Surprise Tuesday update!

It’s not writing, so don’t go getting your hopes up, but I’ve taken to heart the thought that it’s better to have the wrong content than no content at all, on the basis that habit is more important than any other factor in regularly-updating media. According to my stats tracker, I could hardly be doing worse at audience attraction and retention than I am now, so I may as well try something else. I do warn you, this is going to be a bit of a ramble.

First, I had the opportunity to see Wreck-It Ralph this evening, which was better than I was expecting. I enjoyed it not only as an homage to the history of video gaming, but also on the merits of the story. I certainly didn’t see the end coming—the one I thought was going to turn up proved to be one layer of twists too few. Definite props from me on the very few wasted details. Not fully preplanning my stories tends to rob me of the chance at that. It also hit some emotional notes that made me want to hit similar emotional notes in stories of my own, which is a good shorthand for how I feel about a movie in general. That concludes this spoiler-free review (TLDR 8.5/10; not as deep as a Pixar movie but less emotionally taxing).

Second, I guess I’ll write a word or two about process. Every writer comes across stories differently, so talking about methods tends to be of limited use as advice (hence this not being a full-on writing ramble, and should you really be taking my advice anyway?). Anyway, I believe I once wrote here that short stories from each of my currently-active universes start in three places: a battle, in space or on land, for Nexus-war-in-space, an inventive murder for Sam Hill, or a title for skypirates. That’s one level of abstraction above the truth, though, which is that, in the storytelling oven of my mind, I start with one single idea, and the story grows from that. I know there are some people who start with plots or characters (which, I think, you’ll allow me to describe as collections of ideas), but that’s never really been my strong point. One of the things I’m trying to do is give stories more time to germinate, which is the same thing as more time for them to develop additional interesting ideas in between. The current Cannon story wasn’t going to start in the middle of an aerial battle, but I figured it would help put the sky piracy in skypirates, which has not to date featured a great deal of it.

Third, I’ve been watching the Penny Arcade TV strip search. As a creative person myself, it’s definitely interesting. Granted, the overlap between comics and writing isn’t perfect—some pictures are worth a thousand words, and there are some words worth a thousand pictures—but it’s interesting seeing what people come up with. I must say, in the finale, the contestant who was a contender, but perhaps not a favorite of mine, vaulted into the lead. See below:


Katie’s Camp Weedonwantcha absolutely blew me away; I’d read the crap out of it if it became a regular thing. The art is perfect for the writing.

Fourth, I wrote about six hundred words this evening, and I’m on track to do much the same for at least two other evenings this week. Too, I came up with a hook for the next story to run, which will feature something not seen for some time here. I look forward to hashing it out a little better, and eventually to writing it.

I think that’s about all for tonight. Thanks for your continued reading, and I hope this update suffices as content interesting enough to encourage your habitual reading.

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