Thursday, January 22, 2009

Burning Update Experience II: The Return

It's that time again, the second ever Burning Zeppelin Update, where I own up to how I've been a bad, bad blogger.

Actually, I think you all probably already know how I've been a bad blogger - you were all here last week when I barely posted and my analytics numbers bombed. So really, have I been a good writer this past month, or not?

Honestly, I've been kind of crap.

So far, my personal fiction writing has largely fallen by the wayside. With my unemployment looming large, I'm just plain old stressed, and stress is not good for my creativity. My gaming with the Abigail has picked up, though. We're having a lot of fun with Mage: the Awakening, though we'll soon be revisiting one of our old Exalted characters. I'll write more on our play experiences and what gaming and writing issues they illustrate later.

On the other hand, I have a new project I'm not quite ready to talk about that looks like it will be a lot of fun (hint hint). I'll let you know more when I feel like it.

I also have another project that I couldn't tell you about until recently. However, now that the contract is safely in the hands of the United States Postal Service, I'll reveal all. White Wolf has hired me a second time!

You know what's even more awesome than getting paid for writing? When the people paying you like you well enough to pay you again. In fact, when they like you well enough that they seek you (well, me) out and ask you to write for them. That is made of solid awesome.

Of course, I can't tell you anything about the project - just like I can't tell you anything about the last project - but I'll do my best to tell you what I can, to let you walk through this freelancing process with me from (nearly) the start to the finish.

Starting now.

* * *

First of all, basic stats. On my last contract - my first - I had three months to write 6,000 words. This time I have one month to write 19,000 words. While White Wolf's faith in me is heartening, I won't pretend that the difference - three times the words! One third the time! Nine times the panic! - isn't intimidating, because it is.

My second challenge with this contract is that it's putting me far outside my traditional comfort zone. The last time I wrote for White Wolf I was creating game material. You know, dudes, places, and things of interest; plug-and-play stuff you can just as easily base an entire chronicle around as a single session. This time, however, I am writing something completely different. This time, A significant portion of my stuff is a lot more abstract: how to do this and how to do that. While I know I can write compelling concrete game material - I'm an experienced Storyteller, Game Master, hell, even Dungeon Master... I've had pretty much every title except Hollyhock God, so I write concrete game material all the time - I've never written abstract game material before. This is a new experience for me, and new experiences are always intimidating.

And exciting.

This time, to my surprise, I started off by creating a detailed outline. I wrote my outline, I looked at it long and hard, and then I started writing. So far, I'm surprised at how easily the words are coming - I'm at nearly 3k already - and my fears are evaporating. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I'm much less worried than I was when I started. Intimidation is gradually giving way to pure excitement.

Before I go, I have one last thing to crow about. Fiction! My latest White Wolf contract includes a chapter fiction! Huzzah!

While this isn't quite as exciting as the mere fact of my getting the contract in the first place, it is pretty exciting. I know it's freelance work, so the fiction won't really belong to me, but it's still great. A (very short) story that I wrote is going to be in a real live book. It doesn't get better than that. Or rather, it does, but it starts with this.

* * *

One last note before I go: Saturday is my birthday. I'll be 26 years old. For simplicity's sake, I'm declaring the Burning Zeppelin Experience and I to share a birthday. Maybe one day I'll have a burning zeppelin-shaped cake?

Instructions for the Abigail: should you ever decide to do that, be sure to parse that sentence very carefully. That's burning-zeppelin-shaped cake. Not burning, zeppelin-shaped cake.

4 comments:

competitiverpgs said...

I'm asking this, and asking this seriously, because I think it is an interesting question.

What is a dead book?

Albert said...

What if it was some variety of cake that is designed to be on fire? Something flambé, maybe.

Scattercat said...

Frankly, pretty much everything is better on fire.

Mark said...

@competitiverpgs

What is a dead book? That is a good question. Like a dead language, one that no longer grows in the minds of its readers? It's contextual language so divorced from that of its audience that while they can percieve it, they can no longer permit it to live in them.

@Albert, Scattercat

Ok, you win. A zeppelin-shaped flambe as a birthday cake would be fuckin' awesome.