Tuesday, January 29, 2008

January--where did you go?

Ok, so I didn't get anything done on my nanowrimo project. I was scrambling to try and get my RPG ready for Chimaeracon, but judging by how much my co-designer and I have done, I don't think we're going this year. I have plugged some important holes, but I'm something of a perfectionist and an intuitive thinker, so I have to get each component "right" before I'm satisfied, but making the leap to the correct design has been difficult. I've considered setting up a game design blog and even a podcast (yeah, like the world needs another one of those) because I thought it would help me to focus my thoughts. Some of the best design work I've accomplished--particularly in the area of clarifying my design goals--has been in some form of conversation with others. Even if the person I'm conversing with doesn't offer anything in the way of insight, just composing my thoughts helps a lot.

The other thing that has been occupying my time is an anthology that I've been trying to get together. Just when I'm about to give up because most of my writers have flaked out on me, someone else comes along to give me just that sliver of hope to cause me to drop everything and start work on it again. I did just have another short story submitted, so I've been spending quite a bit of time working on it. The down side of working with brand new writers is that they require a lot of guidance and hand holding, so that has absorbed a lot of my sparse writing time.

I have been thinking about plots a lot again, mostly since I'm working on the second half of my nano project in the back of my head. I've been looking a lot at things like Polti's 36 Dramatic Situations (which is horribly disorganized and missing large gaps in plot possibilities) and 20 Master Plots which is better, but still not as systematic as I would like. I'm taking a more, I don't know, linguistic approach I guess. I've got something like 13 key verbs which I think sums up the action in all plots. My goal is to create a system that encompasses both plot and premise and which can account for all plots. Ambitious, I know. and it will only be possibly in a broad categorical sense. Still, I think it would be cool. I'll post more when my thoughts have a chance to gel.