Regular readers will be aware of all the vacillating, flip-flopping, the absolute certainty that I'll never write again. Yeah, pay no attention to any of that. I have come to realize that the daily grind is just sapping my creativity. Without trying to actually produce anything usable, I have examined my notebook with an eye to organizing what I'll be pitching into on the morning of May 3rd.
Of course, there are no guarantees about any of this, but what I would like to do is finish Stingaree, my novel of a steampunked Victorian San Diego. It's possible there's a series there, but let's get one wrapped up, and see how it looks from that vantage point. Once that's in the can (on the shelf?), I want to return to my first love and natural habitat, Beyond the Rails, with Book III, Slayer of Darkness. I envision SoD being powered by a returning character from the first set of stories, and if that works out and is well received, the working title for Book IV is Guns in the Sky. That's a little hint at the possible direction that will clarify somewhat as I reveal some of SoD.
Still in the same vein, I am experimenting in my notes with writing Books III and IV in more of a novel format, with four rather longer stories that connect to form one adventure. Time will tell, but allow me to draw your attention to the new tabs above, Samples and Previews. They're somewhat self-explanatory, but in short, Samples will contain (as of this writing, it remains to be done) one complete story from each of the first two books, and Previews will contain snippets of early edits from upcoming works. I wouldn't ask anyone to buy my work without a test drive, and there will be enough here for anyone to get a clear idea of my style and skill level.
All right, that's the news here on Day 30 of the countdown. To round out this article, I'm going to repeat my post from the old, trashed blog about yWriter, the fabulous writing tool that I swear by. Writers among you may want to look into it; looking back now, I don't know how I did anything without it. From February 2nd, 2016:
Thus would run the spiel were I standing on the back of a medicine wagon in a three-piece ringmaster's suit with spats and top hat, imploring the curious to part with their money. There are just a couple of subtle differences: This isn't a wagon, it isn't my product, and I don't want any money. And, of course, the product doesn't live up to the spiel. It comes close, though.
yWriter, in a series of numbers, is a writer's assistant program that looks something like an old Windows display, even in 6, its latest incarnation. Here's the primary screen:
yWriter in all its numbered versions, is for various versions of Windows. I have used yWriter5 for Windows 7, and am now using yWriter6 for Windows 10. The transition was seamless. There is also a similar program for Mac OS/X. Not being a Mac user, I can't describe it, but it's very much worth a look.
Here is what the creator, Simon Haynes, has to say about it:
"If you're just embarking on your first novel a program like yWriter may seem like overkill. I mean, all you have to do is type everything into a word processor! Sure, but wait until you hit 20,000 words, with missing scenes and chapters, notes all over your desk, characters and locations and plot points you've just added and which need to be referenced earlier ... it becomes a real struggle. Now imagine that same novel at 40,000 or 80,000 words! No wonder most first-time writers give up."
One final note: If you download this, you will be asked to allow his program access to your computer, in other words, to trust him. For what it's worth, I have had two versions on three machines, and it has never caused a problem. All versions of yWriter are available at:
DISCLAIMER: I do not know Mr. Haynes. I do not own stock in his venture, and will receive no compensation if you register his product. I simply want to share what is probably the most wondrous writing tool I have yet encountered; if not that, it is certainly in the top five. If you are a serious writer, or even a glorified hobbyist like myself, the analogy is that you may think of Mr. Haynes of having invented air.
Okay, that's 30 for this week, in more ways than one! Now go forth, and conquer!