October 22, 2018 · 5:12 pm
Over the last week, I found myself really struggling with doubt when it comes to working on the short story for the Make Your Way anthology. Specifically, I’ve been doubting myself and my ability to write this piece.
Deep down I know this doubt is silly. I’ve worked on similar projects in the past, most notably Holdfast. Holdfast is a game book that was developed by Black Chicken Studios. For Holdfast, I worked on two separate story lines. I developed the characters, and had to write out a branching story (rather like a Choose Your Own Adventure story) complete with a couple of RPG choices. And I did it all within a week. This experience is exactly what I need to call on for the Make Your Way anthology.
Perhaps part of the problem is that this specific experience happened five years ago. Yes I have done it, but I haven’t done anything quite like this recently. And in truth, this project is a little more intense than Holdfast was (even though all the work I did for Holdfast happened within one week, which is a very tight turnaround time); where in Holdfast I was just writing the story stuff, this time around I’m designing the RPG system, editing everything, and having to randomize the sections at the end, too. So it’s possible that this stuff is intimidating me a little bit, too.
Another thing that I’m worried about is the story ballooning out of control. Being a choose your own adventure style story, having multiple paths increases the replayability. But it also means the story becomes physically much bigger. While Make Your Way didn’t have any word length specifics, they do remind you that whatever you submit is just one part of a bigger book, not a standalone book on its own. How do I keep the word count down while making sure the piece is fun? Should I sacrifice replayability by making it a super linear story? I don’t really want to, but it might be the only way forward.
While grappling with all of these doubts, I have made a bit of progress. I have the main characters figured out. And I’ve brainstormed a lot of individual story elements (including a possible bad ending!) I think at this point I really just need to sit down, start writing, and see where things go, even with all the doubts. So wish me luck as I do that this week! 🙂
September 24, 2018 · 11:00 am
I did it! I actually got that short story edited and submitted!
I had a really hard time sitting down to deal with it. I kept putting off the editing. Finally on Tuesday I sat down and started writing whatever was on my mind (it was a free write, much like I did years ago in a writing class). By the time I was at the end of the page, I actually felt inspired and read over the story. It was in okay shape and didn’t need too many edits. So I worked on those when I could and finally finished on Friday. I ended up calling it “A Friend from the Deep;” it’s set on Imezza and deals with a kraken (which is why its working title was the ever original “kraken story.”) I submitting “A Friend from the Deep” to Martian Migraine Press’s Monstrous Outlines: an Anthology of Camouflaged Horror Friday night. I kind of doubt it will get accepted since that anthology specializes in horror and weird fiction and this piece is probably closer to fantasy (I could have sworn it said it accepted fantasy somewhere but I can’t find whatever I read now). Oh well, the worst that happens is they say no, right? I guess we’ll see what happens.
I need to make sure I remember to free write next time I have a hard time sitting down to work on a project like this!
On Friday I also followed up with my last submission (oh my gosh, that was a year ago!) I *think* the story has been published but I haven’t heard anything from the publisher. I’ll give more details once I hear back from them. 🙂
So with all that happening on Friday, I had the rest of the weekend for whatever. I took the rest of Friday night to look over (and clean up) my favourites list on Duotrope. In doing that I found a few markets that sound pretty interesting; I decided to try writing something for the Make Your Way anthology. Make Your Way is looking for pieces that the audience will have to interact with in some way; I’ve written for projects like Holdfast in the past, so I’m hopeful that I can pull this off. So I spent a bit of time later on Friday night coming up with a really simple RPG system for use with my story, with the rest of the weekend spent plotting things off and on.
I also spent a little bit of time trying to research tools to help me make this. I’m a fan of Articy Draft but do not currently have my own copy (I was able to use it for a project I worked on in the past; the license was provided by the company I was working with). Twine shows some promise, but it’s the type of thing I’ll use if I ever decide to publish this story on the web rather than in a book. So I ended up defaulting to using my physical white board to plan this out. Well, until I discovered The GameBook Authoring Tool, which I downloaded and tried out. I think it’s exactly what I need to link everything together as I go. So between my white board, my trusty notebook, and The GameBook Authoring Tool, I think I’m good to go for this project!
Filed under Tools, Writing
Tagged as #WritingDay, Articy Draft, free writing, gamebook, GameBook Authoring Tool, Holdfast, Imezza, Make Your Way, notebook, RPG, RPG system, short story, submission, Twine
January 9, 2015 · 10:52 pm
Back in June of 2013, I did some content writing for the Gamebook Holdfast: Record of the Dwarven Kingdom Volume 1 (originally titled Holdfast: A Gamebook of Dwarven Vengeance on the Kickstarter page). I received my copy of Holdfast in December 2013, and have been showing people it since then. A lot of people have asked me where they could get a copy of the gamebook; unfortunately it was only available to the people who backed it on Kickstarter. But today, that all changed – Holdfast is now available as a PDF on DriveThruRPG!
According to the Kickstarter update, so far only the main book is available on DriveThruRPG. But Black Chicken Studios has plans to release the add-on material over the next couple of months as well.
December 29, 2013 · 7:09 pm
Back in June, I talked about some work I did for a friend and his team on Holdfast, a gamebook that was funded through Kickstarter. The book shipped this December, and made it here a few days ago!
I’m still so excited to see my name in print. 🙂
I haven’t read through the book yet, but I did flip through and find a few pieces of what I wrote. It looks like the characters I created back in June made it into the final product (I found my three Battle Priests and four of the five Pit Fighters I created).
June 21, 2013 · 11:56 pm
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you may have noticed that this week I’ve been working quite a bit on creating characters and working out plots. All of it is for a friend and his team (Black Chicken Studios); I agreed to write a week’s worth of content for their newest project, Holdfast.
Holdfast was recently funded through Kickstarter. I followed along with the campaign and was really excited for the book, mainly because I’ve never actually tried playing a game book before (although I did enjoy reading Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid). The setting seems really rich, making it a lot of fun to work on (if you’re interested in checking out some tidbits from the setting, be sure to check out the Kickstarter updates!)
My involvement with Black Chicken Studios will be wrapping up late tomorrow night. I’ll probably be taking a few days off before hopefully getting back to the game I’m designing with friends.