Wednesday, November 27, 2013

December's In, November's Out

Wow, NaNoWriMo.
With only 1,000 word shy of 50,000 and three days to go I feel elated. Elated because I was able to push myself to do this. Exhausted and tired of the story, which isn't so much a story as lots of talking heads. The draft needs some seriously violent tweaking, but still, I have written all that stuff and I did it in under a month. It gives me the idea that I can write a long story if I want to do it enough. It would take much longer to write something that would be actually worthwhile for anyone else, of course, but still.
I did need an outline which I had beforehand, though, to be able to push through when it dragged. Several times I found myself mindlessly turning outline to flowing text without changing much - at other, more inspired times, I changed things around, gave the wording some thought.
All in all, a really interesting experience which I feel has taught me a lesson or two on time management and the writing of words (I do know a little bit about the writing of words, of course - Waiting for Winter: Re-reading A Clash of Kings Part I, out on December 22nd, comes in at around 100,000 words I believe) - but writing fiction is an entirely different matter, of course.

In the meantime, I sucked up J.W. Rinzler's The Making of Return of the Jedi like a sponge and finished it at record time (me being a slow reader) - only other books that urge me to read that voraciously are, of course, the volumes that make up A Song of Ice and Fire. I put up a few thoughts about Rinzler's book on the making of Jedi in my silly new Star Wars corner.

Which has brought me back to Mark Lawrence's King of Thorns. At first I was like, mmph, this doesn't really grab me like the first book's beginning did, but a few chapters in and we're getting some fun dialogue again. The black humor that made the beginning of Prince of Thorns so entertaining is back. While Prince disappointed as it developed, it's still a pretty fun romp. It's not in the league (by which I am referring mainly to Martin, Abercrombie and Erikson, and perhaps Rothfuss - oh, and Tolkien, kind of) but it certainly lingers close to books like The Painted Man and Throne of the Crescent Moon. The B-list, as I call it. Good, at times perhaps even great, but not consistently awesome.

I've been enjoying a few casual forays into the wilds from my home base in Nashkel in Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. I don't know what reviews say, but I certainly find this enhanced edition does really enhance the game in many ways. It's lovely to be back in Baldur's Gate. I played the heck out of it when it was released. Now I park my characters in Nashkel and then occasionally take them out to clear a map. A bit more of a casual way of playing it than what I did the first time around. Highly recommended for fantasy fans of any stripe and probably the best computer RPG ever built. There is so much more story in this game than more recent RPGs. Even though I am ordering a couple of tiny characters around a 2D environment the game is very evocative and captures the flavor of the Forgotten Realms well. And boy would I love more games like this. Sigh.

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