Thursday, May 10, 2018

Digestif: The Other Shoe (CofD)

Forgive me if this part of the post is brief -- I can't think of anything big to announce, nothing huge coming up, anything like that. I will point out that we have John back this session, so that's something. Other than that, let's just get to it!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Dead Suns: Office Hours (Starfinder)

Greetings, programs. Welcome back to my blog for more of my game write-ups. Before I get into it, just a reminder that this Sunday, event registration for Gencon opens up and my roommate Sean and I are running a couple of games this year. If anyone's going to be there, just let me know and we'll see if I can free up my schedule for a bite to eat or just a hangout.

Also, my last couple of write-ups were written, edited, and posted late at night while I was tired. I've gone through and corrected some typos and fixed some links, just so you all know.

And here we go!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Gencon this year!

Okay, so in case it needs to be said, I'll be attending Gencon this year with my roommate Sean (I was on the fence due to the hotel gouging, but managed to get lucky in the Housing Hunger Games). If anyone wants to hang out or whatever, I should be getting in Wednesday and leaving Monday. Just contact me here, or on Twitter, or however else you know how to reach me, and we'll see what happens once I have a better idea of what my con schedule will be like.

Speaking of which, this year I'll be running a Trinity Continuum: Aeon game on Saturday evening from 6pm-10pm, called "What Lies Buried." (It's still to early to purchase tickets, but it is possible to peruse the event catalog) For simplicity's sake, I'll be running out of the preview rules packet made available during the Kickstarter.

I may submit another event at the last minute like I did last year, or I might not. Not really feeling up to doing another 'Supernatural Studios' story this year, nothing's coming to mind regarding continuing the saga of the Inquisitor, and I don't know what else I would run. We'll see if I get a particular itch, and if I do I'll make sure you hear about it.

Also, Sean's trying his hand at running a game this year. For those who may be there and interested, it's a Monsterhearts 2nd Edition game called "The Gargoyle's Curse," and it's Friday evening from 6pm-10pm.

Also, before I go, I'll be attending Anthrocon again this year in July. This shouldn't actually affect my online availability, but on the off-chance it's relevant, this is my letting people know because I'm terrible about mentioning this stuff ahead of time. (I may or may not also be attending Furpocalypse again this year, that'll be based on a couple of factors I'm not expanding upon here.)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ramblings, thoughts, and rambling thoughts

So I've been doing some thinking about my writing process lately. I've been pushing more into getting my  fiction out there, partially through furry fandom sources. But I've spent enough time and focus on that setting such that I've been feeling a little burned out on it. And it's occurred to me that aside from a little bit of gaming writing (some freelance work, and attempts to get on the roster for other publishers), I've gone a while without having any side-projects to poke at.

So while I've got more ideas in mind for stories in the cyberpunk setting, I'm taking a half-step back and poking at some other settings, stuff I could possibly submit to more mainstream publications. One of them is a setting I've worked in before[0], and the other is something I've mostly made up on the fly. And examining my approach to these stories has been mildly eye-opening.

See, I used to do a lot of my worldbuilding and story planning on the fly. And I greatly enjoy worldbuilding, coming up with settings, coming up with characters, and all that. And I have a lot of fun just getting a story going and seeing how it all shakes out. Enthusiasm is often high... at least, in the beginning. Problem is, these stories, if it feels like they have legs, almost inevitably collapse in on themselves because my on-the-fly planning has created a pacing nightmare and a labyrinth of half-assed continuity errors. I'll write a fantasy story with a cool scene where a beastie operates under one set of rules, then later write another cool scene that introduces new rules that contradict the first set. But I can't bring myself to get rid of either of the two contradictory scenes, so I throw together some hastily-written patch to make them both fit, and next thing I know, I get so disgusted reading back over what I've written that I just stuff it in a folder in case there's anything worth cannibalizing.

Now, in a setting where I've put a little more thought and effort, coming up with all of the rules and properly planning things out becomes its own problem. Sometimes I get so bogged down in the brainstorming and worldbuilding that it feels like the behind the scenes stuff becomes more interesting than the actual story I'm trying to tell[1]. Or it feels like I can't get those rules right, or -- sometimes -- I find it harder to write in a setting once I've completely 'figured it out.'

And perhaps I'm just misreading the writing on the wall, no pun intended, but I'm wondering if this speaks to an issue I need to resolve with my writing -- that part of writing, for me, is exploration and I get more out of a setting if there are still things to find. But I can't just keep leaving mysteries for myself, can I? I mean, I'm not going to write an urban fantasy setting where I'm introducing a new type of creature literally every story. Sure, there's writing to find out what the characters do without a larger plan, but I've learned from trial and effort that that line of thinking is where I get a story that meanders until I realize it's just not going anywhere. 

But the more I think about this, the more that I get the impression that this is something I'm going to have to learn to balance somehow. Maybe I just need to stick to short fiction and not bother with longer projects like novels. I'm honestly not sure.

Also, I'm not sure where this is going, if it's going anywhere. This post, I mean. I think I was hoping that by the end of it I'd have a better idea of where I'm going as a writer -- if I'm going anywhere -- and what I need to do. Which is weirdly fitting, given the subject -- how I keep wanting to go into things without a plan because it seems more fun that way, and it just collapses in on itself after.

So I'm just going to end it here, and see if new insights come to me. If anyone has any thoughts, questions, suggestions, etc., just comment here on the post or send me a message wherever you saw the link pointing to this post (I've shared it a few different places).


[0]-- Though the only completed story in that setting, I discovered far too late, is too long to sell as a short story and too short to work as a novella, which is a shame because I'm pretty proud of it. There are places where I could submit it, but they don't print anything that length from new authors so I'll see if I can get printed otherwise and then dust it off and pitch it to someone who knows me by then.
[1]-- I recognize that means I should probably just stop and try to write something else with the material I've already established, but that still means I have a graveyard folder full of stories that petered out in just a couple thousand words.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Digestif: Nobody Panic! Too Late! (CofD)

Unless something's gone horribly wrong on my end, you may be noticing that you're getting kind of a two-fer for this week on posts. This is because I had some delays on getting the Starfinder post ready (partially because I wasn't sure if there was enough there to post), and got a much earlier start on the Chronicles of Darkness post. There'll be a little delay after this, because I'll be out of town this weekend at a convention, so we won't be playing this week.

But with that, let's get on with it!

Dead Suns: Higher Learning (Starfinder)

Greetings, folks. Because of various scheduling difficulties, things have been a little off the rails gaming-wise. But hopefully it should even out soon, various events (like late spring and summer conventions) permitting. This is the first of two posts I have set up, because I had some delays on this one and then a Chronicles session happened. The second will follow shortly.

But now, we begin Temple of the Twelve, the second volume of the Dead Suns Adventure Path!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Dead Suns: The Drift Rock (Starfinder)

So here we are, back to my Starfinder writeups. This covers the next two sessions of the Dead Suns Adventure Path, and finishes the first volume in the adventure.