Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Late Spring Cleaning

Those of you that are paying attention will have realized that I didn't do a blog post yesterday. Things were slightly busy for me, since I've been trying to fix my car for a little while and I've been dealing with issues of work, house and home; but that's not the reason I didn't post yesterday. I was a bit flummoxed, trying to pick an idea out of so many to write, I was unsure which I should write and develop into a blog post; but that too is not the reason I didn't do a blog post yesterday. The truly attentive among you may have realized that the real reason I didn't post yesterday was because it wasn't actually a posting date. The Word of the Day is: 'LATE'.

Late /layt/ adj. 1. Occurring, coming, or being after the usual or proper time: a late dinner; a late crop. 2. Continued until after the usual time or hour; protracted: a late session. 3. Far advanced in time: a late hour. 4. Having recently died: the late king. 5. Belonging to an advanced stage in the history of development of something: late Latin. 6. of late, recently. ♦adj. 7. After the usual or proper time, or after delay: They came late. 8. Until after the usual time or hour: He works late. 9. At or to an advanced time, period, or stage. 10. Recently but not now.

See, almost three weeks ago now, on the 15th of May, I was supposed to do a blog post, but I didn't. Instead, I was a day late, and I did my second Hypothetical post a day later on the 16th. Then the next post I did was held back, since I was planning on going drinking with friends on the Friday and doing my 'Drunk Post' on Saturday, but no one showed up to the party, so we postponed to the day after and my post followed suit. I'd been wanting to do the drunk post for a while, ever since Allie Brosh did so for her blog, since I happen to like drinking, and I have a lot to say about it,so I thought it would be funny if I did the post in the style of the theme, just like I did for the impromptu Blackout post, but the fates were against me it seems.
So those two late dates then bled into the following posts, until I was posting late so often that it seemed like I was posting perfectly on time. Yet another example of The Three Stooges Syndrome.
(Boy, oh boy! I'm having fun with hyperlinks today aren't I?)

The point is, you may not have noticed, but I did. Every time I put up a post, I was conscious of the fact that I was still running late. So yesterday, when I was low on ideas, I realized I could use this opportunity to get my system back into gear.

So, the plan is, I skip yesterday's post, then I'll do two more posts to catch up. One today, and another one tomorrow. Sounds like fun, right?
There's only one problem . . . I was a little stuck on what to talk about for these two blog posts. There's all kinds of ideas that I've got going on, and I like doing those trilogy posts, like The Film With No Name Trilogy, so I thought I'd do a twofer and have two relating or opposing words to juxtapose. But then I realized that there's some stuff I want to clean up here. Some things I want to set straight and clean up, and some other things I'd like to tell you about. So this here first post of the two will be my Housekeeping post.

You may have noticed at the bottom of each post, there is a short section with the word 'Labels'. This is called the "Label Ribbon" and each post has a couple of labels that define it. There are some obvious labels: word of the day is just a regular post (with a definition), special edition is for stuff I won't do very often, or stuff that plays with the blogger template or html, hypothetical is for hypothetical posts (feel free to drop me your hypotheses!).
It may not seem important, but it's really useful. On occasion, I get people asking about certain posts or stories I've written, so if you're looking for particular posts, everything to do with writing tips and 'how to do write fiction' is labelled as a writing post, and if you want to read all of the blogfiction on this blog, it has a fiction label.
When you click on a label in the ribbon, it takes you to a search page with all of the posts in this blog that have that particular label, so you can search this blog to your heart's content under those labels.

Now, this post is labelled housekeeping. That's what I call blogs where there's stuff about settling issues to do with the blog itself, answering questions and filling you, the reader, in on the technical side of this blog, or what's going on with me as a blogger. That label isn't as fun to click on, but it's fun for me because not only is it easier to write 'housekeeping' posts (like this one) about what I'm doing, like some kind of work-log; it also means I get to fill you in on stuff I'm doing, and stuff I'm planning to do!

Sure, this post was made so I could sort out my posting schedule, and I wanted to make sure people were aware of the labels, but I've been working on a bunch of stuff that I want you to know about. Just do me a favour and don't get too excited about it just yet.
There's a good chance that I won't get to do everything I plan, and especially with stuff that's long-running, it requires a lot more effort (such as Hypotheticals), and I've found that ideas are more likely to die off if reader participation is required.
So, without further ado, here's some of the stuff I'm working on behind the curtain:

A few years ago, when I was bored, I started scribbling a little stick-figure comic on spare pieces of paper that I had lying around. It was called "Larry & Harry" and it was about two brothers who lived together, and how they deal with life as stick-figures in a comic strip, and made fun of the medium.
It was very meta, but each strip was a maximum of 6 panels, so it was just a short little piece. For a while now, I've been wanting to update the drawings and include them on the blog somewhere.
But when I was working on that, playing with Blogger, html and the stuff I could do, I was looking through my old folders and came across some older comics I'd drawn.
When I was very, very young, (I mean when I was still in primary school, here) I drew a couple of silly comics called "The Adventures of Willy the Worm", using the help of an artistic school friend named Christian. The idea was simple, it was about a worm that gained superpowers who was living in a secret underground base and fighting crime on a small scale.
I also came up with an idea called "Barry Bungalo's Weird World", about a man who moves into a house with polymorphic technology, which had a bad habit of glitching out and sending people to an alternate dimension. I drew a few pages of that comic, but it never went too far (and it's likely never going to be a comic, the plan is to cannibalize it into other projects) but it helped me to learn to draw.

The point is, I have enough resources, time, ability and ideas to make a simple webcomic in many different structures. I know it won't be as funny as  XKCDPenny ArcadeOrder of the Stick or Cyanide & Happiness, and it will never be well drawn, but I can promise good story.
I'm wondering if anyone is interested in a meta sitcomic about two stick-figure brothers living together, or even a comic about a super-worm that fights crime on a small scale. Feel free to let me know in the comments.

No! Before you get too excited, no, this is not a blog about videogames. As much as I'd love to make a game in flash and drop it in here for you to play, it's also not a videogame that you can play on a blog.
I'm a writer, not a game designer!

Rather, have you ever heard of Choose Your Own Adventure books? What about those Goosebumps: Choose the Scare books? Well here's a fun fact for you. The correct name for those kind of books is a 'gamebook', a book which is interactive in the same way as old computer games.
For those of you unaware, a C.Y.O.A. book or gamebook is a story written such that the story has branching paths which the reader can choose from, and by choosing different paths a reader can see the different outcomes of a story. Ever since I started this blog, I've been interested in playing with the html to make what can be a "hypertext narrative" in this gamebook style, which I have dubbed a 'gameblog'. I'm really excited about this, but I haven't worked out any narrative yet, since I'm still too busy with figuring out the technical side of things. Because writing a gameblog the way I'm planning would mean filling the blog with posts that are just pages out of context with the whole story. I don't want to do that to people, so I'm trying to figure out a way to write a full hypertext narrative within the blog which doesn't get in the way of the rest of the blog proper.
I will do a gameblog someday, but it may take a while figuring out how . . . so keep an eye out of that one, and if you have any technical know-how in this area and are kind enough to share it with others, let me know. It will help make this project a reality.

Oh, here we go. This is the fun one. See way back in my second ever blog post, "Fictionary", back when I was still trying to figure out what to do with my little corner of the internet, I talked about serialized fiction and how a lot of the greatest writers in the world used to submit their stories that way. At the time I dismissed the idea because I figured that turning this entire blog into a novel would be a great excuse to write poorly and eventually abandon the project, since it would be so hard to do on top of everything that I'm writing which isn't a blognovel. But then I had an idea. What if I wrote a serial more like they did in the magazines? What if I continued to write the blog, but every now and then, I wrote an instalment for the serialized story?
I was worried then about making people read so much. It's not fun reading very long stories on the internet, since you have to sit at a computer screen for hours on end. Then I realized that I could amend that worry by writing episodic stories. Stories which may have a story arch throughout the series, so that you can read them together if you want to, but which serves as simple background information for new readers.

The more I thought about it, the more I liked this idea, so that's something that I've been working on in the background for a while now (ever since Mother's Day). I probably won't write the first instalment in a long while, I'm talking fortnights here; but I do have some story worked out for this one!

I don't want to give out too much information or too many spoilers, since I want it to be a surprise, but I'm so excited that I can't help giving you little hints about it to whet your appetites!
It's going to be Science Fiction. Not 'hard sci-fi', the story is going to concentrate more on the adventure, comedy and drama than the science, but I love having a whole universe to explore. It's based off of a popular science fiction series, but the plan is to have the story so loose that it could take place anywhere (and I can do crossover stuff if I so choose), so you don't have to be a fan of the show to understand what I'm talking about. That's all I'm going to reveal right now, except for this incredibly cryptic statement:
  "In Case of Emergency, Do Not Use the Elevator."

If you can decipher that, you deserve a lollipop.

Right. Well, that's what I'm working on lately, and what I'm hoping to put up on this blog as soon as possible. If you're interested in any of these things or you think it's a terrible idea and I should stick to what I'm already doing, then feel free to leave me a comment. I write this stuff to be read, so if no one wants to read my work I'll set my sights on other projects.

That's all for today, but tune in tomorrow for some insight into some other stuff I'm thinking about with fiction, writing & the evolution of stories . . .

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I would love to read your words.