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.)

Spoilers Continue reading

Inspirational Writing Music and Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 25 (First Draft)

First Draft

 

Things don’t always go as planned during the first draft. Mackaba, the lovable criminal that was supposed to stay out of these chapters, has decided to step up and interfere with what I–the almighty author–had in store. This has lead to a confrontation: Both in the story and with me.

Well, sort of. You know I use music to motivate my writing: it’s all set up ahead of time on iTunes. It’s all in a list, in an order that matches the outline of events that I keep in my brain.

But the new Mackaba event in this chapter is not on the list! What shall I do!? Write without music? I suppose I could. But why do that when I can waste time poking around on the internet instead? It’s justified. So that’s what I did; I drove all the way to the record store to see what the great contemporary artists of the world have to offer.

Ha,ha,ha of course I didn’t do that. I played some pretty amazing video games this year, so let’s head over to YouTube and find the best CLIMACTIC music from all of them!

And if you’re at work right now–all the better! Just play these songs and stare at your computer screen with burning intensity. Type really fast too and your boss will assume you’re getting stuff done since such worthy tunes are playing. You’ll probably get a raise. No need to thank me.

Continue reading

Super Post 100 and Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 24 (First Draft)

First Draft

Wow it’s my one hundredth post! I wasn’t going to say anything but then I remembered that’s what blogs are for. I’ll try to keep this humble, though.

First, I want to thank my billions of fans. You guys–gosh, I’m tearing up–you guys really get me. You understand! You know that I’m the kind of person that doesn’t like to feel pressured. That’s why you never bombard me with messages down in the comments! Or speak to me at all! And you know I’m a frugal guy, too; that’s why you all enjoy my work without paying me much money!

Thank you! As a reward for your understanding I made another fake Hearthstone card. This one is Parlay:

 

ParlayCard2

 

Once again I forgot to write down where the picture was from but man–I can’t believe there’s a real guy out there with hair THAT poofy. He even looks all bitter and calculating.

The effect I came up with even reflects his body’s static nature. I made it paladin since it would seem most useful there. You could cast Equality and then bump the health back up to five. Not to mention all the damage from minion attacks you could just undo. The downside is that any buffs like Blessing of Kings would be erased as well.

Speaking of things that are probably just going to be erased: let’s continue with the story! 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:

Continue reading

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 9 (First Draft)

IMG_1170 As the characters in my story split up into groups I have one thing I need to keep in mind: Are they getting along? Now, I don’t mean “are they all happy pals having fun?” What I’m saying is “are their interactions with each other interesting?”

HateZelos

You said it, Genis from Tales of Symponia! Just because you think Zelos is shallow, rude, and wears a peach vest doesn’t mean he’s bad for the story! A character in the right place can spice up the dialog for everyone. Of course, here in Abandonment Party 3, every character isn’t quite where they need to be yet; I’m still trying out different groupings. Does Jelk work well with Tenny and Darrow? If he does––great! If he doesn’t, well, I’ll erase all his lines in the next draft. I’ll strike him from the story! POW!

Or I’ll just stick him somewhere else. Now is the time for experimentation. Matt, don’t wait for the draft to end! If you think something isn’t working, you’d better tell me now! Should Vornis be with the others? Should Eon take Tenny’s place? Does Pinada need to come back to life and hang out with everyone for no reason!? TELL ME! Continue reading

Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 8 (First Draft)

IMG_1170

I got a copy of Tales of Symphonia Chronicles for my birthday two months ago! I was excited to get this high-definition version for the PS3; my Gamecube with the original one doesn’t work anymore. And since I use the game’s music to inspire my GLORIOUS writings I thought it would be a good idea to play through again for even MORE inspiration!

ToSTrio

Sure, this may LOOK like a schoolyard fight involving a young Mario, Sephiroth, and Sailor Moon, but it’s really quite sophisticated. It’s about the evils of discrimination and the, uh, duality of, like, something really important. Look, I’ll post more pictures when I get to the cool-looking characters, okay!?

Continue reading

Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 7 (First Draft)

IMG_1170

I talked to my friend Kim a few days ago. She says she’s stuck on writing chapter six of her book. I keep telling her about my “put down any nonsensical idea you think of” method but I don’t think she has the hang of it yet. She says she wants to get it right the first time. Where’s the fun in that? But I can’t bear to see a friend in trouble so I looked online for the best advise about first drafts I could find. Quotes from the finest authors in all of history! Take a look at what I found, Kim:

The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

This is the one that came up most. I call my first drafts crappy, but there’s still the glimmer of excellence within. A budding potential! Sorry, Ernest, but you’ve crossed the line this time. And stop swearing on my site!

I don’t write a quick draft and then revise; instead, I work slowly page by page, revising and polishing.” – Dean Koontz

Wow, this guy sounds more your style, Kim. I’ve never read any of his novels, but they’re always next to Stephen King’s at the book store so they must be finished at least!

No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft.” – H. G. Wells

Ha,ha, no kidding man! Some guy read your stuff and thought that it needed more Tom Cruise! Kim, hurry up and finish so I can tell you what to change!

I hate first drafts, and it never gets easier. People always wonder what kind of superhero power they’d like to have. I wanted the ability for someone to just open up my brain and take out the entire first draft and lay it down in front of me so I can just focus on the second, third, and fourth drafts.” – Judy Blume

Stop daydreaming about fantastic scenarios and get to writing, you slacker! I want another Fudge sequel!

I don’t fiddle or edit or change while I’m going through that first draft.” – Nora Roberts

Good advice. Now edit your quote so you don’t include three verbs that mean the exact same thing.

Normally I do a first draft using pen and paper, and then do my first edit when I type it onto my computer.” – J. K. Rowling

Oh, brilliant, J.K. I can see why you’re the queen.

That’s all for now, Kim; I’ll look up more quotes later. Ponder these authors’ sagely words and tell me how it goes.

Continue reading

Abandonment Party 3: Chapter Five (First Draft)

IMG_1170

In these chapters I’m having several stories progress simultaneously. This is challenging for a few reasons: First of all, events that occur in one story effect the others. I will have to make sure these timelines match up.

Second, I want to make each story progress for a satisfying amount of time before I switch over to a different one. I hate it when the point of view keeps changing so fast that it seems as though nothing of importance is conveyed. Anyone keeping up with One Piece may know what I’m talking about; some chapters seem to do nothing but “check in” with the seven groups of people running around.

Fortunately for Oda, AUTHOR OF ONE PIECE!, he didn’t start doing this until his story had been running for fifteen years. I know the characters, I know the score, and I’m willing to wait it out as the master plan comes together.

I’m the same way when I’m writing; I would not want to pull this kind of stuff in book one. I think switching around between characters before you even know who they are is tedious. I’ve seen some authors do this, though! Can you believe that? There was this one time I started to read a book called A Game of Thrones. Every early chapter was about a different guy! I’d start to get invested in dude number one and then–BOOM! Perspective would switch to someone else. It would leave me hanging before I even had a reason to care about the person being left behind! I couldn’t stand being introduced to new characters only to switch just as things were getting good. I put that book down and went to play Baten Kaitos for the third time instead. Now THAT is a masterpiece of storytelling:

IMG_1368

I can only assume that everyone else who read that Thrones book felt the same way. That poor writer, whatever his name was. Continue reading

Abandonment Party 3: Prologue (First Draft)

The final chapter!?

 

Might as well get started on the third book! Sure, the second one needs a final revising, but hey–I feel like doing this instead. Actually, I was also thinking about taking a break to look for a publisher or something. But I just remembered that I have no idea how to do that! It probably involves sending emails to people and kissing up to cigar-chomping businessmen. Besides, who needs money!? Not when I have WORDS! BEAUTIFUL WORDS!

So here it is: first draft of Abandonment Party 3. I won’t be going into detail at the bottom like usual; there will be no “choice edits,” just some simple notes. What’s this? You’re crying? Oh, I’m sorry! Let me explain. When I put up the first drafts for ‘AP2’–as it’s known in the ‘hood–those chapters had already been done for while. I needed to examine with great gusto all the garbage I had written in order to make a glimmering second draft that even Pinada could be proud of.

But this here? I just started! I wrote everything yesterday! The goal is to finish–that’s it! I believe a first draft must be completed without looking back! I need to put down any idea I can think of! And then move on. If I stop to scrutinize all the details in my little blog here then I’d never get done. So! Enough pointless words! Let us begin!

 

Continue reading