Two of my favorite things

This last week, I've been doing two of my favorite things: writing and programming. Got chapter three done of a new novel and worked a bit on a commission. On the other side, interested started up on Prebuild and BooGame, so I was inspired to work on those. I'm also in the last week of my classes for this quarter, so I'm looking forward to that final discussion post.

This novel is sci-fi and it is much different than writing fantasy or steampunk. I'd like to say easier, but it isn't. I feel more required to create a plausible world based on our own, as opposed to be able to build it from the ground up. This makes it actually more of a challenge. The fact I'm trying to also make certain points non-obvious increases the difficulty, but I'm really enjoying the entire process.

Writing romance (not Romance, by the way) is fun, regardless of the genre. I love how you set up the characters and you let them grow emotionally together. There are some wrenches of course, and I honestly haven't decided who is going to "win" in this story. I mean, the story is from one point of view, but the other... well, I still don't know yet. And that's the fun part of the entire process.

This isn't a pre-planned novel. Like DL's from earlier this year, I only have the next few chapters in mind and a couple disconnected plot "chains" involved. A chain looks suspiciously like a UML use case in my mind. Most of them are "after even X, A and B do 1, 2, 3". Later, as I build up the chapters, I'll integrate those chains into an actual plot. Its different from how I wrote my other novels. It also, I noticed, ends up with longer stories instead of shorter ones. DL's ended up being 180k words, mainly to finish the plot but also because of the encouragement. The killer will be cutting it down by 40k words and splitting it into two novels. I blame the encouragement and the pressure to finish before Iowa for it only taking two months.

I also found that there are aspects that writing style I really like. In specific, writing out something and then trying to make sure everything fits with what you did previously with what you are doing now. Little things and details, like remembering eye color or perfume or what brand of shoes the heroine wore. I should be creating a FreeMind map for the novel, but I haven't yet. Sooner or later, Google will make one and then I'll be completely doomed.

Despite the horribly wonderful sounding game contest TIG is holding next, I'm going to stay true to my word and not work on another game project until 4E7. To my surprise, two people are paying attention to my work on BooGame, so I'm working on cleaning it up, making it cross-platform again, and basically working on it.

There was also some prebuild work that needs to be done. I'm not really using it at the moment, but I have developer rights on the project and there are 2-3 year old patches that really should be integrated. So, I'm going to do that and "catch it up" before ignoring it again (maybe). Related to that, I noticed that MSBuild is looking pretty sexy on the build front. Yeah, it isn't NAnt, but there are some aspects of development I like standardization. Not to mention, MonoDevelop actually uses the MSBuild files properly, which means I have a build system for Linux.

On the college front, if I finish my five petitions, I'm actually on track for graduating with a masters next year.

Its a good week and I'm pretty cheerful. I feel creative and excited.