Chamber of Dread


Saturday, July 25, 2009


I finished a rough outline for Project G's story. I am satisfied with it, as it looks to contain all the beats I want. It's not 100% this-is-it-no-further-revisions stuff, and I left some ambiguous spots open for future ideas, but overall I think it perfectly encapsulates the story I want to tell. Now to actually sit down and write the thing...

Monday, June 29, 2009


So anyway, it came to me: Chances are, the things I want to make that are not immediately viable (comics and television, mainly) have a slight chance of never being viable. What to do, if I still want to make them? This is where the Internet comes in.

The idea: post scripts of some sort. So, even if stuff like Project G or Project N never really get off the ground, I can still scratch the itch to have them down somewhere for people to enjoy. Plus, what if some talented or influential people come across them, and are interested? Oh, the glories of the Internet!

What's taxing me: How to write them. Posting a straight-up comic book or TV script would be simple enough. On the other hand, if they will exist purely to be read by online passers-by, it doesn't work for two ways: (1) It will seem like a desperate pitch, rather than as a story on its own, and (2) The format is not really fun to read, unless you're a buff of the particular field. Too many breaks and weird formatting.

The solution I've come up with is utilizing a sort of neutral script-style, one that can be easily translated into different formats, but works as reading material on its own. The way I imagine it, it would be a combination of stage scripting and novel-style narration. The only real problem right now is how to deal with scene shifts. It really shouldn't be that hard to work around. Chapters, maybe?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Going with Things

A buddy suggests that I should probably write something. He's probably right.

At work yesterday, I got a new idea for a series of undetermined medium that more or less continues something I was working on before. It was an interesting process: I started with a concept (someone taking part in a shotgun wedding) and then expanded upon events (someone punches out the mayor, and then takes on a hoard of angry rednecks). And now I have the basic idea of the series. It is all very silly.

One thing I decided: Project N2, the postapocalyptic semi-sequel to Project N, has changed to the point that one relying on the other is pointless. Although the connections between the two ideas (the shared setting and at least one character) remains, they are more or less considered different series now. I feel this is for the best, as while Project N remains primarily comedic, Project N2 is drifting away from anything resembling light comedy, although it still features goofy subject matter. I don't want it to go completely dramatic, that's just not going to work for me or the story, but it has its own tone now, separate from the thing it spun off from.

Speaking of Project N, I've been trying to figure it out for the last few weeks, and I still see a tonal clash. I've attempted to organize the story ideas into different 'cycles', where they can be set to fit eachother. Even so, the stories themselves range from silly light comedy, darker (and more down-to-earth) stuff, and completely out there oddities. Some story changes have also ostracized the supporting cast a bit, and since they are important (but that importance may be changed to better suit the current state of the concept) I'll try to work them into it. Aside from these difficulties, though, I am happy to see some much stronger story ideas come from the last little bit of brainstorming.

I've also have been coming much closer to making a card game that I am satisfied with. It still seems a bit convoluted, and some ideas aren't coming to me to cap off the thing, but it's progressing. Unfortunately, after reading up on another game, I've now got even more ideas, which essentially means I'm going to scrap what I was doing before to integrate this new stuff. Damn.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CoNOMdrums Part VIV The Heretic

Simple problem for Project N:

Are the elements actually working together organically, or is it just one bunch of stuff going on one side while a completely different set of stuff goes on somewhere else? Is there room for both? How do I make them work?

This is what happens when you combine two different ideas into one thing! Or, actually, what it was was me having one idea and then adding new stuff onto it to make it more interesting. Thing is, I like both the base idea and the stuff added onto it. But it seems that by focusing on the latter stuff (which is more big, entertaining, and weird), I might be pushing out the base idea (which is more character and dialogue-based). It might not be much of a problem once I am more confident that I can convey the original idea (basically, once I am confident that I know the characters' voices).

Monday, April 20, 2009


That stands for two ways I figure you can define a character: personality and pathos.
What and why, essentially. One is the surface elements of the character, the stuff the audience will generally notice and identify the character with, which includes basic stuff like likes/dislikes, habits, etc. The other is the deeper psychological aspects of the character - motivations, the emotions they feel and that inspires their personality. Although the latter can be made surface, sometimes it can remain hidden and needs to be identifed through careful examination by the audience.

We'll take the modern Punisher as an example (SORRY I'M BEING TOO LITERARY RIGHT NOW! JESUS CHRIST!). His personality is that his goal is to go out and kill criminals for revenge. His pathos is that he is a sociopath who uses revenge as justification for being a serial killer. That's not the most subtle one, but it works as a simple example.

(Alright, a more subtle example. The protagonist of the novel Flaubert's Parrot. His personality is that he is obsessed with Gustave Flaubert. His pathos is that he is a simple-minded individual who doesn't understand why things in his life go wrong, and he is constantly looking for reasoning through Flaubert's life and literature.)

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I noticed last night (adding more to my 'character encyclopedia' that a friend of mine challenged me to make, and has been really helping me figure out my characters a bit better) that I was focusing quite a bit on pathos and not as much on personality. This isn't necessarily a colossal problem, but its making me rethink things. It's pretty much the opposite of how things are usually created (what and then why, rather than my why and then what). So basically, I need to figure out more elements of the character's surface-level characterization so they actually seem three-dimensional.

I am reminded of a post made on one of the blogs I read went over some elements of the personalities of the world's three most well-known superheroes (Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man), identifying their cooking/eating habits in rather bizarre detail. It was able to combine both personality and pathos perfectly - Superman likes rich foods because he can't gain weight, Batman can't cook because he's rich and gets other people to do it for him, and Spider-Man is pathologically inclined to go for cheap/average things because he has spent a good part of is life poor. Stuff like that.

What I need to do is to give some of my characters hobbies.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

And Now A Problem

Posting here is like a special event.

For something different, I will point out a bad habit/problem in my writing that I have noticed and should fix. I will likely have a series for this; there's plenty to document.

This problem I have dubbed "Arthur Dent Syndrome". I have tendency to write stories featuring a protagonist who merely observes their new (often surreal) surroundings, have it explained to him/her, and then react sarcastically/weerily/angrily/etc. Basically, they seem to be protagonists who are acted upon rather than act (which isn't exactly like Arthur Dent, but close).

The thing is...I really hate that kind of protagonist. Or, more accurately, I don't like to see that kind of protagonist played a lot. It's one of things that bugs me about even classic Disney movies...pretty much 100% of the time, the protagonist just goes from place and place and things happen to them instead of them instigating the action. The constant "well, they made the supporting cast interesting, at least" excuse has become weaker and weaker the more I think about it. I'd prefer they get out at least one interesting main character every once in a while if they plan on sticking to the formula.

Monday, January 19, 2009


All that stuff I promised? Yeah, it was a lie.