Bottom of the Deck – 15/08/11

botdcardGood evening everypeoples, Tuesday night again, and time for me to talk about stuff that’s been happening… even when nothing is happening.

We’ve just come out of a long weekend, which is a phenomenon that I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with. On the one hand, it’s three days off, uninterrupted and relaxing to allow one to get their head clear. On the other hand, it’s also a convenient excuse to get nothing done. It’s something that I’ve always been very guilty of, but for all my intentions to use this kind of free time to be productive, I tend to fall back on procrastination. Obviously, if a deadline is looming and I have no time to waste, then I will work my ass off to get my work done, but if there’s no immediate hurry, then I get lazy. This is especially a problem when I’ve had a busy week (which is every week, near enough) and my brain is a convoluted mess that keeps firing off random ideas even though I’m exhausted and trying to sleep; I use my down-time to slow my brain down so that it’ll give me peace and quiet. In the process of trying to make my brain shut up, I lose track of time and miss out on getting work done. I’m not proud of it, consider this a confession of sorts, though if you know me well enough already then this is old news.

However, as a storyteller (even a mostly-unrecognised one), a lot of my personal distractions tend to involve some kind of story-building element. If I’m reading something, it’ll likely be an article on character development or defining how effectively a plot twist can work in certain situations. If I’m playing something, it’ll usually be a game with a good plot, or at least have a situation that I can project my own personal idea for a plot onto; have you ever stopped to think just what the story is behind the randomly named and generated special ops sniper you just sent to blow an alien’s head off? Or if I’m watching something, it’ll be a show (or more likely, a cartoon) with characters that I can easily identify and follow; I’ve been watching a lot of teen comedy anime lately, and I wish my high school days had been half as hilarious as some of these…

One particular thing I often find myself turning on to kill time, is a panel done by one of my favourite webcomic writers, Micheal “Mookie” Terraciano. The creator of Dominic Deegan and writer of Star Power, he has done a panel on the convention circuit called Writing Unique Heroes and Memorable Villains. Mookie describes it as not being a be-all and end-all way to write characters, but he does provide some very insightful thoughts into how we as creators can craft stories that we as readers find meaningful to us. There are a couple of recordings of this panel on YouTube, the most complete and comprehensive one being here; I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make their writing a little more quirky and interesting.

That’s all for this week, maybe by the next one I’ll have actually done something.

Ciao for now.

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