Animation

February projects

Here’s a short random update on what I hope to be working on this month:

Middle grade fantasy novel

I’m almost finished the first draft of my second attempt at a middle grade fantasy novel. I only have a few more chapters left to write. This month, I hope to finish this draft, edit it, write and perfect a good query letter to represent the novel, and once again begin an agent search.

Short stories

I am working on co-writing two short stories. I will probably also write some short stories on my own after I begin my agent search.

Nickelodeon’s animated shorts program

According to this post from Cartoon Brew:

[Nickelodeon] will choose a minimum of 10 pitches to develop into shorts that will appear on air, on Nick.com, and the Nick app. The shorts also have the potential to be developed into full series…

I put together pitch material for an animated series proposal back in 2012. This looks like a great opportunity to put the material to good use. I somehow missed this program last year, probably because I was busy finishing my first fantasy novel (which never went anywhere, thus becoming my first “trunk novel”). So I hope to write and storyboard a potential animated short featuring my characters.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Whatever else

What I’m working on

If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to lately, I’ll tell you, right here, right now, today. I’m probably working on too much, which makes progress slow on all of them, but too bad. I’m interested in all of them.

Intellectual projects:

Book on melody and automatic music composition system

I’m still working on my book about my theory of melody, but I’m turning into a book on musical composition in general. Obviously that’s a huge subject, so the book really won’t even begin to cover music in all its vastness; it will focus mainly on how my theory of melody applies to music composition. Along with this, I am expanding my melody generator to be a symphony generator or song generator, a system that aids composers in composing entire pieces, whether they be short little songs or long Mozartean symphonies, with as much or as little creative input from the composer as desired. It’s very exciting, but obviously there is much work to be done.

Book on artificial intelligence

This is far more experimental, so I don’t know if this will happen or not, but I’ve been working on creating a program that will ideally teach itself to play chess, or any rule-based game, after being supplied only the rules of the game. It should teach itself in such a way that users can then look at its “discoveries” and use them to play chess themselves. That means no artificial neural networks, no genetic algorithms, no statistical analysis, no number crunching, etc. It should learn to play the game the way a human would: by recognizing concrete meaningful patterns. I have an algorithm written in a notebook that should do this, but it’s a bit complicated and I haven’t programmed it yet, so I don’t know if it will work or not. We’ll see. If it does, I’ll try the algorithm with a few more games besides chess and then write a short book about it.

Creative projects:

Middle grade and young adult fantasy books

My agent search for the middle grade fantasy novel I finished earlier this year is going nowhere. Of course, it’s my first novel, so I’m not holding my breath. While I continue to search for agents, I’ve started writing two more fantasy novels, one being another upper middle grade, the other being young adult (and a male-oriented young adult at that, not one of them paranormal girly romancy love triangle books). I’ve been looking into self-publishing on the Kindle, as it seems like a much more viable route than it did just a few years ago, but it still has many disadvantages.

Adult fantasy book

Working on another adult fantasy book, coauthoring it with a friend.

Computer game(s)

I rediscovered Game Maker a few weeks ago thanks to someone I know. I remember looking at it years ago and was not impressed with it, but they’ve made newer versions in the meantime and it looks like a fun toolkit to use for making 2D games. I haven’t started any official projects yet, but I’m brainstorming some ideas.

By S P Hannifin, ago