Do you see? DO YOU SEE?!!

Heya,

Long time no speak.

About…a month ago I came on and deleted all the blog writing prompt posts where I didn’t actually say anything and got rid of the posts in the queue, because I know I’d be super fucking annoyed if I kept getting writing prompts sent to me on a daily basis (though I know some people would probably pay for that). I then planned on writing a post about how that experiment had failed.

Then I got distracted.

I have a job now. I mean, I had a job when I started this blog, but it wasn’t a show-up-at-an-office five-days-a-week kind of job. It was more of a part-time, fit-it-to-my-schedule kind of job. And my job has been in the process of moving offices for … oh, all summer up to the present. We’ll be on our third workspace in as many months soon.

There have been problems. There has been a lack of office supplies and space to spread all my stuff out in (I like to spread out–it’s a big part of why I always try to be early to … everything. If you’re early, you get first dibs on the available space).

But that’s not what I want to write about today.

I want to write about what I’m working on that isn’t work. As a rule of thumb, I don’t like to talk that much about creative projects. Not out of any sense of proprietorship or anything like that; more because I like to keep things loose and not feel like there’s any kind of structure being imposed on me. I feel like telling people about what I’m working means that I have to do what I tell them. And I don’t like feeling like I have to do things a certain way.

I think there’s also a danger of spending more time talking about the project than actually doing the project, and that as valuable as dialogue is, sometimes you have to just take the leap on faith that you’ll figure it out. Sometimes people introduce problems that make the project seem like something unattainable. And not in a sexy way.

Okay, so

Looming Projects

  • The Quarter: my friend turns twenty-five in the not-too-distant and her apartment is full of empty walls and canvas that she keeps meaning to paint, so I’m painting her a picture of a 1989 Canadian quarter. I was originally just going to paint it, but after a while, that started to seem like something that would only be interesting to look at for a brief span of time. Then I got something in the mail that was packed with a bunch of sheets of cardboard. I’d already painted the background of the painting. So I decided I’d paint the cardboard in varying shades of grey and jigsaw a quarter together out of pieces of cardboard in different tones of grey.
  • The Journal: my other friend is going on a Bedouin adventure across Western America. She has no particular itinerary, she just knows it’s going to be across Western America. She’s going to work on some farm communes along the way. I’m trying to restrain the part of my brain that is saying, “Cult, cult, cult, cult” but it’s hard. I’m trying to set up a weekly Skype date for us, both so that we can keep in touch and so I can subtly check her for signs of brainwashing. I’m only somewhat exaggerating. Oh, the journal! So, I bought a really plain, hardback journal and a road atlas. I’ve scanned a bunch of the maps of the west coast, and I’m in the process of covering the journal with them. So she can write in her journal, and also mark the places she’s been on the cover.
  • Dustwallets: I have inherited a hatred of dustjackets from my dad. When you try to read a hardcover with a dustjacket on it, it gets all bendy and slips off and is just generally a giant nuisance. About a month ago, I was reorganizing my bookshelves and found a cache of dustjackets that I’d stripped off my books. I was going to recycle them, but that seemed wasteful. So I googled paper crafts. One of the things that came up was how to make a wallet out of paper. So I’ve been gradually working through a pile of dustjackets, making them into wallets. Some are more complicated than others – you want certain things to fit on the front and back, certain things to be in the pockets, etc., for the look of the thing, and sometimes the dimensions just don’t work and you have to figure something else out. It is both engaging and kind of mindless. I’ve just started sewing them rather than just taping them together. Fucked my fingers up really bad on the first one. I’d never done enough sewing before to appreciate thimbles. I appreciate them now. That’s an ongoing project. When I have time or I’m feeling the urge, I paw through my pile of dustjackets and make one. I don’t know what to do with them. I’ve give a few away to friends and family members (I’m really proud of how the one I did for California turned out). I’m not entirely sure that it’s better to turn them into wallets if I don’t do anything with the wallets, either…
California by Edan Lepucki

California by Edan Lepucki

  • My Mother Says: This is a play that I’ve been working on for years now, at the behest of a friend of mine. It’s about the internment of Japanese-Canadians during WWII. I’ve done a lot of research into it, but I have a lot of trouble connecting with it. I come at story from a place of character, and I’m struggling to get a grasp on the characters. I also don’t want it to be limited, thematically or in terms of the time it’s dealing with. Because the larger implications are of history repeating itself. The internment is not widely known of, and it’s not the first time the government of Canada has done something like this. If you ignore your mistakes, if you believe you’re above those who came before you, you blind yourself. Everyone likes to think they’re not capable of bowing before that kind of pressure, that kind of fear, but most people have never been put in that position. And you never truly know what you would do in a situation until you’ve faced that situation and acted.
  • Merde Creek Chronicle: Is a graphic novel. It’s an online graphic novel. It’s sort of the inverse of My Mother Says. I feel like I understand the characters and the setting, I have an idea of where everything is leading. I have the URL (and now so do you – there’s one post on there right now. It’s from 2012 and it’s about building an author platform. Holy fuck, it’s almost 2015.) I just don’t know how to execute it. I can draw, but the amount of time it would take me to draw something that I would be satisfied with far outweighs the amount of time that it would take me to write something that I’d be satisfied with. And I’ve always been particularly attracted to the idea of doing really rough sketches, just pencil sketches, the minimum required to get the point across, maybe with some concept/character art on another page that’s had a bit more energy put into it, and letting people fill in the blanks. Use there imagination. That would also let me play with the format a bit more, with the minutiae. Make it part comic, part script, part short story.
  • Kindred (working title): fantasy with some sci-fi, in the Arthur C. Clarke sense. I don’t want to get too into it (commitment issues and all that), but I can say that there’s a civil war, a desert, and genetic engineering/mutation. At present. I’m not entirely sure what’ll get slashed in the end. If I get to the end.

And there’s the rub, really. The juggling. Always the juggling. In some ways the job I’m doing is deeply satisfying, in large part because it is so different from my creative projects. But it does absorb a lot of the energy I’d like to dedicate to these projects. It’s not a matter of finding the time. It’s a matter of finding the energy, both physically and emotionally.

I’ve started doing cardio in the mornings, in part because it’s good for my heart and lungs and anxiety levels, but also because I’ve been told that it raises your energy levels. We’ll see, I guess.

Oh, and in case you missed it, the title of this post is referencing South Park when South Park referenced Silence of the Lambs.

Love,

B

Reading: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (why the fuck is everyone called Petrov(na) or Romanov(na)(vich)? What is Russia?)

Listening: Zaba by Glass Animals

Watching: The Cornetto Trilogy on repeat, because I don’t have the mental capacity for anything more complicated, and I like how they make fun of movie cliches without being dicks about making fun of movie cliches

All of the thoughts

Heya,

Okay, I talked before about Runaway Lane and using prompts for it, and I got really excited today because I had an idea.

There’s a game I used to play when I was younger called Once Upon a Time. I still have it. It’s basically a card game where everyone is given 10 cards (the number of cards changes depending on how many people are playing) and the cards have different story elements on them. Some have characters, some have locations, some have events, you get the picture. The idea is to create a story using the cards in your hand, but the story can be redirected by the other players, who want to use up their cards and so will try to take over the story. There are a couple of ways that they can do this—if you pause too long, if you lay down cards without those cards being relevant to the story (ex. if you have a ladder, a cat, and a horseshoe in your hand, you can’t just say that your character has a ladder, a cat and a horseshoe to get rid of the cards), if you forget something that has already happened in the story. Any of those things happen, and they can swoop in and redirect the story.

So I was thinking that instead of using prompts, which can be prescriptive, every time I sit down to write, I’ll draw ten cards from my Once Upon a Time deck and try to use at least … I don’t know, half of them?

Or I could just sit down and think about it a little and try to make a rough outline from what I’ve already got.

I don’t know.

What do you think?

Love,

B

WattPad update: I have no idea what I’m doing

Heya,

I finally posted a segment of that impromptu prompt story, Runaway Lane, on WattPad. I was able to use the first of the Nick Bantock prompts, although I ended up having to break it up a bit/restructure it a little.

It’s weird, I’m not a hardcore planner or anything like that, but I usually have some sort of plan. I know where the story is going to end, I have some points on the plot graph to work towards or discard as I go along.

I’ve got nothing here. I have no idea what’s happening in the story beyond what I’ve written on WattPad and here. And that’s not much. I don’t know where this story is ending. I don’t know any characters other than the ones that exist right now, here on this site and on WattPad.

It’s weird. I guess I’m used to going in with more information. Or, if not information, at least a kind-of-sort-of-maybe theme or idea to build towards.

I kind of like it. I don’t know, I feel like I spend more time languishing over thoughts than I would if I had more of a plan, and I don’t know that the results are quite what I usually expect of myself, but it is sort of freeing to not have any kind of plan. Maybe I’ll use prompts for every chapter. Though they’ll have to be prompts that aren’t super prescriptive…and I should probably have a schedule for working on the WattPad stuff, in addition to my other writing.

I am scared that the whole thing is going to fall apart somewhere in the middle, or that I’m going to have to craft some terribly contrived, Deus ex machina bullshit to have any kind of ending to it.

But that’s future Brittany’s problem.

Love,

B

I’m definitely doing this wrong

Heya,

So remember, about a week ago, I talked to you about my idea for writing on WattPad?

Runaway Lane has gotten away from me a little bit. Appropriately enough. It has expanded somewhat and is now developing something that looks alarming like structure. Usually this would be a great situation, but right now it’s kind of … pissing me off. Because the plan with this had been to write small increments of a story that I didn’t have any plans for, every day. I’m talking … like, 200 words, max. I was thinking that I’d write them on my phone while I did went about my morning routine.

In case you’re interested, my morning routine: wake up at 6am, put on clothes I laid out the night before, unless inclement weather makes them ridiculous. Make tea and watch the news until 6:30, while also checking my email on my phone and dorking around on Tumblr. At 6:30, text Dusty “just finishing my tea,” finish my tea, then do my makeup. Pick up Dusty from her house or vice versa by 6:45, carpool. Get to school by 8am and work on whatever I forgot to do the night before while I wait for class to start.

So I’ve got about half an hour at home and an hour at school. More than enough time to write 200 words, even if I do it on my phone, or so was my plan.

Then I received a copy of The Trickster’s Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity by Nick Bantock (of Griffin and Sabine fame). It’s a book of art exercises. One of the exercises involved filling in the ending of a sentence, and then writing the sentences that bracketed it. You were supposed to write as quickly as possible, whatever came into your mind. This is what I got:

1. The horse felt obliged to express itself by …

“It was a beautiful beast, but the alchemists insisted that the ether would make it even better, and Master acquiesced to their request without much pushing. The horse felt obliged to express itself by vomiting up the ether. The Master was displeased; each ether infusion was a great expense, whether the treatment took or not.”

2. She could not help herself, the date was waiting there for her …

“The Matchmaker tapped long, lacquered nails over the calendar, and murmured, “As you can see, there are really no dates available.”

She could not help herself, the date was waiting there for her, a single white square in the vast scribbling expanse of chosen wedding dates. She reached across the vast expanse of the Matchmaker’s desk and tapped the blank square. “What about this one?””

3. Elvira looked at her brother’s fast-growing collection of …

“Benedict looked up, eyes wild with panic before he realized who was there. Elvira looked at her brother’s fast-growing collection of stolen trinkets and grimaced. He was going to get all of them in so much trouble.”

Once I was through with the exercise, I thought, “Hey, maybe I’ll use these for Runaway Lane, that story that I haven’t started on WattPad.” And I liked that idea.

So now, I’m working with:

  • The story is about a leader on the run from the law. It starts in a world-spanning nation on a forest planet. The story climaxes with someone visiting a doctor.
  • Runaway Lane
  • YA
  • The above paragraphs
  • A strong desire to not name anyone in this story “Lane” because that would just be too on the nose for me

And then I had a little moment of existential angst as I remembered that I hadn’t done anything with that WattPad story yet.

That was my day.

How are you? What did you write with those starts of sentences?

Love,

B

P.S. It’s an interesting book, I recommend it. Get’s you out of your head a bit.

Runaway Lane and WattPad

Heya,

WattPad is a website where people can post their stories and people can read them for free. For more on WattPad, check out WattPad.

I’m intrigued by the idea of WattPad. I have been for a while. This intrigue has not been mitigated much by the fact that most of what I see on WattPad is YA and fanfiction.

I don’t actually have anything against YA or fanfiction (though fanfiction about real people makes me uncomfortable). I actually think that both of them offer a lot of things that other genres fail to deliver on, but that’s an argument for a different post. Actually, maybe I’ll create drafts of those posts now, so that I actually remember that I wanted to talk about this later on.

Cool, done.

So, I’m intrigued by WattPad. I’ve been observing it from a cool, wary distance for a little while now, and I kind of feel like I’ve gotten to the limit of what I can do by just observing. With that fact in mind, I’ve opened an account (actually, opening an account was one of my observation tactics, but I’ve put a title on that account) and intend to post a story.

There are some problems with this, many of them having to do with my own idiosyncrasies as both a writer and a human.

First off, none of the stories that I already have rattling around in my brain are really appropriate for WattPad. I mean, anything can go up on WattPad (with a few limitations), but the readership on WattPad seems to skew younger and lighter than would be interested in my current, fleshed out writing ideas.

I’m also very possessive of these ideas, and have a sort of closed off mentality to them. I’ve always been someone who liked to be finished with something before I handed it over to someone else. By the very nature of this experiment (and it is definitely verging into the territory of the experiment at this point), I’ll be forced to interact with other ideas about my ideas and perhaps incorporate them, to work in increments and put those increments out before all the pieces are complete, and to revise. I don’t know if you know this, but I fucking hate revision.

Anyway, this possessiveness and the inappropriateness of the stories needs to be taken into consideration. I have never attempted to write YA, though I do read it, and I decided that this would be a good opportunity to play with YA. I also didn’t want to repurpose one of my existing stories to make it YA, so I wanted to start from scratch.

I was on a very long road trip today, thinking about my YA problem. I knew I couldn’t avoid darkness completely, because I like darkness. I didn’t want to do paranormal because I have no real feelings about it. I didn’t mind the idea of sci-fi/fantasy, though. We had driven past perhaps a dozen runaway lanes (lanes they put in along the highways so that a big semi truck can get off the road if a tire blows or something else goes horribly wrong, minimizing the damage to human beings), and I got a picture in my head of a book cover with one of those signs for the runaway lane on it. Which I don’t actually like very much, as covers go, but whatever.

When I was a teenager we used to hang out in the woods for a little while in ninth or tenth grade. We’d dragged a couch over from somewhere. I don’t remember what happened when it rained. We probably just didn’t sit on it. Probably not a big loss-I can’t imagine it was a very nice couch.

Anyway, I was thinking about runaway lanes and the weird couch and WattPad. I was thinking about how WattPad lets you interact with your audience, get a read (ha) on what they want from a story and decide to either satisfy those desires or not. And I thought about old school serials, and regular feedback, and whether I was a plotter or a pantser (kind of both, in case you were wondering).

And I decided to go to one of those prompt sites and found this:

The story is about a leader on the run from the law. It starts in a world-spanning nation on a forest planet. The story climaxes with someone visiting a doctor.

It was the first of ten prompts that were generated.

So this is what I’m working with at this point:

  • Runaway Lane
  • YA
  • That prompt
  • A strong desire to not name anyone in this story “Lane” because that would just be too on the nose for me

Bonus for WattPad, it’s available on all of my devices. I can write a bit on my phone in the morning while I’m on the train, free of the many distractions available to me when I can have eight thousand tabs open (only a slight exaggeration there) on my laptop.

I’ve created the story but haven’t published anything yet (because there is currently nothing to publish), so if you feel an urge to see what I’m babbling about, check here first. Something should be happening there soon, or I’ll be talking about it here…at some point. Maybe.

I’m torn on whether or not to just openly state that this story is an experiment. I don’t think I will. In a sense every story is an experiment, right? Right.

So … anyone on WattPad? How do you find it?

Love,

B

P.S. I was about to add a joke about only naming the character Lane if I decide to write Gilmore Girls fanfiction and was suddenly overwhelmed by the thought of how many fanfics there probably are in the world where Lane runs away from home.

P.P.S. If there aren’t any of those, there should be. You’re missing an opportunity, Gilmore Girls fanfic writers.

Launching a magazine!

Heya,

In January of this year, my masters cohort was split into three groups and told to “launch” a new magazine. It had to have both print and digital components, and it had to be financially viable after three years. Just so you know, the latter is virtually impossible. Publishing in general has razor slim margins, magazine publishing even more so. Our numbers were, of necessity, very optimistic.

Early on in this magazine project, one of my teammates and I started talking about the Maker movement and the culture of repurposing, and how we would be interested in creating a magazine that served that community, but with more of an arts and culture focus. We decided to call the magazine “Repurposed.” Though we couldn’t focus on it while we were working on the other “magazine” for our project, we did start a secret Pinterest board, a Dropbox folder, and shared folder in Google docs to throw our inspiration in.

The magazine project was a very interesting experience. Every week, industry specialists came in to discuss our magazine ideas with us and, even though our project piece didn’t correspond very closely with Repurposed, we were still able to draw some awesome feedback from the panelists that we met that impacted our decision-making going into this project.

The end of the magazine project marked the beginning of the tech project. We were able to split into smaller groups and work on tech specific projects, drawing from our experiences in the magazine project. My friend and I requested and received permission to build Repurposed. And so it began.

Repurposed will be an online magazine committed to discovering and showcasing art forms that create something beautiful out of existing materials; literature and art that addresses the spectre of waste culture through repurposing, be it physical gadgets or more thematic ephemera. We want this magazine to exist as a native of the digital medium, with an annual print issue that will use some of the digital content but also exist as an artifact of it’s own, with added print production value and some exclusive content.

We have just launched our Facebook page. We are still coding the website (but I’ll link you out to it anyway, because there will be something there soon, and Reclaim Hosting is a great service, especially for students). It’s quite the process, as we want it to operate responsively across screens and systems. We are also on Twitter and Tumblr. We will be putting up a call for submissions across our web platforms within the next day or two. Maybe I should have waited to tell you about it until then. I don’t know.

I’m really excited, guys!

Love,

B

Everything is overwhelming until it very abruptly isn’t

Heya,

I’ve been doing some research into game design, and there’s an aspect of it that I think is really interesting in what it says about learning on the whole.

A friend of mine took a class on video game design during her undergrad, and she let me look at her notes, so I’m afraid I can’t reference a specific book on this, but the notes talk about the process of acquiring skills in games. You want people to feel challenged but not impossibly challenged. There needs to be a gradual upward curve in difficulty which, when it starts to plateau, is followed by the introduction of another skill. You don’t want to throw all of the skills at the gamer at once, it would be overwhelming, but you don’t want things to be so easy that they stop feeling challenged. You need to find that sweet spot, where things are difficult but not impossible, challenging but not overwhelming.

This makes a lot of sense to me with learning in general. Personally, I’ve always felt that I learned best and remembered most when I just jumped in with both feet. For example, right now I’m learning how to format eBooks using XML (which, if you don’t know anything about InDesign or XML, is really not as scary as it sounds). My tuition fees pay for access to lynda.com (which is a great site that offers a lot of tutorials from industry professionals in a variety of subjects, but I’m sure very expensive if I weren’t in school), and I’ve developed some playlists that I’m very excited to dig into more extensively. And I’ve only got about nine months to get through all of them, so I really should jump in with both feet.

In Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, there was a bit that talked about how happiness is not a state that can be achieved like a trophy and then set on your mantle. Happiness can be found in the struggle, and in growth. It can be found in the process of surmounting a challenge more in the actual completion of the task you set yourself.

We just finished a big project in school and for about a day after it was over I felt like a giant weight had lifted off my shoulders. Then I felt antsy, like I was forgetting to do something, then bored. I’d gotten used to the demands on my time but, more than that, I liked the demands on my time. I like having challenges, things to figure out, things to do.

Last semester, I was in a play during the month of October (The Crucible, in case you were interested). I had … four or five performances a week, which really ate into the time I had to dedicate to my schoolwork, but the whole time the play was running, I felt like I was firing on all cylinders. I was forced to budget my time more carefully, because I didn’t have much of it. And I feel like I have to structure my different projects like that, in a series of peaks and plateaus of skill-acquisition and application. Always growing, always learning.

Love,

B

Product vs. Process

Heya,

I was at my local bookstore the other day and I was skim-reading Show Your Work by Austin Kleon (I didn’t buy it because I only had enough money for the book that I specifically ordered) and I was interested by a number of things in the books, chief among them the idea of thinking about the process, not the product.

I’ve definitely been guilty of thinking about the final product to the detriment of the process. Not of the purchasable product, because sometimes you make something that isn’t remotely sell-able and it’s not intended to be, but about the thing that I’m going to leave. About the end of the story, and making something that can stand on its own two feet. Something I don’t have to work with and maintain.

There’s a graphic novel that I have been fiddling around with for a while. I am not an artist, and I don’t have the energy or, really, the interest to become one. I can draw but I have no illusions about the quality of what I produce. I’ve a story in my head and no money to hire someone to do the artwork. I have (some of) the necessary software. A friend of mine made me a website a while ago, which currently has nothing on it and which I have been avoiding the way some teenagers avoid looking at their grades for a class.

The idea of been toying with for putting this graphic novel out in the world is to put it up on the site as installments, as many people do. But I don’t want spreads. I hate the page-flip graphic on websites. If you’re going to be web, be web, don’t mimic print. And there’s stuff to play with, artistically, in the sort of space offered by the downward scroll. Reading down, having the images moving downward.

There are other elements that I want to bring in, too, that make this sort of a web-based beast. I want to have background pages, and stuff like that. There is one instance in the story, at least, where I can’t think how to do it without using a gif. Other things.

Anyway, I’m not an artist, and can’t afford to hire an artist, and am not confident that there would be long-term payout if I were to contract with someone (and I kind of don’t want to contract with someone because I enjoy when characters are approached in different ways by different artists, like in The Sandman). So, in the purposes of full disclosure, I was thinking I’d just put up the drafts. Some would be more finished than others, but they would largely be in their bare-bones state. And give people the opportunity to respond as they will. Create their own versions of the rough panels or do something completely different (read: better) than what I envisioned.

There are some logistical problems with this. To do the kind of site I’d like to do, I’d have to have a better handle on web design than I do. And I also don’t want to spend a ton of time on maintenance, which seems inevitable with this kind of thing. I have other things that I want to work on, and I don’t want to be completely absorbed in this one project. I’m also not one-hundred percent sure on how it would/could/should be displayed. Do I put up scenes? Do I put up panels? “Chapters”?

I suspect the best way to do this is to just do it and figure out as I go. I’ve always learned best by just jumping in and figuring things out. But that aggravates my perfectionism. I don’t want to let something unfinished go out into the world. But at the same time, I don’t believe that anything is ever finished. Nothing is ever perfect and no story is ever really done. Manuscripts don’t burn and all that.

I don’t know though. It’s scary to put the process out there. Writing is such an iterative process, it changes so much, so often, and the part of me that’s a reader and likes a book that holds together doesn’t like the idea of giving something that I might change somewhere along the way. I don’t want to be influenced, to feel external pressure.

I’m also crazy busy and I worry that I won’t have the time to do it right.

Which, again, boils down to being afraid. And, deep down, to a fear of doing badly by this story.

I don’t know. I’ll probably languish over the idea before I do anything, but I’ll let you know when there’s something to look at.

Probably.

Love,

B

P.S. He has a Tumblr on the topic, that I’m now following.

Video game writing

Heya,

Video game writing is … different. I’ve been playing around with it, and with an idea I have for it, and it’s just very different.

Writing is making decisions. And it can be really exhausting. Every decision that we make from the moment we wake up saps a bit of our energy. We have to decide to get up. We have to decide what to eat. We have to decide what to wear, what to watch, what to read, whether to drive or take the bus, is it raining? No, it’s cloudy, you should bring an umbrella.

Writing presents it’s own collection of decisions. Would this character do this? How would that character respond to what the character just did? What is the larger context for the character’s behaviour? Where are they? What is the history of that place? If the place is made up, there are even more decisions to be made.

What’s interesting and strange about writing for video games is that you still have to make choices but, if you’re operating with a storyline/gameplay model that privileges in-game decision-making on the part of the player, there is an expectation for multiple options to be given which all gradually add up to different endings. The depth and subtlety of the variations offered is another decision to make.

There’s also not a standardized form for writing video game scripts. Which in a sense is great, because it gives a great deal of freedom, but adds it’s own kinds of difficulties. I’ve been playing around on a site called Inklewriter, which is a free and open way of writing interactive stories. It is still in its beta phase, and has some good utility to it, but also has some notable limitations. Or, possibly, there are some gaps in my knowledge when it comes to using this system. Maybe I should email the developer. It is in the beta phase, maybe it would be helpful…

At the very least, I’ll tell you that one of the problems that I’m having with this program is that it won’t let me set up nodes, our blank table outlines to work my way up to. I can create unassociated links, keep them in the sidebar, and move them over when the time comes, but I’d love to have the ability to draw a line down from one part of the story to a point that I’m planning for that story to lead towards. It also doesn’t lend itself intuitively to script conventions, which is how I’d prefer to write this story.

It’s also interesting to think about the user experience, though I won’t claim that it’s something that I’ve thought about too extensively. It’s not something I know enough about for consideration of it to do anything other than impede me in terms of story-telling. And I’m facing enough challenges with this form without throwing another wrench in the works.

I should note that I’ve played a bit with other programs (all free ones, some of which I found through references made in the InkleWriter comments), and that my go-to program for novel and short story writing is Scrivener. Which is an awesome program, by the way, but not free, and it while it offers numerous formats for writing, it doesn’t really lend itself to the kind of mental map, serial killer’s wall of a story. Maybe I just need to get a really bit bulletin board and just do it. Bite the bullet and become the crazy person.

Love,

B