Archive : Month

The Player Story

POSTED ON November 23rd, 2011  - POSTED IN Games

I think the greatest story in an MMO is not the one dictated by the game but the one the player creates for themselves. It’s that which makes me worry that the new Star Wars MMO will feel restrictive after a while.

I’m not a huge EVE Online fan. I love the concept of the game but playing it just doesn’t click for me. Yet I love this player story video. It’s documentary style and it’s obvious a lot of effort and polish has gone into it, but I think it still manages to convey what players love about the game. Never before have I been so enthralled with green and red dots flying round the screen.

It’s a bit long at 37 minutes but I’ve watched it twice now and find myself wanting to try EVE again sometime.

NaNo Update

POSTED ON November 21st, 2011  - POSTED IN Writing

Sometimes real life gets in the way.

It’s safe to say that NaNo hasn’t been going well. And yet, I guess it has. I had bold plans, grand ambitions, and then like the monster at the end of the movie that *isn’t* quite dead, work problems raised their ugly head again and sent me into a downward spiral.

There’s a lot I could write about how I’ve been feeling the last couple of weeks, but I don’t think now is the time for public discussion. But needless to say I’ve found myself withdrawn.

I don’t want you thinking that it’s bad news though. These are just rough waters before the calm, they have to be weathered. And throughout it, I have continued to write – maybe only a couple of hundred words here and there, but writing nonetheless.

And with me so preoccupied with being some place other than here, the day to day artistic insecurities have gone into the background. I often say that my writing is best when it is almost transparent to me.

Of course, entering this project having no real idea where it is going is a new experience for me, one that does not suit the daily goals of NaNo but also a project without expectations. This allows me to play. The draft is already messier than my previous novels, and a complete rewrite will be required for just about everything. The story grows and expands before my eyes and I’m still not sure what I will have at the end.

I’m excited to find out.

Playing with Process

POSTED ON November 7th, 2011  - POSTED IN Writing

When I decided that I would take my writing seriously – really try and make a go of it – I decided that I would always take risks, that I would never play it safe. For the most part, I’m glad I did that. I probably didn’t realise it at the time, lost in the mists of self-doubt, but I had a strong sense of who I was and where I wanted to sit in the market.

Keeping true to that means I sometimes get wracked with self-doubt. I’m quick to self-efface and sometimes people take it seriously. As a result, I question myself constantly.

#NaNoWriMo Day 2

POSTED ON November 3rd, 2011  - POSTED IN Writing

Some days you have good days in NaNo, some days you have bad. Yesterday was a bad day for me. I woke up feeling mentally exhausted from day one, more so than I expected. Day 2 is also a day of doubts: did I pick the right project? Do I like these characters? Is this ever going to be any good?

I’m a person who likes to spend time on the first chapter, rewriting and rewriting until I’ve got the tone just so, but with NaNo there’s no time to do that. So I found myself feeling uncomfortable with my prose and fighting an almost primal urge to go back, rewrite and reshape. Also, when it comes to visual description, I drastically under-write. This was acutely obvious to me as I tried to get yesterday’s words done. I need to ignore this and fix it in the second draft, instead worrying about new words. Some days words come easy, some days they are like treacle. Yesterday was a treacle kinda day.

The result was that I barely made the daily target. How rubbish. I see some of my friends have almost caught me up – which is a fantastic spur to push on, not because I want to “beat” them, but because I know other people are going through this as well.

With hindsight, I really should have swapped projects as Thieving King’s NaNo word count sits at 0 (though I do have some chapters written which don’t count).

You live, you learn, you pick yourself up and you carry on. Busy day today so it too could be a challenge to get words done.

#NaNoWriMo Day 1

POSTED ON November 2nd, 2011  - POSTED IN Writing

So the first day of NaNo went pretty well, with a 4000 word start. That’s less than I would have liked but I started on Gods which I’m less familiar with and so was finding my way a little. I even found time to spend the evening raiding with my Warcraft guild. That’s one thing NaNo has taught me… you need to sometimes take breaks, and I’m glad I did as I was pretty frazzled by the time I got to game.

Top Tips For #NaNoWriMo

POSTED ON November 1st, 2011  - POSTED IN Writing

So Day 1 of NaNoWriMo is going well and I now have nearly 4000 words down. It’s a little less than I would like but the day is not yet over, and I’m trying to make sure that, bad prose and all, at least I have a story that’s fairly consistent. Even so my eyes have gone a little square and I’m sure this post will have a gazillion errors I’ve missed.

But with many of you attempting NaNoWriMo this November, either trying for the first time, trying to score your first “win”, or a veteran of multiple WriMos, I thought I’d take a quick break and come up with a list of some tips to help you get your 50,000 words written.

NaNoWriMo Challenge 2011

POSTED ON November 1st, 2011  - POSTED IN Writing

So I’ve been keeping this quiet as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go ahead with this challenge. If I’m honest, I’m still not sure, but I’m going to attempt NaNoWriMo this year. Well, something along the lines of NaNoWriMo.

So what is NaNoWriMo, I hear you ask? It stands for National Novel Writing Month and the idea behind it is to write a novel of 50,000 words during November. It’s a bit of fun really, and aims to prove to people that anyone can write a novel length story. The focus isn’t on quality, it’s purely on the number of words. Get it down and you can always rewrite and edit come December… but not before. It doesn’t matter whether your protagonist changes names or even gender mid-sentence, you do not stop!