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The ramblings of a designer turned writer turned computer geek turned writer turned designer with way too much time on his hands.
FFC TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles
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FFC #74 - The plan

Posted June 16th, 2021 at 09:36 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #74

Writing is a field of unknowns. Take this entry. This could be my last entry for a good while, or I could be back in two weeks. I have no idea which.

Why could it be my last entry for a long time? Because I finally did what I've been saying I need to do off and on for a while now. I got a job. We'll see if this magically sparks my writing powers - so far they are sapped more than they have ever been.

However, getting a job isn't why I wanted to write this FFC. Throughout the later half of my writing years, I've posted various 'roadmaps to novels'. As a whole, they've been fairly inaccurate. But, because repeated evidence clearly has no effect on me, I'm going to post another one.

As I've said elsewhere, I've been nailing down the remaining issues my writing consistently has. I've noted everything I can find, and for the most part I know how to deal with all of them. It just remains...
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FFC #73 - Turning point

Posted May 29th, 2021 at 08:45 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
Updated May 30th, 2021 at 12:34 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #73

I spent a few minutes looking at the screen today, the realization washing over me that I might have just defeated my greatest writing nemesis.

Throughout my writing years, I've narrowed down my problems to a few consistent ones. Crunched intros are there, due to me trying to introduce everything at once. Undeveloped antagonists seem to be haunting my more recent stories for some reason. Stakes - an older nemesis - hems and haws on if it's still an issue. But the big one, the main thing I seem to always struggle with, is a double-header: squished content, and the inability to get a character to change.

These are two sides (plot and character) of the same coin: absent middles. On one side, you have the plot, going straight from the beginning of the story, to the midpoint, and then straight to the end. What happens in the middle? Unfortunately, the 3-act structure is a void there. It took me awhile to...
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FFC #72 - An update, and confrontations

Posted May 22nd, 2021 at 02:29 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #72

It's been a bit since my last update, and I haven't really been around much, so I wanted to let my readers know what's going on.

Not much has changed from my last FFC update. I still have some stories floating around, nothing is really taking off, and that's about it. This goes for my novels as well, to a lesser extent.

Over the last year, it's been becoming increasingly clear why this is happening. For the first five years of my writing, it was like I was unstoppable. My stories got better, I never had problems writing them like I do now, things just worked. My writing hasn't really felt that way since I wrote Red. I've detailed before that that's where everything seems to have fallen apart.

Over the last year or so, I've had to shift my thinking quite a bit. I've had to confront the fact that I need to get out and get a job and general experience like a normal person - something...
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FFC #71 - Subplots, and what's next

Posted May 1st, 2021 at 01:23 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #71

So after the somewhat dismal last FFC, I have some good news. After extensive discussion with TAF (thanks again for your input), I think I've nailed down the issue behind the absent middles in my stories, and how to fix them. All that remains now is to put my theories to the test.

Basically the solution comes down to adding subplots, so you can expect the next story to have several mini-stories going on throughout it in addition to the main plot. I have done this before with HiS, but I'll be approaching subplots from a different angle this time, so we'll see what happens.

That leaves one remaining question: what is the next story?

For a while now, I've had basically two stories sloshing around in my head. Interest wavers between them at random intervals, but neither can really seem to get off the ground. They are:
  • A sequel to Valkyrie, continuing the history of Valhalla. I've been
...
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FFC #70 - Why math is not like writing

Posted April 26th, 2021 at 09:40 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #70

I'm beginning to see why some people like math. In math the rules are absolute. The goals are plain. The obstacles are clear. There is a right way to solve every problem.

I admit to not being a mathematician. Therefore my interpretation of the field may not be entirely accurate.

Writing is like the opposite of math. Some things have rules, some do not. What rules there are must be followed, bent, or broken depending on the situation. There are usually several goals, and defining them is not easy. You also never know if you have the right goal or if you're working towards something else. The obstacles are hard to find for the same reason. If the goal is wrong, the obstacle is too. Often there are multiple obstacles. There are a multitude of right ways to solve every problem, each of which offer varying levels of success. Sometimes solutions create more problems.

It's easy to wish for...
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