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Multiple Projects

Rachel saw my post from yesterday and said (not unkindly), “Oh, it’s another picture!”

I’ve thought the same many times, especially during this month.

While I genuinely like the pictures of advice and quotes that I find, and I hope that any readers do as well, I have fallen a bit behind when it comes to actually having written posts. It tends to happen during NaNo months where I’m more focused on my word count than preparing blog posts in advance.

I tend to do that with many things — I’ll focus on one project and forget about the rest for a while. I could definitely be better organized, give myself a small schedules and time frames to work on certain projects, but then I feel as if that stifles said projects. I don’t want to spend only a half hour sketching out a drawing before having to switch my mind’s gears over to reading. Perhaps I would do better with designated days, or pledge myself to spend a certain amount of hours each week, with free hours, on projects.

I just need more deadlines looming over my head, I think.

How do you deal with multiple projects?

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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in Home

 

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Yooka-Laylee

Anyone who is a fan of Nintendo or Kickstarter games had been keeping their eyes on Yooka-Laylee, the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie from way back on the Nintendo 64 console. With Yooka-Laylee’s extraordinary success in reaching its Kickstarter funding goals in less than an hour, it’s little wonder that it’s one of the hottest video game stories out there.

With the game’s Kickstarter success, Yooka-Laylee will be heading to all major platforming consoles. Originally they had just wanted to reach PC and Mac platforms, but all the pledges allowed the game to be slated for the Wii U, Xbox One, and PS4 as well for their October 2016 launch. The developers are dedicated for the best game possible without the risk of “Kickstarter bloats.” In fact, their next pledge campaign is for a full orchestra score, something that will be a wonderful addition to the game, but not necessary for the game’s overall play value.

They may just make it. At the time of this posting, there are over 1.4 million pounds of pledges and 42k backers. While perusing the article myself, the number kept increasing every time I looked up at them.

While way-back-when, I wasn’t that much of a fan of the Banjo-Kazooie games (I know, I know, sorry — it just wasn’t my cup of tea, for whatever reason) and I never got the chance to play much of Donkey Kong 64 (although I remember the awesome theme rap), I think Yooka-Laylee looks amazing. The characters are adorable (look how happy they are at 25 seconds into the video!) and the overall visuals of the gameplay look fantastic. The video shows off some of Laylee’s flying abilities and I’m eager to see what our chameleon friend will be able to do.

Who else is looking forward (or not) to Yooka-Laylee?

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Home

 

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A Side Character’s Story

In between writing and work, Rachel and I have been playing video games. In particular, the game that we’ve been sweeping through is Paper Mario, a gem from the old Nintendo 64 era which we have on our Wii’s virtual console. Even non-gamers, I’m sure, know the Mario name. The guy’s been around since 1981 in the arcade game Donkey Kong when he was known as “Jumpman,” a year before he earned his familiar Italian moniker while playing the antagonist in his next game appearance. Being in over 200 games since then, Mario has become a well-known hero in the video game world.

The games in the Mario series are populated with all sorts of fun characters of all sorts of different species, from Mushroom Kingdom’s Toads to the colorful Yoshi dinosaurs to the shelled Koopas to the plant-like Piantas. Paper Mario is no exception, especially if one considers all of the partners and side characters that Mario helps and is helped by in the game. His partners are all helpful and have a purpose, both in and out of battle, but one of the side characters particularly amuses Rachel and me.

Kolorado and his snazzy mustache

Kolorado is a world-famous archaeologist in the console Paper Mario games. He frequently travels the world for history and treasure (much to the frustration of his wife). Mario meets him fairly early in the game at Chapter Two, and he just seems like a fun little character with a British accent. Later on in the game he actually accompanies Mario into one of the dungeons, an island volcano on the verge of erupting.

As creators, we populate our stories with so many characters to boost our antagonist’s and protagonist’s virtues, flaws, and goals. At times, promoting aspects of the main players of the story is the only purpose of the side characters. Many fall into cliche stereotypes, such as the mother hen, the dumb jock, or the brainy nerd, and are only there to push the hero (or villain) along.

Kolorado smashes through those stereotypes, proving that he’s more than just a simple side character. From his introduction into the game, the players are given a brief overview of his personality from meeting his wife, who complains about him not being home. He’s rash, always exploring, never settling down during his quests for treasure. Upon finally meeting him a little later, players find that he’s a friendly, curious sort. Even later still, he provides comic relief while courageously (or foolhardily) risking his life in an active volcano for Mario (and treasure).

Here is a character that has his own dreams to pursue rather than just being a plot device for Mario’s adventure. Here is a character whose personality is as well-rounded as a novel’s protagonist, with both virtues and flaws. Here is a character who is living his own life, even though the story’s spotlight is not on him.

Kolorado reminds us that every character, no matter how small a part they play in the novel’s overall story, has a tale of his or her own. He knows who he is, what he wants, and how to achieve his goals. Sure, he’ll help Mario if and when he is needed but, for the most part, he’s busy doing what he has to do for his life. Kolorado’s background and personality helps shape his story and his interactions with Mario which, in turn, help shape Mario’s story.

When sketching out a side character, don’t only figure out what he or she can do for your protagonist or antagonist. Figure out his or her character. What is their history? How did they get to where they are now? What made them the cheerful girl next door or the wise old man? What are your side characters’ dreams? What are they doing to achieve them when they are not interacting with the main characters? How do their goals shape them?

The main characters may be the heroes of your story, but every side character is the hero of their own.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Home

 

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New Blog

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Easter this year. My April has been very busy with work and… Yeah, basically just work. I love my job, but our staff is kind of dwindling due to other associates having school, moving, etc. Those of us who are managers are trying to pick up the slack, haha!

I also wanted to do a little shameless self-advertising. I have a new blog that I am dedicating to dogs and stories about them titled Wagging Tales. I literally just put up the first post before coming here to advertise it.

I will still attempt to update this blog, especially in regards to writing. However, if you like dogs or animals in general, you may enjoy Wagging Tales.

Happy writing everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Home

 

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