So, I waited to do this today until after I did my Linux final. I got 90/100, missing an A by 2 points. So far it looks like I’ve got an A overall in the class thanks to labwork, but still upset at missing an A by one question. Especially since I only missed one question due to a selection error.
Still reading Infinite Jest. It takes effort to make it through some of those chapters.
I mentioned it yesterday, but today is going to redefine my goals a bit.
I’m mostly shuttering the blog. I’ve not been happy with the quality of the content, but going daily for six weeks definitely got me interested again. So that’s good! I’ll be making my ROW80 posts and there’s a guest post coming soon, then it’ll be quality pieces I’ve put real effort in to. One day ‘away’ and I already have a few ideas.
As for school, that’s where I’m shifting my primary focus. Finals are coming up, and I’ve got a couple of big projects to get done in the next five weeks or so. Yay, yay, yay.
Still reading around everything else, I’m about 2% of the way through Infinite Jest.
Writing, I’m getting back to being open to ideas, and hopefully soon I’ll get the words flowing again.
So, I’ve got my Linux final early next week, and a group project to focus on. As such, I’m going quiet, except for my ROW80 posts, until I’ve gotten all of that caught up. When I come back, I’ll figure out what my new blogging schedule will be.
Quick Round of Words check-in:
Been blogging daily, but unhappy with it in general, not putting enough effort into my content again. May be time to throttle back from daily and move back into three quality posts a week, which should be easy since I’m used to doing SOME work every day!
I have done no writing, and little reading, putting most of that effort into my school work, with projects coming due in the coming weeks, this is my normal time to drop a few balls.
Tonight, though, I got to hang out with the guys from Unpub and play a new game currently on kickstarter. It’s a lot of fun, and there will be a video up in the next day or two right here (And a lot of other places) where you can check it out. I managed third place by a single play, which had it gone my way, would have been first place for me!
Today we have a post from a fellow WANA, Rabia Gale:
I was a late-comer to video games. I somehow made it to college without ever having heard of Zelda or Final Fantasy (crazy, huh?).
I was hooked. My first time playing was an eight-hour stretch. Since then I’ve put in many hours into video games, and even more time back-seat driving advising cheering on my husband as he played.
As a writer, my biggest takeaway from gaming is simple: Wow your readers.
How to do that? Read on…
CREATE WORLDS THAT BEG TO BE EXPLORED
My all-time favorite story-driven RPG is Skies of Arcadia. The continents and islands of this world float in the air. You can travel Arcadia vertically as well as horizontally, from orbital habitats down to the deep sky. And you get to do it all on airships—which, of course, can make anything cool.
A very different (and urban) world is that of Mirror’s Edge, where you take to the rooftops. You slide down ropes, climb ladders, and leap from building to building, often while dodging bullets.
Give readers an unusual, immersive setting. Let your characters loose all over it.
CRUSH YOUR CHARACTERS
So, you have your world. Now to send your characters off on their adventures! But how to prod them onward into all the pain and misery you’ve planned for them?
Well, for one you can take them away from everyone they love and everywhere they know, which is what happens to Sora in Kingdom Hearts and Tidus in Final Fantasy X.
Or you could set them up for betrayal and failure, as in the takeover of Dalmasca at the beginning of Final Fantasy XII or the unwinnable battle in Skies of Arcadia.
You do whatever it takes to beat them down, so that they can be stronger for it.
Old and new happily mix in many video games. Traditional culture blends with modern technology. Swordsmen fight alongside sharpshooters. You can ride a chocobo or pilot an airship. Spirituality melds with science fiction.
Games blew open the doors between traditional medieval-based fantasy and futuristic technology-driven science fiction for me. Now I combine the two in my writing.
DON’T FORGET THE PAYOFF
Remember how much work you put into those repetitive side quests in order to get the awesome weapon or the super-cool move? But the time you spent was worth it, because the first time you saw all those damage points, you went, “Wow.”
Too often, I’ve read books with great openings that fell flat into ‘meh’ by the end. You don’t want that to be your reader’s last impression of your book. Work for that spectacular payoff. Throw setback after setback at your protagonist. Raise the stakes. Twist your reader’s expectations. Dig deep into your characters’ souls and make them give you everything they’ve got.
And do all of that in such an awesome, mind-blowing way that getting the final summon in Final Fantasy or the Buriza-Do Kyanon for your Amazon in Diablo 2 pales in comparison.
About Rabia: I break fairy tales and fuse fantasy and science fiction. I love to write about flawed heroes who never give up, transformation and redemption, and things from outer space. I grew up in Karachi, Pakistan and now live in Northern Virginia. Check out my fantasy novella, Rainbird, or visit me online at http://www.rabiagale.com.
She’s a halfbreed in hiding.
Rainbird never belonged. To one race, she’s chattel. To the other, she’s an abomination that should never have existed.
She lives on the sunway.
High above the ground, Rainbird is safe, as long as she does her job, keeps her head down, and never ever draws attention to herself.
But one act of sabotage is about to change everything.
For Rainbird. And for her world.
Rainbird is a fantasy novella of about 31,000 words.
There’s still people arguing about politics online. Lots of anger. Lots of ideas.
You know what: That’s great!
Yeah, the anger is still there, but it’s going to be there for a while. This was an emotionally charged election season, and we’re still knee deep in a recession. Which is exactly why people need to stay engaged.
We should pull politics out of the closet and make open and frank discussion the norm, instead of the exception. Especially now, where we have a lot of work to do as a global community, and only a handful of voices with enough clout to shift things. (I’m looking at you, Wall Street, Germany, and Sweden.)
Let’s get as many voices spreading as much quality information as we can. Those who have been through college remember sourcing papers: start sourcing your online discussions. Support real research. Let’s make tomorrow a little bit better than today through simple education.
I’ve said it a few times this week, but the nerdfighter motto and goal both apply very well here:
I’m having a swell couple of weeks, I’m telling you! Today, my radiator gave up the ghost. Car still runs, but the radiator is still leaking, so that needs to be solved this weekend!
In college, I’m up to date, group project in System Analysis and Design is started, I have four quizzes due in Linux next Wednesday, and another lab/test for MySQL.
Writing, I’ve done nothing! Dead computer and catching up on school work took priority. I own that failure.
Blogging, I missed Sunday because I was tired of trying to produce on my iPad. Personal preference, and I could have delivered, but it would have likely been boring.
Reading, I’ve started Infinite Jest. Not sure what I think so far.
Sorry non-US readers, but this has been the focus of my day.
So, I voted, yay, did my duty, but I want to talk about an unfortunate reality I face.
I’m an independent voter. Seriously, my ballots have the dots all across the board. (Delaware uses these cool light up boards. It’s neat.)
In this election, though, my preferred candidate was a third party. I really would like my preferred candidate to win, but unfortunately I know the history of third party voting in my local electorate. So I voted for the major party I preferred.
My response, of course, was to vote third party for both Congressional seats. Here’s hoping one of them wins. (Even if it’s a pretty low shot!)
And if you’re American, you’re reading this, and you haven’t voted: Do so. Write in Darth Vader if you don’t want to vote for someone on the ballot. Just vote for someone!
DFTBA, and on this one special occasion: DFTVA!