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Rational Fiction as Narrative Focus May 22nd, 2020 Preamble (you can skip this) /r/plotholes is one of my least favorite subreddits, mostly because there simply aren’t that many plotholes in popular films and books. What the sub gets filled with instead, as often pointed out by commenters there, are questions that seek explanation or clarification of the plot, or questions that point out things ...

Serial Writing, An FAQ May 22nd, 2020 What’s serial fiction? Serial fiction is any form of fiction that’s published serially, rather than all at once. Technically speaking, any long series of books is serial fiction, but here, it mostly means something that’s put out chapter-by-chapter, and usually written that way as well. This practice is seeing a resurgence in the web era, but actually ...

Narrativism vs. Simulationism January 10th, 2020 Definition: Simulationism In the simulationist approach to writing fiction, rules are defined and then outcomes are decided upon. These rules can be fundamental rules far removed from human/story scales (“there is no up quark”) to something that can be intuitively grasped and whose first order effects are somewhat obvious (“people die of an aneurysm when they ...

Thoughts on Adapting Worth the Candle for Tabletop RPGs, Part 3: Gold Magic, Revision Magic, Still Magic, Warding July 13th, 2019 Part 1 here, Part 2 here. Gold Magic I think this one is definitely the hardest of the magic systems to adapt, mostly because by its very design it’s entirely antithetical to tabletop design philosophy. That said, I don’t think it’s impossible, just difficult. A gold mage has tactile telekinesis, which grows in power the more gold they have ...

Thoughts on Adapting Worth the Candle for Tabletop RPGs, Part 2: Flower Magic, Pustule Magic, Druids June 28th, 2019 Part 1 here. Flower Magic Flower mages are another mage that’s at least somewhat close to the wizard/sorcerer archtypes that are common in TTPRGs. If you squint at them, the flower buds that flower mages use are similar to spells. There are some themes to what flower magic can do, mostly within the realm of nature or ...

Thoughts on Adapting Worth the Candle for Tabletop RPGs, Part 1: Entads, Exclusions, Tattoo Magic, Blood Magic, Bone Magic June 20th, 2019 Worth the Candle is a fantasy web serial that I write about (among other things) D&D, or more broadly, tabletop roleplaying games. A lot of it is commentary on TTRPGs in one way or another, with some just being fantasy kitchen sink, except doing weird spins on things instead of just cliches. Within this world are ...

State of Writing, 2018 July 11th, 2018 About four years ago, I made two posts that cataloged the progress on various writing projects that were either in progress, stalled out, or something else. Since it’s been a long time since I’ve taken inventory, I decided to do that again, but a little more abbreviated. Glimwarden Currently on my website, Glimwarden has thirteen chapters published, ...

The Two Types of Tropes July 17th, 2016 A trope is one of those things that you often see in movies, television, and prose fiction, some bit of storytelling grammar that recurs over and over. A policeman tells the hero that he’s only a few days from retirement, which makes his death all the more tragic. A scientist explains something complicated and someone ...

Review: Massive Chalice January 21st, 2016 I’ve been playing Massive Chalice lately, and it bothered me enough that I feel the need to write a review. No spoilers, because the game doesn’t really have a story. Long-view Gameplay There are two core gameplay mechanics in Massive Chalice. The first is long-view gameplay, which takes place over the course of three hundred years. Here, you’re ...

Shadows of the Limelight: Post Mortem January 12th, 2016 Spoilers for Shadows of the Limelight follow. If you keep reading, not only will none of this make sense to you, but you’ll also deprive yourself of enjoying the actual book. So if you haven’t read it, get out of here. I still intend to finish up the second appendix and write an epilogue, and I have ...

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