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 [...]

Oh, Right, Humor!

I learned something new today: game is just plain different when I’ve got a character without a name.
It’s something I’ve sort of known for a while. We’ve had games where the character was thrown together at the last minute, and the less we’ve backstoried, the sillier we’ve gotten. I almost wonder if it’s the point [...]

Some Thoughts on Intimidation

To be intimidating might be the hardest job a character can have, particularly as the characters he’s supposed to intimidate get more and more powerful, and the audience more and more jaded. I’m one of that jaded audience, I suppose; my characters take no small amount of work to unnerve, and it doesn’t help when [...]

Perfect Locations: Marring Perfection

(Do I even need to tell you what prompted this post?)
When last seen, the broken walls of the old buildings had shimmered in the starlight, haunted by the soft strings and fluting of the lone musician; now the musician is gone, and in the sunlight the walls are merely ruined stone. The carnival last night [...]

Perfect Locations: Who’s There?

My participation in RPG Blog Carnival: Fantastic Locations continues!
Light levels in a scene may be one of the most subtle ways of creating the mood for the perfect version of a location, but they’re not the most counterintuitive way; that honor goes to the people who create a location. After all, people aren’t part of [...]

Perfect Locations: Seeing the Light

This series was written for RPG Blog Carnival: Fantastic Locations.
When I used yesterday’s post to introduce the idea of the perfect version of a location, one of the mood-contributing factors I discussed was light. It’s easy to forget, as an element; we’re used to always having at least some around us, and to not being [...]

Perfect Locations

This one’s back to writing for RPG Blog Carnival. I love the way it makes me think about aspects of the theme I wouldn’t have looked into.
One of the things that a lot of people forget about making locations, fantastic or otherwise, is that the locations themselves are in a constant state of flux. The [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: Creep Factor

Creepy characters are something of a hobby of mine. It started by accident; one of my early characters somehow managed to creep the socks off of her entire party, and at the time I couldn’t seem to figure out how to make her stop. So I designed a character to see if I could do [...]

Writing the Fear Reaction

Over the past week and a half, I’ve been writing about factors that are going to influence how characters react to something that scares them. Now let’s put it all together and look at a step-by-step process for writing a character’s fear reaction.
First (assuming an immediate threat), let the instinctive, startle-reflex reaction hit: fight, flight [...]

Characterization Exercise: What is Fear to You?

You’ve probably noticed one of the more odd blanks I put on my fear profile template: the role of fear in the character’s life. After all, not all characters deal with fear in quite the same way; there’s what they think of experiencing it, how willing they are to show it, how much it affects [...]