MA Finished; Fun Begins

I’m done! I handed in my dissertation earlier this week, which means the entire MA course is all wrapped up. Besides getting the dissertation mark back, that is. If I’ve worked out the numbers properly, then my final result will depend entirely on that one 20,000 word story and its accompanying rationale, so at this point I’m trying not to think about it too much. The work’s all handed in, so there’s no point fretting.

Instead, I’m thinking about where I’ll go from here.

The main thing will be trying to find less a job and more a career. One good thing about the MA besides the actual instruction (and the degree itself, provided nothing goes horribly wrong) is that it’s helped me focus on one particular area I want to get into. I’m planning to look for a job writing for games, possibly through QA testing, which I hear is one way into the industry as a whole. Having done a fair amount of interactive fiction at this point, as well as writing for one game that’s since reached quite an audience, I figure that games could be a good niche.

With that in mind, I’m hoping to do a lot more interactive stuff in the very near future. I’ve actually got one new interactive piece ready right now: Project Pandora 2.

Project Pandora 2

It’s a direct follow-on from the first Project Pandora, so if you haven’t had a go at that yet then this would be the time. I’m hoping that some of the technical workings of the Project Pandora series will prove useful for my NaNoWriMo project this year. As I was far too busy to tackle the event in 2014, I’m planning to make up for that this year by producing 100,000 words instead of the usual 50,000. However, in order to make that goal not-totally-impossible, I’m planning to cheat by producing an extremely large non-linear story rather than a start-to-finish 100k novel.

I’m still not absolutely set on how that non-linear story will play out–I’ve got a whole bunch of mutually exclusive ideas in mind–but I figure that it’s beest simply to go into November with whatever idea I’m happy with at the time. I will probably be doing a significant amount of planning maybe a week ahead, though, as it’ll be extremely important to know when the reader will be making major decisions and when those decisions will pay off (or come back to haunt them. It’s all good).

In the meantime, I’ll be working towards getting my fourth flash fiction anthology together, and I’m aiming to have it on sale very soon. Currently, I’m planning to make the book available on the 10th of October. That’s barely more than a week away! There’s still a lot of work to be done (not least choosing a title and creating a cover), but it’s been long enough since Flash Fiction Month itself that I’d like to get the collection together as soon as possible.

Finally, though I’ve finished all the work for my course, it turns out that I’m technically still enrolled at the university and could remain so for some time. As far as I’m aware, that means that my access card should still get me into the buildings and even let me use some fairly impressive audio equipment. I don’t know exactly how often I’ll be able to spare the time, but ideally I’d like to record some stories and maybe even put together an audio collection.

So that’s pretty much it. I’ve finished my course, Project Pandora 2 is now available, and the new book should be coming out on the 10th of October.


  1. ameliamackenzie

    ‘If I’ve worked out the numbers properly, then my final result will depend entirely on (my dissertation)’. You and me both. I’ll just be over here, anxiously chewing my nails down until results day.

    Looking forward to that anthology, although I’m pretty sure I read all your stories this year. And hey, I’m doing NaNoWriMo, too! 😀

    I going to look at that Project Pandora 2 now…

    • Damon L. Wakes

      Having everything come down to the dissertation feels just a little bit like marking people on how well they do in a triathalon, followed by a to-the-death thunderdome battle. It works out okay for me personally because I’ve done alright so far, but it would be nice if the modules could boost your final result rather than just determine whether or not you’ve even got a chance at a merit/distinction. Still, the work’s in now. I don’t think I ever read a whole lot of your project, but what you brought in seemed promising in general. You also seemed to get onto editing way sooner than everyone else, which has got to help.

      It’ll be nice to get back into sorting the books out. I’m not certain how much interest there’ll be once I start charging for them (given that the stories will always be online for free) but I’ll want something for my kindle/shelf at the very least.

      It’s going to be weird tackling NaNoWriMo so soon after spending months on a mere 20,000 words. 😐

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