Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I suppose I wouldn't be much of a writer if I didn't have an overactive imagination. A few weeks ago I went off on a tangent about a recent local business drama had the possibility of being international trade espionage. But my flair for the dramatic doesn't always serve me well. Yesterday I received a text from my Aunt concerning an visit to the ER by my Uncle. It was late when she sent the text saying everything was fine and that they'd call later. While I waited for that call, I received another text. This time from my baby brother saying that there had been an accident at his workplace. So while stressing out about the ER text, I'm stressing about the accident text, and my mind is going to dual worst-case scenarios. Ultimately I was proved to be stressed out for nothing; ER text ended up being hyper-extended tendons from coaching soccer, and accident text was a thankfully trauma-free operator error that didn't involve my baby brother (it did involve a 34 ton piece of machinery that somehow ended up on its roof, which confuses me still).

Looking back at some of the things that were running through my head made me wonder why the worst-possible scenario is where I immediately went.

I had a conversation awhile back that centered on readers and suspension-of-disbelief issues; some readers tended to lose interest in a story if a character was treated "too nice" by the author. Not that anyone can accuse me of being even nice to my characters (let alone too nice), but the idea fascinates me.

Personally, I don't mind if a character has a nearly insurmountable task ahead of them. If they didn't, there wouldn't be much of a reason to be interested in the story. Frodo having a Mt. Doom lava vent running under his cute lil hobbit house wouldn't have been all that dramatic. Oh, get rid of the ring? Sure. *Plunk* That was easy! Danger, conflict, and drama are vital. But when the author (or screenwriter) is needlessly stacking the odds against a single character, I find that just as distracting as the "too nice" angle. But, to be fair, deus ex machina-type stuff gives me hives.

I suppose, like with anything else, it comes down to personal preferences. One reader's view of kid gloves is another reader's view of chainmail sharksuit hand protectors. Or really itchy wool mittens, those are bad, too. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fun and Games

About a month ago my partner-in-crime and I were asked to come up with a storyline for a game. This is a rather interesting endeavor to undertake. I mean, I like games, I play games, and games definitely require stories. But there's something about writing for a different medium that scares and intrigues a gal.

There is so much possibility in the things one could do and see in the world that is created. Having the things that you see in your mind translated to a visual representation is a heady thought. Collaborating with a group of people, all with different skill sets, ideas, and tasks is something I haven't done. The mere thought of the result of the efforts gives me goosebumps.

The past few week I've been wracking my brain as to how to go about this thing. A few ideas have been kicked around and well-received, but the framework is sorely lacking. But how are the ideas that are being developed going to work? Will they work? Etc. Then I realized, I'm getting WAY too ahead of myself with the things I'm obsessing about. I don't have to worry about anything but the story; remove the end result from the equation and just write. After all, programming is not my forte and not something I have to worry about. :D

So my plan is to hammer out some intro-level storyline and cannon (crosses fingers) for everyone to work with. A story to serve as reference or just a jumping-off point for additional ideas.

And guess which month gets allotted for it? Ah, November, how I've missed thee. :)