September 12, 2006

Weekly update

It’s been a rather interesting week :) The highlights – I pulled all but six scenes from "Honest, the Martian Ate Your Dog" and decided to rewrite it, I started work on a new PIM application and above all, I’ve been communicating with a lot of people and it’s been both good and bad (and yes, I can’t mention some of it here even in broad, general terms due to various reasons :p)

First, the writing news. After reading Simon‘s Hal books (and receiving a kind crit from him about both my query letter and the first page), I decided to plunge in and do something that I’d been considering for a while. I decided to re-write my first novel :) As some of you might know, I’ve been trying to get an agent or publisher interested in the book for a while now. While a few were mildly interested, nothing has come of it so far. I knew that the book wasn’t the usual fare – it was humorous science fiction, it had no definite villain and it didn’t have much action. But I thought that this was my "style" of writing. That it was a personal thing.

However, after reading Simon’s Hal novels, I finally came to realize that my story just wasn’t interesting to everybody out there. Sure, some people will find it interesting because it appeals to their specific natures (like it does to mine :p) but it doesn’t have mass appeal. And that was where I had to make a choice. I could have said, this is a personal work deeply connected to me emotionally and I’m not changing a word, no matter what. Or, I could have said that I’d make whatever changes necessary to get published. Of the two roads, I decided to take the one which (hopefully) will lead to publication :)

I enjoy writing and there was a time when I said that I’d simply write for the sake of writing as long as somebody enjoyed what I wrote. I still feel that way but with the advent of old age, I am getting to the stage where I don’t want to simply do something with no goals set :) I see no point to spending months on a novel if nobody will read it. So I’ve decided to put my all into this new version of "Honest" and see if it will get published. If it doesn’t, then its perhaps time to say that getting published is not the dream to follow – or not, I really don’t know. I’m rather fickle that way :p But at least for the moment, that’s the goal.

In order to do this, I’ve decided to restructure "Honest" completely. I’ve dropped everything but the first six scenes and even those are being changed to introduce more conflict and get things happening more quickly. I’ll be bringing back some of the older scenes depending on how the story develops but at least one sub-plot will be completely dropped and I might change the current four-threads-of-story format to something different. Besides, the current format gives equal time to all four threads and that wasn’t working either :p Let’s see where it goes when I take up writing again.

But writing’s on hold for the moment while I work on my latest coding project – a PIM (Personal Information Manager) which allows you to store all kinds of information using a treeview format. There are tons of other PIMs along the same lines, right? Yes, but the thing is that none of them have the one thing I really want. The ability to tag information so that I don’t have to rely on the tree paradigm to categorize and store information. I’ve found only two PIM apps which actually allow tagging but they don’t have anything besides basic editing features for their notes. So I decided to create my own. But things have been so hectic that I am not making as much headway as I’d like. Ah, well …

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Tags: Coding, Personal, Writing
Posted by Fahim at 7:02 am   Comments (0)