iA Writer Trial Over

The iA Writer software trial is over. It's only a week long and the time absolutely flew. I must say it is a really nice environment to write in. I used it for a couple of the FlashFeed and a Microcosms piece. Thoroughly recommended for writing shorter pieces. But as expected I am hoping to write some longer pieces this year and beyond so I think I'll be investing in Scrivener 3 at some point soon so can't justify spending £20 on this on top of the £44 for Scrivener.

The last thing I wrote using it was the first 1113 words of
Project: Sarah Hughes. It's nice to get one of the two projects begun even if none of those words end up being used in the final story. As all writers say about writing the primary advice is JUST WRITE and who am I to argue?

Get Writing. Keep Writing.

Links:

iA Writer
Scrivener
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Whittling

The other day I sat down with my notebook from last year and looked at the plan for 2017. Boy, it was full of good ideas and intentions, but I failed to deliver. My bad.

I'd have been better off just choosing one to go with and attack that, surely? Maybe, maybe not. When I raised this on my beloved Twitter the other day Steph said write for all the projects and see which ones work the best and I think that is probably a fine idea - as long as I don't use it as an excuse to procrastinate.

whittle

So for this year I've whittled the projects down to five (yes, that does not sound like serious whittling) - and I haven't even included the Semi-Mythical "Fergie Time" from NaNo.

  • Project 1 - HbSt1 - Fantasy
  • Project 2 - TT1 - YA Fantasy
  • Project 3 - PS - Short story anthology
  • Project 4 - LRA - None Fiction
  • Project 5 - 2HAB - Fiction (comedy)

As I sat looking at the notebook I found myself asking some questions about the projects, including; which stories (or premise of) were the most interesting and which ones would be fun to write and get invested in? I think if it is going to be fun and/or most interesting to write I am more likely to get stuck in and run with it.

So from having five projects which were pretty equal in possibilities I got to a point where I could put them into a priority order.

The short story anthology could be relatively easy to complete, but I'm more interested right now in writing a novel or novella length piece so having that as an aim will just take me away from focusing on that aim. There is a similar argument with the none-fiction work - which also may be of limited interest. That leaves the three novel ideas. For the first one (HbSt1) I have a good idea for world setting and I think it has great possibilities, but I don't have
the story to tell yet in that world. Clearly, unless an idea pops into existence within my grasp, that project should be put on the back burner. As for Projects 2 and 5 I have the story ideas together already.

That means then I have indeed whittled - I really have - and come down to two novel ideas to work on: 2HAB and TT1. It'll be much better to work on two than five. And then if one takes off then all the better.

Before I get stuck into these two beauties I need to do one thing though... I can't call them "Project 2" and "Project 5" and certainly not "2HAB" and "TT1". I need to give them cooler project titles. So what do you give them? Well, me being me, naming the projects after beers or breweries seems like a mighty fine idea (and can be extended infinitely). Here we go then:

2HAB is now
Project: Jaipur
TT1 is
Project: Sarah Hughes

and for completion's sake, and a bit of fun, in case I dip back into the others:

HbSt1 is
Project: Neptune
PS is
Project: Tiny Rebel
LRA is
Project: Plum Porter

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Steps Stopped

Today was my last day wearing my Fitbit, so you won't be seeing anymore pointless Tweets saying how many steps @zevonesque did yesterday (it was 14,644 steps today).

I found the data from the Fitbit itself (an Alta) quite interesting. Basically it showed that nine times out of ten on a working day I well exceeded the standard 10k steps 'recommended' - and 'achieved' a maximum somewhere over 20k. On days off it was hit and miss whether I hit the 10k or not.

Basically it measured what I was doing anyway, but I wasn't using it as a motivational tool - it wasn't changing what I was doing. To that end I am going to go totally old school and return to wearing an analogue watch. I'll still be able to tell the time but I won't have a record of how many steps I've made and I won't have to charge the damn thing.

So what have I learnt: I know the above. On average I walk between 150 and 190 miles a month or 11-12k steps/day. Apparently I have walked further than the equivalent of the length of Italy. As I haven't used the Fitbit to change what I do then I'll still be doing that anyway. Whoopee Do! (sarcastic)

I've already deauthorised the device from my Fitbit account and the Alta is moving on to a new home tomorrow. Hopefully it will prove useful, or at least interesting, to the new owner.

Fairwell Alta. It's been mildly interesting.
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More Class

Class Songs Of The Days

Put the next ten days of songs on to
Buffer ready to go on my Twitter feed each day at 8am @zevonesque #ClassSongOfTheDay

Amazingly that will take me up to
289 songs, which means that there is just over another two months before I'll have completed a year of tunes without missing a day and without repeating an artist (although I've cheekily done a few band and then solo acts from them, but hey they're different acts). After the year I can drown you all in Warren Zevon, Wilco, Ryan Adams and Bob Dylan. And Boney-M ...

GramP

Keep listening.

#ClassSongOfTheDay


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Writing Software Options

I have used StoryMill a little in the past which I quite liked, however it is an old version (Version 3) and now keeps crashing to a point of uselessness on my Mac. An 'update' to Version 4 would cost £39 - almost as much getting the new Scrivener3 which I'm now quite minded to do. But rather than splash £44 out on that without seeing if I can find a cheaper option I've downloaded a Trial Version of iA Writer, which I have never used before. Not sure how long the Trial lasts, but will use it for a while to see whether to spend £20 on it or whether I should go the whole hog with Scrivener.

My initial view is that Scrivener may be better for my attempts at novel writing. But the 'distraction free' page of iA may prove enticing in a different way. From reading about it online it does actually have quite a few options with respect to Markdown (which I haven't used before but appears very simple) and Viewing the document etc. It seems it will be a case of practicing and getting used to how to access and use these options to the point where I get what works best for me.

Ultimately though it's probably a case of whether the multitude bells, whistles and orchestra of Scrivener outweigh the simplicity of iA.

Anyone else had experience of using Scrivener3 or iA Writer, or any other Mac based writing software?

(and yes, I typed this up in the iA)
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Writing and Twitter Democracy

This week I've written three (yes three) FlashFeeds and one Microcosms; not bad over a five or six day period. They were all between 300 and about 370 words. The one day I didn't write I was out putting some thoughts on paper together on what my main target(s) could be for this year's writing. Anyone who follows my Twitter feed knows I am struggling with a multitude of ideas and not sure which to target yet. I think that Steph Ellis who suggested getting on with all of them and seeing which runs best seems a fine idea - if a tad MA-HOOSSIVE.

The other writing I've tasked myself with is doing some memoir pieces and to that end I put out my first ever Twitter vote with the choices between; Russia, Turkmenistan, China, and Nigeria. The results are in ...

Turk

It's the fabulously bizarre Turkmenistan. Where the hell am I going to start and end with that one (other than Turkmenistan)!?

Thanks to all the bods who voted. Just glad to receive more than a couple of votes! Who says democracy is dead?



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