Monsters from Nowhere and Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 28

First Draft

Today I want to talk about something that can happen at the end of a story. Well, it mostly happens at the end of video game stories. It might have happened to you: the final stage has been conquered! The antagonist that you’ve been chasing for days has been defeated! But zounds–what’s this!? A new foe has appeared! Some giant creature that no one ever expected! Some horror that wasn’t even hinted at before or ever explained!

Over at TV Tropes it’s called “Diabolus ex Nihilo.” Or “Giant Space Flea from Nowhere” if you’re talking about a video game.

So let me give you an example from a video game. Of course. Like I’d read a book. Here come spoilers for Final Fantasy IX. (Now out on Steam. Dang, I should have put it on my birthday list.)

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The Force Awakens and Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 26 (First Draft)

First Draft

In this case “the force” is my next awesome chapter. True, the entire world was worried that I had lost the will to write it. My friend Matt even asked me if I had something called “writer’s block.” How silly! Not only did I have Christmas to deal with, but my brother got into a bit of an accident. He NEEDED me to be there for him these past couple of months, and family–family always comes first.

It had NOTHING to do with me getting Xenoblade Chronicles X, Tales of Zesteria, Yoshi’s Wooly World, and a new Gameboy.

It MIGHT have had a little to do with getting Fallout 4 though.

Wait, wait, first I DO need to say something about The Force Awakens. Earlier last year I made a post about it, and how it seemed as though the seventh film would be just a repeat of the originals. I HAD NO IDEA it would really be EXACTLY like the first movie. This is the world I live in, future historians: Where the masses CRAVE the same story to be told over and over! I mean, why even put up a “Spoilers” tag if I want to discuss this movie!? You’ve seen it, one way or another! Woo! I’d go over all the similarities but in this case it would be way faster to just tell you what managed to be different:

  • The new Death star got the spread gun power-up from Contra and fires three shots.
  • One stormtrooper finally realizes that his gun always misses, tosses it down, and beats up someone while using a lightsaber-deflecting baton.
  • A different stormtrooper realizes that he is a bad guy and decides to be one of the story’s protagonists instead.
  • The new droid in this movie, BB-8, uses a Dhaston orb as its main method of locomotion. Congratulations, Tyle: at some point your dad’s company will be selling self-balancing roller balls to galactic robotics manufacturers!

But the rest was the same! Can you imagine? Anyway, I did get to see one great film this winter. That’s right:

DragonballRF

My brother got it for me. He also wrote all over it. But who cares!? Frieza has been resurrected with the dragon balls! Goku must face him once more! CAN he overcome his might!? The wicked space tyrant has powered up a bit since the last cosmic battle, but you know our favorite Saiyan has been honing his skills as well!

And now that I’m talking about MY favorite series it’s totally okay for a movie to recycle the same villain, hero, plot devices, characters, and ending!

Chapter twenty-six, begin! Continue reading

Character Cards and Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 23 (First Draft)

First Draft

A few days ago I learned that Steve, the tenant in the apartment below mine, finally visited my site! That means I have ONE more fan! That makes, like, two fans! Maybe even three! And it only took me ninety-nine posts!

Yes, that’s right! The next post will be number 100! But how can I celebrate? By giving myself some made-up award? No! By making pretend Hearthstone cards depicting characters from my stories! True, I was going to do it anyway–and I just found out this was post ninety-nine–but who cares! The celebration is still on!

SPOILERS if you haven’t read my first, second, or third books. Yeah, I know the third book isn’t even done yet but that’s too bad. FIRST CARD:

Mean Card

The idea is that her gravity powers make things either heavier or lighter. And this effect would be a hilarious way to punish rush decks full of Leper Gnomes and cheap low-mana cards. It wouldn’t be TOO powerful if you stacked your deck full of higher cost minions, however. Dr. Boom would only come out one turn earlier. Unless you used the coin to get Mean out on turn four, that is.

But who cares about that–look at this picture! Why in the world am I trying to find an artist for my characters when I can just go search Google images instead!? Someone named “A. Teller” altered that photo and I like the way they think! Look: there’s even a floating police car in the right corner.

MORE CARDS:

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Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 22 (First Draft)

First Draft

This chapter was fun to write. It features a certain character, and I think it’s finally time to give him the FIRST PERSON treatment. Have I talked about writing in first person yet? Well if I have then it’s time to do it again.

I’ll admit that I’m not really a fan of the style. I mean who wants to read someone’s innermost thoughts all the time? You hear all the little things they whine about; all the observations about life and the world they live in. I’m excluding blog entries of course. Reading those are always thrilling. But novels? Please!

I’ll use The Hunger Games as an example. I was following along with the series on Mark Reads, and of course I whined about the narrative style non-stop. Why do I need to hear every depressing thought Katniss has? How many times do I need to hear her describe soup dishes and desserts in meticulous detail!? The third person style seemed so wrong. But then!!

The story, after stalling for countless pages with fashion shows, eventually arrived at the titular games! It was here that I saw the advantage to writing in first person. In the setting of the arena, Katniss was alone. She was constantly hiding, scavenging, and plotting. With very few characters to speak with the voice in her head was almost welcome. And lo: the meanderings of her mind were actually important to the story at this point!

It seemed then that I was forced to re-think my views on first-person writing; indeed, it could even be preferable to third-person in certain situations. That is why I have decided to use the style when I believe it to be most advantageous to the story.

Do you agree? Did I make the correct choice about this chapter? Or would it be better off written some other way? DECIDE. Continue reading

Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 17 (First Draft)

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Now this one is a long chapter. And not because of some epic, singular, event–no; it’s because there are still so many groups of characters out there! What do I do with them? How do I make them all work for the story? First draft isn’t the time to figure that out! I just have to shove it all in.

And after all this there are STILL characters that aren’t where they need to be. Now is this a problem? No. I’ll figure out the correct pacing the next time around. It will be super-fun. I can cut characters; I can ‘consolidate’ events. But for now––enjoy! It may be a disorganized mess, but it’s still entertaining! Right, Pascal from Tales of Graces?

PascalBlargh

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Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 15 (First Draft)

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Curses! I can’t think of an intro again. What am I supposed to put here!?

I do have a fascinating list of fictional teleportation devices, but that goes AFTER the chapter.

I suppose I could answer mail from my millions of fans––but I can’t find any letters! What’s wrong with you guys!? Are you intimidated by my “e-presence?” Is it because I forgot to put my address up on the site? Is it because you only exist in my imagination?

That’s it! Imagination! That gives me an amazing idea! I’ll try to put this plan into action the next time I post.
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Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 4 (First Draft)

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Guess what I got my brother for his birthday!? I printed out all of Abandonment Party for him! Ha,ha,ha, who needs publishers, right? All I needed was a printer and two hundred pages of paper with holes pre-punched in the margins. Don’t worry–I got him REAL presents, too. It’s just that he said he won’t read my book in digital form. It hurts his eyes or something and he’s been begging me for a physical copy.

Which reminds me: I should put up the first book on the side margin over there. It seems that people I know are STILL too lazy to download it from Leanpub. For FREE. I even talked about it with my Grandma Smith and Aunt last week. They didn’t even want to read it! They wanted to wait for the movie! Can you believe that? Or have it read to them out loud. Guys! Words are beautiful! And punctuation, too. This is a work of art meant to be experienced in its written form!

But hey, let’s switch it around, huh? How about a film? Why watch Alien on a screen when we can just read the screenplay instead! Let’s try it:

"A L I E N"


FADE IN

SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE:

INT. ENGINE ROOM

Empty, cavernous.

INT. ENGINE CUBICLE

Circular, jammed with instruments.
All of them idle.
Console chairs for two.
Empty.

INT. OILY CORRIDOR - "C" LEVEL

Long, dark.
Empty.
Turbos throbbing.
No other movement.

INT. CORRIDOR - "A" LEVEL

Long, empty.

Wow, it must be so dull to be a screenplay writer. “Sometime in the future?” I guess you’re not allowed to add detail to your work when you can just get hundreds of special effects guys, sound effects crews, and actors to do it all for you. Hm, let’s see what the sequel looks like:

ALIENS

        FADE IN

        SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE - SPACE                            1

        Silent and endless.  The stars shine like the love of
        God...cold and remote.  Against them drifts a tiny chip
        of technology.

        CLOSER SHOT  It is the NARCISSUS, lifeboat of the
        ill-fated star-freighter Nostromo.  Without interior
        or running lights it seems devoid of life.  The PING
        of a RANGING RADAR grows louder, closer.  A shadow
        engulfs the Narcissus.  Searchlights flash on, playing
        over the tiny ship, as a MASSIVE DARK HULL descends
        toward it.

Hey, that one’s a little better! And it even has some theological commentary. What a bonus. Maybe I was a bit too harsh on my grandma; perhaps works of art CAN be enjoyed in mediums other than the one that the artist intended. Alright, it’s settled! If I’m offered thousands of dollars to make a film I WILL think about it.

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