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January 19th 2008

Quick Movie Reviews X has been ready for public examination for a few days now.

Today I attended another writer's meeting with my cousin, in which we discussed several occurrences happening during the process of building up a story. I decided to share some of the information we've gathered.

Characters Acting for Themselves
After a while your characters are so fleshed out and alive that they start making decisions on their own. For example, you want a character to threaten another fictive person, but refuses to, telling you that it would be, in fact, out of character. Or telling a character to go along with the rest of the group, but she tells you that she'd like to stay with her parents because they need her now.

Change in Style of Writing
A few pages into the story you'll notice a slight or even a significant change in your style of writing, compared to the first few paragraphs. This is either because after a while you're really "getting into it", thus your style improves, or you're writing from a character's view and the character is more sophisticated and influences the words you're putting together. Notice that the world itself often represents a "character" as well, and the more you describe, the more you're influenced by your descriptions. If you reach a point where you're sure the style has changed, it's probably best to go back to the first few paragraphs and adjust the text to your newly acquired characteristics.

The End
Knowing where the story will end helps a great deal avoiding writer's block. The ending will vary depending on your character's decision, but without an end in sight it may occur that you write yourself in a corner and you will have to rewrite a few parts, or even give up on the whole project.

To make a story more appealing you can try to incorporate everyday events. Even if you're writing in a medieval setting you can still write about a spider falling into boiling hot water (which in my case really happened right before my eyes). If you think about it, most rooms or places you write about are based off areas you're familiar with or which you have seen somewhere. I've been writing on a science-fiction story once until I realized that the house and the basement I had described were actually from the TV series Sliders. If you can use this real-life-inspiration intentionally, your stories will feel a lot more varied, alive and authentic - if correctly translated into context.

Different Worlds
One of the most interesting parts of writing is that the readers will never see your world as you do. Even describing every detail won't assure the exact same picture in the reader's head that you had in mind.

More as our journey continues.

December 27th 2007

It seems to be a tradition, or rather a cliché, that at the end of a year people sit down for a few minutes, add up the past twelve months and look at the end results. Based on those results, resolutions are made for the new year. But twelve months won't do it in my case. Certain events around June 2007 have changed the course of my life quite a bit, and thus now I have to look back at the past five years, with 2007 being the end of an era.

2003 marked the beginning of something new. Two projects based on Halfquake Amen have started shortly after its release in September 2002: Personal Halfquake and the Halfquake Amen Comic. Initially I was filled with euphoria. However, I didn't know back then that I should've created those projects with an end in mind, as both projects were to consume a lot of my spare time for the next five years. While working on PHQ and HQA Comic updates, flash games and applications arose, sometimes out of desperation to refresh my mind a bit. Despite a lot of pressure there were even several attempts at the creation of a third installment of Halfquake, including some work on a few songs meant to be part of the HQS soundtrack - those turned out to be rather personal and later got released as a compilation called "Remains". All in all, for five years I've been constantly restless and living in the dark abyss I had created myself.

During 2003 and 2004 multiple updates for PHQ were wanted and needed, and I tried hard to continue the HQA Comic. Until I realized that I didn't throw out those updates for myself anymore, but for others. I had stopped listening to myself and just went through the motions - thinking up yet another PHQ feature and yet another HQA Comic.

In 2005 I started Antaran's Journal. I remember the moment very well. There was a blank screen in front of me, an open editor with a blinking text cursor, impatiently waiting for my fingers to work with it. In my head there was darkness, pollution, a large swamp drowning my mind, which was stretching out a hand covered in mud, trying to find something to help it climb out again. I knew that I just had to start something new. Something. Anything. I wrote three dots and the first few words.

I told myself to keep a regular update schedule of one entry per day, but I couldn't. One exception lead to the other. PHQ, the HQA Comic and the pressure of HQS were still around as well. Even though my mind had taken a deep breath, the swamp's level rose and rose.

2006 arrived quickly and showed me a different facet of life. For something I initially didn't want to do, I'm very glad now that I was forced to go through it. The same year saw the release of the game Turnament and the album Remains, both of which represented a much needed vent.

The development of PHQ ended in early 2007, the final entry of Antaran's Journal was written in April, and the HQA Comic was put to rest in July. Slowly the sky began to clear, the air was refreshed, my mind stabilized. And most importantly, I began to listen to myself once again.

In the past five years I have gained new experiences, acquired new skills, new instruments and material to work with. I have met a lot of people and made a bunch of new friends. I feel a lot more confident and motivated. I know who I am, what I need to do, what I want. I've made my plans for 2008. If all goes well, there should be three finished projects by the end of the year ahead.

Finishing three projects isn't the actual New Year's resolution though.

Keeping myself awake is.

2008, here I come.

December 07th 2007

Despite various petitions and bomb threats to stop this series, I've written Quick Movie Reviews IX. Read it quickly, before the government finds out and takes it down, and me along with it.

November 14th 2007

New images have found their way onto the server.

Loony99's SapienceLoony99's CubesTaskBeenden's HQSTaskBeenden's Road to SadismMuddasheep's Eight Lives Left

The flash games Turnament and Phabetal have finally received their own pages. Welcome home!

Taskless Sheep is doing alright, not as good as all participants would like it to be, but we're definitely getting somewhere.

I'm a Dragon is on indefinite hold for the moment, or rather it seems to be turning into something else entirely. You'll have to wait and see, as usual.

The new book is coming along nicely. I'm still attending the almost regular writing meetings with my cousin. We've met four times to write, and without her and those meetings I would've probably stopped already. I'm really glad to have this pool of motivation that I can get back to whenever I am in need of it.

Speaking about writing, I'm sure you've heard about the Writer's Guild of America Strike and the shows that are affected (Lost and Heroes, for example).

And last, but not least, I strongly recommend the anime Welcome to the NHK.

October 02nd 2007

I've compiled yet another bunch of Quick Movie Reviews (Part VIII).




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