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Summarize Your Life.

2007/08/29

Introduction to Me; Reading Writing Written Wroten Rotten. . . .

As to the first part, I must mention I started a blog in Windows Live Spaces, but haven't gotten any responses. After a while of thought, it appeared perhaps a better choice would have been to start here. Here I am. Anyway, if you wish to read the 2 posts over there, go to GregoryTechSoft's space.

Otherwise, if you didn't catch my intro from that blog, here's the short intro: I am Gregory, a reader, writer, programmer, analytical thinker, family guy fan, and role-play game aficionado. Sometimes these interests cross paths, sometimes not. In future blogs, just to keep things lively, I may also sneak in references to pop cultural trivia from anywhere in the last century to just yesterday (although, likely not references to certain misguided youths, social heiresses, et cetera et cetera et cetera).

As for writing, I've been rather lazy particularly of late, at least until last week. However, after being urged to keep at it by family and friend, I resurrected some old hardcopy of stories I've started but not gotten around to finishing, just to refresh my memory. Readability? Salvageable; it'll take some editing, so not a total loss.

My current coup de gras, the six-book series I'm neck-deep into writing and editing, is genre science-fiction, of the interstellar warfare type. Yeah, I know what you might be thinking; but I feel I've got a fresh take on it. Without giving any plot away yet, let me categorize it as a light mixture of literary and televisual thematic types: Star Wars, Star Trek, Miles Vorkosigan/Naismith, and Honor Harrington, with a hint of Dark Angel. An interesting blend, without anything overpowering the others — yet it all fits (at least in planning), in my head and on paper. Now, if only I could beam the entire concept from my brain cells directly to my computer, taking the movie in my mind and committing it to print, and save a few finger-strokes. . . .

But back in the real world, I've still been working on programming, developing the writer's suite, the software to help maintain all the story details I'm juggling (or fumbling, in some instances) for my writing. It's a lot of details, a whole universe of 'em really (technically, galaxy, but who's counting?); I'm trying to push the limits of what's available for story writers, role-playing game masters, et cetera, to new heights. And it'll be released as open-source software, simply because I believe in the concept.

The amount and types of data I'm wanting to maintain for each writing project is a wide and deep river. Locations, hierarchically from meta-galactic to planetary sites, down to street level, check. Lifeforms and species of the sci-fi universe or fantasy setting, check (within permissible usage where borrowed from other settings, of course). Characters and all the details they entail, big whopping check-a-roony. Chronologies and timelines, check (optional, but on the list). Civilization building and planning (again, optional, but it'd be nice to have), check. Objects and technologies those fictional denizens would have or know (optional, same as civ-builder), check. Organizations that the story's characters usually find themselves aligned to, a member of, or working with or against, check. The story text itself, with different implementations for fictional books and series, role-playing game campaigns and settings, and/or screenplays, hmm, cha-ching! Kitchen sink, . . . d'oh! that's on backorder.

Basically, I'd like to complicate the bantha pudu (slight Star Wars reference there) out of what a story crafter of any genre can do when he or she has the right tools. I want this to be an integrated suite kind of thing, where all modules work together all in one interface. (As a writer, I've looked for such things, and couldn't find any. Separate tools for separate jobs, yes, but that's not the same.) Also, I'm neither trying to pat myself on the back, nor hoisting myself up to a solitary pedestal; like tech maven Leo says, I'll paraphrase, we just want the computer to do what we want it to do — so, my objective is to make a great tool for writers to do just that. It's being implemented in Java; we should never have to worry which operating system it requires, as long as the system is up to date.

Hint, I may occasionally refer to Leo and his podcasts, as I did above. That person is Leo Laporte, who is a very intelligent, funny, and engaging show-host. He has a number of podcasts covering many subjects with his many friends he's warmly surrounded himself with, and has a fan base of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people (?). Google either leoville, Leo Laporte podcast, or twit Leo -- and his link should be the very first in the result list.

(P.S.: Oops, I think I've been editing this post for four solid hours; time to put it to bed. Didn't I say elsewhere that I tended to write long posts?)

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