of June, and I intend to write puzzles ahead of time and have them post automatically while I am away.
- If I don't manage to get a puzzle posted on a particular day, I reserve the right to make it up some time in the next week. This extends all the way through the first week of July, should I need that much time.
- I also reserve the right to do some preliminary work on puzzles before ToPuWriMo starts. A 12-puzzle extravaganza takes a lot of planning, for example, and I intend to do some of that planning during what is left of May.
- In my situation, being on a puzzle-a-day schedule means I won't have time for test-solving. I reserve the right to go back and edit previously posted puzzles for accuracy, difficulty, taste, or other reasons.
- Not every puzzle will be a tightly crafted masterpiece. While I prefer to write crossword variants when constructing at my leisure, I will probably be throwing in dropquotes, word searches, and other more easily constructible puzzles along the way. Hopefully, these will make up a minority of the puzzles in ToPuWriMo.
- If I don't manage to get 30 puzzles done by June 30, or even July 7, that's no big deal. I'll still have written a lot of new puzzles, which is a fine accomplishment by itself.
One of the features of NaNoWriMo and NoPoWriMo is the community of like-minded creators working towards a common goal and supporting each other. While I have no illusions about the "To" in ToPuWriMo becoming a "Na," I think it would still be great if other puzzlers wanted to get involved in making June a month of constructing. You don't have to write a puzzle a day to participate -- it could be a puzzle every other day, two puzzles a week, or whatever pace suits your constructing speed. Feel free to set your own goals and guidelines. If you do choose to participate, I only ask two things: first, that you make your "YoPuWriMo" puzzles available for others to see and solve, and second, that you leave a comment here letting me know about your intentions, and where you will be making your puzzles available. Comments are welcome even if you choose not to participate as a constructor; nothing would make me happier than to find out other people are looking forward to the puzzles I write. Thanks for your support!