Friday, February 22, 2008

Generally, I categorize problems into three different categories.

1. Elucidated

These are problems you can solve. They can be further broken down into Solitary Elucidated and Assembly Elucidated, the first being solved by yourself only and the latter being solved with help from others. These are the most common types of problems. If you're going to have one, this is the type you want.

2. Compromised

These are problems that you cannot solve, but instead you meet someone/something half-way. Alternatively, it's a problem that you cannot solve but you have support from others who understand the problem and help you move forward.

3. Chimerical

These are the worst kinds of problems. You can't solve them, nor can you get around them. You must simply deal with them. These differ from compromised problems because you have no support from anyone else, and there are two possibilities for this. First, it could be that no one understands the significance of the issue and thus cannot relate. Or, it's something that you can't discuss with anyone else for any number of reasons -- whether that be embarassment, humility, fear, pride, or whatever.

I'm speaking from personal experience, and yes, my reasons for writing about this are because of a problem I'm having.

"Why don't you just talk about the problem, then?"

Naturally, I'm having a problem of the chimerical variety. While I rarely have problems interacting with people on a casual, intellectual, socialable, or even intimate level, I firmly believe that I'm emotionally a complete idiot. It's like my head is crammed with so much useless information that I sometimes forget how to talk to someone normally.

In any case, even though I'm incapable of discussing the problem at hand, I still felt the need to hear myself talk (or in this case, type). Rambling is something I happen to be good at. And for those of you concerned, NO, it's NOT a relationship problem. Gah.

Daily Lyric Snippet
And the planet may go astray;
in a million years they'll say:
"Those mother fuckers were all deranged!"
It's evolution!
Just evolution!

-- Korn - Evolution

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I think I mentioned in a post not too long ago that I wasn't satisfied with the most recent story I had worked on, because it was ending up too similar to Kobal. Or perhaps I just mentioned it was similar to Kobal. Either way, I find that I can't proceed any further with it due to feeling that I'm simply repeating myself. Consider it scrapped.

Last night, having slept in due to the day off and having a sugar high off the 4 bowls of Cocoa Puffs I had while watching Seinfeld, I found that I had a bit of creative energy left before I was ready to go to bed. So I got the laptop out, stretched out on the couch, and began sketching out ideas for a brand new story.

Ideas have been bouncing around in my head. Spending a vast majority of my free time in a fantasy game tends to inspire the senses to create something epic.

When I begin a new story, I first start out by drafting up bullet items that I will use later while actually writing the story itself. Typically, I start with the geography of the land, followed by a description of the people who live in the world and their relationships with each other (at war, at peace, etc). I had about five bullet points written up regarding the geography of the land. At that point, my laptop then decided it was time to install updates for Windows, and promply rebooted without prompting me to save my document.

It's all in my head, but it was still annoying. Gotta love Windows.

Daily Song Lyric Snippet

Can we live a life of peace and happiness?
I don't think so.
No denying I am scared to lose the things I love.
I'm in control.
This is how, this is how it's going to end.
This is how, this is how it's going to end.
Everyone is waiting here for everyone.
Leave me alone.

--Breaking Benjamin, You Fight Me

Monday, February 04, 2008

I used to do a lot of things. Past tense giving the current state of my every day activities -- that being work, gaming, and little else inbetween. A sad existence, sure, but it's *my* existence.

ANYway, I'm bringing up how I used to do things because I was reminded of one such thing yesterday in the form of an automated email.

Back in my Counter-Strike days, I made several videos of funny stuff we could do in the game. My favorite has to be the gun juggling vid set to the tune of some outlandishly fast-paced music I found while watching an episode of Robot Chicken.

Before I get completely off-topic here (too late), I made a Death By Ball video and actually posted it on You Tube just for fun (and as a means of hosting the video in a place not on my own web server, just to see if I could link it directly to my blog).

The obvious perk to posting this video on You Tube is, of course, the fact that anyone can stumble upon it at any given time. And, they can leave comments. I don't particularly care about comments, and would have probably turned off the feature had I realized it was there. Thus far, however, the comments were all simply "LOL" or something to that effect. Fine, that's harmless enough.

I get an email anytime someone posts a comment to this video, since it's linked to my You Tube account, and yesterday I got such an email. I went to check it out and this is what I see: "Staged, but good."

My first reaction to this is "Dur". Thanks for stating the obvious, Einstein.

I guess I'm compelled to write about this because this poster probably belongs in a category of people that seem to exist solely to annoy me in my every day life. They are the type of people that, in their own small mind, know everything there is to know about everything. And they feel the constant need to assert this (typically incorrect) self-declared assumption of themselves.

I realize I'm preaching to the choir here, but let me give a little piece of advice to all the "cushy, I'm better than you and I know everything" pricks out there.

If you want to come across as a smart person, first become smart. Read. Learn. Interact. Pay attention to what goes on in the world around you. That's how you become smart.

Pretending to talk like you know what you're talking about doesn't make you smart. You will either come across as an asshole, or you will look stupid. Or both.

This goes hand-in-hand with my guide to becoming a smart ass. And trust me, I know how to be a smart ass.

And the first step is to be smart.

Today's Song Lyric Snippet
And you wanted it so
And you let me go down
To the end of the road
And the black and the white
A technicolorful life
Can I stand by your side?
Like home
We can make it alright
’cause I’m home

-- Breaking Benjamin, Home

Friday, February 01, 2008

I enjoy fantasy stories. As bloated as Tolkien's books are, the sections where he actually discusses topics relevant to the plot are some of the most engrossing pieces of literature I have ever read. It was the epic scale of his writing which inspired me to write my own stories (minus all the unnecessary crap that bores you to tears). Every time I would read a book written by someone else, I would be left missing something. It was not until I wrote my own stories that I realized what that was, because unknowingly I have made every story I've written match that criteria. If you read each of my stories, you will see the same exact formula:

1. The main character is good, but flawed.

2. The story is always good versus evil.

3. The main character is always inexperienced and/or young, and has a mentor or someone else who has greater experience and knowledge of the world around them.

4. The main character always has a hidden power.

5. The main character always wins, completely and undeniably.

Here are the facts proving the above 5 points. WARNING! Spoilers abound. Do not read any further if you ever plan on reading one of my stories. As always, you can find them here.

1. Chiitsu wanted to help people, but his vampire side (mostly his thirst for blood) caused many different problems. He also had issues with interacting with other people. Kobal felt he was a failure and had low self-esteem. Ren couldn't wield his sword and thus had "short-man" syndrome.

2. Chiitsu vs. the evil vampires. Kobal vs. the evil zintobi. Ren vs. the evil demons.

3. Chiitsu was a normal guy who became a vampire with extraordinary powers, but no idea how to use them. Yoshi acted as his mentor. Kobal's handicap hindered his ability to learn zintobi techniques. Aji was his mentor. Ren's inability to wield his sword hindered his ability to fight demons. Mostly all the other demon hunters acted as his mentor at any particular time.

4. Chiitsu had the power of Earth. Kobal had mystic Zin. Ren possessed the Paradigm Sword.

5. Chiitsu disintegrated the main villain. Kobal chopped the main villain into tiny pieces. Ren impaled the main villain through the head with his sword.

The unfinished story I have lying around here somewhere follows the same formula. Mostly, it's just a beginning and then a bunch of ideas scribbled on a notepad. The most memorable idea that I can think of off the top of my head was the following scenario that I'll share with you:

Imagine the main character, Saburo Sasaki, is quite similar to Kobal -- he is a warrior-in-training, but is a failure. This time, however, it's not a physical handicap such as the one placed on Kobal, but a mental one. Saburo fails to believe in himself, and thus fails at everything he attempts to do. The theme here being that the power of will is stronger than anything else.

Enter a token villain. As most token villains, it's quite the small spectrum. Shift him a bit to the right and he is pure evil. Shift him a bit to the left and he's a good person. At this time, he's right in the middle, and is looking for a fight. The unique power this villain has is that he is able to see the power within everyone. He can see what they are capable of, even if that person doesn't know it themselves. What's special about this, is that even though he can see it, it doesn't necessarily mean the person is capable of displaying it. The villain, of course, is unable to understand this, and is simply looking for the strongest person around to fight, because any good villain loves to fight.

This villain is feared across the entire planet. When word of his eminent arrival in Saburo's village is heard, panic ensues. The strongest warriors train night and day in preparation, so they will have some semblance of hope to defeat him and survive.

The day comes, and the villain arrives. The strongest warriors of the village are there, waiting for him. The rest of the village is watching from a distance. Imagine everyone's surprise when he bellows the name of his chosen opponent: Saburo Sasaki, a mere student on the verge of dropping out of the academy.

What is even more unique about this idea is the way in which Saburo is able to defeat the villain. Fighting does occur, and Saburo gets pummelled. The villain keeps getting angrier and angrier, threatening to destroy the entire village is Saburo keeps refusing to display his true power. Saburo can't, of course, because he doesn't believe that he possesses such power. However, even though he cannot win, he continues to stand back up after each bone crunching attack. He puts himself between the monster and his home. A revelation occurs, and the villain realizes that he was witnessing Saburo's true power the entire time -- his refusal to give up, which is more powerful than any physical attack the villain is capable of inflicting. Without realizing it or even trying to do so, Saburo puts a mirror in front of the villain in the form of himself. The villain sees himself: Someone strong, but a different kind of strong. Someone wanting acceptance, whereas Saburo has it all inside of him and the villain expresses it through violence and wanting to be the (physically) strongest. This makes the villain realize there's another way, and he stops. He and Saburo become friends, and share a mutual respect for one another.

That's just one of the ideas that I have bouncing around in my head, and it will serve as a "mini-plot" within the main story, much like the "fire demon" story within Kobal, or the side story about Kaori and her father in Paradigm. A lot of the time, these mini-stories end up being my favorite parts of the entire production.

The cause of this rambling was a blog post I read earlier today about fantasy fiction, and it just got my mind moving on some of these things again. It's been a while since I've looked at the Saburo story, and I'm sure I could punch all sorts of holes in it at this point. Don't expect to see any chapters uploaded in the foreseeable future, cause as I said it's mostly notes on a scratch pad at this point. I think the last time I worked on the story, I was beginning to feel it becoming too similar to Kobal. But we'll see.


Holy smokes.  The last post I wrote for this blog was on October 18, 2017.  Through the little more than  two years since, this blog has be...