Timing, when is enough, enough.

I have multiple projects in the works.  Most of them are on time limits.

This blog is daily. I’ve got me HelpMeNotSuck channel that is also daily. There is only so much time I can put into each piece.

So there is a point at which I have to say ‘ok this post isn’t exactly right but it’s at a point where I am comfortable’.  I’ll later look back and find more and more I can tweak.

These, mostly small, mistakes scratch on my mind.  What keeps me going is the times I looking further back.  Back when I was completely new to this.  At that time my errors were much larger.  Slowly my quality average is increasing.

Could be that is just something I am telling my self.

I do feel this is a significant part of working on anything.  Things are just never done.  My novel will never look complete and whole. I’ll just have to get it somewhere that I can accept it.

Not a new thought.  Neither is the realization that simply knowing there is no end doesn’t stop me from wanting to try and get there and being annoyed sometimes at how far away it seems.


Fallowing the curve is not so obvious.

This is the Curve to the story of Star Wars “A New Hope”.  It could be used as a rough template for pacing just about anything.

“The Curve”

The thought of using  “The Curve” in as many aspects of a project as possible, down to it’s smallest part, is one I have always wanted to do. By god, it is much tougher then it sounds.

Right now I am writing up a review for one of the youtube channels I contribute too(http://www.youtube.com/user/fairgamereviews). My thoughts are all down and organized. Now, I am trying to find the curve.

The questions I am considering to try and find what is driving this reviews pacing: Is it an intensity curve? Maybe and excitement curve? How can a ratchet up the viewers interest/emotion?  What would be the peek?

At this point I am not actually sure I can do it.  The practice will make it easier for me to see it next time. If  just a bit of my intent is successful.  It’ll improve the piece immensely.

For a full explanation to “The Curve” check out this video “Pacing” by Extra Credits.

The state of Game Reviews.

A friend and I have started a new Youtube Channel ‘Fair Game Reviews’.  Naturally my first impulse to starting a new project, is to start doing research on how others have done it.  I focused mainly on video reviews but not exclusively.  My net even opened wide enough to look at entertaining movie and book reviews.

In short the game reviews I saw broke into 2 categories.  Higher quality with a gimmick or quick, dirty and cookie cutter.  The quick & dirty ones did things like pros/cons list or breaking the review into sections(story, game play, multiplier).  They never seemed to consider if this structured way of reviewing added anything.

Each review must have a goal.  Are you trying to inform or entertain?  Maybe you want to talk about a particular grip.

Games are just so different that the goal may change from game to game.  In fact I am counting on it.  I am not going to lean on a gimmick (Ex Zero Punctuation, Angry Video Game Nerd, Egoraptor).  Cause I just don’t know if I have it in me.

I am going to try something new, well Null and I our.  Check it out.  When I complete the idea to a point I can formalize I’ll post up a brief write up.

Exformation is something I am just so bad at.

My schooling has been set in the logical and methodical.  So the art of leaving out information is just so far out of my current understanding.

I always complain about my lack of inherent skill in anything.  Art is something you shouldn’t be able to methodically or systematically try to understand.  However, as I look more and more, while trying to flex and increase my creative muscles, I have come to an idea that, the art is in the exformation.

While writing or making a video, I tend to do what my training has taught me.  I explain everything clearly and without room for interpretation.  Where a good author may say, “Jim was near the wood bowl”.  This isn’t a particularly inspiring sentence.  I would end up describing where the bowl is using a point of reference and or point of origin.

Might be an exaggeration,  maybe It’s not that bad.  Sometimes I will find myself 3 sentences in only to think, “Why does the bowl even matter” or “What if they don’t understand the metric system”.

The art is in the exformation.  The single important line that drives the whole painting or drawing.  It’s he ability to take but still be clear leaves.  The space is for people to fill with something from inside themselves making it resonate.

This is the idea I want to rule my art.   For a wonderful explenation of the word check out Zefrank’s Piece.

Advantage of brick and mortar.

Due to time constraints, my main method for novel consumption is audible.  So, I  listen in the car or whenever I have a moment that my mind can wander in.  Thanks to audible my book rate is much higher then it’s ever been. My girlfriend and I are walking audible ads and push it on anyone and everyone.

As a new author and general book lover, making time to read the words off the pages is a necessity.  So off to Half Price and Barnes & Noble.

Our first stop is always to the Robert Jordan section.  Wheel of time was something we enjoyed as a couple so it’s got a special place in us both.

While imagining the day we have all 14 books in hard cover up on our book shelf we heard some one on the other aisle talking about ‘Name of the Wind’ and ‘Myst Born’.

It  was a couple who had also grown close while waiting for the last book of  the ‘Wheel of time’.  We nerded out for a while and swapped recommendations.

This short encounter is something you just can’t get anywhere but in a book store.  Yes people read but for some reason it doesn’t often come up in conversation.   At least not with me around.

Give me some book nerds with the light of excitement in their eye any day.

Making ideas ok.

While writing I’ll catch myself thinking, I know this isn’t the best idea. Writing a scene I’ll find myself spelling things out more then I think I should.  Then I’ll happen on a book and notice, hey they did it to.  For better or worst this is an ‘All OK” for and I’ll be let critical of that particular fault.

Now I am sure this idea wouldn’t work for every problem, but hey when drafting the lest things bogging my mind down the better.

I can still feel the hesitation to say things I don’t think I’d ever do or say. The thought that, ‘hey, if I am coming up with the ideas.  It is possible that at some point I would do or say something like that”.   I am coming to terms with the concept that, as more of what I could imagine someone else is capable of rather then an idea deep in my own mind.

For example, if a person held a gun up in front of me, I could imagine them firing.  That doesn’t imply that I would be able to do the same.  I don’t believe I would kill my self or someone else.  While reading I never consider the kind of author that would think of an idea like that.  So I try to cut myself some slack and just keep going.

Getting the junk out of the way.

After reading everything and watching everything I have there is defiantly an underlining idea of cutting fat.  In any project there is so much you’d like to cover.  Things you had in mind from the start and feel strongly about them.

Your Game Design idea of a particular mechanic or character, Maybe a scene in the movie you’ve been considering , or a plot twist in chapter 4 of the book, should you keep them?  That idea has been in your mind since the start.  It may have been one of the major thoughts you had to spark the whole rest of the project, but now its fat.  You have to be able to cut it.

How to identify fat first requires understanding what your mean goal is and the pacing of the piece. As your project grow it’s now different from where is started.  What has it grown too?  What parts do you want to highlight? How can you make every chapter or scene or moment fit towards that goal?

I have learned to stop thinking of being able to see the fat better and now I try to understand completely what the theme/story/idea/scope of  the project is. Not what I wanted it to be, but what is now that it’s created.  Having that vision in my mind I am sure will better define my pieces.