Writer Workshop March 18th, 2015

(Posted by chris the cynic)

Those of you who also frequent Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings will find this somewhat familiar.  Here, as there, it was requested that there be a regular post to talk about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). Thus this post exists.

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Are there any questions you’d like to ask or frustrations you’d like to vent?  Writing workshop below!


11 thoughts on “Writer Workshop March 18th, 2015

  1. christhecynic March 18, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    So I recently wrote this, which has a card game played in it. It brings me back to a perpetual problem I have: I have no fucking clue how to write a game that’s, you know, interesting.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s chess or the Superbowl, if I try to write it it always seems an incredibly dull topic to write about.

    Also I had a story that got accepted but I never quite revised to the satisfaction of the company that accepted it and then, these past several months, I’ve been hit by so many problems that I didn’t have time to even think about it in detail, and now, finally, it’s been so long since that heard from me that the rights have reverted back to me and thus it won’t be published by them. So that’s … blah.

  2. lonespark42 March 18, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Oh no! I am sorry to hear about the story. It can still be published elsewhere, right?

  3. christhecynic March 18, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    It can still be published elsewhere, right?

    Yeah. Basically they’ve washed their hands of it, so I can do whatever.

  4. alexseanchai March 18, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    I have an essay I need to fix and then submit to the anthology that liked my pitch for said essay the other month. The essay flows for crap.

    Perpetual complaint of “brain, y u no pick one idea and stick with it till done” is perpetual and complainy.

  5. depizan March 19, 2015 at 9:49 am


    I hope you find a new home for your story. (And that life stops throwing so much crap your way so you can actually concentrate on school and writing and such.)


    I hope the essay starts behaving itself!

    I find myself longing for a proper writing group (not that this couldn’t be, I suppose). It would be nice to have other people to look at bits that aren’t going right and all that. But I write fanfic, and have never had much luck with writing groups anyway. :\ And, then, of course, there’s the fact that a slug with a keyboard would write faster than I do…

  6. christhecynic March 19, 2015 at 10:42 am

    The important thing is not the speed of the writing. Jerry Jenkins writes fast.

    The important thing is … I’m not sure. An argument can be made that enjoying the process is an end in itself, while I was originally thinking of “quality” as a counterpoint to Jenkin’s speed.

  7. depizan March 19, 2015 at 12:31 pm


    That is a good point. And I do feel fairly safe in saying I write better than Jerry Jenkins. (Which is a little like saying one’s stories are better than “The Eye of Argon.” “Yay, I’m better than the epicly terrible!”)

    And I do like writing. Most of the time. I just long for people to wave things at and go “does this make sense???” and the like.

  8. Only Some Stardust March 19, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    One thing you can do to make games interesting is to cheat and not write about the game itself.. by writing about cheating attempts instead. :3 Only works if you have an underhanded character though.

    Really, it’s perfectly alright to simply skip details on a game if it isn’t strictly plot relevant to cover every move. “I can’t write interesting travel/bathroom/paint drying* scenes!” is, well, easily fixed by not writing them in my opinion… most games just aren’t that interesting to read about? I may be the wrong person to ask about this, since I don’t go out of my way to read written game scenarios usually. With the exception of say D&D sessions from time to time, but that’s hardly the same as chess.

    *I could actually make a paint drying scene entertaining, though your mileage may vary. I’ve actually done painting. There are lots of ways for it to go wrong. Like dripping, drying into the wrong color, colors bleeding into each other, accidentally falling into your paint or brushing against it with your clothes…

  9. froborr March 20, 2015 at 10:31 am

    I just posted part two of a story that I’ve been poking at for years, finally figured out how to get done. Was hoping to finish it today, but I had reflux attack half an hour before posting time, so that ain’t happening.

    Earlier this week I went over the proof copy of my book on Madoka Magica, made some fixes, and requested a new proof. Waiting on that.

    I’m toying with the idea of trying to turn my Star Trek Online logs into a series of fics, because I just really like my character.

  10. Silver Adept March 22, 2015 at 7:54 am

    chris –

    Depending on the story, the heavy lifting of making a game exciting might be best served by dumping it in the lap of a color commentator or other person whose role in the story is to be excited and knowledgeable about the game and produce a running patter.

    “Ooh, that’s the green widget. Does that mean she’s going for the rainbow tactic? Is difficult, but it could mean the whole match at once. He plays the lead pipe to try and stop this idea, but out comes Miss Scarlet in a key corner block! He’s going to have to think creatively to get around this one, and putting Iron Man in the center doesn’t seem to be much help there. She’s eyeing whether or not to try and take another corner or go for a takedown now, and it looks like she’s backing off by putting a Starite on the opposite side, sacrificing some points to get him to chase his tail, and it works. He’s painting himself into a corner, even if he doesn’t know it yet, and yes! There’s the trap with the presence of the Purple People-Eater, and the vise is slowly crushing his strategy! About the only thing that can save him now is to draw the Brass Knuckles and try for a metal combo…and it’s a plastic spork! There’s nothing he can do now but try for a few points. It’s over, and he knows it.”

    And you don’t have to explain any of it, if you don’t want, just so long as the rules seem consistent.

  11. alexseanchai March 22, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Silver Adept wins at life.

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