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Archive for the ‘Wall 'o text’ Category

Well, I stole the general Idea anyhow. Originally Pikestaff started doing this and it was dedicated to games. Video games in particular.For my purposes though I am changin it up.

You see, I only recently got into video games. For the most part I never really did.

Yes I had an Atari 2600 back when they were $200 new.

Yes I had a Commodore 64 and played around with the old Apple 2.

I did those things, but they were never really a focus. Now, as I am slowly losing interest in the only game to ever keep it for any real length of time. Writing about it for 30 day simply is not appealing to me.

On the other hand, I kinda fell off the writing wagon there for a while since I closed my Warcraft blog down.

In an effort to get back on track with putting words to page regularly I am going to attempt my own version of Pike’s 30 day post series. Mine however will revolve around books.

My plan for the month of April ended up looking like this.

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Day 1 – Very first book.
Day 2 – Your favorite character.
Day 3 – A book that is underrated.
Day 4 – Your guilty pleasure book.
Day 5 – The character you feel you are most like (or wish you were).
Day 6 – Most annoying character.
Day 7 – Favorite couple (romantically linked or otherwise).
Day 8 – Best foreshadowing.
Day 9 – Saddest scene.
Day 10 – Best overall plot.
Day 11 – Best multi book series.
Day 12 – A book everyone should read.
Day 13 – A book you have read more than five times.
Day 14 – Favorite book that left you wanting a sequel (that was never written).
Day 15 – Most interesting sidekick.
Day 16 – Most intricately woven plot.
Day 17 – Favorite antagonist.
Day 18 – Favorite protagonist.
Day 19 – A world or setting you wish you lived in.
Day 20 – Favorite genre.
Day 21 – Overall best story.
Day 22 – A sequel which disappointed you.
Day 23 – Book or graphic novel with the best graphics or art style.
Day 24 – Favorite classical story.
Day 25 – A story you plan on reading.
Day 26 – A story you plan to avoid reading.
Day 27 – Most epic scene ever.
Day 28 – A book you thought you would love, but ended up hating.
Day 29 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.
Day 30 – Your favorite story of all time. 

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For those of you who don’t already know this, I am a huge fan of The Wheel of Time series by the late Robert Jordan. It is nearing completion now, as Brandon Sanderson has stepped up to finishe the series. (He also co-hosts a writers podcast called Writing Excuses, take a listen if you have some time.)

If you havn’t read the series this post will mean very little to you, so go read up and come back when you are done… likely about six months from now.

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Once upon a time, before I began my own journey as a writer, I picked up the first book in the series. I have always loved fantasy stories, and needed a good hefty book to get me through a trip I was about to take. A friend at work reccomended the series, so I picked up the first book.

It was amazing.

As I worked my way through the series one of my best friends did as well, generally staying at about the same point as myself. We spent many hours discussing what had come before in the tale, and where we saw it going. In fact, we likely spent more time on theory-crafting what might come to pass than we did on actually reading the books.

We caught a lot of the little things, nuances, forshadowed events. Like the players of another wheel, the Wheel of Fortune, we were good at solving puzzles with only half the pieces.

In fact, if the two of us get together and watch any type of mystery on television our wives would leave the room, because we tended to spoil things for them by figuring out who did it before the heroes did.

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Years later, and many re-reads later I now see the story differently.

It’s still epicly awesome, at a level I don’t even aspire to in my own writing. The difference is that now I see more than just the story itself, I see the craftsmanship that went into it. I can see underneath the surface to the framework that it was built on.

All my plotlines are but houses of cards by comparison.

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Alrighty then enough mooning over the story.

Im not here for that, I’m here to make some predictions about how the story will unfold.

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You see, I started a complete reread of the series today, and I saw something that simply clicked.

I know now that the good guys will win.

What make me so certain you ask?

Simple. There is a passage in the prelude to the first book that tells you.

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And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died. And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the promised one be born of the mountain, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the prince of the morning sing to the land that green things will grow and valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time. 

(from Charal Drinnan te Calamon, the Cycle of the Dragon, author unknown, the Fourth Age.”

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Thats part of the prolog, before the maps and such, in the beginnig of the first book in the series. This next bit is literally the next paragraph of text, though it is several pages of artwork later.

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“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, and Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning, there are neither Beginnings nor endings to the turning of The Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.”

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Those two paragraphs speak volumes once you have read the tale. We learn a lot as we go.

We know that one of the main characters of our tale is the Dragon Reborn. We become familliar with the prophecies that ere mentioned in the first paragraph. We see many of those events unfold. Actually I believe we have seen everything other than the Prince of the Morning singing to the land, though he is closely intertwined with it, even to the point of having a bubble of good weather and bountiful crops follow where he goes.

The most telling part of the passage is this. It was written in the Fourth Age.

It history, already happened, perhaps on it’s way to fading into legend by the time of the quote.

The Dragon Reborn, the Lord of the Morning, is referred to as the hero in that little snippet.

The winners write the history books.

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I could get a lot more into it, and likely will as my re-read continues, but for now I can read through knowing that the good guys will come out on top in the end.

So who wants to re-read with me?

Come on, its an excellent series, and the last book should be out later this year.

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I am on a mailing list (ok, several).

Anyhow, I am on the mailing list of one of my favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson. He is announcing the first book in an epic fantasy series called The Way of Kings.

I read this quote in the newsletter.

“In case you don’t know about it, THE WAY OF KINGS is a new epic
fantasy novel set in a world where massive hurricane-like storms
blast the land every few days.”

I am an engineer by both training and profession. I fix things, build things, and occasionally take things apart just to see what makes them tick.

Good thing I never got into medicine right?

I read that quote and my brain exploded.

Not because I had any doubts about the why of that world’s weather patterns. It’s Brandon’s world, it does what he built it to do.

What really got my neurons firing was thinking just how getting hit with a hurricane say… every week or so… would gt to be commonplace. Like thunderstorms in the spring, they would become but a nuisance.

Forget for a moment that it is a fantasy world, where most of these issues could be solved with magic. Imagine what the world would look like if the earth we know was that way.

What would the buildings look like? In my mind they look like limpets, sloped and anchored tight to the ground.

Many people would in likely live underground or underwater. At very least that would be a preferred way of travel.

With storms coming through all the time how would they raise crops? Underwater kelp farms? Giant domed greenhouses?

How about animal life? What would squirrels look like if all the trees were different?

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I have read Brandon’s work in the past, and really enjoy his writing style.

I was not planning on starting another series, but now I have to.

If only to find out how the storms have reshaped that world.

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Before I go there, I am going to warn you. I am breaking one of my cardinal rules.  

I am talking, actually ranting, about current events on a highly politicized topic.  

Feel free to simply mark as read and carry on, there will not be a quiz on this information.  

Here is a picture of our new kitten to check out as a way of saying thanks for stopping by.  

Yes i'm cute, and I still need a name.

Ok, here goes, lats chance to bail….  

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Still here?  

Alrighty, you must be morbidly curious as to what pissed me off.  

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In short, I am pissed at the short-sightedness of people.  

I just read a series of news articles about complete idiots that have gotten it into their heads to boycott BP gas stations as a way of “punishing” BP for its destroying the Gulf of Mexico. Some businesses are reporting anywhere from a 20 to 40 percent drop in sales as part of this.  

There are people picketing the stations with signs of oil fouled wildlife, and slogans bashing BP for the disaster.   

Exactly what the hell are these people smoking?  

Have they never heard the word franchise?  

WAKE THE HELL UP YOU MORONS, BP DOES NOT OWN THOSE GAS STATIONS. SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS THAT LIVE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD DO.  

Neighbors who are likely even more pissed off at BP than you are.  

Neighbors that have contracts that prevent them from simply calling up another company and turning their station into a Shell or something. 

Even if people in America could somehow successfully boycott all of BP’s product here in the states (and it’s impossible) that would still leave over 60% of their profits intact through overseas sales. Thats not even including the fact that they could simply sell their oil to different customers in the states.  

After all, they are into bulk sales and distribution. Even if every BP station in America was driven out of business they would just sell their gas wholesale to other branded stations.  

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The me phrase this in a way that they might understand….  

YOU CANNOT DESTROY A WORLDWIDE WHOLESALER BY BOYCOTTING THE STORES THEY SELL TO IN A CERTAIN REIGON.  

Boycotting BP gas in American gas stations will hurt BP corporate just about as much Fruit of the Loom would be hurt if people at all the Wal-Marts in Nebraska boycotted their underwear .   

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Want to do something that will make a freaking difference?  

Take all that pent-up energy and all the extra money folks are spending whipping people up into a frenzy over this and invest it into something that really will destroy them.  

Technology that will replace oil, not just in cars, but as a means of energy production.  

Now that will hurt them.  

Unless, while folks are tilting at windmills and screaming into the vacuum the energy companies are the ones that come up with their own replacement.  

If that’s the case then they will own the world’s economy for another hundred years.  

Maybe a thousand who the hell knows.  

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What I do know is that after work I need to stop and get gas.  

I plan to hit up the BP that’s right down the street.  

The protestors can just get the hell out of my way.  

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It has been less than a year since I lost Rascal, my 13 year old hound dog that was taken by complications coming from his diabetes.

My last remaining dog, Elvira, has been very sick for the last several months. Actually she was sick before that but you could not really tell. Her attitude never changed, even as her body betrayed her.

I broke my heart to see my happy-go-lucky friend trapped inside a body that was being slowly destroyed by cancer. Eventually all the good spirits in the world could no longer mask the fact that she was suffering. What hurt me worse was that there was not a damn thing her vet nor I could do to stop it.

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Actually there was one thing I could do.

I could make sure she did not suffer anymore.

I made an appointment and took her in. After a consult with her vet we decided that it was time.

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She looked up at me with those trusting black eyes as she laid her head in my lap and went to sleep.

Forever.

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That might explain some of what came after.

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After it was all over, and I had calmed myself enough to sleep, I had a dream.

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In this dream I sat in orange coveralls in the defendants chair of a courtroom.

I  sat as the judge.  I never saw through his eyes, but did not like the look in them.

I was also the prosecutor. Though I never spoke through him I did not like what he had to say about me.

The jury, the spectators, everyone else was but a blur.

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The charges were read, I was accused as a serial killer.

Of ordering the deaths of Rascal and Elvira.

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Prosecutor Brad proceeded to put me on the stand and grill me mercilessly, in a way only someone who can read your mind can.

It seemed to go on for days.

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After I had spent  what seemed like forever tearing myself a new ass on the stand I was released to go back to my seat.

I hung my head as the jury retired to decide my fate, the prosecutor had done such a good job even I would have voted guilty.

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The jury was out for a long time, the whole time the faceless crowd was watching.

I could feel their anger, their disgust.

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The jury came back and I was called to stand.

The verdict was read.

“Not Guilty, by reason of compassion.”

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In surprise I snapped my head around and looked at the jury box.

There in the front row I could now make out two of the jurors.

There, amidst the blurred out jurors, sat Rascal and Elvira.

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I shot awake to the sound of my alarm clock and sat staring into the darkness of my bedroom. Desperately grasping onto the dream as it slowly began to fray about the edges in that way that dreams seem to do when confronted by the wakeful part of the day.

Even now as it fades further and further away I can’t help but notice I do felt bit better.  In a way far more sure of the decisions I had had to make.

The house though, the house feels empty even with the whole family there.

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I can’t really say I have been quiet of late. I have actually been writing quite a bit. It’s just that I have been doing all of it on my Warcraft blog instead of this one.

I like writing, though I have been going through a bit of a slump recently.

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What does this have to do with world building you ask?

Patience grasshopper, we’ll get there.

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Lately most of my work has been going on the gaming blog because quite frankly it’s easier to write. I have been playing the game for nearly four years now, the words just flow. I don’t have to make up the stories, I just rattle on about what I see happening.

It’s actually more like the diary of a character in a story than a story in and of itself.

With that in mind I still don’t intend to neglect this place, far from it. This is the place where Dechion the gamer lets Brad the real life avatar come out to play from time to time.

Dechion can take those years of playtime and slap together a moderately interesting post in just a few minutes. Here Brad actually takes time to think about what he will write.

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Holy crap.

I just reread that and I sound like a psycho.

I don’t have a split personality, honest.

I know my head is a bit on the empty side but there is only room for one personality in there.

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Moving on…

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Following Tami’s example I have started making preparations for this years NaNoWriMo already. Last year I did not complete my work, and in fact I tossed it all after rereading it. While the individual words were good the way I strung them together was a failure of epic proportions.

This year though, this year will be different.

This year I will have a plan.

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With that goal in mind I have narrowed it down to three major things my story will need.

  • A plot. The action of the story, the conflict.
  • A World. The place the plot occurs.
  • Characters. The witnesses to the plot, we see it through their eyes.

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That might be simplifying it a bit too much, but it is really early on. The basic premise of any plot is conflict.

  1. Introduce characters.
  2. Make their lives miserable. (face it, if their lives were nice there would be no story)
  3. Allow them a way to grow because of (or despite) the misery.
  4. Say good-bye as they live happily (or crappily) ever after.

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The world where the story takes place is a huge influence on everything. Essentially the setting IS one of your main characters, if not THE main character.

In fact,  the setting is likely the only character that you will see in every scene in the story.

It needs to be well thought out, internally consistent, and it needs to fit the plot.

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I once thought the story took place separately from the world.

Like the actors in a play are separate from the painted scenes behind them, I thought of the setting as almost an afterthought. Something that existed parallel to but separate from the story being told.

I could not have been more wrong.

Just as the characters must fit their roles within the tale so must the setting.

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Over the last few days I have been working on imagining a world.

As I was doing this I had several ideas for story lines come through the old worn out brillo pad I use when my brain is in the shop for repairs. I found a couple I really like, and think I might just be able to weave them together into one story.

Hopefully one that sucks far less than my last attempt. *Shudder*

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Anywho I ran into a problem.

The world in my vision would simply not fit as a character in this new blended story. It would not have been quite as out of place as a sparkly unicorn in a horror movie about aliens, but it would have been close.

If I am treating the setting as a character in the story then I did what any writer would do. If the character just isn’t working, cut it and find another one that will.

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So I guess thats where I am now. Back to a vague plot and a few ghosts of future characters.

Time to regroup and make another world for them to play in.

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I may be starting over, but I just got to do something most people never will.

I just balled up a whole world and threw it in the trash.

Then again, had my world been a reality we would have found that the human race had done the same thing to the setting our story is unfolding in.

Post-modern distopias are depressing.

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I guess I’ll get back to world building now, have a good weekend.

Todays post was brought to you be the the letters W, T, and F and the number 50,000.

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As much as I would love to claim I wrote this for my poor neglected blog I did not.

I actually wrote it for the one on Warcraft. I did figure that there might be a few that do not follow my WoW blog that may want to see it, so I am double posting.

If you got both, sorry about that.

I was sitting this morning thinking about who I would consider my “main” warcraft character when this all occurred to me, so it will make more sense to someone who has played WoW or something similar. Anyhoo, here is my little ode to the much maligned banker alt. 

Hope you like it.

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The Banker

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One by one I stand and watch,

The favored characters leave.

They go to fight in far off lands,

That I’ll likely never see.

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I might be sportin’ spiffy clothes,

I might be dressed in rags,

The only thing that counts to them,

Is what is in my bags.

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I’d love to go there with them,

But they say they need me here.

To keep the home fires burning,

And help repair their gear.

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With freshly purchased flasks and such,

I send them on their way.

To go and throw themselves against,

The raid boss of the day.

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I may not get achievements,

They claim I never fight,

What about the cut-throat posts,

In the Auction House last night?

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So here I sit in Ironforge,

Running to and fro,

I wonder what it’s like outside,

Man I’d like to go.

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Then again my lot in life,

Is not to leave the town.

But to be the one who stays behind,

And never lets them down.

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Fully geared and level capped,

They look down on me to much.

They think a real main character,

Should go save the world and such.

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Well raiding characters come and go.

The same with “mains” for PvP.

The only constant in this gang,

Is the Banker, a’la ME.

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~Dechion.

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