Into the Unknown

Despite the quelled nature of this blog, bereft of update or advice, the spirit of writing hasn’t left me. At the moment I don’t write as much as I ought to, though my spirits have lifted of late and the possibility of more words has also become more plausible as the year has gone on. There have been a few jaunts into other forums, different kinds of writing for different mediums, though it’s still the setting of the novel that calls loudest.

In terms of the greater setting, intertwined with more than one of the first draft novels I’ve worked on over the years, as well as a baggage-addled project I’ve been carrying in some form or another for the past twenty years, I recently started poking at it, trying to see what sort of unravelling one character might do to the overall flow. That character isn’t a big player in the kick-off novel, though does grow into the great, grand antagonist, and given my predilection for twisting in some sort of time travel or alternate dimensions, you can just guess the kind of nonsense I was entertaining.

In the end, I couldn’t work out a way through the possible timelines that was suitable – I couldn’t have a character interfere with the circumstances of its own creation, in a way that didn’t create greater inconsistencies. Sure, the use of identifiable paradoxes, originating timelines, and other techniques have been used to handle these issues in other time-travel works, and the presence of dimension manipulation in the setting introduced the possibility of a get-out-of-plot-holes-and-inconsistencies card, but my initials are not S.M. and I have no interest in cheating the reader.

So, the good news there is that it means I don’t have cause to complicate this novel any further than it already is, which is great news for me and anyone that’s likely to lay eyes upon it. Given this fictional entity is wise enough to not mess around with its origin lest it cease to exist at all, it means I can leave that level of recklessness for the humans of the setting, and use that facet for an additional dose of complication a few stories down the line.

Anyway, I know my two amazing beta readers must be tired of the amount of time it’s taken for this to come together, and I hope it isn’t much longer before I’m able to share it once again.

There have been a number of changes to the moving pieces of the story since that first draft, and there are still a few unknowns that will swing one way or another depending on how the rewrite goes forward, but I have to believe it will be better for it. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts at this point, just a lot of work on a lot of aspects of the story, and steamrolling through the days of waywardness.

I suppose that is the point of this all – that there’s no magical ingredient missing, no aspect I hadn’t considered, just a lot of writing to do, and a lot of hoping that these words are going to appeal to more than myself.

Endings

This might not come as a surprise, but Fictioner’s Net is effectively closing. The lights will turn off on December 2nd, at which point the fictioners.net domain is likely to direct to some god-awful clickbait site infested with malicious ads and questionable popups, but hopefully to nothing at all.

This site started up after NaNoWriMo 2012 – the year I was a very unofficial Co-ML trying to help an ML who had been left in the position on her own. I found at write-ins, I did my best to help provide advice born from many years of writing, reading, reading about writing and writing about writing. It was enough to make me want to have a corner of the internet to offer that advice, and as tends to happen half through preference and half through necessity, I started it on my own.

Some of the site has gone that way, some providing commentary on my own personal writing journey through different stories and rewrites, and then a mix of whatever is going on – either in my life or the world at large.

In times like we’ve had lately, I’m torn between wanting to hide in writing, and in being stuck in a numbness that prevents any words from flowing out. Other than retreads of old content or ideas, ranting at the universe, or providing mini updates, there’s not a lot that here can have added while these circumstances are present.

I closed the Facebook Page and Twitter account for the site last month, and did maybe remove a few recent posts because I don’t think I’ve ever gotten past the guilt felt by the circumstances of the last active post. It’s something I still think about regularly, and not just because my own venture into the same waters has struggled. I know I wouldn’t have been able to maintain that site alone, but leaving it has also killed it. That isn’t the point of this at all, though.

It’s about Fictioner’s Net for now.

One reveal that may not be a surprise, is that many of my advisory posts over the years were targeted at a particular person. Myself. It didn’t always keep me on track, but it seemed I ran into the same problems that many others did. If you ever wondered why I seemed to know what was causing you the most grief with writing, there’s the secret. There was no special insight – these are all problems that some of us face at times, and we’re in this dance between words and ideas together.

With that said, it really is over.

I have a whole lot of thank yous to give.

Thank you to those that reached out to me after the last, now-removed post.

Thank you to those that have read, shared or even commented any of these words over the years.

Thank you to Ken, who kindly donated the domain last year when I was originally planning to close things down. I’m only sorry I didn’t capitalise on it by contributing here as much as I could have, but more that I haven’t written enough in the past twelve months either.

Thank you to Hong, Chani, Darren, Tash, Jimmy for contributing to my feature, “The Gamer’s Journey”, which laid the path for me to pursue game writing.

Thank you all guest contributors.

Thank you to anyone that’s read one of my drafts – whether it’s the last perpetual redraft of For More Than Earthly Ends, or one of my earlier, raw drafts of another story.

Thank you to everyone that ever believed this was going somewhere.

Thank you to everyone that helped the site become a finalist in the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Best Blogs competition in 2014, through support, votes or forbidden magicks.

Thank you to everyone that ever believed this was going somewhere.

Thank you if you did check out one of my other projects. I can’t guarantee they won’t travel the same road as here (and these days that seems a likely outcome), but for even a short while, amazing things seem possible.

Thank you if you’re here, reading this. It’s quite far down the page.

Thank you if you write. We need it more than ever.

Who The Hell Is Writing This Shit Anyway?

I’d be the first to say that sometimes when you write, things can get away from you. Some writers talk about how a character acts autonomously, or how the events that happen on the page divert wildly from what they first imagined. It seems strange to others since writing appears to be a conscious act, but for some the subconscious interjects with its take, unable to be wrangled.

OR ARE THEY?

Continue reading Who The Hell Is Writing This Shit Anyway?

A Gaming Blog – My Other Other Other Thing

In keeping with the trend of I have of doing entirely too many things on the off-chance that one of them might eventually lead to one of the lives I want to live, I started a new project earlier this year.  Coupling the knowledge that came from being involved with gaming communities in my twenties, writing communities later (including NaNoWriMo, this blog, writing groups and more), and also writing spatterings of my own facile attempts at game journalism, I started a game blog of my own.

Continue reading A Gaming Blog – My Other Other Other Thing

Dwindling without Kindling

I’ve hit one of those moments that happens with me, from time to time. It’s an issue that’s entirely of my own making, I guess, and nothing that’s particularly unique to me or who I am. Anyone reading this has probably gone through the same, either now or at some point in their life. I’m not special – not in that sense, nor any other. Continue reading Dwindling without Kindling

A Distraction in Twine

I’ve been dabbling a little with a thing called Twine over the past few days, which is a cool way to make a game that’s a little more accessible than putting together a graphical game would be. I’m only starting with it, but already finding ways to do things that take me back to the game programming of my younger years.

Continue reading A Distraction in Twine

Aim for Amazing

I can never tell if it’s ambition, self-belief, or some other factor that drives me to write to the lengths that I do. As much as I pay heed to the idea that there are no new stories, that things have been done before or that what we do as writers is only regurgitating the stuff of life into a form easier to get through, I know the reality of where I want to take it is somewhere else.

Continue reading Aim for Amazing

Going Where It Needs To

I’ve actually been working on my novel. This will be a surprise to some. The fact that this could possibly be a surprise to people that read this blog that don’t know me is two-fold: a writer working on their novel shouldn’t be a surprise, and it being a potential surprise is in itself a possible surprise.

Continue reading Going Where It Needs To

My Slice of Glory

I’m not a big proponent of cross-pollination with my pursuits. Whenever I was involved with an online community, I tried my best to make my involvement about that thing. Even with this blog, formed as it was out of the embers of NaNoWriMo 2012, I considered it inappropriate to promote it in places meant for NaNoWriMo. That also made it easier for me to stamp out self-promotion by others that’d otherwise hijack conversation.

Continue reading My Slice of Glory

The Balancing Act

It’s not easy to find that sweet spot that provides exactly the right amount of information.

The line between spoon-feeding information and being clear is a troublesome one, especially when you want to maintain some air of mystery about what you’re writing. Nobody wants their story to be predictable, though it should without equivocation be justifiable.

Continue reading The Balancing Act

Trash

The digital revolution didn’t open the gates to the many being prospective content providers – it tore the things down. There are still barriers to becoming serious sources of information, insight or even entertainment, but the avenues through which anyone can begin down that path are for more accessible as they were years ago. There is no longer a need for an inspector at the door, making sure that everything that gets past can only do so with approval.

Continue reading Trash

Quantity Still Matters

The one thing that hasn’t changed with the word is that content is still king. It governs almost everything in terms of audience and reach, though it’s true that marketing (or promotion, brand, or whatever other stand-in term it is you cling to) plays a part too. The maxim of Quality over Quantity is still true, but when everyone is a content creator in some way, the saying becomes more of a tendency than a fixed rule.

Continue reading Quantity Still Matters

Writing Musts: Use Your Characters Again

I don’t do this very often. Yes, blog (shush), but also follow up a previous must. In Use Your Characters, I extolled the virtues of being lazy, and by being lazy I mean using the characters you’ve already built up in ways that makes sense for them characters, instead of trying to force a new path through your story.

That’s still true, but there’s more.

Continue reading Writing Musts: Use Your Characters Again

It’s My Story

One of the things that’s surprised me about being a parent is that my son often feels like a miniature version of myself. I can see where some of it comes from, presupposing that it’s the way I act that influences the way he acts, but it’s the bits outside that make me wonder if a big part of his personality wasn’t just in there from day one.

Continue reading It’s My Story

Revisiting Your World

So time to talk about For More Than Earthly Ends, that thing I should be working on more but have had trouble fitting in after moving house, jobs, offices, gaining a baby, having a regular game journalist gig, and well, all those other bits of life. I have been floundering on the rewrite since about December, and a lot of the reasons listed above are big reasons.

I’m still struggling with one particular chapter, and I think it’s because there’s a lot more that happens in it than originally did.

Continue reading Revisiting Your World

Entry 4: The Khan Moment

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As commented on the other post, I managed to get the Platform to work. I don’t know if I was doing something wrong the previous time, but I started out by just following (exactly as I’d done before) the methods presented in the video, and this time the Component options were enabled and it was no longer read-only. Somewhere in between I’d closed the engine and come back to it, so who really knows what went wrong originally?

Continue reading Entry 4: The Khan Moment