NaNoWriMo: On The Verge Of Madness

sheep_off_cliffYou know that thing when you are dreading something — a doctor’s visit, final exams, the last day of vacation — and then suddenly time starts pushing you with all gusto toward that event while you dig your heels in and scream for it to slow down?  That’s exactly how this week has felt for me.

Ever since deciding to jump back into NaNoWriMo, I’ve wanted to spend a good amount of time plotting out a book, coming up with character backstories, and creating an ideas list.  And all I’ve had time to do is to create a brief outline and brainstorm the (boring) names of six main characters.  That’s it.  Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up bright and early, go to church, and then spend the afternoon writing the first 2,000 words of my novel — and I’m convinced it’ll be horrible.  I know that some people are naturally good storytellers, but I am not.  I’m not half bad at describing a story and having fun with quirky characters, but I have difficulty harnessing my overactive imagination to do my bidding when it comes to a story.  I’ve even changed ideas for my book three times in the past week.

My wife and I are planning on attending a NaNoWriMo kickoff party today in the Detroit area, and I hope that will be a major source of encouragement and motivation for the next four weeks.  It’s already a huge boost to see a lot of my friends and fellow bloggers join up to do this, and I wish them well as they grunt and sweat over a keyboard for 50,000 words.

For those doing this event, check out this recent post by Patrick Rothfuss (a bit NSFW).  He’s one of my new favorite authors, having absolutely crushed the scene with his debut novel The Name of the Wind, and I love how he opens up to the frustration and pain of writing, as well as being misunderstood as a writer.  Not all of this applies to me or you, but it’s good reading nonetheless.

P.S. – Professor Beej also pointed out this great article about 7 bad writing habits we learn in school.

Jedi Knights: Evenings of Passion

jediYup, well, it’s out of the bag now, officially at least.  Jedi Knights are in TOR, and they’re pretty much what you expected.  More finesse than the Sith Warrior, and more wimpy for it.  As you can tell, this news doesn’t get my heart pumping any faster — I’m just not that excited about Force-users in Star Wars.  I feel they’re overplayed, over-worshiped, and over-emphasized in any product in which they appear.  Plus, I’m envisioning the headache I’m going to get playing in a crowd of 90% lightsaber wielders, who are all jumping around and waving their big rave sticks like Jedi whack-a-moles.

I find it not just a bit hilarious that BioWare is referencing Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu as the primary inspiration for this iconic role.  Not Obi Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn, Luke or Yoda, hm?  Nope, you had to go with the guy who sat on his butt more than he ever fought?  I wonder if that’ll be a skill: “Jedi Meditation – Sit still and meditate in the Force, completely oblivious to the fact that the Emperor and the Sith are going to topple the republic right out from under your nose.”  What I think is going on here is that they want to throw a bone to the prequel fans, since thus far all of the iconic roles have referenced the original trilogy characters.

I just want to see them try to justify Padme as an iconic character, since a list of her top 40 accomplishments include losing control of her entire planet without much of a fight, elevating the evil Emperor to rule, exposing her midriff, tolerating Darth Vader’s hammy romantic come-ons, getting pregnant, and then dying because she’s really, like, sad or something.  That’s hotkeys 1-6 right there.

Relevant linkage:

Aion: Fallen Angel

Fallen_Angel_by_DiegoUnspireIt’s been a running joke/competition in our Casualties of War ventrillo community to see how many players would be logged on to vent between the Fallen Earth clan and the Aion guild.  There were a few days where the Aion crew would outmug us, especially last month, but lately the FE team giggles a bit to see just one or two lone souls holding down the Aion fort while we continue to grow in numbers.  It’s clear to us, at least, that Aion is having difficulty holding onto players.

Okay, I promised way back when that I’d let my growing antagonism toward Aion drop, mostly because there really wasn’t a reason for it other than a kneejerk reflex against something everyone was crowing about being awesome, even when I could clearly see it as the emperor parading down main street in the buff.  At least he was rendered beautifully and with a great framerate. Polished more of the same is, guess what?  More of the same.  It’s not destined for anything greater than what preceded it.

So I’m not here to pile on Aion’s faults (feel free to head over to Screaming Monkey if you want that, or to Massively to read Snafzg’s balanced analysis), but just to note that we’ve gotten past the one month honeymoon period, and it seems excitement and die-hard affection toward this game has just about dropped to nil.  We’ve seen it happen before, and it will again, and Aion isn’t even the only September customer to be abandoned by a large core of its verbal supporters — Champions is also headed toward mediocrity, if posts concerning it are any indication.  Both games will survive and even thrive, as content is added and bugs fixed, but they aren’t the revolution — or even long-lasting diversions — that some hoped.