I was content for a while to use Google Docs. There’s nothing wrong with it. The app is really strong and does what you need it to do. That was until I found myself without an internet connection this week. Womp womp womp. (Incidentally, if you need a Chrome app that does still work for writing off line, WriteBox does the job. Get it here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/writebox/bbehjmjchoiaglkeboicbgkpfafcmhij?hl=en ) This was a pleasant reminder of just how much I love Scrivener. All the tools it has available and just how useful it is for creating fiction. Yes, you can create fiction in Docs. Or Word. Or Notepad. Scrivener just handles it so much better. So this was a pleasant reminder that I should use Scrivener more often. Don’t be content with adequate writing tools. Besides, not having the internet at your finger tips definitely does limit your distractions. I knocked out a short story in record time while I was offline.
Filed under: tools, writing, writing
It’s crunch time lately in my neck of the woods. Not in the sense that I have a deadline I have to meet or the world will end, but rather the sense that I have a ton of stuff going on and writing time is getting a little crunched. Smooshed. Flattened. Pick your favorite. Not much else to add at the moment. I’m still scrawling words across the page here or there. I’ll have more news soon. As always…
Filed under: life, writing, writing
So, you may have heard that on Tuesday, the Kickstarter for Vixle launched. I thought I’d come up from the trenches and talk about it a bit.
To start with, Vixle is similar to Minecraft. Things are built with blocks. You can create whatever you can imagine. If you’re already a fan of Minecraft, you should definitely check it out. What makes Vixle really cool, is the coding aspect that Brian McBarron added to it. Imagine building something in Minecraft, and then actually having it do that thing that you wanted. But redstone you say? That’s child’s play compared to this.
This is where I came in. Brian was inspired to learn to code by the Micro Adventure Books. Brian approached me to see if I would be interested in doing something similar for Vixle. Of course I loved the idea. And a short time later, Journey to Galaxy’s Edge was born.
So you are the character in the story and once you reach certain points throughout the story, you will switch over to Vixle and code your way through the adventure. Your ship was under attack and damaged. You must go into the computer systems and re-route power from non-essential functions in order to get the ship moving once more. What’s really cool about this is once you’ve fixed the code to make it all work, you can see the changes come to life in the game. So the engines will power up and other systems will go dark.
The thought that my stories might encourage kids to learn coding is very exciting! If this sounds like it might be your thing, I encourage you to swing by the Kickstarter.
Filed under: video games, writing, writing
Fellow writer and friend Dyane Forde posted an interview we did today on her blog. So if you’d like to see a bit more about what I’ve been up to lately, check out.
I also talk about the Kickstarter that is launching tomorrow at www.vixle.com. More to come tomorrow!
Filed under: interview, writing, writing
So it’s been a little over a month since my last update. Life caught up to me for a while. Days slipped by with no writing. I think I needed to recharge the writing batteries a bit. I did pick up my reading for a bit, which was nice. And now I’m back on the writing full speed ahead. Fortunately, I was far enough ahead of my goals that I didn’t really fall too far behind. I just chipped away at the healthy lead I accumulated.
So I’m pleased things are moving back on track. The next few weeks/months may be a bit chaotic for me. I will have some exciting news for next week as well. In the meantime…
Filed under: goals, kicking my own butt, life, writing, writing
You read Chuck Wendig’s blog, right? More importantly, you read his books? Tight, gritty fiction. Check him out.
So Chuck posted this info-graphic:
And it’s the same thing I’ve been saying for a while. Just in nice info-graphic form. Everyone loves an info-graphic. I love Chuck’s no BS attitude on writing advice. If you’re just starting, spend some time reading through Chuck’s writing advice. Or grab one of his writing books from amazon.
Filed under: creativity, kicking my own butt, writing, thursday trenches, writing
Well, after the high of the week prior, this most recent week was somewhere in the dark valley. Okay, maybe it isn’t quite as grim as all that.
I started plotting the next novel. I only have a general idea of how I want it to go… So just throwing ideas out there to see what I like. I think I’ve narrowed down the point in time when it will take place, and I’m pounding out the details some of the main characters. It still doesn’t sound much like a story yet. It’s missing *something*.
So yeah, there’s that. I’m working, it’s just a bit of a sludge right now.
Filed under: creativity, writing, writing
It’s April Fools Eve and there are no jokes in this post. Just remember, believe nothing on the internet tomorrow. More so than you already disbelieve it. Just assume every web page is the Onion tomorrow.
So, exciting times last week. I finished a short story AND a novel. Very exciting. The novel will need some work later. Details were omitted. But overall, I like the way it turned out. I’m excited to get back to doing some more fantasy based work now. I’m still editing Dwarf Lords, and I’ll also begin edits on the short story.
Other excitement? Nothing too crazy. Summer is drawing near, which we’re ready to enjoy. Winter has felt particularly long this year. My wife and I also started in playing the EverQuest Landmark beta. So far, it’s like MineCraft with updated graphics. It doesn’t really feel much like EverQuest, at least not yet. But the precision of the building tools is nice.
Filed under: editing, life, mmo, novel, short story, writing
Woohoo! Happy St Patrick’s Day! Grab a Guinness and enjoy a drink with friends.
As for me? Last week was a “failed” week. I *gasp* didn’t meet all my goals. That’s just the way it works. Some weeks it works, out, some weeks it doesn’t.
I’m getting down to the end of this story, and I’m not surely how I want to end it. In the general sense, I know how it ends. I’m just not sure what words I want to use to get there. Hoping to finish it up this week. Take a week or so off to get some space from it, then I’ll start in on edits. Then I’ll finish up the current novel. Then I start the new novel.
So much to write and so little time. All I can do is…
Filed under: goals, life, novel, writing, writing
I wish I could remember where I saw this. A writing blog, I think. I’m not sure. But it doesn’t hurt to spread the news. If you’re suffering from writer’s block, this could be a great tool to get you moving again.
Oblique Strategies was originally created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in 1975. In their version, it was a stack of index cards that you would pick from. You’d get a random phrase and use that to break through the block. More info is on the above wikipedia page.
We’re living in 2014 though, and I found several versions of this app for my smartphone. I’d have to say it’s pretty handy to have at my fingertips. It can be anything from the complex to the simple. Just now tapping it a few times, I got “water”, “emphasize differences”, and “discover your formulas and abandon them.”
I’m using this one here but there are several options in the Play store. Have a look if you find yourself stuck. (Sorry apple fans, I couldn’t see a way to easily search their store from the web… If you have a link to an iOS version, feel free to post it in the comments.)
What do you use when you get stuck? Have a favorite method? Let me know in the comments.
Filed under: creativity, writing, thursday trenches, writing