So, I found this thing I made when Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age was about to come out:
I legit still have my original walkthrough guide. It’s the first walkthrough guide I ever bought for any game, making it the first game I spoiled for myself by reading ahead.
I didn’t need it for myself when Zodiac Age came out – I think there’s a sort of muscle memory type thing going on when I replay old games – but it comes in handy when my kids are playing it. For some reason, if someone else is playing the game, I can’t remember what they’re supposed to do.
And yes, it’s another game with Nolan North. I think it’s the earliest game he did a voice in that I bought when out came out (if that makes sense). That was a little under a year after my triplets were born. My oldest, Kayleigh, used to sit on my knee while I played it. This is what I was saying in my last post; his voice is everywhere. They’ve grown up in a world where they hear Nolan North in something like every third video game we own.
And it wasn’t planned, either. At least, not until recently, anyway. Now I just go through the Game Pass selection and download random games without telling them who does the voices. It’s fun to watch them realise whose voice they’re hearing (again). It really is the little things that make life enjoyable.
Anyway, this isn’t getting any work done, so I’m going to shut up now.
Stupid Apple Watch. It tells me that I’ve exercised for four minutes, but that I haven’t stood at all in the last hour. It tells me that I haven’t climbed any flights of stairs just because its definition of a flight of stairs is a higher elevation than the actual flight of stairs in my house. I rescue it from the trash-heap, fix it up, love it forever, and this is how it repays me?
Anyway, I haven’t posted for a while, and there’s a lot to unpack. First off, remember how in my last post I said I was planning to take a year off studying because I was getting burned out? Well, that burn-out caused me to defer from this year’s module, and I’m still planning to take a year off.
Turns out that trying to do everything at once was ruining my ability to do anything right. I know I said I was finding the time, but it was all in my head. My grades were slipping, I had the time to write but not the inclination, and my kids’ social worker decided I’m suffering from depression. I’m not suffering from depression, I have stress and anxiety, which is not helped by having social workers looking down on me all the time.
But having the time to think now means that I can really focus on my writing. I’ve been slogging away at a full-length novel over the past month, and I’m happy to say it’s almost finished. It’s a story I’ve been wanting to write for a while but lost interest after the #MeToo explosion two years ago. Let’s just say, having Kevin Spacey in your head as the voice of your character doesn’t help with your motivation when there’s a barrage of accusations levelled against him.
But I found myself going through some old, abandoned Scrivener files on my OneDrive, and found this story that I’d almost forgotten about. The outline needed a lot of work, and the characters needed changing up a bit, but I figured it was worth giving it another go.
Three-and-a-half weeks later, I’m almost finished with my first draft. I’ve been doing loose edits as I go, and I know where the plot lines need tightening up, where major revisions need doing to make the story make more sense, and I’ve never been more enthusiastic about writing something.
This is the cover as it stands, but I’m not entirely sure about it. I’ll keep playing about with it, and let you know if I come up with something else. I might just bugger about in Canva for a while and see if I can find any inspiration.
Mostly, I think it’s the new voice of my MMC. I play a lot of video games when I can’t focus, and I pay more attention than I should to voices. I can hear a familiar voice even in a muddle of voices, and one of the voices that crops up regularly is Nolan North. I mean, it sort of helps that this time last year I had just finished my uni module, and I wanted to play through Uncharted from start to finish (it took me about nine days). And that meant a lot of listening to Nolan North.
So it was no surprise when, after vowing not to let another actor infiltrate my head while I was writing my characters, my lovely MMC suddenly started sounding like Nathan Drake… Well, except when I inadvertently wrote him as saying something extremely British (the character is an American actor), and then he ended up sounding like Rory Stewart. Such is the life of me and my brain.
In other news, I’m working on setting up a YouTube channel, where I’ll talk about stuff I’m writing, post book reviews, ads for my writing etc. I don’t plan to monetise it, so if there are any ads, it’s down to YouTube and not me. I also want to stream video games on Twitch – i won’t monetise that either, it’s just for fun. No prizes for guessing whose voice you’ll hear most regularly on there! Maybe I should play Uncharted again… 🙂
And I’m working on a plan for a wiki on here, to use as sort of a database for information about my writing. Anything relating to unpublished work will be hidden unless you’re a Patreon sponsor so, you know, there’s Patreon in the works too. And that’s how I’ll monetise my writing – sales, Patreon, and if I can be bothered (read, if I feel a work needs it), Kickstarter.
Did I mention I’m drinking a lot of coffee lately? I can’t really say that’s increasing my enthusiasm to work, but it’s certainly not harming it. And it’s not because I’m buzzing off my tits either – I drink decaf coffee. And decaf tea, come to that.
Anyway, if I want to get this novel finished any time soon, I’m going to have to get back to it.
God, I’ll be glad when I get the keyboard fixed on my laptop. The WASD keys packing in a couple of weeks ago, and I’m having to use an external keyboard. 🙁