Archive for November, 2009

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NaNoWriMo Day 30

November 30, 2009

Being the last day of NaNoWriMo, I figured I’d give a recap of the month for me.

I began with an idea that had been cooking in my head for the better part of a year, inspired by (specifically) the pants of SOLDIER grunts and (more generally) the style of Midgar in Final Fantasy VII, as well as pirate lore and history.

I got off to a good start by beginning with an unplanned section of the story, which occurs about midway through the plot. Other than an extensive and mostly unnecessary (not to mention probably inaccurate) surgery sequence, this first chapter went well.

The second chapter swung back to the start of the plot and introduced the main character, Daniel, and put the narration in his hands. This seemed to work well up until the point where he began to speak with other characters and his narrative voice and speaking voice were completely different. I thought I could deal with this as the story was being told by the Daniel of the future, so I could allow him to grow into the narrative voice more.

I then began introducing some unplanned characters. They were Gregor and Rudy. They seemed to work well, although Rudy was a little one-dimensional, but I figured he needed time to get more depth, which would evolve through jealousy in the first half of the book. The other main character I introduced was the captain, John, who, rather than being the clever, manipulating and ambitious captain I wanted him to be, instead became an indifferent ass with no regard for life at all who was a bit of a gambler. To be completely honest, other than that gambling thing he was basically an author avatar who just happened to also be a pirate.

=D

Most of the problems with the plot were my exceedingly strict planning and overly high expectations.

I then tried to begin another story with superheroes, which I thought was interesting, but got distracted by video games so uh, that didn’t happen.

However, both of these stories are something I will come back to. Blackjack (the first story) will probably need a complete reset, and Patchwork (superhero one) will need the plans I’ve done stripped down to allow more freedom.

Next year, I will attempt NaNoWriMo again. I’m also going to go into it with no plans, no ideas, no expectations, no anything except a keyboard and a vocabulary (and arguably creativity and talent…very arguably :/).

also probably no fucking hope.

Whatever.

See you next year, NaNoWriMo.

-Vyperchild

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AMON AMARTH

November 27, 2009

Went to an Amon Amarth concert in Melbourne tonight. And, as expected, they were fucking great.

The first support act was a local melodic death metal band called Orpheus. They were okay, I liked them, but I couldn’t really tell if the keyboardist was actually doing anything or not. And the bass player spent most of the time either just playing open strings or adjusting his strap and not playing at all.

The second support was Eye of the Enemy, who were much better. The lead guitarist was impressive and the band was all around quite good. Other than the bass player, who was great the whole time, the band took a little while to really have stage presence. Their last song, which they hadn’t intended to play but were asked to stay on for one more, was my favourite. I believe it was called Facade, but I might be wrong.

That brings me to Amon Amarth, who have been here to Australia once before, but I wasn’t able to go. They opened with the title track from their latest album, Twilight of the Thunder God. Other songs they played from the album were Varyags of Miklagaard, Guardians of Asgaard, Free Will Sacrifice, Live for the Kill and Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags. They alternated these songs with some of their earlier songs, such as Valkyrie’s Ride, Bleed for Ancient Gods, Runes to my Memory, Asator, Gods of War Arise, Where Silent Gods Stand Guard and Death in Fire. They also did an encore with Cry of the Blackbirds and Pursuit of Vikings.

My favourite performances were probably Twilight of the Thunder God, Death in Fire and Cry of the Black Birds.

As I’ve said, they were great and I hope they’ll be back here in Melbourne soon.

Concerts I’m looking forward to: Cynic, Ensiferum and maybe Dark Funeral, all in January.

-Vyperchild, metalhead

** The merchandise was so expensive though. I probably would have gotten some cds if I hadn’t seen the price on the shirts and stuff. Things I’ve seen online for $20 being sold for $45. Too much of a jump for me. **

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Night/Day Watch Film Reviews

November 19, 2009

Seeing as I’ve reviewed most of the novels here previously and I recently purchased the movies, I thought I’d review them as well.

Because of the structure of the novels, each having three individual stories which flow into one another, the movies are slightly strange. The Night Watch movie is based on the first story of the Night Watch novel, but has elements from other portions of the series, such as the witch from the first story of Day Watch who uses dark magic to abort babies and things. The Day watch movie is based on the second (might have been the third, can’t remember to be honest) story of Night Watch, but is changed greatly because of the happenings in the Night Watch film.

The biggest change the movies made was uh

SPOILERS

The biggest change the movies made was making Egor Anton’s son. This obviously leads to problems with following the way the books pan out, and so the story departs more and more from the novels.

Most of the changes are unnecessary, but they do work okay within the movies. For example, Anton being the cause of Egor turning to the dark is made more personal by Egor being his child.

Speaking of the end of the films, they’re both a little weird. The first movie ends very abruptly, with Anton attacking Zabulon for manipulating Egor and then suddenly cutting to the credits. The second ends with the Chalk of Destiny invalidating the plot of both movies, by changing the very beginning of the first movie, even though the Chalk was used in the book to change/remove the alignment of characters, not time travel.

Other than that there isn’t much to say. The movies are okay, with some slight problems due to differences between the dub and the novel translations (the Twilight is called the ‘Gloom’ in the movies) and some weird things like Zabulon’s video game showing his plans.

Oh and the script writer randomly decided to put certain characters like Bear and Tiger Cub in relationships. Not sure why.

In conclusion, I recommend the movies to anyone who liked the books, but keep an open mind. If you haven’t read the books then the movies will be incredibly confusing.

-Vyperchild

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NaNoWriMo Day 14

November 14, 2009

PROBLEM AVERTED?

Nup.

Blackjack’s gone to crap. I can’t write dialogue, and my characterizations are all wrong. The main character is pretty much two different people, the first-person voice is completely different to when he’s actually speaking to someone. The captain is meant to be a highly ambitious, clever, would-be world ruler, but is instead an indifferent gambler with no motives. The only character that’s how he should be is the one-dimensional sadist Rudy who kills stray cats for fun, and was a character I came up with without any plans to include him.

I haven’t written in nearly a week. The plot is stagnant and slow and wrong.

So I’m going to scrap all of Blackjack. I’ll eventually come back to it at a later stage, starting from scratch, but it’s not working for NaNoWriMo.

You may ask then, what the hell is going to happen with my NaNoWriMo?

Go on. Ask.

Good dog.

The answer is that I have enough free time at the moment that I should be able to not only write 50,000 words in 30 days, but I believe I can try in 16 days.

So although it’s kind of against the rules, the spirit of NaNoWriMo is to test yourself and your writing abilities, so if I’m cheating, I’m only really cheating myself.

Therefore, I’m starting again, with a new story, and less convoluted plot. And less planning.

And I’m trying so very hard to keep my expectations low.

But I’m excited about my story.

Because superheroes.

Nuff said.

-Vyperchild, revitalised author

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NaNoWriMo Day 10

November 10, 2009

Okay. Last time I said I wanted to have some positive stuff to say here.

SO THIS IS A MASSIVE LETDOWN.

I’ve pretty much done nothing. I wanted to enter this week being about a day above the average. Instead, I’m three or four days behind, and have grinded to a standstill.

Nothing’s working out how it should be. The novel’s pacing is way too slow, and all the plot I’m working towards is too condensed. While the first half of the novel was meant to be about the main character, Daniel, integrating with Captain Derrith’s crew as Derrith’s plans begin to unfold, and the rest of the novel being the aftermath of those plans, there just isn’t enough worth putting in the first half, and too much to put in the second.

So I’m reconsidering how it’s happening. I’m going to us my non-linear story telling as a way of skipping large amounts of Daniel’s mostly unnecessary and boring ‘training period’, and cut straight to the unfolding of Derrith’s plans. Might be a bit of a cop-out, I’ll see how it goes.

Some of the characters that I’ll be investing some time in are Ghast, who I mentioned last time, who really likes killing people in highly theatrical ways, Turner Braide, who is the captain of what is essentially a turtle submarine fortress (huh?), Orvall Saint, who so far is just a name and a crew position, and Satoshi ‘Japanese-esque surname’, who leads some sea-faring Yakuza.

The problem is that I need to introduce many characters before I skip to the second half of the plot, but can’t

OH

OH WAIT

nevermind. I can do that. EVERYTHING IS FINE.

Okay, situation is: I need to introduce some of these characters before I skip to the second half of the plot. Then everything will be back on track.

PROBLEM AVERTED.

Now, as long as I can be motivated to catch up, I should be well on my way to correcting the slowness of the plot so far.

-Vyperchild, struggling author

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NaNoWriMo Day 7

November 7, 2009

I’m disappointed with my efforts so far. Not because it’s bad, it’s actually okay I think and the change of narrator voice has made it more entertaining, but I haven’t written as much as I had wanted to.

The goal by day 7 was 11669 words. I’m currently sitting at 8902. And now Dexter’s starting so I won’t do anything till tomorrow. So I’ve got a bit of catching up to do on Day 8 :/

However, not all is bad news. I’ve introduced some interesting characters and am ready to continue from where the first chapter left off (it’s five years after the second and third). There are even more interesting characters to introduce, many of them somewhat absurd, but I’m getting to that.

I think I’ll leave you with a quote today. Something I was quite proud of when I first wrote it. You might not think it’s that great. I don’t care. Whatever.

”The drivers were the lucky people, the ones who, even in Tamand, managed to live a regular civilian lifestyle. Or they were carjackers. Hard to tell really.”

That’s it for today. Hopefully next update, which should be in two or three days, is a bit more positive. It should be, because a few important characters, namely Executioner-Captain Ghast, will be getting introduced soon. And he’s going to be FUN.

-Vyperchild, author

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With the mouths and the talking and the EVIL

November 5, 2009

Unspeakable Evil, which I am a member of, has begun Speakable Evil. So head over here and check out the first podcast.

-Vyperchild

** NaNoWriMo update: currently lagging behind a bit on yesterday’s writing. Will bring a proper update and perhaps an excerpt on either the 7th or the 8th **