Easter and Download Update!

So, I haven’t been round much again sorry!

After the release of my visual novel, I’ve been working on fixing up some small errors in it.

But they’re done now and here are the updated links to download Diving in Deep :)

Windows:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/elf7dbded71csbs/DivinginDeep-1.4-win.zip
Mac:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/u5wcaq4u4e6i55w/DivinginDeep-1.4-mac.zip
Linux:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/1d8ct1877jaft81/DivinginDeep-1.4-linux.tar.bz2
All:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/5yx3lck0sn5rmzy/DivinginDeep-1.4-all.zip

I will be on a break now for Easter (I’m exhausted after March :D ), but will be back next Thursday.

Sorry for the absence again lately! I am so appreciative of your comments and support, and I know I haven’t been able to show that appreciation properly. But with March and NaNoReno over and after a break I will be back to regular commenting and posting!

Hope you all have a brilliant Easter, and until then, have a sketchy Merrik and Quinn :D

Easter

Diving in Deep- Challenge Complete!

Thank you so much to those who commented on my post on Saturday and other days, and I’m really sorry for not replying, but I have been busy trying to get ready for releasing my visual novel. Which is now completed! :D

I did it, I finished it in a month!

I won’t re-post all the information again, as I know many of you have seen it twice already! So for those interested in finding out more, please visit the links below.

https://awriterslifeformeblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/a-new-challenge/
https://awriterslifeformeblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/romance-writers-weekly-lovewritechat-2/

Diving in Deep is a visual novel featuring:

– 6 Possible Endings (3 ‘Good’, 3 ‘Bad’)
– 19, 500 words (which averaged about 45-60 mins depending on reading speed)
– Personality defined by the player
– Romance and Friendship path
– When an ending is unlocked, the picture will show on the start screen so as you can easily see which endings you have completed if you want to get them all.

This is my first visual novel, and my first time ever putting up something for download and, even though I got a few people to test it out, there might still be a couple of errors.
I also couldn’t test on Mac or Linux systems, so any feedback on those would be much appreciated.
If you experience any problems please let me know and, hopefully, I will be able to sort them and re-release if needed :)

This visual novel is FREE in the hopes of encouraging people to try out this format if they haven’t done so before. Who knows, it might inspire you to try out some more? :D

If you need any help, then just let me know through the comments, or you can email me – harliqueen at hotmail dot co dot uk

Download Links:

Windows:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/9ypxqb4cqzdy0b7/DivinginDeep-1.0-win.zip
Mac:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/sym8wqxcl3a0jpk/DivinginDeep-1.0-mac.zip
Linux:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/b2opz9y1y9opeco/DivinginDeep-1.0-linux.tar.bz2

Instructions:

1. Download .zip file.
2. Unzip the file to a destination of your choosing (your desktop is usually easiest).
3. Open the folder you extracted, and click on the application (there should be a little shell next to it, to indicate the correct application you need to click on).
4. Have fun! :D

Choose Me – Practice Piece

Choose Me.

His eyes brighten as they fall on me and he reaches out tentatively before snapping his hand away, flicking his gaze over the others next to me. As if against his will, he is drawn back.

This time his focus lingers, and he steps forward close enough that his eyes flicker shut at my scent. There is no hesitation this time as he reaches out to caress me, his fingers running down the length of my spine.

As he bites his lip we both know what he is thinking, of all that he could have with me: excitement, passion, adventure, love… all of it.

All he has to do is choose me.

Finally his hands encase me fully and he pulls me to his chest.

With a thudding heart he scans me closely, the world around him falling away, and I know he is lost within me.

He is mine.

I wrote this for a bit of fun, trying to write from the perspective of a book on a shelf at a library or bookstore. It was fun to try out, but really quite difficult :D Still, that’s what writing practice is about, right? Trying out new things!

Hope you enjoyed it!

Have you ever tried writing from a strange or difficult perspective?

*This is a scheduled post, I will be back on Tuesday. Hope everyone has a brilliant weekend!* :D

Books and Reading Thursday: Tackling The List!

I have been absolutely terrible at reading lately. There are no excuses for it really, though I have been spending nearly every minute of my time working on Diving in Deep, so it’s not just ‘cause I was being lazy :D

The thing is, I love reading! So I really need to get back to it.

I still have a goal I want to reach this year, and I am determined to do it. Also I have a backlog of review requests I need to get through, as well as a whole load of books I am really looking forward to reading.

I said in a post early this year that I was going to organise my reading list, and I did the first 5 books and that was brilliant ‘cause I actually got through them.

And then I didn’t organise the rest and that’s when my reading tapered off.

So, guess what?

I’ve set out a bit more of my list in hopes I can start reading again.

1. Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People by Dennis Cardiff (Book Review Request)
2. The Fifth Watcher: Worlds Apart Series – Book 1 by Melissa Barker-Simpson
3. The Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding
4. Serenity: Those Left Behind
5. The Clique by Valerie Thomas (Book Review Request)
6. Seeking Solace by Callum McLaughlin
7. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier
8. Grá mo Chroí: Love Stories from Irish Myth by Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty
9. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
10. Chef d’Amour by Brenda Margriet (Book Review Request)

Yes, I have organised 10 books on the list this time, and I’m a slow reader so that should keep me going for a while.

Hope everyone else is having fun with their reading! :)

What are you currently reading? Any good book recommendations?

Progress Report:

Status of Diving in Deep: Finishing touches!

Books read towards challenge: 4/50
Currently reading: Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People by Dennis Cardiff

Romance Writers Weekly #lovewritechat

RW Banner

Romance Weekly time :D

If you’ve joined me from the incredible Kim Handysides then welcome!

This week we’ve been asked, ‘What everyone is working on at the moment. Details & conundrums, plus five bonus points for including a wee bit of your favourite scene.’

Well, as I posted a couple of weeks ago, I’m currently working on something completely different. Still romance, still writing, still a story, just a different format for it.

My current project is called Diving in Deep, and is a visual novel, which is something like an interactive story where the reader takes on the role of the main character, choosing the decisions she can make and what her personality will be like. These decisions affect the outcome of the story and how those around her interact with her.

collage

The story itself is about Quinn Lanton, an underwater archaeologist, who discovers (a rather handsome) merman called Merrik in the ruins she’s excavating. The meeting would be one of excitement, if it wasn’t for the fact that creepy treasure hunter, Walton Huntley, is shadowing her every move in the hopes of finding any artifacts worth selling, and she knows a merman would make his perfect prize.

Here are some example screenshots:

Example of the choices that can be made.

Example of the choices that can be made.


Example of the layout and sprites.

Example of the layout and sprites.


Depending on the personality you've chosen for Quinn, some options might be harder to use.

Depending on the personality you’ve chosen for Quinn, some options might be harder to use.

There are 6 possible endings, and a selection of choices throughout.

As for my favourite scene, well that probably has to be the moment Quinn and Merrik meet for the second time.

(Sorry for the script format, that’s how it has to be written!)

I shake my head, trying to get across the fact I’m not panicking… much.
He is a merman after all, a being that isn’t supposed to even exist except in fairytales!
Merrik: “Does that mean you’re ok?”
I nod, trying to regulate my breathing to a normal level and stem the adrenaline that courses through my system.
He breaks into a smirk, a playful glint in his eyes.
Merrik: “Good, I don’t want to have to watch out for falling rocks if you start flailing about again like yesterday.”
My awe of him quickly filters away with his snark.

The above scene is only one of the possible responses Quinn can make to Merrik in this situation.

I will say that the hardest part of writing this visual novel has been writing in first person, and in the present tense. I’ve never done that before, so it was a bit of an interesting challenge trying to ensure I didn’t slip tenses, but I managed it in the end :D

The project will released towards the end of March (not long, I know!) and it will be FREE in the hopes a lot of people might be willing to try out this different format of storytelling if they haven’t before.

So, there you go, that’s what I’m currently working on! :D (Sorry for the huge post, I’m just very excited about it!)

Now, why not check out what Raine Balkera’s current project is. I guarantee it will be something worth your time! :)

What are you currently working on? Are there any WIP projects by others you’re excited for?

Progress Report:

Status of visual novel: All writing done. Working on adding music and sounds.

Books read towards challenge: 3/50
Currently reading: Snow Hill by Mark Sanderson

A New Challenge

Part of the reason I wanted to finish the first draft of my current novel by the end of February was because I knew I was participating in a challenge in March.

The challenge is NaNoRenNo.

It’s kind of like the normal NaNoWriMo, but instead of producing a 50,000+ novel, you produce a completed visual novel.

For those that don’t know what a visual novel is here’s the Wikipedia definition-

‘A visual novel is an interactive fiction game, featuring mostly static graphics, most often using anime-style art or occasionally live-action stills (and sometimes video footage). As the name might suggest, they resemble mixed-media novels.’

It’s a different kind of storytelling that instantly caught my interest for a few reasons:

1. Any form of storytelling is good with me :D
2. I adore Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books.
3. I love gaming, so being able to take some aspects of it and add it to my own story is awesome!
4. Really being able to bring the story to life through both writing and art.

I’ve always had a dream of creating a comic, because of the mixture of writing and drawing- I love the two!- But I was never patient enough to complete a whole comic.

With visual novels I get to draw the art (though not anime-style as is usual), and also add more writing than I would in a comic. I am not even kidding about how perfect a medium that is for me :D

So my project this month is to complete a visual novel, and see how it goes. Also, I will say that visual novels are something I hope to look into producing and selling along with my novels in the future.

For those interested, I will detail the visual novel I am producing below :)

Sorry for the white backgrounds on the art, WordPress apparently doesn’t like transparent images!

TitleForum

When underwater archaeologist, Quinn, discovers an artifact in the ruins she is exploring just offshore, she doesn’t realise the significance of it.
At least, not until she comes face to face with the owner of the artifact… who happens to have a tail.

Introduced to the world of the Merpeople, Quinn must keep the exciting discovery quiet in order to protect their secrets, all whilst dealing with new feelings that are stirring towards her merman guide, Merrik.
If that wasn’t difficult enough, she must contend with the persistent interference of a dangerous treasure hunter searching for his next big prize.

And Quinn is all too aware that the Merpeople would be his perfect target.

Characters

quinnquinnuw
Quinn Lanton
The main character of this tale, a woman whose curiosity helps her to find the biggest discovery of all time, only to realise she must keep it a secret.

Her personality can be defined by the player through dialogue and action choices, which will affect the way characters react to her and the outcome of the ending.

merrik
Merrik
Merrik is happy to live his life in the safety of the sea, but meeting Quinn changes things.
Now the merman finds his position as Guardian of the artifact tested as he navigates through the world of humans and their greed for what does not belong to them.

waltonspritesg
Walton Huntley
An ex-archaeologist turned treasure hunter. His only interest is the next big prize and the fortune he could get for it.

The Artefact

Artefact

Diving in Deep is going to focus on romance (obviously :D It’s what I write!), but will also have a good amount of excitement and action so hopefully all can enjoy it! It will be FREE, so I’m hoping lots of people will be willing to try it out.

Though I realise this may not be the kind of thing some people would go for, I am hoping to open up this form of storytelling to those who might not even have known about it, and maybe get them to try out something new :)

Is this something you’d be willing to try out? Does this interest you as a different form of story?

*This is a scheduled post, I will be back on Tuesday. Hope everyone has a brilliant weekend! :D*

Books and Reading Thursday: Books on my Bookshelf

(Books on my Bookshelf is not a review, just my personal thoughts, feelings, and memories on the books I own).

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Books on my Bookshelf post, so thought I’d do one today :)

This time’s book is Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.

btdw1

When I was much younger (pre-teens) I wasn’t a big reader. Though my mum would read tons of stuff to us, and I loved that, I never actively sought out to read books.

I don’t even know where this book came from :D Possibly someone bought it ’cause she thought it looked interesting for someone my age.

But I did pick it up one day when I was young and read it, and I am so glad I did! This is definitely one of those books that left an intense impression on me.

I think part of the reason I actually finished this book was due to the illustrations in it. Even when I was younger, I was a very visual person (why I enjoyed comics and those types of story formats more back then), so having the text accompanied by such stunning illustrations really helped pull me further into the story.

btdw2
btdw3

This book made me cry (I was so upset at one point I had to put the book down and not pick it up for a couple of days! :D ), and it also scared the woozies out of me!

The most distinct memory I have of this book is reading it in bed late at night, and it was quite an intense scene where the main character, Twig, is running for his life from a monster. I was so into the story that when I turned over the page to read what happened, which was also accompanied by an image, I was so freaked out!

btdw4

I can look back on it as funny now, but at the time I was very scared.

But that is my main memory of this book, of it being one the first books that got me hooked on story telling and making my imagination really run wild!

Though I haven’t re-read it (no, of course it has nothing to do with the emotional turmoil it put me through…) it is one that sits on my bookshelf and won’t be going anywhere. If I have kids someday, then it will definitely one I will experience with them!

Random quote: ‘Massive shoulders, bulging biceps, tree-trunk legs… And her head! It was already immense when, suddenly, the hair- that wild shock of orange- cascaded down to the ground. The transformation was complete.’

Favourite thing about the book: I’m not sure I could pick one thing, but probably the main character; he was really one I could relate with it at that age.

Least favourite thing: The emotions it rips out of you!!! :D

Something I took away from the book: That stories really can take you anywhere.

Do you remember a book from your childhood that made you feel so strongly? Have you ever been so into a book your emotions went everywhere the character’s did?

Progress Report: More on that on Saturday’s post.