22.12.11

What should I call it?...

I know the tittle its the last thing you do when you're writing a novel. But I have been thinking long and hard about my title and I'm always afraid of screwing up the whole tittle idea.

Finally I admitted to some tittle propositions:

- The Sign of the Wheel
- Bishops
- The elephants are so quite


All of them seem terrible, but to my defence, the book its about a whole religion created around the idea of the sign of the wheel, there are bishops, lots of them, and there are elephants, sort of important ones.


30.11.11

Penny Arcade: The Series

Have you guys seen PA The Series?

I've been watching it, since beginning of season1, and its awesome!

I've been an huge fan of Penny Arcade for the past years, and their involvement in the D&D Pod casts just cemented my feelings for them.

This series its not only very funny, obviously, but its also incredibly smart and well done.
The crew that did season 1 its amazing and to look into these peoples lives and thoughts has an unbelievable value.

Its intelligent, funny, touching, and actually very educational into their work ethics and methods, and honestly, into life.

I'll just leave this here:

http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/the-season-finale (don't want to embed, their site its part of their strategy so...)

If you watch it and don't feel a little teary, or at least a little bit moved by it. Then fuck you. Yeah fuck you web person... You're failing at life.


22.11.11

Coudln't write shit today...

Terrible productivity today.

I had to create a little routine to get some writing done, so I arranged 3 times to write during the day.
Before coming to work, about 30 minutes
During lunch time, about 40 minutes
And after work/school, which ranges from 2 hours to about 15 minutes.

Today, I didn't write shit in the morning.
I didn't write shit during lunch time.
And since I have class until 23h I guess I won't be writing late at night either.

I couldn't write. I stared at what I had written yesterday and just couldn't move on.
Its not a plot-line problem, I know exactly what happens next. Its a known fact that if you free-flow you'll be more prone to blanks and freezes, but in this case the plot for the next entire chapter its pretty laid down and I just have to bring the rough ideas to life with details and entanglement.
Couldn't do it.

Dunno why.

21.11.11

Ode to Cara Mia

Anyone else feels a little too emotional with Cara Mia.

Not in the moment, cause when you're there, you're in awe. You're swearing your first born to Valve's command. You're in pure gratitude for the piece of genius you were allowed to share, and in anger for it has come to an end. (and we all know deep down, that for as much as we would love to, Valve does NOT count to 3 do they?)

I mean, a few months after actually finishing the game. A few months after you felt all that, and you downloaded the Portal Soundtrack Volume 3 and get it rolling on your mp3 player, and its late at night, you've been deep in work and tougth for a while.
And then Cara Mia comes in.

Don't you just feel a little too emotional.

Nice. Very Nice.

And what about the use of opera on video games soundtracks. When the video game demands it, and the sound crew has the skills for it, I think its a freaking beautiful thing.

16.11.11

The good guys and the bad guys

I don't know if I have either one and I'm actually sort of worried about that.

I have characters, who I try to describe as plausible and realistic as possible. And even though when I started this I had a perfect idea of who the good guys and the bad guys were, right now, I don't think its that simple.

And I don't know if that's an issue either.

Since the begining of the project, when I had to decide my target demographic, I opted out YA and Children. Even though I'm writing fantasy, I had a very noble but deeply foolish ideal of contribution for the positioning of high-fantasy in the adult world, not just in the sense of an hobbieist fetish, but in the broader sense of literature. With its philosofic and introspective notions.

Of course I'm probably being childish and conceitad, to think that I can change the place fantasy has earned in this few late years and break it with the big boys like Lovercraft, Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen, who very much proved that high-fantasy can, if intelegently designed, be a very serious business.

But never the less, here I am, trying to write a good adult HF novel. And the particularity of mature literature(Mature is not only a sexual sinonym, trusth me) is that it doesn't spell it out to the audience. It doesn't have to play with easly identifiable stereotypes so that his audience feel more compelede to empathise with the characters.

This is a very touchy subgect, since it seams like I'm describing young adults as simple minded. That's not what I mean at all. And I have to explain this before I get my first hate mail.

What I mean with «Young Adult Novels», its more of a theme, a brand, a method, than the actual readers. YA novels are known for having a very similar structure and very proven rules and recipies. Children read them and adults read them too, but they are called Young Adult Novels.

So I kinda put them into a method, not a demographic.

I was doing the same with my description of my project, I don't want it to obey those rules and recipies, I wanted it to be a mature, challenging and rule bending book.

And the first rule to do that, its by giving characters personality, ideas and actions that go way behond the abstract notions of good and evil.

I have a lot of questions about this:
Will it work?
Do I have what it takes to make it good?
Have I any idea of what I'm getting into?

Hope so, cause all of my characters, they are nothing but people..... and monsters..... and there's a thing that is made of wood, don't know if that counts..... I'm gonna shut up now.



11.11.11

Not so Off topic

I know it seams off topic, but honestly, it is not. Hope I can transform my words into at least a 1/10 of what Charlie said in this text.

This is the original version and I have a little something I always think after hearing this.

I would love to be smart enough to understand what really makes my brain electrify and jolt and my whole body tremble when I hear this kind of speech.

The message and the delivery its beautiful and full of hope, and maybe we are programed but still not well prepared to answer to those things. Goosebumps are actually a primal answer to fear and/or rage, like cats to put their back hair up when attacked or attacking. Since this gives me goosebumps, maybe I'm afraid of indulging such beautiful thoughts. Or I'm enraged by how far we are of this kind of reason.

Now the goosebumpnaiter.



10.11.11

Publishing in the new era

Evil Evil Pirats
Ok I never posted about video games before, but its one of the themes for this blog so you should be expecting it.

There is a few things I love in the game industry. Game design, Interactive Narrative and Production are my big passions.

And let me tell you, I must be missing something really big cause I can't understand publishers like SEGA and such. It has been almost 20 years. 20 fucking years and you still haven't really noticed that it won't work out?

I'm talking about security measures. Investing in security measures its like investing in origami.
Looks like you did a lot, and your audience (stakeholders) get all happy about the new paper crane, but in the end its completely useless! Unless you want to orchestrate a bunch of crimes in a rainy town. Ok it was a poor analogy.

I'll present my case with case studies.

Football Manager XXXX, The Sims 3 and Spore are amazing examples.

These games are amongst the most downloaded games in the history of the interwebs. And the producers looked at this and thought to themselves:

"SECURE ROM IT! STEAM VALIDATE IT! CONCEAL EVERY COPY IN A SAFE!"

No... no... you're investing in security? Really? cause... it will be cracked... in a week... by kids... who live in basements... for fun...

So, lets check this out.

You invest what? At least 10k of your budget(and I say "at least 10k" cause I'm a nice guy) in a team of engineers so they can come up with the best way EVER to stop those evil evil pirates.

And Riot launches a free game that makes that amount of money, in a week.

Seams to me, you suck at your job.

Your producing skills, are lame, old fashioned and plain wrong for this day and age.

Actually, they were wrong 20 years ago! Gamers were copying games with floppy disks back then, and you guys had codes in the back of the manuals... that was genius! Cause no one could print a copy of the manual! No one! It was impossible! right?...

I have nothing against security engineers, but they should be working with banks and governments, not in games! Not that games aren't important, its just that we have to face the reality, protecting games its a lost battle!

Skidrow and reloaded are just 2 of the crews that can crack your well engineered game in about a week, on their spare time. Its ridiculous and again, you're only penalising the actual buyer.

Now I shouldn't be giving this sort of advice for free since you all believe that every time someone even smells your BlueRays they should be paying you. But like the middle informed person that I am, I know that sharing knowledge its actually a trait of successful people. So here it goes.

Your business model is broken, and is broken because you think you're selling a grocery product, an hardware product. You haven't really understood what software is and how the internet helps you capitalise on it.

Football Manager XXXX its a yearly title, and that's fine and dandy in a country like america, uk and maybe france and germany and italy. But be serious, you think a person in a country like my own, Portugal, or Lithuania or Poland can actually afford to buy a new Football Manager every year? Every freaking year? And that's the only way of updating your database, by buying a new game every year!
55€ in a country where the minimum wage its very popular and very low, at 475€, its a huge investment. Its about 15% of your month's income.

Now according to you SEGA genius, who already lost the console race and are trying really hard to be Atari's new best friend in the "we were once the big ones but now we're broke has fuck" club, we in countries like Portugal(and I'm not even going to the South America or African countries cause there its just ridiculous) should not be allowed to own the game if we can't afford it.

Well there's were your grocery shop mentality comes in and fucks everything up.

Software its not a closed product, by definition. Its a living thing that can be better used as a door for a myriad of services offered for a relative accessible price! Mapple Story and Riot's League of Legends are amazing examples of video game production well done. But I digress, if its not a finalised product and what you're actually selling its the license to use the current product and to access all of its updates, you have to wake up to a very simple truth about mankind.

We don't get licenses. We don't get it, and we don't really care about it, unless we depend on them to make a living. We don't understand why can't I just use the fucking product if it is there, and I'm not actually stealing it from someone's pocket.

So you have to go the other way around. You have to make people understand that they are not paying for the sole amazing experience of buying a piece of bits, they are actually paying for small favors from your development team, your research teams and your design teams. Tittles like Skyrim will sell millions because it has a huge value and people understand they are buying the artwork of the programmers, designers and writers. They launch the game and they feel they have just been granted a year's license to the country of awesomenessyness in which everything is glittering and dragon-fighting-power-blasting-story-driven deliciousness.


You have an amazing product called Football Manager, and you could actually make a lot more money if you embraced that Football Manager has not enough value to be launched every year!
Instead of that, you should be giving it for free, and then capitalizing on add-ons! Like new leagues, new stadiums, database updates. And if each of these new things were priced around 5€ to 15€, you would have tripled your customer base with the use of a smaller team.

Bah well you're the ones getting the big bucks, you should know better. Bottom line, STOP USING PRODUCTION BUDGET TO DELIVER ANTI-PIRACY TOOLS THAT ONLY PUNISH THE BUYING CLIENT.

Use that money to develop a smarted and more compelling game and to architect a new business model.

Fuck, it has been 20 years and you guys still do the same mistakes!

Just a disclaimer, I have nothing against SEGA, I actually love SEGA, it was my favorite game company when I was a kid. I was a Sega Club member, and I owned every Sega console that my parents could afford. It actually saddens me to see Sega do this. Sega is nothing but an example and I could be talking about EA or Activision or the worst of them all, Ubisoft. those guys are mental about copy protection.

Action!

Just wrote an amazing action scene. Involved a grey giant called Nucla(for now) and a little boy, a dragon and a small man.

Yeah sounds like a circus act, but it ended up beeing a pretty awesome chase.

It must be painful to read though, since action scenes for me are very fast paced, even in my mind and I usual just blurt it out so I can keep it up with my imagination.

Its fun, but a pain to edit.

3.11.11

Cunning plan

The worst part about writing characters who are smarter then you, its... well.. just that. They are smarter then you.

Right now Núbiel has devised a cunning plan (apply Baldrick's voice at own risk) to prove his new servent's loyalty, or better, to make it not a problem anymore.

But I'm terrified that my plan its actually pretty dumb and a kid would see trought it. I know the golden rule "write about what you know" and I know a lot about middel age politics, clergy, fantasy and magic, so I wrote about that. But I can't really write an whole fantasy book full of dull minded individuals.

Lets see how his plan plays out.

28.10.11

Scene - The fools deal


-- // --

- Don't you want to play with me anymore?
- No, I'm tired.
- That's unfair, we just started.
- But I'm tired.
- All right, don't worry. But you have to get used to play a little bit longer. For instance, in a little while, before the sun rises, we'll have to focus on that little block there and push it, yes?
- But that's not playing at all.
- You're right, it isn't.
- Yeah, it isn't. Are you trying to fool me?
- No, of course not Talín, you silly boy. I would never try to fool such a smart little boy.
- Are you buttering me?
- Where did you learn that word?
- I don't know, are you?
- Do you know what that means?
- Its when you say good things about someone just so they do what you want.
- Close enough. - Silence - Yes Talín, I'm buttering you up.
- All right, I'll push the stone.
- Thank you.

-- // --

This is an whole scene and the original is in my native thong. Portuguese.

To my audience

This tittle is funny because it could have 2 meanings.

First meaning being, I have about 2 readers, and one of them is my wife. So I'm taking the internets by assault like a poorly designed biologic weapon.

Second and true meaning; My book is divided in about tree great themes.
The action; the fights, the mages, the dragons, the terror.
The politics; the morals, the ethics, the analogy to our own world.
The relationships.

All of them are pretty usual for a High Fantasy novel. (did I mention it was High Fantasy? I think I did) I'm not trying to go Literary Nobel here, and I don't delude myself with the idea that I'm touching some issues or approaching some angles that haven't been approached before by better writers.

But every inch of those themes are a little bit of me. My choreographies, my political views and worries, and my deep feelings brought to life by the relationships between my characters. And I must say the last is the one I'm having more fun with.

Of course the fights are always fun to deal with, but that's a very small endorphin injection. I have fun writing the scenes itself. But when it ends, I just feel I could have a snack and move on with life. Like a good orgasm.

But the relationships. That's something that is present in every page, in every thought.

One of my favorites is about one very twisted man, and a kid. The kid's Talin and the man, well... the man I can't really say who he is....

The beauty about this is that I can actually feel things I never had to feel in real life, and I can see how other people would deal with those feelings.

I've read a lot of times that characters tend to come to life and take over them selfs in the story.
Never believed it.
Always thought that was hyper-sensible bullshit.

Now Núbiel has me by the balls and Karlín is making me dance to his tune at arrow point.

27.10.11

The blank page dread

Oooooooh the blank page dread.

A new chapter, the cursor blinking mockingly at the end of the first line "Chapter V - ". I don't even have a name for it, and I shouldn't! I don't need one to keep writing the story! But it seams like it will force me to pick one. But I won't, I'll return and try to start the story, again.

But there it is. The blank page. Indifferent, silenced, judgemental. Every word I put down on such a candid sheet will look like a smudge. There's no context to hide it, no stream to carry it.

The dreaded blank page.

AND...scene...

Finally finished chapter IV.

I'm not keeping any rule for chapters or anything, I just kind of feel when a mini aristotelic narrative starts, develops and ends, and when that happens I tend to wrap up the chapter.

Before starting writing I searched the internets to see if there were rules for chapters, since I never really noticed any rule in the books I read. Turns out there isn't one, there are books that have chapters with nothing but numbers (Coupland) and that's a chapter for them.

Now I'm actually going to abandon two major characters for what must be an whole chapter. Everything that's going to happen in the 5th will be around 5 characters.

Núbiel, Talin, Nucla, Laurent and ... well... It doesn't really have a name yet, I guess I'll only know it's name when it presentes itself.

26.10.11

I think I like the wrong person

As you brilliant people might have figured out by now, this will be a journal of my work on my very first novel.

But there must be some things you clever chaps don't know yet. If you do know everything, stop me now.

If you're but a simple mortal like so many others, you might be in the "I don't think I know shit" category. And let me tell you, that's an amazing sparkly-pony-riding category.

So let me introduce you guys to what's coming.
I'll try to post everyday, and I'll try to write everyday. But! For many's astonishment, I do have a day job(for surviving and game paraphernalia purposes), and a very time consuming one. And right now I'm actually a student by night too.

So yeah I looked around and tougth to myself "best time ever to start a blog and write a book".

All points to an epic fail on all accounts, but I'll try anyway.

About what really brought your twinkly screen glared eyes down this aisle;

I just had a very interesting encounter in the story. (doesn't have a name yet, if you guys have any suggestions go ahead and comment about it) The main characters encountered the main antagonist after a very eventful and daring escape.

You guessed, the antagonist got to them. His name's Núbiel by the way (I guess in English that reads «Nu-b-elle») and this antagonist guy is actually one of my favorite characters in the whole story. He is very twisted, full of inner conflicts and packed with very natural layers. The Karlín character and he's friend also have a few layers but Núbiel; that little bastard just writes himself!

How do I deal with this fact, that the antagonist is actually a better character then the heroes? Well from the books I've read and the writing articles I stumbled upon, that's pretty common, but I'd be delighted if I could hear your take on this.

25.10.11

I haven't really worked it out yet

I haven't really decided if he's going to live or die yet, but things aren't looking good. He's in the middle of nowhere facing his antagonist.
Should I call him that? Its complicated really. This things always are.

Of course I'm not going to tell you guys my final decision. Its too big of a plot point to actually give it out in some random blog post.(Karlín lives)

He's name's Karlín by the way. Remember that name, he's going to have a epic death, or a epic life... maybe both? Did I mention there's some sort of zombies in it?

And at least one kind of werewolf. Not really a werewolf, a lycantrophe of sorts.

There's no vampires though. *queue for gasp*
Yeah I know, there goes the hollywood mansion and the yatch, but oh well, I still belive that the integrity of the story shouldn't be compromised by the pressures of the market.

Old fashioned and poor little me.

I have a few ideas about how I'm going to run this show(now I mean the blog) and I'll implement them through the next weeks, lets see if I get my viewers up or down.

24.10.11

I could just let him die you know?

This blog was actually created to rant about video games and talk about my writing.
Nothing special or differentiating from the rest of the crap around the Internets.

Just hope that during the course of all this I learn something with the hate comments, the trolls and the hate mail.

Onward to the post!


I'm writing a fantasy novel (crap) and by now my worst problem is this; I had one of my MC - that means "main character", for those of you who're not amazing writers like myself - in a terrible fight with a huge dog and it made all the sense in the world to, well, let him die in the paws of the beast!

Lets face it, he's a wimp, and in my opinion, a very boring know it all type. And wimps, when faced by 30 cm razor sharp claws, tend to die a little.

Now I went on the internet forums, asked my best adviser (the wife) and thougth about it long and hard, and since this was the very beginning of the story I said to myself -

"No, he shall live. I shall redeem upon him an other chance on life, for he shall make for his mistakes so far!"

One feels kinda powerful when one lets someone live. Even if that someone only exists in one's mind.

But now, a few pages later (I'm really slowing down on this writing business, have some ideas on the why though), he's still very ill from the fight and maybe, just maybe, he won't make it through after all.

I think I'm actually going to kill this boring ass mofo. Just hope the bloody story can survive without one of the MC.

first post

First post.

Lets see how long I'll be able to keep this up.