Monday, October 31, 2005

Writer's Blocke de la Anniversaire

In another desperate attempt to boost readership, I've resorted to pseudo-French headlines designed to make you feel sophisticateur! Feel the raw genius lingering thick in the air...
Felt it? Good.
It's the final day of a festivity-laden month, and time for me to pick my butt up from the comfort of having finished a satisfying Special October Feature to deliver the Year In Review piece I promised. My, my, the things I do for y'all. Now, it would be extremely tempting here for me to rattle off a foot-long post, but you know how self-praising and delusional I always end up in those. So short and sweet'll be the order of the day.

I guess I've always been the sort of person who needs a project to tend to at all times. Heck, everyone's like that. Whether it's our wardrobe, our car, our households, or ourselves, we all need something to nurture and keep adding on to till we get that warm fuzzy feeling inside. I was having a conversation with a friend about how crazy we used to get over Utopia (an online game which requires you to log in about twice a day at least). We'd stare with unblinking eyes at the same page for almost an hour comparing how the networth of our provinces fared against others, call each other daily discussing kingdom issues, even organise MSN chat sessions devoted entirely to taking down enemies at get the idea. And don't even get me started on setting the alarm clock to go off at 4am so that we could attack an enemy province as soon as our armies returned...of course I've don't wake up at unearthly hours to blog, but it's become the new Utopia in my life.

So why "slog" (that's "story log" for you) in the first place? You might recall me mentioning in "I Interviews Myself" that the idea for Twisted Tales started from my friend Tommy talking about Dungeons and Dragons, a pencil-and-paper role-playing game where you have a game master conjuring scenarios for the rest of the players to react to. Based on their reactions, the game master would continue developing more little storylines till the mission was complete.
Take that, a realisation of the blogging medium, combined with a restless mind, and you had the catalyst for Twisted Tales.

Of course, it's difficult to get enough reader participation to make it totally D&D-like, but the odd suggestion or two is always welcome. Slogging is the perfect solution for someone like me who wants to blog all the time, but isn't exactly able to make mundane things like going for class and having dinner seem like a must-read. So simple enough; I blog when something interesting happens, I slog when nothing does!

If there's anything I've learnt, it's that writing stories like these isn't all about fun and putting down what comes to mind. True, there should be a certain degree of "feel" to it, but relying too much on such spontaneity produces something fit only for a good laugh with friends. Real entertaining storylines, which is the first requirement for stories when you dissect it, need proper planning with a set opening, middle and ending in mind.

So's been a wonderful year of learning stuff like that and so much more. The high times - like the first month when "Blogspot" was flowing freely and the visitors were pouring in - were real high indeed while the lows - Ghostopia's premature ending, boo hoo hoo - still had silver linings to be found, and through it all the rush of discovering a new unexpected tag on the chatterbox has always been the biggest motivation. Yups, that's my cue to thank all of you who've ever dropped by or given a shoutout! It makes all the difference, really.

What then, should I hope to do in the next 365 days for Twisted Tales' sake? For starters, re-write Ghostopia and get it posted up here...I'd hoped to kill two birds by writing it for that NaNoWriMo thingy (National Novel Writing Month), but November's too much of a killer. Probably December, January, or February's better. Should also stop being so overly careful in my writing, which is what's making me spend so much time blogging anyway. And yadda yadda yadda...may I continue to reach out and touch the hearts of millions around the world with my continually-improving stories and poems...unroll your eyes, you.

That's it. I've said all I wanted to say. Yeah! Everyone, dim the lights, light the candles, and bring out the cake! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TWISTED TALES!


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