Sunday, 19 August 2018

It's been a while

And in the blink of an eye, several months have gone by. 'Things' have happened, one of which being that my mum's rescue cat, Jess left us in March. We had no idea how old she really was, but we had nearly nine years with her, and at least those years were happy ones for her.

It feels like an age, but it's barely five months. In that time, I've had to carry on with the 64-bit versions of my apps - some of which have been released, with the others being tested.

Additionally, Apple are demanding iOS 11 versions of some of my iOS apps. That's really getting on my nerves. Enforced obsolescence. If there's one thing that Microsoft 'got' with Windows, it was making sure that older software could still run. Apple just don't care about it. My perfectly fine and working iPad 3 won't even update to iOS 10, let alone 11, so I don't even own an iPad that can run the version that Apple are demanding.

But, I've done an update for one of the apps that they're shouting about - it remains to be seen whether they accept it. If they don't then Apple themselves will simply remove the apps from the store.

In my writing life, I'm waiting to hear from a publisher regarding Intertwined, and I've been mulling over whether to take Mind Games forward. Our writing group is still looking for a home thanks to our old venue being transformed into a sports bar. We've taken to doing our writing games at home - it's not quite the same, but it keeps us writing.

Here are the rules: four or five words, get them from anywhere. Do a person, a place, a thing, and a mood, or just five random words. Then you have 20-25 minutes to write. That's it. Even if you never have time to write, you can give yourself 20 minutes, can't you? Don't edit it, don't think too hard about it, just write for 20 minutes.

And remember to enjoy it, because it's a wonderful thing.


Thursday, 22 February 2018

Where has all the time gone?

It's nearly March? Crumbs, the time has simply evaporated. I've been busy though, perhaps that's what's happened, I've just not really noticed.

I'm still working on Mind Games, and I'm really happy with the major structure. There's still some subplot and theme stuff to plan, but it's shaping up nicely.

I've been quietly converting my Mac-based apps to 64-bit, ahead of Apple's deadlines later this year. The next version of OSX is apparently going to drop support for 32-bit programs, so in order to keep the apps working, I'm converting them to 64-bit. So far it's going well. There's some more testing for the first batch, and then I'll release them to the app store.

I've also been working on my game design - an RPG. I actually found the first incarnation (the very first germ of the idea) in a folder of old Visual Basic 6 code, that's how far back it goes.

I've had a couple of rejections from agents for Intertwined, but it won't deter me.

So, it's business as usual - writing, developing, planning, plotting, working. Just another day at the office.

Happy writing!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Merry Christmas

It's been a difficult couple of months. The usual doubts and anxieties over what I'm actually doing with my writing, as well as the app development - it all comes to a head around this time of year, as we all naturally start looking to the horizon and the new year looming.

I'm still looking to get Intertwined in front of an agent. So far I've had a really dismal 'Dear Author' reply, but I've also had a really nice rejection that was personal and hopeful, and made me feel as if I'm not completely wasting my time.

One of the novels I've had for a long time, is called Eight Minutes. I'm going to work on editing that down, and I think I may self-publish it next year.

I'm working on Mind Games at the moment, and my goal for the first quarter of 2018 is to get the first draft completed.

I'm using the plot of another novel that I've outlined as the basis for a game that I'm designing, but it's not ready to be revealed at the moment.

This year, I released my thirteenth app, Plotline 2. It's a Mac version of Plotline, and it's designed to be a simple way of plotting out the major beats for a story.

It's over six years now since I started developing apps for the Mac, so in 2018, I'm going to turn my attention back to Subplot, and see what I can do to give it a lick of paint.

It's been a bit of a slow year for games for me. But there have been three notable highlights: -

Mass Effect: Andromeda
Despite some dodgy animations, and some (admittedly) cringe-worthy dialogue, Andromeda is nowhere near being the insult to humanity that some on the internet would have you believe. I put 107 hours into it, and absolutely loved it. It's a crying shame that there will be no continuation of the story.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm
The prequel that no one asked for, but it's wonderful. It's been great to return to Arcadia Bay and see the relationship blossom between Chloe Price and Rachel Amber. So many terrific moments. I'm not even sure I want to finish it, because then it really will be over.

Doki Doki Literature Club
The little game that came out of nowhere and bowled me over. If you haven't played it, go and play it.

A special mention goes to Quantum Break. Another game that was seemingly maligned 'just because' when it launched in 2016 - but it's actually terrific!

So that was 2017 for me. I hope you all have a happy, safe, and festive Christmas, and a wonderful 2018.

Happy writing!



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

National Novel Writing Month Begins

As it's the first of November, all around the world, people are taking to their notepads, the laptops, their desktops, and for a few, probably, their typewriters, all with a goal of writing a 50,000 word novel draft in the thirty days of November.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has been part of my writing year since 2011. As someone who has apps for sale to assist writers, it's always been in my consciousness that they may be able to help people with the planning for these thirty days. It's the reason why I wrote many of my own apps: to help motivate me to keep going, to help me plan through the tough spots, and to help me see the whole of the story in my mind before I sit down to write.

It can be a real struggle to get started - staring at that blank page or screen, so I always recommend planning some parts of your novel before writing. I know it varies for other people - and there's no one 'best' way to write a novel, but I think even some simple planning can really help make the difference.

So, to everyone attempting NaNoWriMo this year, good luck. I hope it helps you focus on a story you love, and gives you something you can really be proud of once you've finished.

I'm currently writing Mind Games, and may also do a revision of Eight Minutes, so my November is already packed.

Wherever you are, whatever genre you're writing, I hope you enjoy telling the story.

Happy writing.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Mind Games

I'm working on the first draft of my next novel, Mind Games. While that's going on, I've been submitting Intertwined to some agents. I've also got a big edit planned for Eight Minutes, as the draft for that is massive.

It's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in a couple of weeks, so now is the time to get prepared: -

  • Plan your novel now - it's much easier to get your words out if you have some idea of what you need to write!
  • It doesn't have to be a massive plan - just a skeleton of the story structure, and some idea of the characters and what they want.
  • Basically, anything that stops you from sitting there on November 1st with a blank page!

If you're taking part this year, then I wish you the best of luck - and if you're not, try to do something that helps towards your writing every day anyway - whether it's plotting a scene, thinking about a character's motivation, or even editing something you've already done - just make sure you give yourself some writing time every day.

Happy writing!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Update

A short note this time round - I've been busy doing some app development, which has also fed into my own writing. I've been building a Mac version of my iPad app, Plotline, and that's been helping me do some plotting for something that may or may not be the next book.

I'm getting close to a decision on what that next title will be - although I'm still weighing up options for Intertwined, as well as waiting to do an edit on Eight Minutes.

I'm still writing something every day, which has become so important to me over the last year and a half.

So, it's all very busy as we head into the latter half of the year - a traditionally busy time with NaNoWriMo looming for a lot of people, let alone all the buildup to Christmas (again!)

Happy writing!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Summer Heat

Currently listening to my cheap-as-chips air-conditioning unit work its magic as I struggle through the abnormal heat in South Wales, I've still been writing every day.

I'm waiting to hear from a few agents about Intertwined, and I've been doing background work on a new novel as well.

Wearing my app-development cap, I've been working on the Mac version of Plotline. Which has also been spurred on by the background work on the novel. It's coming along nicely, and next on the feature list to implement from the iOS version, is the Scrivener export.

So it's all go here, from writing, to development, to actual day-job work, with not much time in between. I did complete Mass Effect: Andromeda though recently - and highly recommend it.

Happy writing!