My Book: My World, how it came to be

I think it is about time to start talking about my book, but before I do I need to take you on the journey of how I created the world of Amsul and mainly the country of Favinonia. As my background begins as a role-player and a gamer. Most of my stories are set in a fantasy setting; this allowed me to connect to creating this realm. Looking back understanding why I created this world is completely different from how I feel about it now.

Back when Favinonia wasn’t even the name of the country, this story was about a group of Adventurers who had retired to become leaders of a distant land after years of wars, political intrigue and finally a military coup d’état. I thought I’d throw in a fight with a dragon as this was a role-playing game. The concept was brought about due to my previous gaming group starting up a new game which I wasn’t invited to, and this is why I created this game/story because I felt slighted. Sad isn’t it? I started to work on the history of their adventuring lives, the treasures they found, injuries they suffered and even families they eventually had. I fully fleshed out the whole concept of the game, and with no players wanting to play the follow the outlined story; I gave up and shelved it.

Life goes on, and a few years later, I happened upon another gaming group. They asked me if I like to run a game. While I thought on this, that old story popped back into my head. Then I stopped, thought and I wasn’t the same slighted person. Where it came from didn’t ring true, but I did like the structure of the thought process. I decided to start them off a different point of the story, this being told to their children by a close friend about how he met them. Then flashback… It was during wartime. Looking closer at the world, with each completed game, how my players ran their characters and how this influenced me evolving the world to now. Because of the lower magic, it led me to think about a reverse dark age where religion and magic were suppressed, and science and technology were forefronts. How did it happen? As I thought more on this, I created an event called the ‘Massacre of Magic’ which lead to ‘Age of Disbelief ‘ to happen. So I have taken an alternative history of Earth, now what? How would technology evolve without spiritualism?

A book I read was about spiritual quotient, SQ, like IQ and EQ (emotional quotient) influence how our brains work. In this book, it allowed the connection between IQ and EQ and we use SQ to bridge the gaps. I don’t want to go into it entirely, but I saw a relation with is theory and my world, without that ‘faith’, ‘belief’ there is a chance to become stagnate and people will just rehash the same idea over and over again. This can be seen in society today, which the more we move towards technology, we lack spiritualism we have. This blog isn’t about my thoughts on tour world; it is about my book.

A distinctive difference in my world than the other fantasy world I have read. The next thing was to think about the level of technology I had and why it caused the stagnation. I began to write up one thousand years of history, which I still haven’t fully written down. During the year 500, the first prototype steam engine was created, by this time the printing press, hoisting gear, horizontal water wheel, and knitting machine were already invented. During its test run, it exploded and caused the deaths of many of the greatest scientists and engineers of the time and the current King as well. The surviving engineers shelve the ideas, and new thoughts were scrutinised a lot more so it could take a lifetime for any idea to be approved by your peers. As this impacted the growth in new ideas

So now I could see that my country of Favinonia was priming for an industrial revolution, but guns are new, and steam engines were just dusted off to be reexamined. Something had to kick this next stage of technology, and this reveal will happen in my book series ‘Journal of Adventurer’. This world had such an unworthy beginning, it’s gained a life of its own and becomes the world that I have come to love and embrace.

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Unexpected Discoveries: My Childhood Stories

Last Friday I was revving myself up writing some more blogs. I started to think after I wrote the blog, was this a ‘blog’ or was it more? The more I thought about analysing the language and structure of the blog I realised that it was more an outline of a story than a blog. This made me believe that it would be better to write about my blog than post that one.

I began with something dear to me, my stories that I told as a child. The first one that I thought about was a boy named Pluto. This was about being the planet Pluto coming down to Earth as a kid so I could learn about what it was like not being lonely, as he only talks to his brother Neptune every twenty years, so he is very lonely and is here to find a friend. Then he meets twin boys that he tells the story to and they become friends. Again I am distracted by the things I made up as a child. Back on track, let us talk about the one that I wrote a blog on.

The other which I wrote that blog on was about three tribes of ghosts, one White cloudy Ghosts that hung out in the sun and helped the kids to have fun, the Green studious Ghosts, that spend time at the library learning and watching. And the Grey shady Ghosts, that hung out in the shadows, and they played tricks on the children. As this was based on me re-telling, I was the boy that gave the small children a \magical ideal solution for them to see the World of the Ghosts. Throughout the journey they meet the Great White Ghost King, he was on a throne of clouds watching over the children playing on the oval. Thinking about a unseeing force encouraging kids having fun and playing outside really make me smile. Then that special boy takes the group to meet the Learned Green Ghost King; there he was surrounded by books and stories. Some of the stories were wisps of children’s imagination, he watched and learned how they have fun. As you can guess this story is about children being children, them going out and playing as there were invisible ghosts there to protect them from being hurt which could lead on to not having fun.

There is more that I wrote on the blog, about the story itself but one of the things I noticed was that I reverted back to being six years old. My speech patterns and writing style was more like a six-year-old than myself at thirty-seven. How did I tap into this mindset, I can tell you it was not my intention to do it, but I did and created something wonderful. I have kept this memory of these stories in my head as it represented me as a child. I was lonely, due to being in a new school and some previously bad experiences of being in foster care, also my treatment from the hand of my step-mother. Being able to escape reality was part of the reason I started to tell tales about ghosts, boys being planets and so forth. I do have more, but these two narratives echo to me as a small six-year-old child. It doesn’t matter where you find it, creativity and imagination can hit you at any time.

Unexpected Discoveries: First Session of Enter the Dreamscape

Up again in the middle of the night being excited about playing in Shannon’s and his co-creator Kristopher’s fledgeling system, Enter the Dreamscape. This playtesting session was marvellous, with the creativity, the wonder and the ability to be anything you want to be. All that stops you is your imagination. As this is my first dive into the game, I could see lots of positives but like most systems there are some flaws and without spoiling the system I will try and go through them.

Joined by five of my friends in Shannon’s game. Each one had the different level of role-playing experience and skill. Some were more on the technical side of role-playing while others have a love of just diving in head first into their creativity. I feel that I would be of the latter as I like to have fun in role-playing games and tell fantastic stories. I have still blown away with the quickness of creating characters in this system, and the freedom that you have envisaged a new character. The game is about being a ‘Dreamer’ in the Dreamscape to interact with a vast number of genres. As the Dreamer, you have tremendous control over the environment of the Dreamscape, but like all role-playing games there are levels, and you are not as powerful in the beginning but as a team of Dreamers you can achieve remarkable things in this system. We all ended up with the weirdest avatars in our Dream-state, I was a bodiless entity that had the ability to project imageries into others minds, another player had a hybrid abomination which looked like a gelatinous blob with one arm a crocodile head and the other a dragon head that breathed fire. While another was a half human snow fairy (only a few inches tall) with dragonfly wings that looked like snowflakes that drove around in a robotic suit that was an enormous size. The other three were a Primal wolf spirit encased in bone and fur with a primal howl, an infected human who is in an alien robotic suit/insect carapace armour that had an anti-gravity sphere bestowing him flight and a ghostly gentleman with magical powers. As you can see these are not standard archetypes like in other gaming systems.

Then Shannon opened up to the realm in the Dreamscape. We found ourselves on a garlic bread ship set adrift in a spaghetti and meatball sea, with Calzone whales ‘Whalzones’ and other Italian food base aquatic animals. In the distance, we see a plume of smoke. We have to think of ways outside the box to direct the ship towards the plume, e.g. lassoing a whalzone to pull the ship. As it very apparent that ‘we aren’t in Kansas anymore’, before we could become accustomed to this idea, all the inanimate objects all around the ship morphed into giant lava cake golems. Here was our first fight, with all the positives of creation and creativity. The system itself does have a some minor pitfalls when it comes the statistical part of combat, as there was a high probability chance of complete failure.  Being ‘ghosted’ or knocked unconscious quickly by the elemental minions. Causing some issues in playing the game. Straight away Shannon could see the unbalance, but then he changed it so the chance of failure had a lesser impact. Even with that I can see a little more fine-tuning is needed. While the combat is not perfect the concept of how the ‘enemies’ interact with you is good. Instead of a couple of tough enemies, they were a large mob where every hit can drop one. Allowing your attacks to be more descriptive and to break outside the fundamental thinking ‘roll dice to hit, then roll for damage’ mentality from other gaming systems. This variety within combat grants Dreamscape to become more immersive.

I immensely enjoyed playing in ‘Enter the Dreamscape’, from the quick creation of characters to the easy to follow character sheets and easily grasped system to the pure imagination of the world of the Dream. Because of the personal mark, you have on your character you have more of a deeper connection to it. Even with the small imperfections in the combat system, it does not detract from the pleasure I had playing in the game. This is the reason why these systems are playtested, to help see the glitches and to move towards perfecting it. I am looking forward to the next chapter in my series ‘Unexpected Discoveries’ for Shannon’s and Kristopher’s ‘Enter the Dreamscape’.

Update: I talk to Shannon this morning and he has addressed the issues about the high chance of failure in combat. This is showing that the playtest is working, and he is considering every angle.

History of Rants Part Two

Here is part two of my rant history on Facebook. Looking back on this rant about ranting, I can see I was trying to find an outlet but just didn’t know what. I do know now, and the possibilities are endless.

 

5th of February 2014

It seems it has circle has turned again, and the rant shall begin! What is a rant? A rant by definition is “speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way”, which originated from the Dutch word ranten from the late 16th century. There are five words in German, which mean to rant, four in Spanish and only two in French. Does this make the English language is more efficient than the Germans or does it meant that our rants are just more annoying!?
The word rant was used more in the 1800’s but dropped off in use during the 1900’s. But now it is back on the rise, does this mean that we have become rantier due to the influx of social media or have we more on to becoming more dignified? I wiL lt U 2 Dcide dat 4 urself. i hOp U hav a gr8 dA & fEl d rant!

 

19th of April 2014

About end of my birthday, I guess a rant is in order. To all who message me on the one particular time of the year. The only time of the year most people would go out of their way and say “happy birthday”. Well done, I feel the love all the way over here! For all those who haven’t, well have a nice day and may all your Karma come your way as you deserve it. But I haven’t ranted about rants. O to rant, such sweet ramblings! Only if rants can go forever and, we would feel justified to the moment! But like all rants no-one care or even likes, but we do it to feel better about oneself but in the end, we are people on their phone/tablet/laptop/desktop who have no life

Merry Easter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

26th of August 2014

Once again the feeling of ranting has pressed upon my weary mind. As in times past, I have to take a point in ranting about ranting and this too will be in the spirit of the past, present, and future. What I love about my pure ranting is, in fact, it does not explain what is going thru my mind at the moment, nor need to go on about my comings and goings.

What I also love about an unbiased rant, is the freedom from said reader to interpreted how they wish it. It is never to clearly pointed out what this rambling is about; only to allow me to for fill the need to describe a need for it, as always it is just a rant.

But again as I feel the need for this jabbering, blubbering, gibberish, wordy excuse for a rant has come to an end. As always your rants or ramblings are neither to the point or need for explanation, as it is only for the author.

Review of Angela Pennisi’s Seminar: Copy Writing 101.

Here is another step toward being an author, this targets two crucial things all writers care about marketing and finances. Copywriting can help any writer achieve this. Angela comes from a psychosocial background as well as a fictional author. All her knowledge was from experience, research and also trial and error. This life experience helped to put the chance of becoming a copywriter an achievable feat.

It started off with Angela explaining what it means to be a copywriter and that is not someone who knows the copy-write law. From her lecture, she explained that being a copywriter was to help market and advertise businesses, through social mediums and their websites. The body of the work includes blogs, emails, websites or even old school sales letters and of course another important marketable subject; you. Everything you learn about this job including promoting yourself, this again is a most useful talent. Then she went on to explain how the job comes about.

First off is the Brief. There are a few keywords that the client wants to promote their business and a very general idea who, what, where, why, when and how this is known as the 5 W’s and how. These quantities help you understand what you need to promote your client. From Angela’s explanation, this can be frustrating as most customers have little or no knowledge about this. As a newer copywriter, you need to be aware of this and plan as such. After the Brief is the Draft stage which includes understanding that you will not have all the information. The use of grammatical programs helps in this juncture. The next is the Feedback. It can be troublesome with the newer customers; Angela suggests to ask them for their feedback written and try to keep it down to one as this will cut down on your workload. Using the feedback to understand where the article or blog needs to help flesh out what the client needs. With this brings about the polished final product. From her marvellous presentation, the process seems to pretty straight forward.

After this the seminar went on to asking the question ‘what makes a good copy?’, and what you need to accomplish this. The style was the first to be tackled. The need to understand what you’re writing is reflective such as language, formal and straight to informal blog. Does this show the voice of the client, and finally that you are consistent in this style. This is where I can see the apparent overlap of copy and writing, as understanding different means of communication of your written word and how to adapt to the individual voice of your characters. Then the other consideration you need to think about, such as the guidelines for Advertisement, using cliches, language and marketing considerations. Angela showed why each of these were important, as it made you aware of the thought process of being a good copywriter, and how to keep clients happy and returning business.

To finish off was an example of a recent customer, and how Angela went through it. It was surprising from the little information of the brief but she said this was a lot of information compared to past customers. Then the draft was created. She noted that she’d keep the idea on what the client wanted but once you have feedback it could all change. As the message the client wanted was not completely in line with what Angela first outlined, but this allowed her to modify the text to suit the customer and was approved.

In the end, this seminar was enlightening and will help anyone come to understand the ins and outs of the way of Copy.  An excellent introduction on how to become a copywriter, thank you, Angela, for running this workshop.

Authors that have Inspired me: Part Three

In my previous blog, I forgot one particular author that I didn’t mention in my twenties. This author who is one of my fifteenish number ones is J.K. Rowling’s, just like Battleaxe by Sara Douglass this one was sprung on me during Christmas. A friend of the family thought it would be a great read, I been resisting reading this series as I don’t like to get into what is a fad. Again this brought me into a world of such imagination. Not only was it set in this world, but it was the world within a world. Coming up with such an idea was a masterpiece. After I had read this, I could understand why all those children picked up Harry Potter and fell in love with it. After that I became a massive fan of the books, standing in line from 7 o’clock in the morning to receive the fifth book and I did that for every future book release. Many times have I heard people insult and outright hate these novels. Every single time I hear someone say something bad, I had to retaliate with this speech “Do you know one thing that Harry Potter has brought to the world?” they always reply “What is that?”. This always gets those haters “It doesn’t matter if you love it or hate it. Harry Potter has done one thing, it has brought whole generations of children back to the written word!” How can you argue with that logic?

My thirties have been fantastic with my reading, more often than not I have been pushed into reading books by friends. The first book was The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, my current flatmate keep on asking when was I going to read this. I keep shrugging it off, I wasn’t interested in some random book! After years of him basically begging me, I thought fine not reading anything right now, why not? Why did I take so long to read this book, I didn’t put it down for more than a minute, and every time I had the book in my hand, there was he, my friend giving me such a look of self-satisfaction. This had everything that should be in a book, a fantastic hero who is telling his story way after the fact, great villains still don’t know who they really are, supporting characters so well thought out. I could go on and on and on about this book, it gave me so much insight into writing and how to write a fantastic, well thought out book.

This wasn’t his last big novel that he strongly demanded, I mean to suggest for me to read. This next book has become an obsession of all my friends now. It is the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Here is another magic filled Earth, another reality coinciding with the normal ‘muggle’ world. And here is Harry Dresden, just coming out and say ‘Hi, I’m a wizard’ with a little boomstick wave. The lore in this book series, oh my golly gosh! So many different lores, legends and myths Jim draw upon to create this rich world. I have read these books time and time again, they are one of the first things I pick up, and I brought all of them again on my Kindle so I could always have them on me. We have discussed how to translate this into a game, other story lines have been kicked around for my friends and me. If you haven’t read this book, you should! A mixture of crime, urban fantasy, mythology, magic, drama, coming of age, and it is just a fantastic read.

It seems that there will be a part four of my top ones, who would think that this whole blog would be dedicated to only three authors. There is not much else I can say about Jim, JK and Patrick, each one of these novels was ‘forced’ on to me and I will always be grateful to my friends who did this to me. If a friend suggests a book, maybe it’s time to pick it up as you might be surprised.