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  Another Release!? 01:55 PM -- Tue January 25, 2011  

Yes! Hamumu now releases a new project every couple of days, apparently! Well, much like the last game, this isn't something I'm actually releasing, and this time it's not a game, either. It's Writing Prompts 3 for The Journal.

The Journal is software I use, I have it startup with Windows (fun fact: I know my Windows is loaded up and ready to use when The Journal pops up. Prior to that, it'll sit there showing the desktop for minutes on end, but not actually be usable. Really, super lame, Windows!). It's what the name implies - a journal in which to write things down. But it's also tons more than that. Basically, it's a complete writing desk, I guess. You create folders and categories, you can have things where it gives you a new 'page' each day (for a daily journal type of thing) or just manually create named pages. You can have it automatically apply templates, or create your own, etc. It's really powerful. I use it as an address book, daily journal, scratchpad, writing practice, and record keeping.

The writing practice is where my add-on Writing Prompts 3 comes in. As does my previous creation, Writing Prompts 2! Writing Prompts 3 is really simple, it just randomly generates a first sentence of a story for you, then you're supposed to spend the next 20 minutes finishing that story! It's just a nice tool for practicing fiction writing. Or I suppose you could do non-fiction, but it'll only work if the starting sentence happens to be true. Here's an example, the first sentence it just showed me now:

Write for 20 minutes (without editing). Your story begins with this sentence:

The manager showed me into his office, and hissed, "We found something."

(Wow, that was fun, I never did a dashed-border before!) So there you go! What did the manager find? Why is he being secretive about it? Why am I someone he is confiding this in? Or is it that he found something in my desk, and I'm in trouble? It's all a very exciting beginning that could go a million directions.

Also, if you're curious about Writing Prompts 2, it does something quite different, but also a set-up for writing practice (it has a variety of different kinds of prompts you can choose from, I just clicked Surprise Me to get this one at random):

For 20 minutes, write following these ridiculous rules:

#1 - A huge cast of characters (relative to your writing time available). They are teenagers. They all serve (or used to serve) in the military. Focus as much as possible on the characters' mental state and feelings instead of actions.
#2 - Perspective - First Person. Find a way to incorporate your own life experience.
#3 - No sentences under 8 words.
#4 - Very terse dialogue, preferably one word at a time.
#5 - Use a number in every sentence (written out or numerical).

"Crazy" (seen above) is just one of the prompt types, others are a lot simpler like "Basic Challenge" or "Setting And Mood". As you can imagine, that many rules at once is tricky. If it's not enough though, it always has an "Add A Rule" button you can repeat as much as you like. It's all about getting you to think and broaden your skills.

Anyway, if you're interested in writing, I would recommend The Journal to you (give it a 45-day trial!), and of course, my fun and wacky prompts. I actually recommend The Journal regardless - it's a perfect tool for me, just jotting down notes and bug reports, looking up addresses, recording things I need to get done, marking down appointments (it does reminders!). I really want to work on writing myself... if I ever find any more time.
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