From brain to page and a follow-up

Originally posted on madgeniusclub:

One of the biggest challenges we face as writers is getting what we see in our heads onto the written page. We live with our characters and settings for so long as we plot and plan and then get down to the actual writing. Our characters are alive to us and we see the world through their eyes. That’s a good thing except when it’s not.

It’s a good thing when we let ourselves listen to those characters and yet we still hold enough control over them to make sure they tell us everything the reader needs to know as the story progresses. That doesn’t mean we have to lay everything out on the first page. But it does mean we have to sprinkle cookie crumbs of plot throughout. The last thing we want is to make our reader mad because we suddenly pull a rabbit out of our hat…

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What Sets Good Writing Apart From Bad Writing? A Five Point Guide

Originally posted on Humans Are Weird:

The short answer: I don’t know.

Trying to define so called, “good writing,” seems to me a task curiously similar to trying to explain why some people prefer chocolate ice cream above vanilla ice cream.

Ultimately, it boils down to a matter of taste.

Nevertheless, despite the fact – I feel comfortable in using the term, “fact” – that good writing is boiled down preferentially, it seems that there is a certain sort of, shall we say it, “objective benchmark” that must be met before preference becomes fully involved.

Again, sticking to the ice-cream theme, and for instance; I might personally prefer, on a typical day, chocolate ice cream to vanilla ice cream, but if the chocolate ice cream is made poorly, then I might, on that same day, choose vanilla instead.

The question however remains: What is to determine whether or not the chocolate ice cream has been made…

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A Tale of Two TORS. Be Warned, I’m Annoyed

Originally posted on Girl Genius Adventures:

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They are the best of publishers, they are the worst of publishers. It all depends on who you talk to. If you can.

Many know TOR books as a science fiction powerhouse. They publish best selling authors who love them to pieces, and well they should.

Then they publish us. This might be a surprise to many of our readers, as we have been self–publishing Girl Genius and other comical books for over thirty years. But, in fact, TOR is the publisher of the first Girl Genius Omnibus; Agatha Awakens. You see, TOR was thinking about starting up a line of science fiction graphic novels, and told us that they thought having a multiple Hugo Award winner as the launch title would be a nice touch.

We agreed, but had reservations, as we had been selling Girl Genius for over ten years at this point, and didn’t want them to…

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On the Taxonomy of Spaceships

John:

A must read. Very useful. Especially for some of us aspiring space opera writers.

Originally posted on Critical Shit:

Yup, spaceships again.  Between Star Citizen, the new Halo, the new Star Wars, a couple of key mods for Sins of a Solar Empire that I keep up with and have done some voice work on, and Destiny, my mind has been buzzing with them.  I’m a huge nerd who thinks of things in my free time like “if I were a shinigami what kind of Zanpakutō would I have?” and “I wonder if I’d rather be a ranger or a mage” and “ff I were a Jedi in the New Jedi Order, what kind of ship would I have?”  And alongside that sort of inane theorycrafting and imagination comes obvious questions, like “would I want to captain a cruiser or a carrier?”  But then, what exactly is the difference?

It would be a stolen and recommissioned Imperial II-class Star Destroyer named Sanguine, by the way. In…

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Making video games

Heading back to town.

Heading back to town.

Got a member killed.

Got a member killed.

I have been wanting to make video games for as long as I can remember.

A couple of days ago, I rediscovered RPG Maker in Valve’s Steam store. I was thinking about it but decided against it some time ago.

I learned they have been making steady upgrades to it and the latest release is RPG Maker VX Ace. Comparing the versions on their site, it looks ok.

Then I discovered that they have a free lite version. I promptly downloaded it and started playing around with it. As usual, I would get stuck and have to go look at whatever tutorials they have online, which is a lot. Youtube, RPG Maker forums, and a slew of other sites have tips, tricks and stuff.

I decided to make my first game be simple. Then I made the simple error of posting what I am doing on Facebook and a friend expressed interest. I got back into working on my game, looking at tutorials, and stuff, I decided I need to make the game bigger.

Then I hit a snag. It is too easy to bite off more than you can chew. I had expanded the map too big. Just filling it with map stuff would take time. The really long part would be filling it with encounters and stuff. I toned it down to around 50×50 map. I have limitations with the lite version so that should be ok.

I might get it done as a simple, first game in a day or so and upload it for people to check out.

Eat This While you Read That: Toni Weisskopf

John:

Hmm. I am going to have to try this out.

Originally posted on Otherwhere Gazette:

Now, those of you who know Toni Weisskopf are wondering why she was included in this series. She is not commonly known as an author. Because I could, that’s why. As a reader, Baen Publishing has been pretty important to my book habit for 15 years and going strong. I think that Toni, as the Head Honcho over there, should absolutely be included in this. That, and I like her, she’s a nice lady, and one I look up to with a lot of respect. So I asked her for a recipe. And she gave me one.

Right there, I looked at it, and said ‘Oh, Toni, no…’

Just looking at it went right to my hips. I knew that with only two of us in the house, and me trying to lose weight… well, I figured there was a book, a treadmill, and some walking in my future to…

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I Stand With the Puppies

John:

Great cartoon and accurate.

Originally posted on Peregrinations:

About a million years ago I was the political cartoonist for my college newspaper.  Possibly I was not the best person for the job, because I’m not terribly political, nor fond of being controversial, but it was a fun gig while it lasted.  Today I was moved to draw my first political cartoon in 15 years.sp_comic

I’ve been a silent bystander in the ongoing battle in the field of SF/F, a reader and a fan of John C Wright, Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, and (lately) Brad Torgersen. I’ve read the blogs regarding Sad Puppies since SP2 last year, but I did nothing, I said nothing.  No more.

People I respect, as artists in a field I love and as human beings, are being maligned, tarred and feathered, vomited-upon by liars who accuse these good folk of the very pettiness and hatred of which the accusers themselves are guilty.  I…

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