Tag Archives: story

#WriteTuesday – Editing Sections 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 32 + More!

I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t get any edits done on the Make Your Way story this week. On Friday night I found myself hooked on Stardew Valley again. I played the game a year or two ago and had to stop because I logged 26 hours in 48 (the remaining 22 hours involved sleep and work). A few weeks ago, a friend of mine wanted to play co-op; I agreed with the caveat that she host the server so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep playing. That was all well and good until I started my own game and then got hooked on Shane’s storyline on Friday.

But thankfully I managed to tear myself away from Stardew on Saturday with the help of real-life fishing. That evening I kept myself off of the computer (which was surprisingly difficult – I really wanted to keep playing Stardew Valley!) On Sunday I spent a lot of the afternoon and early evening cooking and baking (I made banana bread and potato salad). Then later in the evening when I *almost* booted up Stardew, I pulled up the Make Your Way story instead and started editing. Despite a few Merlin breaks (he wanted me to pay attention to him, not the computer), I got my planned 7 sections edited….and just kept going! By the time I was ready to stop, I had edited 7 more sections, plus added in a new one. Originally sections 32 and 33 both led into 34, but that didn’t really work; I wrote a slight variation for 33 (73), which bridges the way to 35. Thanks to editing these extra sections, I’m now about 40% done this draft!

So here’s what has been edited so far, along with the plan for this week (sections 49-57):

Flowchart of the Make Your Way story showing the sections I'm rewriting next

If I can get these nine sections edited, then one whole branch of the story will be done!

So how’s your week been going? What have you been working on? 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Editing Sections 10, 11, 12, 14, 17 and 18

One week later and I’m still plugging along on the edits to the Make Your Way story. 🙂

Last Wednesday I got sections 10, 11, 12, and 14 all edited.  Then I finished off sections 17 and 18 yesterday.  No new sections have been added to this chunk of the story with the edits; the story remained the same, it just needed to be fixed up a bit.  I found sections 10, 11, 12 and 14 all relatively easy to edit because they were all pretty straightforward.  17 gave me a bit of trouble just because a lot of my descriptions were really awkward (which is why I didn’t continue with it on Wednesday).  But when I worked on it yesterday it didn’t seem too bad, and I got section 18 edited pretty quickly.

So here’s the plan for the next week: editing sections 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21 and 32. I considered moving to the right side and starting those edits, but it made more sense to me to fix up the one side of the story first before moving onto the other.

Flowchart of the Make Your Way story showing the sections I'm rewriting next

I’m also working on a project at work that I’m really excited for.  Me and a coworker are writing a radio drama-style podcast for the library. He has been writing the first drafts then I’ve been going back and editing them. We’ve got the first four scripts done, and 5 and 6 are written as first drafts (I’m now working on editing them this week). The one problem I’m having is that it’s getting harder and harder to leave the podcast at work (even though we’ve both agreed that we’re only going to write it on work time). The current plan is to have all 10 episodes written for the fall; we want to do a read through with all of the cast in October, with the hopes of starting to record not long after that. I was going to be voicing one character, but after writing it, I now really, really want to voice a different character. I’ll give you another update on the podcast once all of the scripts are written. 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Editing Sections 3-8

Happy long weekend everyone! I hope you had fun. I went out to camp for a few nights, spending a lot of my time swimming, fishing, and reading Sharon Shinn’s Unquiet Land, the fourth (and final) book in the Elemental Blessings Series.  It was a great weekend!

With the long weekend coming (and my nights filling up with plans), I was a bit worried I wouldn’t make time to continue the edits on the Make Your Way story. But on Thursday night I managed to sit down for a little bit (despite my cat’s annoyance that I was writing rather than entertaining him). During that time I edited sections 3, 4, 5, and 6, which all involve the main character meeting another character, Clara (the reader gets to decide if they approach her openly or cautiously). I ended up adding a new section to the story (72); now section 4 moves into 72, which then connects back to the main story at 7 instead of 6.  I’m so glad I made this change!  When I originally wrote these sections, they were way too similar.  With the new section added, they’re now a lot more distinct (originally you kind of cautiously tailed Clara for a bit before deciding to approach her, no matter which option you chose.  That definitely doesn’t work if you want to approach her openly!)

I brought the story with me to camp, but didn’t end up working on it there (thanks to reading Unquiet Land instead).  So after unpacking and hanging out with Merlin, I got to work on editing the final two sections for this week.  With that done, I chose the next section of the story that I’m going to work on (I went with another 6 sections since that’s the amount I worked on this week). So here’s the new plan:

Flowchart of the Make Your Way story showing the sections I'm rewriting next

So what have you been up to? I hope you had a great weekend!

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#WriteTuesday – Edits Begin, 2.0

I feel like my May 28th #WriteTuesday was a bit of a false start. At that time I “started” the edits on the Make Your Way story – which really meant that I read the whole story over and made note of things that jumped out at me needing changes.  But I honestly didn’t really edit the story in any meaningful sense at that time.

But yesterday, the edits actually started!

So far I’ve rewritten the first two sections.  The first section has a lot of the setting information; this story takes place in the City of the Dead, which, while I think it’s an awesome setting, there’s a lot of ground rules that the reader needs to know to set the stage. I ended up sending the rewrite to a friend to look over.  He said that it sounded good: it properly set the stage without being overwhelming. Once the whole story is edited, I’m going to send it out to a few other friends to read over – hopefully they’ll agree that the first section makes sense!

The second section is where the story really begins.  That got a total rewrite as well – it has the same information as the first draft did, but I’m hoping it’s a bit more engaging than the first draft was.

So from here, I’m hoping to rewrite the rest of the first encounter (that’s sections 3-8) by next Tuesday. Wish me luck!

Flowchart of the MAke Your Way story showing the sections I'm rewriting next

Here are the sections of the story that I’m working on next!

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#WriteTuesday – After the Easter Weekend

Happy Easter everyone! 🙂

I’m really excited – on Friday I finally finished reading the book The Great Transition by Lester R. Brown for Sustainably North (that was the book I chose to review on the blog for this month).  With it read, I was able to write a book review for it and schedule it for the end of the month; now all of the April Sustainably North posts are finished and scheduled!  Next I need to get working on the May ones.

But writing the May ones wasn’t part of the plan for this week; once I was done with the April posts, I wanted to get some work done on the Make Your Way story.  Now I don’t know what my problem is, but I’ve had a heck of a time working on it and getting that first draft written (this has been an ongoing problem since last year).  I actually Googled “why do you have trouble working on a writing project” and came across this article on starting but not finishing a project, which gave some great tips depending on what you have trouble with.  I know I’m definitely someone with starting energy who gets distracted by new projects, so I really need to sit down and actually work on it if I want to see it through.  I also found this article on recapturing your motivation for a project.

While neither of those articles specifically answered what my problem is with this particular writing project, they at least reaffirmed that I need to just get it done.  So even though I (for reasons still unknown) didn’t want to work on it, on Saturday night I made myself read over what I had written to date.  The story is in definite need of editing, but the basic threads seemed pretty solid.  I also flipped through my notes a bit. Unfortunately most of those were from when I was working through a couple of issues with the City of the Dead setting (which is where this story takes place) and not actually notes on the plot.

Of course, rather than getting to work directly on the plot, I ended up going through this blog and eliminating some of the categories I had.  I really had way too many (I didn’t count, but there were three full pages of them!)   I’m hoping to cut the categories down to 15 or less, which is going to be a big job (especially once I’m through all the really small sub-categories).  By the time I finished for the night, I was down to 33.  I also rediscovered the blog post I had written back in 2014 about Keith Barker’s Stories and Dice, and decided to post it rather than delete it.

But that was okay.  Sunday was Easter dinner, so I spent the day cleaning and cooking.  The plan was to get back to the Make Your Way story on Monday.  But then I accidentally set off a fire extinguisher Sunday night in my storage room, and had to spend Monday cleaning that up, too.  I didn’t get nearly as much writing done this weekend as I had hoped to, but life’s like that some times.  Hopefully I’ll be able to cram everything I want to get done into this week instead. 🙂

So how was your Easter weekend?  Anything planned for the coming week?

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Keith Baker’s Stories and Dice

A few years ago, I stumbled on Keith Baker’s Stories and Dice blog post.  Keith got a gumball machine from his wife which he would like to fill with dice.  But rather than just buy a bunch of dice, he was asking people to send him dice along with a story.  The story doesn’t have to be about the die.  I sent him one, but it never did end up posted on his blog.  I’ve actually had this post pretty much ready to go since 2014. Rather than just delete it, I decided I’d finally just post it here.

There were many stories I could have shared with Keith.  But I knew exactly which story I would tell him: the very first time my brother and I roleplayed.  After talking it over with my brother a couple of times, rehashing the details (this happened a very long time ago), here’s the story I sent to Keith:

Years ago, my brother, Alex, used to take piano lessons at my friend Dennis’s house.  One day a week the two of us would get a ride there after school.  I would hang out with Dennis for the full two hours; Alex would come and hang out once his piano lesson was done.

One day, Dennis was flipping through the Palladium Fantasy Role Playing Game (PFRPG).  He had recently enjoyed playing it with some friends, and so talked Alex and I into giving it a try.

Now, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the PFRPG, but it is a rather complex system, especially for people who are brand new to role-playing.  It took Alex and I weeks to build our characters (remember, we only had two hours every week), but finally we were done and Dennis was ready to GM for the first time.  Our very first quest was to deliver a package somewhere.  I don’t remember most of the quest’s details except that we were told we couldn’t open the package or it would explode.  Alex wanted to try anyway, but Dennis wouldn’t let him.  And so our characters set off to deliver the package to a nearby town.  After travelling down the road for awhile, it was time for a random encounter.  Dennis’s choice was truly random: he ended up sending some sort of ogre-like creature after us.  The ogre was far too powerful for our level one characters; predictably it killed both of us.  And thus ended our first foray into role-playing games.  It was several years later before we attempted to role-play again (with a different system!) 

D10 for Keith Baker

Unfortunately, the die I chose to give Keith has nothing to do with my story.  Several years after this disaster with the PFRPG, a different friend invited me to play the Middle Earth Role Playing Game (MERP).  I had a lot of fun, and tried to find the book for myself.  I went into a local store and the guy working suggested I give Vampire: the Masquerade a try, saying it was similar to MERP. He didn’t actually have the Masquerade, but did have a copy of Vampire: the Dark Ages instead.  So I bought that.  While Vampire is NOTHING like MERP, it was still a lot of fun; Vampire: the Dark Ages ended up the game that actually got me and my brother roleplaying.  

Vampire and the other White Wolf games use D10’s.  I ended up buying a lot of D10’s, and so it was one of those that I chose to send to Keith for Stories and Dice.

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Aliens and Copyright

In class on Tuesday I said that school has killed my creativity.  Some people replied that they are more creative during class and not less.  I used to also be relatively creative during class, but this year has been both tiring and demanding, leaving me with little energy left for more creative pursuits.  Luckily there is light at the end of the tunnel, and even now my creativity is starting to return.  So in honour of our final assignment, here is the first story I have written since late December.  If I have a bit of time, I’ll post pictures this weekend as well.  Enjoy!

*

You see, the reason I don’t have my essay is a funny story.  I was walking towards my car with my essay physically in hand when all of a sudden I felt a tap on my right shoulder.  I turned and found myself face to face with a green alien, complete with a spaceship.  He peered at me from eyes on weird stalks, blue eyes that swivelled to take in his surroundings.  He was feathered with a large hooked beak.  He looked like he once had wings, but those wings had long since evolved hands with long, thin fingers and opposable thumbs.  After the initial shock, all I could think was birds look better without pants.

“My name is Tekna.  I am here to ask you about Canadian copyright laws,” he said in a strange, robotic voice; I think he must have had something translating his speech.  I know, it’s the weirdest thing!  I mean, why would he care about copyright laws?  And why was he specifically interested in Canadian copyright laws? 

“Well, you’re in luck, as I just wrote an assignment on copyright in the age of the internet,” I said, waving the papers I held.  Tekna snatched my assignment from me.  “Hey!  I need that!”

“This assignment may prove useful.”  He turned towards his ship, a rounded saucer that reminded me of a bird’s nest.  After fiddling around with some controls, he fed the paper into a strange computer, which immediately projected some strange symbols into the air.  They reminded me of musical notation.  He studied these symbols for a moment.  “What is CBC?”

“That’s the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.”

“According to your assignment, this CBC says copyright is ‘a bundle of rights granted by the Copyright Act, which prescribes when a person can enjoy exclusive rights in a work, which works merit protection and which activities a copyright owner can prevent others from engaging in1.’  Why would you want these rights?” 

That was when it dawned on me: his ship must have translated my essay into his language!  “Well, as Wikipedia says, it protects a person’s intellectual property from being reproduced without permission2.  Copyright was created once it was easy to write down and reproduce ides.  It is a way for people and corporations to ensure they make the money from reproducing a work.  They do not want anyone else reproducing something and selling it for profit.”

“But it says here that copyright has to be rethought because of the internet.  Why?”

“Do you even know what the internet is?” 

“That is not important.”

“Well, the internet is complicating the issue because information is available for free1.  So now people can easily make copies.  And they are missing the distinction between free to use and free to copy1 by freely making copies when they shouldn’t.  Oh, and people are now taking existing materials and changing them into something new.  But copyright is criminalizing this new kind of creativity that emerged with the internet.  Under our existing copyright laws, this is a criminal act3.  So we need to find a way to decriminalize the remixing of media while still protecting the economic rights of the original creators.”

“That sounds like a challenge to negotiate.”

“It will be.  Like I said, we need to balance the rights of everyone because both sides are equally important3.  We do not want creators of the new, remixed media to be criminals.  But we need to make sure people are still paid for creating their own original content.”

“And what sort of digital copyright law do you think will best serve your academy?”

This was definitely the weirdest question of all!  It made me think Tekna was some sort of weird test you must have cooked up for all of us students.

Anyway, I had to think about this one for a moment.  “I think that students still need to respect the ideas of other people with proper documentation.  But I agree with Michael Geist4.  Research that results from publicly granted funds should be freely available to the public.  The public is funding it, so they should not be denied access to whatever their money has bought.”

“That sounds like a good assessment.  Thank you for this information.  You have provided some excellent insights that will help my people in our own struggle with copyright laws.”

And with that he hopped back into his spacecraft and flew away.  It was only after I watched him take-off that I realized he still had my assignment.  Even more mysteriously, when I ran back inside to reprint the essay, the entire file was gone!  And that’s why I wasn’t able to hand my assignment in today. 

So can I please have an extension?

*

Notes

1. “Copyright and the Web.”  CBC.ca.  CBC, 22 Sept. 2006.  Web.  23 March 2010.

2. “Copyright.”  Wikipedia the Free Encyclopaedia.  Web.  23 March 2010.

3. Lessig, Larry.  “Larry Lessig on laws that choke creativity.”  TED.com.  TED, March 2007.  Posted Nov 2007.  Web.  23 March 2010.

4. Geist, Michael.  “Canadian Universities Too Close Minded on Open Access.”  Michaelgeist.ca.  19 Oct. 2009.  Web.  23 March 2010.

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