Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Comment Moderation

Unfortunately, due to a few spammers posting links to very inappropriate conduct on my blog, I've enabled the strict comment moderation. It's the only way I can see to keep such spammers away. My apologies to anyone who has to wait for me to approve a comment before it shows.

Ah, technology.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Video Games: 101


My apologies for this belated blog post. 

I had something prepared for Saturday about video games linked into starting a story. Unfortunately, I had an awful migraine most of Saturday afternoon and evening. Those of you who have them, likely understand my inability to handle the lights of a computer screen (or anything luminous for that matter) 

 End note

Video games--the bane of any self-respecting author, the time-sucker for the procrastinator. Right? Wrong. You can learn something of starting a story  simply from how some video games are set up. Don't believe me, do you?

Hidden object, puzzle, and other styles of games excluded. I'm speaking of games that have a story of their own. Such as the RPG genre, or even games like Freelancer, Crystal Key, Safe Cracker, and Dark Fall: The Journal. What do these games have in common? Their beginnings.

Even though they use different genres and stories, each one starts with a "main character" who has a "mission/task/quest" to fulfil, and--most importantly--he is thrust into a situation in which he knows little to nothing of the world/city/place.

This, amazingly enough, works very well. Since you, the player, are also unfamiliar with the world/city/place. Therefore, as the MC is "taught" by the other characters in the game--the player is also learning.

This is a nice plot device you can borrow for your stories as well. It only works in the first minutes of the game, and just so, it typically  works best the first chapter or two of a story. It can be done at other times, but sparingly. But done properly, you can introduce your characters to situations and worlds that would be unfamiliar to the reader in that way.

For example, in my own stories, I needed Gary (one MC) to learn about types of telepaths that I had invented for the novel. Therefore, I made him ignorant largely of them. Thus, the other MC had a chance to "teach" him. Teaching the reader, too.

Other writers/bloggers do the same. Off the top of my head...

BrandiG has Jade--suddenly finding out she is a Dragon Queen
Lydia Sharp has Jarus--being fitted for armor