Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quick Take On The Shattered Glass Project

I'm spreading the word - not only is Jess Hartley an awesome writer and editor in the gaming community, I believe her project is an exciting sign of things to come for writers/ authors in the future. Lend your support to The Shattered Glass Project and support writers who think outside the box!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quick Take on the Future

The Everyday Divinities Project is coming. You'll never look at your world the same way again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quick Take on the Gem Series

It's always a pleasure to see fellow writers rising up in this age of blockbuster movies and mindless TV shows. Keep your eyes peeled for The Gem Series, coming soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quick Take on Roleplaying Blood Elf Paladins

I like to keep tabs on my writing, especially writing that I'm proud of, and that goes double for anything I put on the internet. So, I looked up a little piece I wrote for the roleplaying community of World of Warcraft called Chivalry and the Blood Knight Order. Aside from the original posting on Sentinels server forum, and a reposting on both Moon Guard server forum and the forum that I was previously aware of, it's been added to at least two other WoW guild forums (here and here) as a roleplay guide for those who want to play chivalrous blood elf paladins.

Not bad for a little fan-made pet project.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Hero's Journey - The Call to Adventure

O Beloved Blog, my deepest apologies for neglecting you, but a penniless writer has to earn some pocket change for food from time to time. Now, where was I? Oh yes...

Okay, so your audience has been introduced to your main character, and you’ve established the world that he’s comfortable in. Now it’s time to shake things up and get the ball rolling. We need a catalyst, some event that disturbs the status quo or pushes the character out of his comfort zone. Something needs to spur the story on, and that’s just what this phase is – The Call to Adventure.

This stage of the journey takes its name from the time-honored tradition of the Messenger delivering the Call to the Hero in question, or the more modern equivalent of the urgent phone call or text, but this direct approach isn’t the only way that the Call can manifest. It can come from friend or foe, in person or via letter (or email). It might not even be an actual summons to action. It could be a warning to stay away, which provokes the Hero’s curiosity and propels him into action instead of dissuading him. Whatever form it takes, it intrudes upon The Ordinary World and disturbs that comfort that surrounds the main character.

For me, this was a tricky stage to contemplate in terms of my own story. The Call isn’t something you can just toss out there and make the Hero latch on to, it needs to affect him on such a level that it cannot be ignored. Subtle calls can still achieve this by watering the seeds of change laid out in the previous phase, but there must still be some event that makes this Call evident to the audience. The key, I believe, is making it personal. There needs to be some tie between the Call and the character (and, by sympathy, the audience), some sort of impact that makes him want to pursue the grand adventure and draws us further into the story. For Harry Potter, it was that first letter inviting him to Hogwarts. For Robert Langdon, it's someone approaching him for his expertise in symbology. If there’s no good reason for the protagonist and he goes along on the adventure anyway, your audience will wonder why he’s even bothering to begin with. Make it relevant and personal, and your audience will appreciate it.

To illustrate this point, we’ll go back to our young Hero, Rob. We’ve established his life, his routine, now it’s time to shake it up, which his boss does nicely. Due to an influx of new employees who are willing to do the same work for much less pay, he’s released from his job with a professional smile and a promise of a good word to whichever employer he works for next. Devastated because he’s never been fired from a job in his life, Rob staggers back home and drops himself onto his couch to ponder where he’ll be getting his next paycheck.

The Call to Adventure is clear here – there’s a great deal of potential laid out for Rob by the simple act of being released from his job. The comfort zone of his routine, of his existence, is breached and the unknown has been introduced. How the Call is answered, and more importantly if he answers it, remains to be seen.

We’ll discuss the third landmark of the Hero’s Journey in my next entry, Refusal of the Call.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quick Take on Clash of the Titans

Okay, this is less of a quick-take and more of a mini-rant. It's also about a movie, but since it's based on mythology, I figured you wouldn't mind if I indulged just a little.

It bothers me that kids today think that the movie Clash of the Titans owes something to the video game God of War, even after a quick internet search gives the original 1981 release date of the movie this one is based on - long before God of War was a glimmer in a developer's eye. And then, of course, there's the original Greek myth of Perseus...

Now, I'm not saying video games are bad. Far from it - I indulge in them as well, though my interest runs more to the RPGs these days. (Even in games, I love a good story!) I do believe, however, that kids should have a greater understanding of the inspiration behind them. Perseus was getting into adventures involving gods and titans long before Kratos arrived on the scene, and there's a ton of other Greek myths that are just as exciting. I suppose what I'm saying could be summed up by four simple words: Gamers, know your roots!

I know, I know, I'm due for the next stop on the Hero's Journey road, but I just had to get that off my chest.