Reminder that I have a YouTube channel

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” ―Herman Melville

via “A New Year, A New Channel!” —

Thought this might be a good idea to remind old subscribers and inform new subscribers that I have a YouTube channel:


Reviews of November (2017): the Pentakosiarch —

The leaves are dying. Branches grasping like cadaverous hands. Winter is coming… But hey! The Well-Red Mage community is here to keep you warm through all this cold! November was a busy month for us and I love it when things are busy. We hit a huge milestone (for us at least 😛 ) and we developed […]

via Reviews of November (2017): the Pentakosiarch —

See you on New Year’s Eve

In cold December fragrant chaplets blow,
And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.
Alexander Pope, “The Dunciad”

The final month of the year is finally here. I like to spend this time reflecting on what kind of a year it’s been, and thinking about the infinite opportunities that the New Year will bring. I’ll be posting a 2017 retrospective on New Year’s Eve and a 2018 anticipations list on New Year’s Day. And since I’ve been working hard all year round, blogging or otherwise, I figure that I deserve some time off.

And what better time than the year’s final month? I’ll see you again on New Year’s Eve. Merry December.

But what if I want to write spontaneously?

Being the Purple Prose Mage, I write about and in prose, as opposed to poetry (the other of the two literature techniques), but despite this, the Orange Obfuscating Mage (whom we all love) has challenged me to expand on my previous post, in-which I argued that prose writing requires planning, in order to include poetry writing. I didn’t really want to do this, but they only gave me 24 hours in-which to comply and I remember what happened to the Disagreeable Dark Blue Mage. It was an interesting challenge, but they never said that I needed to write it as a poem, only about poems. This presented a rather interesting opportunity: to write a prose piece in a day about something I don’t understand.

For accomplished hack writers, it’s a living. For professional writers, it’s a dream. Perhaps I could become a tabloid film critic at the same time. They also warned me against making something up, which I found contradictory: why should one plan a piece about spontaneity?

Their argument was that poetic prose writers can write spontaneously but still feel blocked, implying that writer’s block isn’t always caused by lack of planning or spontaneity. But then what is spontaneity? (I know that questioning the definition of something is a very cheap and lazy way to write about that thing, but stick with me.) My original post was about writing without planning, but spontaneity is merely the end result of the same psychological thought process that is used when planning.

Spontaneous writing is writing while planning at the same time, no? Do writing spontaneously and a plan not both result in a first draft, which will be rewritten? Plans are written spontaneously, because that’s how ideas work. Bypassing the planning stage to spontaneously write a first draft are creatively the same thing.

Plan writing is about getting ideas on the page, but so is spontaneous writing. If you get blocked writing spontaneously, it’s for the same reason that you would get blocked writing a plan: you can only generate so much writing at once, even if you tell yourself otherwise.

“Writer’s block” is an excuse for lack of planning

A thousand excuses to hide behind
Sleeping through the voices blind
Crack the Writer’s Block and find
All the Gems inside

A thousand excuses to hide behind, Sleeping through the voices blind, Crack the Writer’s Block and find, All the Gems inside

via Asking Big Questions #003: “How do you overcome Writer’s Block?” —

The Orange Obfuscating Mage has asked a question (he likes asking questions). He wants to know how his contributors and readers overcome writer’s block. The simple truth is that writer’s block doesn’t exist. And anybody who says that it does has failed at the most important stage of the writing process: planning.

A good plan will always save you. Not planning, on the other hand, is deciding to make it up as you go along. Are you sure you can do that? Because it’s a lot of faith and blind trust to place upon yourself.

There’s no way of knowing that you’ll be able to write a story from nothing. Why choose to think that you can when you could plan everything first? It’s illogical. You wouldn’t jump into a lake without the right equipment.

Why would you jump into a story without a plan? And yet, so many writers seem to think they have writer’s block. Writer’s block is supposedly not knowing what to write next, but you can avoid this entirely by already having planned that. If you’re serious about an artistic project, would spending time and energy on preparation not be taking it seriously?

If you don’t plan, you won’t know what to do next, and worrying about that will use time which could’ve been spent writing, had you only used your time more wisely. Someone serious about writing wouldn’t put themselves into a situation in-which they’re not writing. But lack of planning will do that. Therefore, anyone experiencing writer’s block hasn’t planned well, therefore hasn’t taken the care necessary for an artistic project to flourish, therefore should reconsider whether they’re a writer by life or by hobby.

Whatever it is you’re working on is going to be a long haul, so you need to know that you’re not wasting your time, and that what you have by the end will have been worth making. And in this case, if you’re telling a story, you’re building a world. But you can only create Earth if you let there be light. You really think you can build a world without having a plan for it all first?

Because that plan is a tool box, full of plot opportunities. If you think you don’t need that, feel free to not use it. If you think you only need a handful of plot points, so be it. But that attitude is choosing to get so far in, realise that you don’t know what you’re doing and that you’ve used the few plot points you had and then you’ll think you’ve got writer’s block.

And it will be your fault. If you were landing a space capsule on the Moon, you’d plan and prepare. You’d want to know what you’re intended location is, and how you’re going to get there. That way, when you do get there, you’ll know that you’ve completed the mission.

Conversely, people who write stories that don’t have a planned ending will never finish writing them, because you cannot reach a place that doesn’t exist. Having a well-planned story will also reduce the number of redrafts that are written, because the story will have been perfected before the writing has even started. Any redrafts that are needed will likely be for cosmetic purposes – only the way in-which the story’s been written – and that will be a much simpler process, because the story already worked from the beginning, so you’re not overhauling anything. My next writing project is still in the planning stages, and I have pages upon pages of everything I’ll need.

As a result of starting with the foundations and adding ideas to it as they come to me (and also by doing a lot of research on different subjects related to the story) I have a thorough, watertight plot breakdown. It’s bursting at the seams. It’s about to hit capacity. Only then will I know that I do in fact have enough plot to actually write the story.

And when that times comes, all I’ll need is to get on with it.

“The X-Files: Deep State” coming 2018

The truth is out there.

The X-Files‘ 2018 25th anniversary season is to release a tie-in mobile game, The X-Files: Deep State. Players will be able to assume the role of an original FBI agent character investigating the paranormal and extraterrestrial. Game play will include features such as witness/suspect interrogation and moral-based choose-your-own-adventure style decision making that will impact case outcomes. New cases will be released monthly.

Monster-of-the-week and arc based storytelling, as used by The X-Files series proper, will be used in the game. Set in 2010’s spring, between The X-Files‘ 9th and 10th seasons, The X-Files: Deep State will be about the government cover-up of an alien invasion. The X-Files: Deep State will be free-to-play, with micro-transactions available to unlock fan-favourite characters and player customisation. Developers are Creative Mobile and FoxNext Games.