thoughts

Writing Tools

While I’m working my way through the endgame of Mass Effect 3, it appears that much of my thought is focused on my writing. This doesn’t really come as a shock to me since as a story junkie, I’m often inspired to think of my own stories while experiencing someone else’s. (The Great Backlog War of 2012 continues, though, and I’m making significant progress on this particular front.) As I was putting the finishing touches on Monday’s post, I started thinking about the status of the outline for my steampunk murder mystery story, and that made me consider the writing tools I’m currently using. I know there are a lot of great options for novel-writing software, but I thought that I’d take a minute or ten and walk you all through the software I use. Hopefully, it will also help me evaluate how well these programs fulfill my needs as a writer, and maybe even generate some comments from you all that will help me find something even better.

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Why I can’t wait to write (but definitely need to learn how)

It seems that I’ve been in rather an introspective mood lately, and while sometimes uncomfortable, I feel my navel-gazing has uncovered several useful realizations about why I am the “unique” person I am, especially concerning why and how I want to write. But first, here’s a mythology lesson!

Have you ever heard the name Zeus? You know: Greek guy, throws lightning bolts, does very strange things while wearing the forms of animals. Well, Zeus–father of the gods and of men, god of the sky and thunder–was very fond of procreating. He had several wives and consorts and ended up with over 60 children, and that’s just counting the ones from his wives who were actually goddesses. One of Zeus’s daughters, Athena, was purportedly born fully formed from Zeus’s forehead (not something I ever want to experience as a father, by the way).

“What does this have to do with writing?” you may ask. “Greek mythology is so last decade!”

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Sticking With It

Here’s something you may not know about me: I really enjoy playing tabletop role-playing games. (Oh, don’t act so surprised about it. You’ve all known how strange I am for a long time. 🙂 ) I suppose I should say that I really enjoy running tabletop role-playing games—since that’s what I’ve mostly been doing in the hobby for the past couple years—but I still consider the narrator/storyteller/gamemaster to be playing the game, so it’s pretty much the same thing. But as I’ve been looking at my RPG hobby habits, I’ve noticed a very disturbing trend, one that I’ve also seen reflected into my other hobbies and even my non-recreational endeavors.

I have a hard time staying with things.

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My New Project

Well, welcome to my new blog. I seem to have fallen into a bit of a creative slump over the last year, and I’m hoping that this will help me break out of it. Mostly by forcing myself to write something semi-regularly and putting it up where people can read and discuss it. (Who knew that a nerd like me would end up needing so much social interaction?)

Let me explain the point behind this site. A few years ago, I started up a little game review blog that eventually went nowhere. (You can look at the dessicated corpse here, if you like.) And one of the issues I ran into was that it felt a little too constrained for me. I have a lot to say (apparently), and some of it doesn’t necessarily fit in well with reviews and news about all the facets of modern-day gaming. I also fancy myself something of a fiction writer, and that kind of thing definitely doesn’t belong on a gaming blog. Locke’d Life is here to serve as my general purpose canvas, to let me write what I want to write and put it all up in one convenient(ly ignorable) place on the internet. I’m hoping that what I post will have some value and be relevant to at least a small portion of the world’s population, but at the very least, the act of writing it will be of value to me.

So why “Locke’d Vs.”? I find the title catchy, and also, “Locke” has become kind of an internet pseudonym for me. There have been many theories as to why I frequently use Locke to identify myself online (philosopher John Locke, fictional ideologue Locke from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, that crazy bald guy from Lost), but I’m proud to say that it’s because of a video game and a great group of friends on an online message board.

You see, Final Fantasy VI (known in the US as Final Fantasy III) was the very first video game I ever purchased with my own money, and it was also the very first role-playing game I had ever played through. (I had fits and starts with the Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy IV (II, in the States), but never really got into them.) In the opening chapter of the game, a gallant and swashbuckling thief is introduced, a character that I instantly identified with for his chivalrous nature. Can you guess his name?

Locke Cole became something of a video game idol to me, and I still hold a very special place in my heart for good-natured and honorable rogues everywhere. And when the internet became the Next Big Thing, I carried my special regard for Mr. Cole online with me, taking lockecole_13 as my very first Hotmail address. The years progressed, and I soon found myself at BYU, interacting with members of Quark, the campus’s science fiction and fantasy club. The club runs a messageboard for its members, and still hanging on to my fascination with Mr. Cole, I took “Locke” as my username. Over the five-plus years I’ve been a member of Quark, Locke has stopped being just my handle and has become part of my actual identity. In fact, most of the Quarkies I talk to off-line call me Locke instead of my actual first name. It just seems to fit now.

TLDR: Welcome to Locke Vs. Hope you enjoy your stay. 🙂