I submitted the short story I was working on last week today! 😀
It took me a bit longer to edit than I had thought. More than anything, I had a hard time finding the time to actually sit down and edit (I was exhausted all week for reasons unknown). But thankfully I managed to sit down, edit it, and submit it today.
The market I submitted it to says they try to respond within one month of receiving a submission. So I’ll report back once I hear something. 🙂
One of my goals for the year was to write four polished short stories. To work towards that goal, I signed myself up for Duotrope a few months ago (I subscribed to them years ago, but ended up unsubscribed because they stopped accepting Paypal). My goal this time was to keep an eye out for markets that sounded interesting (and hopefully ACTUALLY submit something somewhere). I found a few markets that seemed to fit the bill at the beginning of the month. Well, the month is almost over, and yesterday I realized I had done no short story writing at all! So I took another look at the markets I was planning to write for, chose one, and wrote about 100 words of a story yesterday. They were crappy words, but they were words all the same.
Today I sat down and thought a bit more about the story (specifically the characters, but also the setting – this is not set in one of the worlds I built). Once that was done, I set to work revising the bit I had already written. Draft 2 is now over 700 words long, with things (obviously) fleshed out a lot better in this draft. I doubt it’s going to get much longer, so I’ll be editing and revising it over the next few days before hopefully submitting it by the end of the week. Wish me luck! 🙂
I should have written this post a few weeks ago, but I had to put Memories aside for a bit. I’ve thought about it long and hard, but I still don’t know how the game is supposed to end. So on the advice of my brother, I’m putting it aside to work on some other things for a bit. Hopefully with a bit of distance I’ll be able to figure out where the story is supposed to go.
I honestly feel a bit like a failure. I was really hoping to have the game done by now. But that’s not how it’s going, so time to focus on something else!
Life is pretty busy right now (when is it not?) but over the weekend I pulled out a short story I’ve been wanting to edit for quite awhile. The story was written as part of my NaNoWriMo blob. I originally wrote the story for a friend after his dog passed away, but I never felt right giving it to him (and let’s be honest: it was a super rough first draft that was crap – I wouldn’t want anyone to see it until it’s rewritten and edited). I came up with some editing ideas for the story last March, but never got around to implementing them until today. Even if the story doesn’t stay the way it currently is, I’ve added 300 words (it was originally about 600 words and is now over 900), and it is shaping up a bit (it’s definitely stronger than it was!)
I had a pretty fun couple of hours working on it. First I brought a notebook outside with me (it was a beautiful day!) and started writing. But after a page and a bit, I ended up grabbing my laptop and bringing that outside because I needed to be able to move some things around and expand on other things a bit. I took a break to go for a walk, then worked on it a bit more. I’m thinking tomorrow I’m going to print it out so I can do another editing pass on it (I prefer to edit on paper, at least for the first while – it’s satisfying to mark things I need to change up with pen!)
So after my paper prototyping adventures last night, I felt like I was ready to actually work on a few of the important cut scenes in Memories. The only one I have somewhat built is the one I showed you in my post about tinting the screen (and that literally has “blah blah blah” as most of the dialogue). I didn’t feel like writing the cut scenes in RPG Maker right now because I wanted a bit more flexibility for editing. So first I thought to try using Chat Mapper, but that wasn’t a great fit when I started (I was thinking about the mechanics of how the program worked more than actually writing). I had the same problem with Twine. And then I remembered: I have Final Draft! Why not write the cut scenes with that?
Sure, it took a few minutes to remember how the program worked (it has literally been YEARS since I last used it), but that was no big deal; I was back up and writing in no time!
I forgot how easy it is to read a script for dialogue. Final Draft has been the perfect tool for my current needs because I don’t have to think about formatting, I can just focus on writing the words right now (and I can very easily edit whatever I write). I managed to get a couple of key scenes written before making dinner (and quickly edited one after dinner). Once I am happy with the text, I’ll be able to copy and paste it into RPG Maker. 🙂
I have created and named the NPCs you will encounter in Memories. Here they are:
I don’t know for sure at this time that these will be all of the characters in the game (plus Briana). But these are the ones I think I’ll be needing. I decided on the design of most of them over the last week, but I didn’t name everyone until last night (with the exception of Bella and Briana); it was rapidly becoming very tough to write dialogue without names.
I always try to give my characters unique names so there’s no confusion as to who is who. I tried to choose names with an Irish or English origin, in the hopes that the names will sound similar (and tie the characters together geographically). But in this case I also decided to give people from the same families names that start with the same letter. I think the names are, for the most part, different enough; I just hope that this won’t confuse anyone who plays the game!
Ten of these characters were created with RPG Maker VX Ace’s built in Character Generator. The other five were chosen from the characters that come with the software. You may actually recognize Wulfric from Tears of the King; I chose the same model for the Tears woodcutter (seen in the video in my Jan 2 2016 post).
When I last posted, I talked about how I have only a rough idea of the plot and characters for Memories. Over the last week and a half, I have done a bit of work on some of the main characters, who I had determined were a set of twins. At that time I didn’t have a clue what they even looked like. But I played around with the Character Generator in RPG Maker VX Ace, and came up with some designs I was happy with.
So first, here is Briana:
Briana is the real main character twin; she’s the one that the player will get to control. As a character she is very hard working and focussed. Briana’s name means “strong” in Irish. She’s in many ways the opposite of her twin sister, Bella:
Bella is going to be a very important NPC character for the game. At this point I don’t think she’ll be player controlled at all, but that may change as I build the game more. Bella is much more vain and more of a dreamer than Briana. Bella is often associated with the French word bell, which means beautiful (think Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast). According to sheknows.com, in other languages, it has other meanings, but often has “beautiful” as part of the meaning (ie Spanish “beautiful; devoted to God;” Latin “beautiful, loving, lovable, graceful;”). As an American name it means “intelligent,” and the Hebrew name means “devoted to god.”
As twins, it was important to me that they look very similar, but they had to be a bit different as well. An easy way to differentiate them is with their hair – they both have different hair styles. Their mouths have the same shape, but Bella has a small beauty mark on her chin that Briana is missing. Bella also has thinner eyebrows than Briana.
These are the only two characters I’ve made so far. But they’ve been a great start because I’ve already been able to start putting together some events for the game!
I spent a bit more time working on Memories tonight. As I said in my last post, I need to work on the characters and plot and pretty much everything else in the game other than the maps. I have a very rough idea of a plot for this game already, but it needs to be fleshed out. And for that I need a better idea of the characters.
I don’t have names or even more than a rough idea of what the characters might look like. What I do have right now is the fact that the main (or at least most important) characters right now are a set of twin sisters and a wizard. One of the sisters is the protagonist/player character. She/you will be saving the other sister from the wizard. Oh I also know that I want to give this game a sort of fairy tale feel. I’m not sure how exactly I’ll be pulling that off yet, but I’m pretty sure the game is going to involve heart magic. Think Once Upon a Time, like this scene from the first season:
Tonight didn’t involve a whole lot of writing (and neither did last night, when I discovered that heart story I linked to in my last post). But there was a fair bit of brainstorming and researching random things online, like heart symbolism, fairy tale witches, and the like. In the middle of all of this, I managed to come up with a bit of the backstory that leads to the beginning of the game, so that’s good. Hopefully I’ll be able to get more fleshed out soon!