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October Update

Wow, October is here. In fact, it’s halfway done at this point. The leaves have turned, the winds are picking up and the top of the mountains look like they have been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Or, as a certain TV show would say, winter is coming, slowly but surely.

I realized a few weeks ago that it’s been quite a bit since I actually provided an update on what. I’ve been up to. I guess it’s been a busy couple of months. In fact, I know it has been and it’s put a dent into my productivity. For some of the posts that I usually post on here, this has meant a very uneven publishing schedule, if at all. There is, of course, a reason for this and I figured it’s about time to share a bit more about what’s going on in my writing life, beyond what I add to my newsletter.

The Online Writing Log

OWL has, over the last three months or so, been my primary focus. I’ve been pretty busy building it, creating interfaces, testing, making logos, building some more and then backtracking to fix things. I’ve been posting weekly updates on Patreon to share my progress, obstacles, solutions and so on. The worst part is that it’s so easy to work on one little aspect of this project and before you know it, two hours are behind you. The exciting part is that the app is at this point quite usable and I tracked all my writing-related activities online using the app last month.

At the time of writing this, I’ve got only a few small things to mop up before I open the app up for beta testing. I was originally planning on doing this by 10/1 but last minute problems occurred that needed a resolution. With that behind me, I’m aiming for next weekend, possibly sooner if I can make it.

If you’re using the spreadsheet, I haven’t forgotten about it. I’ve been evaluating the next steps and I may put some new feature options up for a vote. At this point, it’s unlikely they’ll be completed before NaNoWriMo but regardless, the spreadsheet in its current form will do just fine even then. I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve also set up a separate newsletter for all things related to the writing log, spreadsheet version, and online version. You can sign up for it here:

http://eepurl.com/c2kFgH

Fiction

My focus on the fiction side has been the continuing story of The Descent. Since the story was born on Wattpad, I figured I might as well continue to write and post it there and get some feedback along the way. I very much consider the Wattpad version a draft, something that I’ll write and then rewrite at some point in the future. For now, I have most of the story in my head, I just need to get it out.

The Descent is, if you’re not familiar with it, a bit of a space/scifi adventure. Denton Staxx gets wind of a plot to disrupt the Interplanetary Olympic Games on Proxima b. As he races to the surface of the planet in an attempt to prevent a tragedy from taking place, he slowly starts to unravel the conspiracy behind the evil deed. This leads to other complications and a race across the universe itself to stop other events from happening.

At the moment, I’m trying to update this story once a week. So far, so good. In fact, having a set schedule like this forces me to write the story in small, readable chunks that are easy to write one day, edit for the next few and then publish. It’s been working good, although I’m concerned that at this point, it’ll be May of next year before it’s done.

If for some reason you have an aversion to Wattpad, you can also read the story on multiple other sites. This is part of a strategy of mine to explore where stories like this actually attract interest. Feel free to read and comment, if wish, keeping in mind that the story posted is a draft and subject to change.

Here’s where you can read The Descent:

I’m considering adding the story to this site as well but we’ll see.

The two above items have taken most of my time lately, the two reasons many other posts and projects have suffered. If you’ve been visiting Tall Tech Tales at all this year, you may have noticed that the following may be feeling a little left out:

Tools of the writer

My series of blog posts featuring tools of us writers has been a bit, well, absent the last month other so. However, I have been working on some posts around this topic, one of which I posted just this past week. More will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

Written treasures from the writing challenge

My monthly feature of works by my fellow writers in the Writing Challenge on Twitter has also been absent. Again, mostly because of time. I frankly have had little time to read or explore the stories of my peers, much less posting about them. I hope once I get the first version of OWL out there, this will change a bit. For those that have been waiting, I apologize. It will be back but it may be January before that happens.

Finally…

I think that pretty much sums things up. For the next few months, OWL will continue to be a focus. Ideally, I’d like to have it ready for some more intense testing during Nanowrimo but we’ll see how it goes. I’m also considering participating in Nanowrimo again this year, mostly just to get another one of my stories, Intervention, written. It’s another one of those stories that I have pretty well outlined, I just need to sit down and write it but time is unfortunately limited.

A word of thanks!

I should also add that I truly appreciate the continue support I as a writer recieve on the Monthly Writing Challenge group on Twitter (#octwritingchallenge in October), as well as my new-found friends in the #turtlewriters group. Thank you all for being an inspiration and for always being there to cheer the rest of us on!

mattias.ahlvin@gmail.com

I'm just one of those guys that like technology...as well as drawing, writing, reading, coding and a whole bunch of other things I rarely have time for.

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