myaru: (Default)
It's that rare beast: an unlocked entry!

My concerns these days are pathetic and not at all fun to read about. The one exception, I'd say, is the cats. Who doesn't like cat stuff? I mean.

...Yeah, I mean. If you don't, just don't tell me.

.

So, about the subject line.

Listen--I hate ads and like convenience, so I'll spend money on journal platforms if that's what it takes. Even though I don't post often nowadays, I still like to have an unnecessarily extensive selection of user icons to choose from, and LJ specifically locks its mass-entry editing behind a paywall.

Livejournal has shitty customer service, though--not to mention questionable policies and zero transparency, or at least that's how I remember them. (I'd be lying if I claimed to have paid attention the last two years.) I don't want to give them money anymore. Dreamwidth costs enough, considering my post frequency. More than enough. I kinda sorta want to get rid of the LJ account, but I have a few concerns about that:


  1. There might be people following me that still use LJ as their primary writing/reading service;

  2. There are probably a lot of backlinks to my so-called meta posts, which I've been encouraged to keep public despite my desire to shut the whole thing down;

  3. I don't want to risk losing the name.



While at this point I think it's dumb and paranoid to think people out there still hate me enough (usually for RPGamer stuff, but there were other... incidents) to impersonate my account, it HAS happened before, and I'm not interested in leaving that door propped open even a little. The one benefit that maintaining the LJ account has is that it's an established area I've been known to occupy for over a decade.

So, the point? I'm considering locking down the content on the LJ mirror (though I may unlock specific entries, like the ones on this list), and posting primarily on DW without cross-posting. However, I'm not sure how LJ's dead account detection works, though, so I might continue cross-posting, but stop keeping track of comments. Considering how inactive I've been, that won't make a difference for most. Just to keep everything clear:

EVERYTHING WILL STILL BE AVAILABLE/OPEN ON DW.

One of the things I'd like to do (eventually) is streamline what's locked and what's open so my journal looks more coherent from the outside. You know, just in case. But that's really hard to do--not to mention a whole ton of work I don't need--when you've got to repeat those changes across platforms.

Now, I'm buried under work/classwork at the moment, and probably won't make these changes any time soon, but I wanted to open comments to anyone who might have them. I've mentioned this in locked entries before, and have pared down my original intentions, which involved locking/deleting everything. If you have an opinion:

  • On DW, everyone with a valid account can comment.

  • On LJ, comments are restricted to my Friends List to avoid spam. Sorry. :/


If you don't have an opinion (which is what I expect), I'll do something about this lockdown when I need to avoid some real work or a final project. So, sounds like we're looking at December. :P Possibly earlier, but... yeah, no.
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - taste the rainbow)
Oh look, I'm still having feels over Tales of Symphonia and writing dumb stories for it. By "dumb" I suppose I mean fangirly, since this canon divergence is an indulgence for me, but it's so gen it hurts, so. Not that kind of fangirly.

I uh, actually have not indulged myself much with fiction lately. The story I'm working up to sending out is kind of an indulgence, but only in the sense that it's about a favorite subject. As far as doing work on it goes, the process is difficult and involves fighting myself every step of the way.

Maybe I should get back to work now. It's only 3 AM. That's way too early to go to bed.
myaru: (ToB - Perfect World)
I want to just eat these characters up, and not even because there's a character that had the nerve to remind me of Yggdrasil (although I won't say no to eating him up)...

The stupid pun is unintentional.

I don't know what to do about this. The feels, I mean. I've got ~3k words written of a story that may or may not even be decent (or creative), and the will to write more... or should I say, not enough willpower to STOP myself from writing more. For the first time in many, many years, the only way I can exorcise these ~feelings~ is by writing fic.

So in that sense, it doesn't matter if the thing is good. Once I get it out, maybe it'll leave me alone.

OR MAYBE IT WON'T.

Anyway, the story... )

Yeah, I wish I had a more coherent reaction to the ending, but even if I write fic, I doubt I'll get back into ~meta~, so screw logical analysis.

Oh, but Magilou's story? That's also worth some fic. Goddammit.
myaru: (Default)
Wow. Well, my brain has no trouble coming up with strange Innominat fic ideas and pairings! plz hand me some bleach, none of which are very nice and all of which are entertaining, and I'm disturbed by that! Just a little.

I just left the Mount Killaraus, am about 40-45 hours in, and quite close to the end if I'm reading the signs correctly. My characters are around level 50, give or take a few, which I'm not sure is high enough. Side quests are an option, since I haven't bothered with those yet (e.g. the Omega Elixir, monster contracts, Level 4 Administrative Zones), or I guess it wouldn't hurt to try the last area and see if I need to grind up some experience. Doing that was so frustrating in Zestiria that I might look it up instead, though.

I've seen ending spoilers (which I wasn't looking for at the time, actually), so I have a good idea of what's going to happen. This is a lucky case, in that knowing what's going to happen doesn't ruin the experience, buuuuut... that's probably why I'm already devising stories that will, arguably, ruin everyone else's experience. :P

This is all making concentration on actual work a real pain.

Guess I'll be trying an Innominat icon, seeing as I love him unreasonably. Maybe it'll actually turn out well this time.
myaru: (ToB - Eleanor)
Somewhere in 2016 all of my Photoshop brushes disappeared, and I can't remember where I got any of them.

:(

Anyway, Tales of Berseria. I'm still only about thirty hours in, because I play in small chunks, and am usually only able to finish one dungeon/questline/section of story before I have to sleep.

I've been hating on Eleanor for a while. She's the type of character I normally like (I guess? I don't even know anymore), but she pissed me off early in the game and I spent the last twenty-five hours looking forward to the day her world would come crashing down. The game disappointed me on that matter; while she definitely has a few moments of existential crisis, her reaction to the shattering of her world was pretty okay and, unforgivably, made me like her.

Her speaking habits remind me of Natalia (Abyss) - who I liked - and she actually grows as a damn character, which I also like, but--I enjoyed the anticipation of her breakdown! This is scary evidence that my world view probably aligns more with Velvet's, hahaha... haha...

So, relating with characters in RPGs is never a huge thing for me. The character's gender is irrelevant in most cases, especially as I get older, although if I have the choice of a female main, I'd rather. The bigger problem (as far as relating to characters in games goes) is that stories about a bunch of kids saving the world actually aren't a thing I relate to anymore. But I seem to be relating strongly with Velvet, and attaching Laphicet to Eleanor was kiiiind of a problem for me for a little bit. :P

But Eleanor also annoyed me all on her own. It was the strength of her belief in the Abbey, which just--I hated that. It looked like blind devotion. Eleanor has since proven that untrue, which is probably why I can't resist anymore, and have decided to confess that I like her.

2016 was a harsh year. It must have flipped some unfortunate switches in my brain.

My thoughts on everything else are a mixed bag of randomness.

I really like Magilou's quirkiness. XD She's awesome.

The music is pretty nice, but only a few tracks stick with me after I turn the game off. One of those is the music for the Abbey training grounds, which was an interesting mix--slightly creepy, but also just a light touch, and I thought it fit the bill for an organization that prizes reason over human decency.

Not getting any pairing vibes out of this game. If I had to point at something, I'd say the most blatant show of affection that borders on obsessive romantic is Theresa/Oscar, and uhhhh... it's basically every Fire Emblem brother/sister-not-pairing-we-swear that I've ever seen. Not romantic? Of course not, they're siblings! Except that the body language really toes the line and all that. Oh, and it seems like Laphicet has a crush on Velvet. :D Think he's a bit young for that, but that never stopped fandom before. I don't even want to know where they might've gone with Innominat and Artorius....

(If they haven't gone anywhere with that, I will be seriously disappointed. I actually haven't seen them interact yet, but who the fuck cares about characterization?)

Gosh but I like all of these Empyrean sigils. I want some for wallpapers.

So anyway, yeah, I would write Theresa/Oscar. Or... think about it. I probably won't really.

If I were to write fic, I'd also like writing about Eleanor. Ffff.
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - taste the rainbow)
We're still playing FFXV, but--slowly, because it's a group exercise. Tales of Berseria is what I'm playing by myself, so y'know...

I only just started, though; I'm about 16 hours in, and it has already answered a ton of my questions about Zestiria. In a strange turn of events, I went to Google to find spoilers--specific ones--only to be foiled because apparently nobody is writing about what I want to know. Rude.

Aaaaand why would I look for spoilers? Well, Berseria came out about when I started my current class, and because my mind is speeding along, trying to make connections with Zestiria (and trying to determine if it's too late to write that search-for-Innominat's-history fic), it's really fucking hard to concentrate on reading and schoolwork! You'd think I would be better at this balancing act after such a long grind for my writing degree, but nope. Guess not. My brain is wired to resist homework.

Seriously, though, how's a person supposed to get any gaming done when life requirements like "be a functional member of society" and "don't fail your class" get in the way?

Anyway, Tales of Berseria = a happy place. It actually makes me feel fangirly.

I guess I'll have to use this hot Yuan icon until I can find one of Laphicet.
myaru: (VP - Shiho)
At the beginning of the year, when setting my goals, I took Nano off the list--again--because it has a record of burning me out for one or two months after the finish line, and that's counter-productive re: the "write every day" goal.

But!

There's a yearly word count to meet on my goal sheet, and for the last two months, I have NOT been writing every day. I'm damn well going to meet that word count, so... there's some catching up to do, and Nano is as good a way as any to make up the deficit. Only problem is, since this wasn't in the plan, I also have nothing lined up that would work for a 50k word sprint. Technically you're not supposed to use something you're already working on, which I respect. However, as someone who tends to write long-form stories voluntarily anyway, I'm less inclined to follow the major rule, which insists you must work on a novel.

Options:

1. Come up with a new novel idea
Pros: this is the holy grail of Nanowrimo, and it's not like the story has to be good. I've got tons of one-liner ideas for stories.

Cons: even I hate working with nothing, and this is coming from someone who uses the pantser/Pratchett method of having a few cool ideas and wandering around to connect the dots while writing. Having "a few ideas" amounts to waaaay more guidance than you might think.

2. Use a novel idea/plan that isn't ready
Pros: there's more internal guidance for the story, as mentioned above. Doing this means writing something I already want to explore, so that's also cool, and I can get the connect-the-dots draft out of the way sooner. This way would definitely allow more thorough fleshing-out of characters and ideas I haven't been thinking about lately.

Cons: there are volumes of literature out there to invalidate a writer's assessment of their own work and whether or not it's ready, which amounts to, "Stop being afraid to start and just do it!" Sometimes the writer is right, though--it isn't ready. Starting before you aren't ready, legit, is a good way to stall and abandon a story, in my opinion. See: The Summer Chronicle. First of all, I started with a very vague idea. When it grew a surprise plot, that was cool! There was no planning involved in this, though; I got a long way in before finally stalling and writing myself into... if not a box, a situation where I did not want to continue because I hadn't adequately planned for one of my seat-of-the-pants plot twists. Is that story finished? Hahahah no.

That said, I was also kind of afraid to write Ashnard. So there's some truth to the "stop being afraid" thing.

3. Do the anthology-of-short-stories again
Pros: I get to write in smaller bites, and explore more than one idea.

Cons: This technically isn't an approved project type, unless Nano has changed. (Which is possible. I don't bother to look at the website anymore, because "Write 50k words in a month" is all I feel the need to know.) Also, this runs into the problem #1 has: using lots of story ideas that are ill-considered at best.

4. Ignore the rules and continue the current project anyway
Pros: no changes necessary right now!

Cons: This project definitely doesn't have fifty thousand words in it, which brings me to the problems mentioned in #1 and #3.

5. Use this opportunity to rewrite something long
Pros: This is much easier than coming up with something new; a lot of the work is done for me, and I have three projects like this sitting in the electronic drawer, waiting for rewriting. There are also long fanfic projects that fit this bill, if I don't feel like working on the originals.

Cons: Honesty is the best policy, and--I don't feel like working on that stuff right now. This kind of project can involve a ton of preparation and editorial work as well. I mean, if you're not going to seriously reconsider or re-plot or re-develop... why do the second draft? I think there's a good reason this isn't an "approved" sort of project for Nano.


I'm already late, so I need to decide by the end of today. Hmmmm. I'm leaning toward #2 or #3. I've done the anthology thing before, and it did expand my available pool of revisable work quite a bit, but... yeah, hm.
myaru: (Default)
I must've last played FE: Fates back in March, because I remember slouching on the couch with my cat and swearing every time the wind chapter (Chapter 24, I think?) kicked my ass. Then bad things happened. I stopped playing. Haven't picked it up since.

(Do not doubt, however, that I would buy this Camilla figure in an instant. Holy shit! Give me a handsome big brother Xander figure and you can just have all my money, manufacturer, whoever you are. Just take it. Take it NOW.)

So maybe I should finish the damn game. I mean, just thinking about Xander motivates me. :P I went through the trouble of buying and downloading Birthright in March, back before 2016 fucked us over, and that's $50 just sitting there on my sim card, waiting to be worth something. Conquest feels so much like an alternate timeline that I'm expecting Birthright to be more fleshed out, buuuut... they could both end up feeling incomplete. Wouldn't surprise me to find out neither game can stand on its own without raising plot/character questions that it can't answer.

Me criticizing someone else's plotting = hilarious, yeah. I know.

Somewhat related, Tellius illustration/guidebooks are now a thing, although it's hard to imagine this fact escaped everyone before I typed today's entry. I snatched the Path of Radiance book up the moment I saw it in Kinokuniya - because I still love Tellius, even though I also hate it so much - and Goddess of Dawn looks like it's going to be released in November.

I swear that date said October 25th last time I looked. Sadface.

Anyway. Uhhh... I started writing the real version of that Genis-kidnapped-by-Cruxis story from way back? I need to bulk up my word count, you see, and whenever I'm stuck on my personal projects, fan fiction makes writing feel easy again. That probably means it's shit, but whatever. Wish fulfillment ftw.
myaru: (Default)
Fire Emblem: Fates has some surprisingly catchy music. I might buy the soundtrack. What I'm really waiting for is an illustration book or companion guide, though. Please do give me lots of Xander artwork. I'll buy it twice.

Not going to comment much on the game right now, though, except to rejoice in all of the cute sibling reunions and supports I'm getting now. :D I've been kind of lazy with supports, and to be honest, the romance bits - at least the interactions the avatar has - feel like a trainwreck. It must be the animation choices they made for the bonding/invite scenes. I get that Fire Emblem is a dating sim now, but let's preserve some dignity, shall we? :/

Can I romance Xander? Why didn't I check?! I'll take a blushing Xander any day.

Yeah, I'm bad at posting. Sorry.

We've been getting a lot of rain this week, which is amazing. It'd be perfect weather if rain didn't mean that our internet service has to crap out at regular intervals.
myaru: (Miang - I want to be myself)
We've been watching The Man in the High Castle all week. Highly recommended. The concept was neat, but what sold me was seeing the intro, since The Sound of Music is a childhood favorite of mine, and their use of Edelweiss made a strong impression on me. The Atlantic produced a short article on that, which is much smarter than my commentary would have been. (I also would've been less optimistic in my reading. :D)

Guess I have to read the book now.

We're convinced there's great potential in a spin-off involving certain shenanigans that star Frank and the antique shop dealer, whose name I've forgotten. I'd watch it.

We'll get back to our Wes Anderson binge while we're waiting.

I've been reading a lot to make up for last year's foot-dragging - currently Murakami's 1Q84, and before that I read both the Hunger Games and the Divergent trilogies, finally, after just about everybody else. Also, history books. And a fucking jury summons! That's good reading, right? I'm just about done typing italic tags, so I'll leave it there.

I set a word count goal for the year. There's an almost zero chance you're going to see anything I'm writing, so I'll spare you. It's a lot less satisfying than producing a story every week, though. Long goals are boring. And there's too much time for me to dwell on negativity.
myaru: (Default)
I'll do Fire Emblem 10, since the Tellius games were like... the pinnacle of my FE obsession, I suppose. Next in line would be FE6.

-----

1. The first character I fell in love with/was drawn to (gameplay/personality, where applicable):
Micaiah. She was competant-- she didn't die all the goddamn time Laura, Jill, Leonardo, EVERYONE ELSE. FFS guys, can you try to survive at least one hit each? That alone will make me like a character at least a little (and hate another one too much), but her conflict, especially in later chapters of the game, was really compelling. Moving on to Elincia in Part 2 was the biggest disappointment of my life, and I was fucking thrilled to go back to Daein and Micaiah and her willingness to commit war crimes in the name of a country and people she loved for some inexplicable reason. It made her interesting.

This might surprise some people. I didn't lose my love for Micaiah until I started liking Sanaki a lot more. It felt a little like I couldn't have both, but that's not why I went that way - just how I see the change in affection now.


And seventeen more... )
myaru: (Avatar: All old people know each other)
Our bathroom flooded for Christmas. How's it going for everyone else? :P

For years I've been looking for a kidlit novel I read when I was younger. It disappeared with a lot of other stuff that I suspect my grandmother packed up and donated to charity without bothering to ask me. She used to do that when I was a kid-- wander around our house while she was babysitting me, gathering things she decided we didn't need anymore, and getting rid of them. My mother hated this with a passion, but I wasn't as aware, I guess?

Anyway, all I could recall of the book was that it involved a mummy, a triangular coin with eyes carved on it, and a statue of Anubis scratching at the protagonist's door, whispering, "Where are my eyes?" It scared the shit out of me! Couldn't sleep without a light on. You'd think these details would be distinctive enough for a Google search, but NOPE. Maybe I sucked at Googling shit, too, but whatever. I found it! The House on Hackman's Hill.

No wonder I couldn't remember the title.

I treated myself to a few hilarious-looking visual novels on Steam, and might even play them. A friend introduced us to Conception II, which looks too funny not to own, but also too awful to go out of my way for, so I'm not sure what to do about it yet. She's got the download version, so borrowing is, alas, out of the question. So I'm thinking I might console myself by playing Hakuouki, but am not sure yet which storyline to follow. Decisions, decisions...

Well, I may change my mind if/when I'm bored, but I probably won't do a year-end/new year post unless there's something one of you is interested in hearing about. At this point, it's all long-term goals about not torturing myself with expectations, and that sort of thing. It's slow going.
myaru: (Dragon Age - Alistair)
Brought to you by the mystery novel formula, although the post isn't about mysteries of that sort.

In the end, I had to give my Tales of Zestiria obsession a little outlet. Not too much, because the last thing I need is an epic on my hands, but something. I found out I'm pretty rusty when it comes to fan fiction. I also noticed a few other things.

1. It took approximately 0.05 seconds for me to slip right back into the Pairing Fanfic Formula.

2. I hit the same story/characterization triggers every other Zestiria author does, though I didn't know that until I looked at the AO3 archive afterward.

3. Gasp, this... is not actually a bad formula.


I also realized that I open original stories differently, but that's another topic. Short stories - at least as I write them - involve more plot, and therefore need more precise openings... not that I always manage to make that happen.

The formula I default into isn't a bad formula by itself. It has setting, buildup, and payoff, which is why it can be satisfying to read; it can, and often does, have some kind of "emotional turn" that makes the scene feel complete-- like something happened. (I don't recall which writer gave me the phrase "emotional turn," but it has served me well every time I've bothered to use the concept while writing.) It just so happens that in pairing fic these elements are focused on cuddling instead of something else. It's actually not a bad basic structure for individual scenes.

I think this would still be true if the content is entirely fluff. You can still have a transformation of mood and/or emotion in the scene, which satisfies the requirement for "change" in fiction, which I know people loooove to argue with. Stories don't necessarily need conflict! Shit doesn't have to change! It can still be interesting! And I guess that's all true in fan fiction, when a reader might want to just wallow in their obsession with Mikleo Sebastian Maglor a character they love, and see some stream-of-consciousness contemplation on a canon event. I don't think that's very interesting, but whatever. Some people do. Point is, it's more interesting if something changes, even if that change means we're just moving from contemplation to happiness, or giddiness to contentedness, or some other minuscule difference. The formula can do that.

Which isn't to say I think I should write it all the time. It IS a formula, and if I write ten things according to this formula, they're all going to sound the same, since those ten things will definitely all be pairing fic. Somehow this doesn't happen if I use it for the basis of my scene structure in a longer story, because there are other things happening (and how exactly is a Sorey/Mikleo makeout session not something happening, I mean really) and the formula becomes a vehicle for other elements of craft.

So yeah. I haven't come up with an excuse for #2 (automatically falling into all the cliches) yet. Give me a few more hours for that one.
myaru: (Default)
"The problem with writing is writing. The discoveries in writing will be made in writing. The solutions to story problems - structural, motivational, existential - will be found in writing. ... Your middle will not arrive through thinking, and while it may arrive in dreaming, dreaming is more likely to produce results if you fall asleep while writing."

The Portable MFA in Creative Writing, p.30



My own creative process drives me crazy. This problem probably isn't unique to me.

For as long as I've been writing, I've been what people call a "pantser" - when I've got an idea for a story, I skip the outlining and development parts and jump right in, figuring that it'll take care of itself. Who needs a plot to start with when it'll just grow out of the process on its own like a slimy, scary-looking mushroom? And I thought that's how it was done. I didn't take writing classes until much later, and it never occurred to me - apparently - to pick up a book on how to write fiction when I was younger.

By 'younger,' I mean seventeen or so, which is when I first attempted to write seriously. Prior to that I had written "novels" and storybooks and stuff, but not with any intent. I did it to get ideas out of my head, or sometimes to entertain my friends. Plot isn't really necessary when you're pandering to your own group and their in-jokes.

But this is still the way I work, and knowing how important plot is, thanks to my overpriced degree and experience (I guess), I keep feeling like I should grow up and start plotting before I write. Have an outline. Actually develop characters before I try to write them! No doubt that would make them slightly more interesting.

Have I tried to do this? Yes.

Has it worked? No.

I understand the concept. I could write an essay on it, or pass a test. I can diagnose the problems in novels, short stories, fan fiction. I can even (apparently) give good advice on improving plot and addressing related problems when I'm asked to give someone a thorough critique on their work. But sit me down with my own outline, which I will have spent quite a bit of time on, by the way, and I think I might be able to follow it for two chapters before I run off the rails and end up somewhere completely different. Part of me feels that sticking to that narrow path will stunt the creative growth of the story, but the real problem seems to come down to characterization. Like: I think Character A will do these things and make these decisions, but after writing her for two chapters I realize she'd rather do something different. I might've spent hours working on her backstory, her details (e.g. profile stuff like who her extended family is, or what her education is), and think I developed her personality, but I always find out I'm wrong.

So the character isn't going to do that in chapter three, and because she doesn't, chapter four is a wash. And we probably can't get to Point C on time; there'll need to be eight extra chapters. Maybe. Who's counting? And I can't say she won't change her mind in chapter five, because I just decided that such-and-such must've happened to her when she was a kid - it sounded good when I wrote it down just now, anyway! - and so Point C might be a no go. Oops.

This is both more fun (because I can do whatever the fuck I want and just have fun with it) and more irritating because it means I'm always going to have to waste a first draft on exploration.

Or it means I don't know what I'm doing.

Or it means I'm doing it wrong. Fuckit, then; who cares.

I like exploration. That's more than half the fun when I write fan fiction, after all. But I've never been comfortable or happy with the idea that I can't get something right on the first draft, so the suspicion that I'm always going to have to "waste" the first one makes me angry. There's no way I can get the first round right, because I don't know what it's going to throw at me, and yet that's the way I feel most comfortable in the development phase... you know, when it's actually going on. After I'm done for the day, though, I sit here and think I shouldn't do it this way. I should know better. Or do it better.

That quote at the top of the entry is something I found recently, which seemed fitting. But what made me think about all of this again - I don't normally dwell on it - was Terry Pratchett. He said two things that hit me as true-- for me.

How do you write stories? You make it up as you go along. This is a terrible thing to have to tell people.

[...]

But it's what I call "The Valley Filled with Clouds" technique. You're at the edge of the valley, and there is a church steeple, and there is a tree, and there is a rocky outcrop, but the rest of it is mist. But you know that because they exist, there must be ways of getting from one to the other that you cannot see. And so you start the journey. And when I write, I write a draft entirely for myself, just to walk the valley and find out what the book is going to be all about.

A Slip of the Keyboard, p.58-60


He goes on to compare his style of drafting with what he knows of Larry Niven, who's fond of index cards. He's "sure true writers do not work like this." Me too, except that apparently isn't the case.

So I read this, maybe two months ago, and thought if he could do it, I should give it another try. Try to embrace it. I did just say it was fun, somewhere up there. The process of discovery really can be. And when I try to change it, I clearly meet resistance on the inside, even if I think I'm trying to do the right thing. I tend to abandon stories that I start the other way, with outlines; I never abandon the ones that happen more organically. (Excluding some of the really long ones that I decide aren't working. If we're talking short stories, it's true.)

It's hard to embrace. However, it seems to me that kicking the plot into shape after might work better for me, because there's something to shape, whereas doing it at the beginning means trying to work with very little. And it's no wonder that it's so difficult when I'm trying to build a recognizable house with only a quarter of the materials when, if I wait, the others will show up later.

It might be less profitable to fight the process than it will be to fight the issue with multiple drafts. Which I've made progress on, but I still feel deep down like I shouldn't have to. Acceptance is hard.
myaru: (Default)
Wow, rain. It's coming down hard.

:D

Tales of Zestiria has a decently interesting world. It saw fit to explain very little of that world, unless I missed a ton of skits or scenes. Now, I'm not saying this is a bad thing; it told me what I needed to know, and anyway, a world like this, with so many mysteries, is exactly what I would've loved writing fan fiction for. It leaves room for creative speculation.

One thing I would've liked to see explained further, though, is The Five Lords... )

In Zestiria's defense, I did try to finish the game quickly; I might've missed things. I tried not to, because I like completing things, dammit, but I had limited time. :/ I went for the prize, and didn't take the time to do the thing with Edna's brother, or the crucibles, so I dunno, maybe those explain more? (Although the crucibles looked more like gameplay challenges.)

So whatev. Either these are dumb questions, or the game needs a sequel, so I can buy it.
myaru: (Default)
Usually, when I reach the end of a game - the last dungeon, the boss, whatever - I put it down and stop for months. I have no idea why I do this, but I haven't finished either Dragon Age 3 or Tales of Xillia, and those were... ages ago. Yikes. ToX belongs to someone else, so I should probably get off my ass and finish it.

But anyway, for once I'm all ready to finish a game - Tales of Zestiria - and the game is determined to screw me out of this new resolve. For some godawful reason I cannot activate my mystic artes, and that's kind of important. Cruising the internet showed me that I'm not the only person having this problem, and it also told me there's no real solution, because plenty of other people are "fine" and "have no problem" etc. etc. What bullshit. I'm seriously considering just watching the ending, if I can find a Let's Play, and I'll just deal with the stupid commentary.

I fucking hate commentary when I'm seeing something for the first time. :/

What's infuriating is... spoilers? :P )

Haven't been this annoyed by a game mechanic for a long time. :D

Well, aside from that, the last area is epic as hell. I'm happy with that part of it. And Therapy Cat makes almost everything better!


EDIT:
Hey hey, lucky me! I did find one without commentary!

Now I just have to finish the damn thing myself for the clear data.

The ending gets bonus points (like, 1,000,000++++) for the last little animated bit... )

Now I kind of miss the days when I wrote fan fiction.

...

... and this is sort of a non-sequitur, but Edna is amazing.
myaru: (Default)
This isn't much of a spoiler, but I'll cut anyway. Mikleo, Sorey, and ~togetherness~. )

The second season of the Black Butler anime might be distorting my perception of this mechanic... somewhat.

Anyway, I've shipped this since the first scene, pretty much, so it's like all my fangirl dreams came true before I knew I had them!

I'm somewhere in the middle of the Marlind storyline, if anybody else is playing. It's about ten hours in, give or take. My play time is inflated by chunks of time that weren't spent playing because I had to leave the computer to spoil my cat. You need to spend at least ten minutes on this kind of thing, or he thinks you're not trying - and then, if he gets super into the attention, you have to spend at least ten MORE minutes admiring how cute he is, all curled up and purring, and nuzzling your hand.

Then maybe - maybe - he won't be insulted when I get up.

Pfft. Cats.
myaru: (Default)
Tales of Zestiria opens like it's the Dorky Adventures of Lloyd and Genis. I like it. :D

Wish I could play more tonight, but I have a killer headache, and I'd rather enjoy the visuals (the beautiful, beautiful visuals~) without getting dizzy... although that's kinda sorta appropriate for Elysia.

The music is fantastic!

This came just in time. It's been one of those bad days: nothing actually went wrong, but I feel horrible anyway. Awesome how that works, isn't it?

Yay Zestria! :D
myaru: (Default)
Oh fuck, it's October.

Not that anything is happening this month-- that I know of. It's just... October already? Shouldn't it still be July?

Since July, I've managed to write one short story per week, for a total of thirteen so far. Some turned out to be scenes, rather than full stories; others are in-between, and I'm not sure what I want to do with them. At least two are keepers, maybe three.

I'll keep doing this as long as it lasts.

I tend not to talk about this because the last thing I need is someone commenting to the effect that "you should be doing this differently. I won't bother to ask what else you're doing, of course, nor will I ask any other pertinent questions, because you're wrong, and if you're not doing it the way I learned to do it, you're going to fail." While nobody has said it quite this way, it all looks the same from my point of view.

Maybe it's an irrational fear. But I don't need or want any writing advice, and people always seem to want to give it anyway. I'm sure they mean well.

Or maybe they don't. Did I mention that I'm paranoid?

Meanwhile, it takes a really long fucking time to reinstall Dragon Age 3. I bet it wouldn't have taken this long on Steam. :D I still need to finish my first game, but I want so badly to start another one up with a female elf so I can romance Solas! He's kinda sorta the only one I'm interested in. Cullen is cool and all, and I guess Dorian is pretty fabulous... but I don't really trust him, see. And then there's the part where I keep accidentally flirting with Josephine.

I'll admit to having a thing for Antivan accents ever since Zevran, but that's it.
myaru: (Dragon Age - Alistair)
If you set a thing on fire once, you're a pyro in the collective memory forever.

I was minding my own business at work one day when I opened the warming oven to retrieve someone's cookie and found a happy little fire dancing on the edge of the parchment paper. Since it's generally good policy not to piss off your entitled customers more than necessary, I grabbed the tongs, retrieved the cookie, and shut the oven. When we opened it again (my shift supervisor was kind of worried when I said shit was on fire) it had gone out.

As it turns out, according to the person in charge at the time, you're supposed to grab a soaking wet cloth - probably from the sanitizer bucket, which seems like a bad idea to me, but WHATEVER - stick your hand into the oven, and smother the fire with the wet towel.

Sticking your hand in the oven sounds perfectly safe. Like a fantastic idea, even! Especially when something is burning.

I have my doubts as to the validity of this approach for the situation above, but a wet towel will probably put the damn fire out, so I'll give it that much credit. And I found out later that this isn't an isolated problem, so the way I see it, put that fire out any way you can do it, and discuss the merits of burning your skin off afterward. Then you can ask yourself why Starbucks hasn't formulated a cookie that won't spontaneously combust.

Fast forward several months. (At least this doesn't happen every one or two, am I right?) I'm pre-heating my oven, which I haven't used since early spring; it beeps to tell me it's ready, I open the door, and-- fire.

First thought: What the fuck, there's nothing in there to burn!

I slam the door shut.

Second thought: Shit, A FIRE. WHAT DO I DO.

Third thought: The internet will know. Ask Google!

Google told me I was right. I tried to be patient while the pretty little flames got smaller, and decided to text "lol, oven fire!" to my husband, because I do like to brighten his day whenever possible.

We went out to dinner that night.

.

First thing my former coworkers tell the noob baristas when I walk into the store now? "That's Amber. She sets things on fire! :D"

.

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