Blaugust starts on Saturday and I’m really looking forward to it. I have a little bit of meta blog related news in mind for day one, as it seems like the beginning of a blogging project would be a good time for it, but beyond that I haven’t done any planning. I’ve seen a couple of people discussing their plans on Twitter; having some things pre-written, or half-finished drafts waiting in the wings to be tidied up, but I’m going in more-or-less blind. I do have a couple of drafted things saved myself, but the time for them hasn’t seemed right, yet. The only other thing I’m doing to prepare is trying to identify days when my time might be stretched, and adding some calendar alarms to remind me to make the most of whatever time is available.
I’ve been doing a lot more posting recently (you might have noticed) and the structure of Blaugust has made me pay more attention to how I write. As a post has to be at least ten sentences to qualify, I’ve been counting them up and I’ve noticed that I’m a massive fan of the long sentence. Why use a period when some parenthesis, an emdashed aside, or a semicolon will do? I don’t really want the arbitrary rules of the project to change my style, but it’s probably a good thing that it’s made me more aware of what I’m doing.
After my itchy fingers post the other day, I went back to Twine and had a few attempts at making something Risus-inspired, and I think I’ve mostly got the mechanics down. I have to say, while I love Twine as a tool and a concept, there are some elements that just don’t sit nicely with me. Right now I’m thinking of its array implementation when using the Harlowe template: instead of referring to array elements like array[n] you have to say array’s nth which gets tiresome after a while. It’s probably easier to understand as a non-programmer, but I’m finding it a little exasperating. I maybe expect too much out of Twine: I end up with a lot of scripting where perhaps it would be best to stick to stick closer to its strengths and produce something with more fixed narrative.
There’s just one problem with that. The more I think about this nebulous next project, the more convinced I am that it contains a large amount of random or procedurally-generated content, which pretty effectively (but not necessarily) rules out Twine. There’s something just there, on the tip of my typing fingers, but it just hasn’t coalesced yet…