Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Need to Work on "Game"

Okay it's late at night. I did what I said I was going to do for the day and I'm bored. I should start writing...fiction but I really am not in the mood. To mentally prepare my self for that moment I want to talk a little about "Game", how it got started and where I want to go with it.

Why I Started Writing it.
"Game" got started for a couple of reasons. The first is that I around three years ago, Shards of Alara I really really started getting heavy into Magic, and I wanted a cool TV show about a group of friends that had fun playing a game they all liked similar to magic.

Most sports stories artificially create conflict by having the opponent be a total ass.

But I always thought the stories where both teams or players were likable were more well written and at the end of the day more fun.

The second reason was around the time I started thinking up game I was also really getting into science fiction. I was revisiting A Scanner Darkly, Andromeda and Batman Beyond. I loved cyberpunk (Though I still need to read Snow Crash and I only made it partway through Neuromancer) but a lot of stuff perplexed me. The problem is that a lot of the tech in original cyberpunk has come. (wi-fi, the i-phone, the internet) We are more or less living it, but the tone of the life and most of my friends and I lead is nothing like the dark dystopian future cyberpunk portrayed. Oh sure there is some scandal, and I'm broker than I'd like, but even though I may occasionally put on my Deckard face I am nowhere near as cynical as he was, nor do I feel I have a reason to be.

I would always watch cyberpunk movies and go, "Why can't the movie be more about how cool this tech is." And yes I think the internet is cool. I think it's awesome that, if I could afford a shiny new laptop, I could get wi-fi in most public places. I think the idea of augmented reality is cool. I think the idea of downloadable media is cool. The idea that if I get bored on a bus I can within about ten minutes buy and start reading something is cool. (Again if I could afford a kindle. I wasn't lying about the broke thing.)

The problem I always thought was that you needed conflict. A lot of the early cyberpunk was attempting to be allegorical, but as with most science fiction trying to speculate on how society will advance, a lot of those allegories seem dated. Do corporations have too much power in American society? Sure, but to me the idea of Globocorp now seems dated. The same could be said of the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

These tropes provided a lot of the conflict but I think that in a world where a lot of this tech is emerging we can, but don't have to be that far out. If you wanted to you could write an entire story about chronicling an epic flame war and how it affects a small forum where most of the participants kind of know each other.

Or even better write a story where the audience only knows the characters through their online personalities, and can subtlety pick out what's going on in their real life by how they act in character.

Maybe I'll save this for a later story, but the dichotomies between somebody's real life reputation and their online one interests me. That nice guy at work might be a huge troll and that quiet guy in the corner might be one of the best posters on his favorite forum. People act different on the internet than they do in real life, sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better. It's almost like we have multiple identities, but didn't we always? People are different work and home too.

Problems and Blocks
So why isn't "Game" as far along as I'd like. Firstly and honestly, "Sometimes I just want to be entertained."

Sometimes writing is the most entertaining thing I can think to do. And sometimes it ain't. A good chunk of what I have so far was written when I was bored in some class. As lousy as seems to say, while one day I hope to get paid to write, right now I'm not. I'm mostly doing all of this for shits and giggles, and sometimes I go, "You know what. I can get mo shits mo easily by watching a marathon of The Tribe."

Or better yet Dune. I could also really go for some Alice.

Then there is the "Oh Shinny" affect. All in all, I think I've actually gotten better at applying myself to putting "stuff" out there. But at the end of the day I still get to choose which stuff I get to work on. One day I might go. "I want to write about my magic triumphs." The next I might decide to write about what's going on at city council. The problem is that for something like "Game" or the myriad of other stories I have cooking I need to sit down for an extended uninterrupted time and tell myself that I'm not doing anything else until this gets done. And in reality there is no way that's going to happen I have too much fun stuff and not so fun stuff going on to do that.

Beyond that there is also a mood thing. Most of what I write I start when I'm in a certain mind set. There is no way I could go from "Orientation" to "Game" in one sitting and know it. I don't want to write "Game" when I'm feeling morose and wind up having all the characters giving terribly long diatribes about why the world sucks, especially when part of the point is to avoid all that and just have some fun.

Beyond that, and this is the one that's been haunting me, writing action is hard. You have to know exactly where each character is, how they can affect the world around them and how it can affect them. Especially in a non-visual medium that is tough. It sounds easy when I say it like that, but here is an example. Simple scene one guy is shooting a bullet at another guy. You have to know where they are in relation to each other, figure out the basic type of gun, and keep track of how many shots were fired, and figure out if there is any cover or innocent bystanders in the room nay the general area. You need to know all of the plausible ways "shit can hit the fan." It's a lot to keep in your head especially when you've broken off into two or three groups.

Most of what "Game" had been up to that point was me playing two sides of whatever mental conversation I had that day.

Where I want to take it
I like characters, and I like the world. I've already gotten started on a pseudo-sequel. I just need to end the match already.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Facebook Comments

Note: These Comments are from all across this blog.