Articles from October 2013



Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Beach of Bones

This is a real place; I walked it while I was out of town earlier this week. It was begging to end up immortalized in one of my stories somewhere, so I let Lian have it, and she went to a few places I hadn’t considered when I was taking that walk. At least, that [...]

Recurrences, Plot and Catch-22

We all know about recurring villains. They’re fun, they save you chargen, they exist as reasons for the PCs to get better and as targets for them to go strike at when they might be otherwise unmotivated—in short, they’re blasted useful, so we use them. Good stuff. On the other hand, that means that every [...]

Choosing a Main Character

This was supposed to have gone up a week ago. I don’t know why it didn’t.
A lot of us writers have it easy. We have one strong character idea and are ready to center a story around them, or we have a strong plot idea and just need to design a character who can [...]

The Generic Villain vs. the Evil Overlord List, Items 60-69

The Generic Villain continues a point-by-point facedown and update of that reference material of all baddies with imperial ambitions, The Evil Overlord List.
60. Don’t use any code or password that the five year old child adviser can break in under 30 [...]

Impractical Applications: A Choice of Main Characters

I’ve had a few projects that were meant to have multiple focal characters but, since I prefer writing in first person, ended up requiring a single main character. The question then became, who?
Back when I was working on my Almagest project, I had originally planned for my main character to be a young man, a [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Beyond Reproach

Because of one of my library’s last batch of books, I was thinking about unwritten rules today. One of my works in progress gets most of her characterization from her society’s unwritten rules and her ability to use them to her advantage: these are the principles from which she operates.
There is a kind of person [...]

Not Actually a Post

It was either post or get sleep. Things are a little crazy, between school projects and recovering from the shutdown. I need my sleep.
Apologies.

Impractical Applications: Really Not Anyone’s Scene

I talked earlier this week about what not to do in order to get a scene you don’t like to end. It’s something I’ve had recent experience with; in my Saturday D&D game, we had what I’m pretty sure was one of those scenes: our charming mixed-bag PCs attempting to determine from a captured member [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: They and Their Weapons

I operate in worlds that do take the time to think about the relationship between a person and her favored weapon, but even with the characters for whom it’s significant, I operate more on character instinct than on understanding how it works. Tonight was as good a night as any to look for specifics.
Tuyet never [...]

Freewrite: What, a Manipulator Again?

A friend of mine asked me last weekend why I don’t play fighters. Said he wanted to see me drop the social manipulator and do something reckless.
He might have a point. We’ve been in four games together. Five if you count the Better Angels incident. In two of them, my characters were social maneuvering and [...]