Tuesday, 31 January 2012


It's been very busy here for the last week, mainly due to work and travel.

Work is still progressing on the 3rd app in the AFK stable, but it's still under wraps at the moment.

Thanks to everyone trying Subplot and Savings Jar; I hope you're finding them both to be useful tools.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Subplot news

Subplot's review is out in the latest print edition of MacWorld magazine. It's very nice to see it up in print, and I hope that everyone that's purchased the app over the last few months is finding it useful.

Have a great weekend, happy writing.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


There's a new app in the cooker here at AFK. Hopefully I'll have more to share about it soon. It does however return to the writing arena like Subplot, rather than the brief detour into finance that Savings Jar took.

 Happy writing.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Creating Characters

It can be difficult as a writer, thinking up new and interesting characters for stories. Often there's advice to just pick some traits or personality quirks to make the character stand out, but I think too often, that sort of character seems to just "be" a walking quirk; the girl who's forever biting her lip, or twirling her hair. The guy who's always "thoughtfully" rubbing his chin or neck etc.

Here's a couple of ideas for kick-starting your thought processes about having rounded characters. I'm sure all of these have been mentioned and suggested somewhere before, by many other people, but here we go: -

Take a personality test as the character. 
Fill out one of the many online tests in the guise of your character, and see what pops up. In particular, pay attention to the negative traits that are common with a particular type of personality. As an example, Wikipedia have the following information

amongst others.

Do a horoscope for the character
It doesn't matter whether you believe in astrology or not, doing a birth chart for a character can often throw up surprising combinations of attributes or traits that you may not have considered before.

Pick pairs of things that would never normally go together and contrast them
If you have to have a tough-guy persona, have something in your story that requires them to show the opposite trait, gentleness.
If you have the super-efficient and cool-headed business woman, find some way of making her give up control and lose her temper.
Pick a hobby that you'd never think of for a character - the fighter pilot who's really into ballet, the ballet dancer who is lithe enough to be an ace cat-burglar.

Just don't go too crazy for the sake of trying to be different. Your readers still have to believe in the characters after all!

Happy writing.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year

It's a miserable day in the UK - storm force winds and rain. Such a lovely time to be getting on with 2012.

But in the midst of all that, here's hoping that you all have a great year.

I'm hoping that Subplot and Savings Jar can build on their current successes, and that I can carry on writing more and more.

I'm mulling over an idea for another app, as well as thinking about ways to add value in to Subplot and Savings Jar.

And after giving the "sprint" mentality a try for writing, I'm going to be using it this year for sure.

Happy 2012 everyone.