Category Archives: writing
I wasn’t here. You didn’t see me. This way I have deniability.
It just occurred to me that if I managed to post a whole month — with caveats and weekends and obscure Papua-New Guinean holidays — I can probably post a whole month without said getout clauses. Some bloggers do it all the time.
So. Every day. Every – single – lousy – day in September, I shall grace you sorry lot with my presence. Yes, even on weekends, since apparently people do read blogs on weekends, and you’re all very weird for doing it. (Don’t even start on how much weirder it is to be posting.)
Having seen this article over at Sarcastic Gamer, on the need for platform specificity when reviewing a game — in this case, Dragon Age: Origins, since that’s what everyone is talking about this week — and given that the author feels the need to call reviewers moronic, I want to clarify a few things for such of my readers as may actually give a shit. I’m not taking that article personally at all — the author doesn’t know me from Adam, or in this case Eve, but it did make me think.
(I happen to agree about the need for specificity when reviewing anything that comes in different flavours.)
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll already know that I don’t OWN any consoles. I won’t debate why. I’m not anti-console at all, I just don’t happen to have any in the house at the moment, and that may not change for some time. Therefore anything I play, I play on my PC. Besides which this is (mostly) a blog about MMOs, and last I checked you can’t really play MMOs on consoles.
For those of you who are new here, here’s the 411: I. Don’t. Do. Console. Reviews.
So if you read anything here, you can be 10 out of 10, 100%, A+ certain that it’s about a PC version.
Ahhh, that’s better. I don’t feel like quite so much of a moron now, nor nearly as shameless as I was before.
This post was not sponsored by anyone and I haven’t been paid. (Remember, the Endorsement Police Are Watching.)
1. It’s Monday morning, where’s my Dragon Age?! I know, I know, they have until tomorrow, but it had better be on my doorstep tomorrow morning or I am having a major hissy fit.
2. Yesterday was Day1 of “Write, bitch, and no excuses this time!” and I managed roughly two and a half thousand words. So I’m relatively happy.
3. I am incapable of getting to the point even in fiction. Aieee.
If any of you reading this have danced around the idea of NaNoWriMo or generally around the idea of trying to write something, but have managed to slither out of it through a combination of apathy, procrastination and terror, then maybe my experiences can be of some help. I’m not trying to bully or cajole anyone into NaNo — for me, it’s helpful to have a deadline and a public commitment, but that’s all it is. Others may find that stifling. Others still might like the competitive aspect, or the idea that you can win some kind of a prize for it (just don’t ask me what it is, I’m not motivated by shiny items).
However, getting irritated at an artificial deadline is a sign of procrastination (at least in me). Most author-advice pieces I read have them all saying pretty much the same thing: if you want to be a writer you need to a) write, and b) write even when you don’t want to. Not wanting to is a luxury for those to whom writing is a mere hobby.
I started writing fiction in the 4th grade (thanks to some stunningly great and fondly remembered primary school teachers) and I wrote pretty constantly until about 15 years ago, at which point I stopped cold. I haven’t written any fiction since, not counting game stuff for live events or tabletop campaigns; those don’t count.
I don’t know why I stopped and I don’t know why it became impossible to start again, but there you have it. So for me, NaNoWriMo is an attempt to prove to myself that I can still put out fiction and that writing paralysis can be overcome. Turns out it’s quite easy once you figure out how; the hard part is working out what will motivate you and give you just enough courage to get the day’s pages out of the way. Oddly enough, knowing that thousands of people were also planning, pondering, procrastinating and putting pen to paper did help; it makes you feel less alone while still allowing the solitude many (myself included) prefer when it comes to actually writing stuff.
Note that at this point I don’t care about being read — that’s a whole ‘nother hurdle I’ll face when the time is right. But I’ll tell you one thing: if I can put out 10,000 words during this month, let alone the 50k NaNo demands, then it’ll be about 10,000x as much fiction as I’ve written in the last decade. Quality is irrelevant here: it’s the doing that matters.
It finally — belatedly — occurred to me yesterday that I signed up for NaNoWriMo, which is one thing, but that Dragon Age is coming out next week!
So that’s it. I can’t possibly write anything. I’ll be too busy creating pretty splatters of gore.
Speaking of which, happy All Hallows’ Eve to everyone.
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m joking. About the writing, I mean. Not Halloween, which as everyone knows is dead serious.)
(OR AM I?!?!)
Qualifications? Who needs ‘em! But as it happens I’ve got some degrees and they might have to do with literature in two languages, which makes me educated enough to have no clue about anything. Also, I’m really mean about books that are poorly edited (let alone poorly-written — everyone’s a critic and that includes me), not to mention books in which the foreign-languageyness is incorrect. If you’re going to include French or German or some other language I can read in your book, make sure you get it right or Ysh will smash. The French really don’t spend all day saying “Oooh la la” — in fact they pretty much never say it at all. It’s not a French expression, at least not in the way it’s used in English. And while I know French conjugations and tenses ain’t easy, that’s absolutely no excuse for a professional publication to get things wrong.
(Oh yeah, you should see me yelling at TV shows too. YSH SMASH!)
All of which means that if I have the balls James Mason gave a fly, I’ll put my money where my mouth is and join up. Wait… the whole body parts association thing in the previous sentence isn’t sitting well. Eh, never mind, I can come back and edit it out later.
The rather precarious excuse I gave last week was that I’d be snowed under with words — err, work. I was slated to have 70,000 words to translate in November and adding 50,000 of my own to that didn’t really appeal. (Why yes, it was a yeller-bellied, lily-livered pansy-ass excuse, but we’ll pretend it was valid.) However, said work has been delayed and my excuse vanished.
You’d think the karma pixies were conspiring or something.
Just as well there’s a couple of days to go because I have almost no idea what I’m going to write or how I’m going to write it. I’ve also been one of those pretentious suffering blocked types for many many years, which I won’t bore you with other than to mention in passing that putting pen to paper has gone from being as basic as breathing to me to being something that will break me out in a cold sweat, literally. Fortunately, NaNoWriMo actually provides a workmanlike, no-nonsense “just write something, dumbass!” attitude that’s much more helpful in these situations than any kind of coddling.
So we’ll see.
I’m pissing my bland-white unisex MMO undies already.
Let’s have a nice large helping of blogger drama to start the working week. No, I shouldn’t keep stirring the pot. But it’s early, I’ve not had a lot of coffee yet, and I’m going to stick my own very small oar in the “he said, she said” mix. Tobold’s oar is the size of the freakin’ Titanic, so he wins by default.
Tobold is not pleased to be mentioned on Twitter. By this I am assuming he’s referring to the bantering that went on a few days ago regarding several posts on his blog, and by the resulting LfGCV posts.
I’m sure the incoming traffic the various posts generated was fine, as long as we don’t, you know, have the temerity to actually say anything.
And apparently those of us who got his Gevlon joke and appreciated his puzzlement with the fact that people comment far more on the fluff than they do on our opus magnae are just nasty trolls who would never have made it past the comment moderation over there.
I appreciate not liking to find out that third-hand people have written about one. However, Tobold obviously doesn’t mind the incoming links people send him — like the three just in this one post. So what does he mind? Not having any facetious mention cleared with him beforehand?
Newsflash: if I hated Tobold’s stuff and thought he wasn’t worth reading, I would. not. link. to. him. That shouldn’t be too hard to understand.
So why are my panties now in a bunch? Because a) it was harmless fun, b) if you hear rumours it pays to check them out before going off on one, c) I dislike being told off from on high in that passive-aggressive fashion so common to bloggers (and which I’m using now, but at least I’m linking), and d) the whole martyr things gets a little fucking old. Really. We’re on your bloody side, Tobold. Or were.
I get that Tobold is a much bigger blogger than I could ever be, and I get that Tobold is an internet celebrity, and I guess that means I have to get that he’s far too important to check facts or ever visit anyone else’s blog. That does not give him the right to get mean about random folks because he’s pissed with blogging in general.
Sure, I should have kept quiet. But why? Apparently I’m an evil troll and this place is the only place I can express myself in an unmoderated fashion. And you know what? Apart from the evil troll bit, it’s true. This is MY place. If I want to make a joke, I can. I am not a cruel person and I don’t make fun of people intentionally when I don’t think they’ll like it. The stupidity of this is that all we did was agree with Tobold and drive traffic his way.
I should have enemies like that. Seriously.
What were we all thinking a year ago, to start blogs like this?
I blame Warhammer Online and I blame Casualties of War, the guild, not necessarily in that order. CoW has a large proportion of bloggers, was started by bloggers, and showed us such a glitzy, ritzy lifestyle that most of us couldn’t wait to start being bloggers ourselves!
Okay, so maybe I’m lying about the glitzy ritzy lifestyle. That or someone’s lying to me and I haven’t received my pass to the Ultra Special People’s Lounge yet. (That sounds oddly Communist. I’m not going if I have to share my coffee!)
Well anyway, another blogbuddy celebrated his first year yesterday and since he does want the glitzy ritzy fame and fortune, he gets a link too. Happy Blogday, Harbinger Zero!
I bet there are more of us out there, too. (If you’re one of them, let me know!) This time last year the Warhammer Online beta was ramping up, people were jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth with hype, hope and antici………………… pation, and what would be one of the best meta-game communities ever was already shaping up nicely despite the fact that most of us weren’t even playing (ahem, testing) the game yet.
Warhammer Online may not have been my cup of MMO Joe (I just don’t have that much PvP in me), and it may have some fairly serious flaws, but it’s a great attempt at a great game made by some seriously creative and dedicated people who clearly give a rat’s ass (one of 10) about their community, and who encourage said community to grow and thrive. I wish more games companies were as proactive about that kind of thing.
I want MMOs in general to do well, because the more of them we have, the easier it will be to challenge the 800-lb gorilla design and revenue model, but Warhammer has a special place in my heart for all the things it did right and despite all the things it could have done better.
Happy birthday bloggers, and happy almost-soon-release-delay-headstart Warhammer Online.