Articles from June 2013


…okay, this isn’t working.
I’ve been at this blog five years (technically, my blog-day was while I was out of state). I can’t say I’ve been perfect about my deadlines; I’ve definitely schedule-slipped. But I’ve been pretty close.
Problem is, at the moment it’s next to impossible to find new ideas. Feels like I’ve done everything already, [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Also Readied

I got the idea for this one thinking about the kinds of compare-contrast that could go on between two parallel invocations of a You Don’t Say! Exercise. This one is a parallel to the one two weeks ago—there was a time when it was pretty reliable whom Kes was going on missions with, and let’s [...]

Freewrite: You Can’t Leave Them Trapped

(Blogger’s note: Let’s just say this one got a little weird.)
They don’t codify this as a writer—a bit as a GM, perhaps—but it’s something we all learn eventually. You can’t leave them trapped.
…and really, this applies to everyone your words might touch.
You can’t leave your main characters trapped in a situation that will never, ever [...]

Exercise: You Don’t Say!

I stumbled upon (rediscovered?) this exercise looking for a prompt almost two weeks ago. It’s very simple—so of course, it never occurred to me to put it down all the way. Like many of my other exercises, this one is about description and visualization—about getting across what you want to say without saying it directly.
Let’s [...]

Reprise: Impractical Applications (Keeping Track of a Battle)

Originally posted August 14, 2010.
I talked a while ago about a fight I’d run in my solo game, where the sole (and rather noncombatant) PC Kiriko was witness to a fight between her two allies, three enemies, and, at the very end, a third NPC. It was a formless, initiativeless, and pretty [...]

Reprise: Secondary Character Exercise: Someone Else’s Story

Originally posted January 27, 2010.
One of the biggest problems people often see with secondary characters is when their creator doesn’t take much of an interest in them. I’m not saying they suddenly need to steal the story, but it helps to spend a little time in their heads, make them more than [...]

Reprise: How Not To Misplace People in a Scene

Originally posted August 12, 2010.
One of the biggest problems with having four or five people operating in the same scene, regardless of its type, is the risk that the better-imaged ones will take over and the less-definite ones will get lost in the shuffle. A couple days ago, UZ asked how to [...]

Reprise: Comparing Conversation and Combat

Originally posted on August 11, 2010.
What’s the difference between conversation and combat?
I found myself asking that of one of my friends, while thinking about UZ’s recent question on keeping all participants in a conversation involving more than four characters at once. I have difficulty with that sort of thing too, so I didn’t [...]

Reprise: The Generic Villain Compliments the Enemy

Originally posted July 31, 2011.

I’ve talked a good amount about messing with the minds of your opponents. But there’s one thing I’ve found that tends to be really good for the job with minimum effort—no monetary outlay, no risks of experiments going horribly wrong, just a little thought and a little [...]

Impractical Applications (Talking to Myself)

(Procedural note: I am out of state for my younger sister’s college graduation. As this involves a great deal of tiring travel time, from tomorrow’s post to next Saturday’s Imprac all posts this coming week will be reruns. New posts will resume next Sunday night.)
I talked this week about the dos and don’ts of conversations [...]