Three Days To Go
Just three days to get your entries in for this year's challenge!
I will be submitting a considerably shorter and less ambitious story this year, owing to time pressures associated with Lunar Descent's release. I intend to make up for it by striving to release a novella-sized work in 2018.
2017 was fairly uneventful for Write Wise; I didn't get very many feature releases (again, owing to Lunar Descent), but am hoping 2018 will finally see the site fully move over to the new codebase.
Look forward to reading everybody's entries.
August 2017 WW Circular
Over three years ago, I published an article in which we discussed our favourite Write Wise entries. Given how much time has passed, I thought it might be interesting to look back and see if our favourites have changed. I've selected my favourite titles on a per-author basis at the bottom of this article. I'd love to hear your views!
Yesterday, I patched the site to better handle non-UTF-8 encoding (which could be found in some of our older stories). The non-UTF-8 encoding was causing problems with our new reader, such that certain stories were not loading properly. This has now been fixed.
Also, I'm very happy to announce the opening of the 2017 Writing Challenge! The challenge will be accepting entries until the 20th December 2017. The 2015 and 2016 challenges both produced interesting stories and I'm looking forward to seeing what this year's challenge brings!
Let me know if you have any thoughts on Write Wise or its running. We're a community-driven site, so all feedback is taken into account when making key site decisions.
My WW Favourites
My favourite story of Falcon's is Cogworld: Tales of Peter Jepson. Memorable characters -- especially Jepson -- and a well-developed backstory made this a great story. I really enjoyed Cogworld and this story expanded on that universe very well.
My favourite story of Jordan's is Clandestine (I'm counting this two-parter as one story, given the tight coupling of the two). The characters in this story were especially memorable (especially the creepy Charlie) and the entire story has a sense of dread about it. Despite (when combined) making the biggest word count on the site, I found these stories flowed in very quickly.
My favourite story of Bris's remains Stanley.
Do let me know what your own lists would be.
The Need To Update
I've been terribly busy with various things, such that Write Wise's upgrade has been fairly low down the agenda lately. I've been working on 2.5 whenever I get a spare moment (which isn't often), which will introduce new, modern story profiles.
When I began updating Write Wise, it was largely to make the codebase more maintainable and modern. However, there are now two big threats facing the site:
- The site is not currently TLS-ready. That is, we are not running the site through HTTPS. Browsers like Opera and Chrome are beginning to consider non-HTTPS sites insecure, so there is a great need to make Write Wise HTTPS-enabled.
- The old portions of the site do not run on PHP7. Currently, the site is running on the fairly old PHP5 runtime. PHP7 has some significant benefits: it is about 50% quicker than PHP5, it provides modern programming language features (type hinting, for instance) etc. It's also the current version of PHP. PHP5 isn't going to be around forever. Having our codebase dependent on PHP5 is pretty bad.
Things aren't dire, though. The new segments of the codebase work just fine on PHP7 out of the box (a good thumbs up for the architectural decisions taken in 2015, it must be said!) and the site should function just fine under HTTPS with some not-too-major modifications.
More news to come soon. The move to modernise Write Wise has now become crucial to the site's survival -- I am hoping 2017 is the year most of the functionality is migrated.
Closing thoughts for the year
It's been quite a year for Write Wise, we had eight short story submissions this year with a combined word count of 123,600 words! Just looking at the front page shows what a variety of stories we've had recently.
Thanks to everybody who has entered this year. In March, Write Wise will be celebrating its sixth anniversary. It's hard to believe it's been so long. Here are some fun numbers that put things into perspective:
- Years operating: 6
- Number of stories: 72
- Site word count: 495,345
- Number of challenges (excl. the Open Challenge): 22
We've achieved quite a lot in six years. Here's hoping 2017 is just as good. In terms of site architecture, here's my ambitions for the year:
- Have all stories accessible via Reader V3 (and retire version 2)
- Introduce a new story management interface, simplifying the process greatly
- Introduce modern, sleek story profiles
Thanks again to all who entered and all who commented this year. It's very much appreciated.
As a final note, this blog (and other active Potato Journal blogs) have finally had their snow installed. The snow will get exponentially heavier (and quadratically faster) the closer we get to Christmas!
Have a great Christmas, all.
WW2016 has CLOSED
The 2016 Write Wise has closed. Two entries have been submitted:
- The Misadventures of Murdoch and McKenzie: Time Zone Trouble (by Falcon)
- Truth (by Aaron)
Here are the covers:
The first story will be published for viewing tomorrow (21st December) and the second the day after that.
A reminder about the WW 2016 Challenge
Just a reminder: Write Wise is running a 2016 Writing Challenge, set to close on the 20th of December. More details can be found here.
Last year was a big success and I am hoping we'll have the same level of entry this year.
Best of luck, all!