Sunday, March 27, 2016

Still writing

The Fallen is getting closer and closer to needing a new round of comments from other readers.

But I'm not doing the sensible thing of concentrating on finishing one book at a time. My brain is determined to also try to get NaNoWriMo 2011, The Weather Maker, into shape for a first round of readers.

Why, brain, why?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

When writing becomes fun

Well, this is in my view. Other writers may disagree.

But for me, it's when the characters come to life and there are suddenly scenes in the novel that you never anticipated. They can spring out of nowhere and they DEMAND to be left in the novel.

My first NaNo waited until 12 chapters in before one character suddenly told another that he loved them. It was supposed to just be a "Magic User Off to Find His Skills" quest type novel. Romance had never crossed my mind. But no, one of them had to fall in love. Over time, the other responds.

I think what I like about this is just that it keeps the characters from feeling flat. If they suddenly show desires or motives of their own, then they are much more realistic.

Who would I expect to disagree? Well, I tend to only have the vaguest plot outline in mind. A lot of my writing is filling in the blanks between distance plot points. I know a lot of writers like to outline everything. They like to have a solid working structure. They probably don't like characters that jump out of line because it's going to ruin their structure.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Huzzah for new projects

So the other day, I finally came up with a new project for my web site.

I decided to create a little insult generator, based of the works of Shakespeare.

First decision, how to do it. There were several possible options including hard coding all the quotes (bad!) and making a database for the quotes. The database idea seemed more complex than necessary.

So, the quotes are in a small xml file. Easy to edit, portable content, no problems there.

The page uses PHP to read in the xml file, pick out a few lines via random numbers and spit them out to the page. So in less than a day, I had the new project coded up and some insults added. The main delay has been reading a couple of plays looking for the insults.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Creativity is hard work

An essay
It’s really something that you want to do for yourself. Or sometimes, it something that you need to do for yourself.
I’ve gotten a bit behind in the sketch-a-day project. The last date is 1 March and that was after a couple of days of catching up with 4 sketches in one day instead of a sketch a day. But it is hard for me to come up with a subject to do each day. I’ll try to do some today though and start catching up.
Writing is also hard work. I’m currently editing The Fallen. I still intend to submit it to a publisher by the end of the year. It needs to be a bit longer - 100,000 words for a first fantasy book seems to be expected.
While working on this, I’ve realised that I can’t worry about if anyone will ever publish it. I can’t worry if anyone else will ever read it (though some people have read first draft versions, unlike ALL the rest of my novels). 
I need to write this novel (and all the others) to the best of my ability. I need to tell this story as best as I can. I need to be able to take pride in my own work, because there’s never any guarantee that others will appreciate it.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Web site drivel

I've put a couple of new stories on my web site.

Little Blue Riding Hood
The Comics and the Theft

I've also noticed that the number of hits related to the hacked version of my site is finally starting to drop away.

Also, if you have a normal web site, beware of installing WordPress. I see regular probes on my site for WordPress directories. The only reason for those hits would be to attempt to hack WordPress once it's found.

On this new service, it's easy to install WordPress. But it wasn't high on my list to add to start with and Just no.