Time to write!

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IMG_1471.JPG I’ve been taking some time to plan a strategy for my writing, working on setting long-term goals as well as how I’m going to structure my regular writing sessions as part of my weekly routine. One of my main objectives, which crosses over the boundary between long-term and ongoing, is to write my first novel. The big question is, what do I write?

My plan for awhile has been to convert my short story Beyond Thought, part of my Resolutions collection, into a full-length narrative. I’ve started doing some planning, and have a good idea of the characters, plot, and setting. However, with the limited time I have to write at the moment, I’ve rediscovered another story that will work better as my first novel.

Time to Die is the narrative I will be working on in the coming months, drafting a novel based on this idea. Once again, this story began has one of short stories from Resolutions, Only Time Will Tell. I’ve already converted this story once before, running it as an interactive adventure via my StoryMechs project. This adventure was run whilst the project was still known Tweet RPG.

The beauty of using Time to Die as my novel template is that I already have a plot structure developed in the form of my game plan of the interactive adventure. This also contains unused content which was bypassed by the players, offering me options for extending or altering the narrative.

Want to know more about Time to Die? You can review the Tweet RPG adventure here, or purchase the Resolutions collection to read the original story.

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Starting my new novel draft

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The pen has hit the page! Or rather the finger has hit the screen (I’m finding myself doing a lot of writing on my phone at the mo). I’ve been planning an idea for a novel draft, and recently I decided to jump in and start producing some content.

With my previous abortive attempts at novel writing, my mistake has been to neglect the planning. With one idea, I managed to get 26,000 words done before stalling completely, but sadly I couldn’t salvage much of that work because there were giant cracks in the concept. With my current attempt, I’m using the A Novel Idea iOS app as a planning aid, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a tool help structure and store their writing ideas.

My current novel idea originated from a screenwriting piece from my second year at university, a scene lifted from one of my old novel concepts about psychic superheroes being hunted down by an evil autocratic government in a dystopian future. The feedback was that the writing was fine, but the concept was basically The Matrix with the serial numbers filed off.

However, all was not lost, as I had a bit of an epiphany. The story would be so much more interesting if I flipped things around. The protagonist should be a normal human in a world where everyone is psychic. Working with this concept, I wrote my short story Beyond Thought, which fleshes out the world and characters that could become central to my novel draft. I plan to include Beyond Thought in my Resolutions collection, but I will also repost it on here.

I have done a lot of structure planning for the novel, but I still have a lot of elements to peg down. However, I decided that I should start getting some words out rather than over-emphasise the planning and never start writing. The approach I’m going to try is non-chronological writing, that is, taking scenes out of the structure and treating them as individual short stories. This will make things feel more manageable, and also play to my strengths as a short story writer.

I’ll keep you updated with my progress, and I’ll have the Beyond Thought short story on here to give you a taste of what’s to come.

Something old, something new

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve decided that I want to refocus my creativity so that I’m not working solely on StoryMechs. In fact, since I’ve made this decision I’ve been much more productive with StoryMechs.

There are some past projects which I had stopped working on, and now I want to kickstart my desire to achieve these targets.

The first of these is to self publish my science fiction short story collection, Resolutions. I picked up the draft recently, and although it definitely needs editing with a fine-tooth comb, I still love the narratives and think readers would too.

I also want to resurrect my aim to write a novel. I started writing a story called This Dark World, a young adult fantasy story inspired by the biblical theme of spiritual warfare, but I found that the theology was too dense to distill into a simple plot mechanism. However, I do have another idea in the pipeline, which I think could bear fruit. I’m currently working on the structure plan, using the A Novel Idea iOS app to set things out. More will be revealed in future.

Those are my old ideas, onto the new. I’ve become a lot more into board and card games recently, and this has sparked a desire to design a game myself. I did try to create a card game based on the premise of StoryMechs, but that didn’t pan out very well. However, lots of lessons learned there, which I’ll share at some point. I’m working on a idea for a strategy card game at the moment, so look out for some insights into my work on that.

Last but not least, I want to start a creative project geared towards a Christian market. My faith is the linchpin of my identity and existence, and therefore I want to use my gifts to serve God directly, as well as indirectly i.e. by doing everything I do as an offering to him. I have an initial idea for something along these lines, but I want to keep myself open to where God leads.

So, only five creative/writing projects to focus on! My plan is to switch focus regularly, to keep things fresh, but also to have some clear objectives to stay productive. I’ll keep you posted on how things go!