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A Return to Old Haunts

I know the holidays have come and gone because I've eaten like a king the last few days. Guests arrived, and we went out as guests, and it was all delightful.

That's all done, now. I'm juggling projects for Paizo, Hasbro, and the New Company.

With four projects underway, I need to have two done by the New Year and hope to generate considerable momentum for the other two. The deadlines are January, January, January, and March-ish. Guess which one gets the most love?

Since I need to make time, I turn up my favorite tunes louder than I should and crank through text. So far, it's 8,000 words this week. I'll need at least that much again by Friday.

As part of the process, I've been revisiting bits of the D&D multiverse from the Planescape days, bits from 1E Fiend Folio, bits from the Book of Roguish Luck, various books from Vile Darkness to character guides. It's all coming together, and the crunchy stat-heavy monster blocks, prestige classes (just 3), and urban campaign mechanics are a quick way to generate a foundation for the harder bits to come. The more complex area descriptions and plot points will have to wait a bit.

But it's odd: Hasbro is asking for something very different than the New Company. Hasbro gave me a concept: "We're thinking about Villain A and Villain B. Maybe a plot like this. What can you do with that?" Well, my first reaction was, "That's been done." And my second reaction was, "I can top that!" I've been drawn into the writing time after time, adding creative flourishes, double-checking stats and references, upgrading prior material, working in fun bits for the fans who have seen prior versions of these bad guys. I'm going all out, and I keep getting drawn back into the project, excited to hit the next chunk of work and make it shine.

By contrast, the NC handed me a 27-page outline (for a project that's not even 30K long!). The entire job is to color between the lines; attempts to inject color or personality are discouraged. Writing this thing is agonizing work, I hate it, and I want it over and done. I will work hard to make it good, but the outline means I can't pursue any interesting tangents. It feels like sprinting in a straightjacket.

The Paizo stuff is somewhere in the middle. I'm working on one query for my own material, and one article that's working in someone else's sandbox. Pleasant breaks from the outline from Hell.

As diversions from all this, I've been reading The Green Man and The Faery Reel (Amazon) anthologies, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. These are terrific collections.

Comments

( 8 sutras — Your wisdom )
varianor
Dec. 28th, 2005 02:05 am (UTC)
Good luck! I hate stringent outlines myself.

Could you fill in a blank on a sentence though?

"It's all coming together, and the crunchy stat-heavy monster blocks, prestige classes (just 3), and ."

What's after 'and'?
the_monkey_king
Dec. 28th, 2005 03:05 am (UTC)
Ooops. It's been that kind of day.

"It's all coming together, and the crunchy stat-heavy monster blocks, prestige classes (just 3), and urban campaign mechanics are a quick way to generate a foundation for the harder bits to come."

Corrected the entry.
brainstormfront
Dec. 28th, 2005 02:51 am (UTC)
GREEN MAN is a fun anthology, but I bought it without knowing it was considered a YA collection. Even so, I believe the Nina Kiriki Hoffman story in that was well worth my time, as memory serves. (My copy's stuck out in Port Townsend in storage, like so much else....)

the_monkey_king
Dec. 28th, 2005 03:07 am (UTC)
It is a YA collection, but I find that it's written well enough it doesn't matter. The Faery Reel stories skew a little older, but are still fast reads.

Maybe I just expect Faerie stories to have a certain otherworldliness.
ironymaiden
Dec. 28th, 2005 03:48 am (UTC)
Nina Hoffman rocks. i wish more people knew about her. if you haven't already read them, i suggest hunting up old F&SFs to read Skeleton Key and Haunted Humans.
the_monkey_king
Dec. 28th, 2005 04:18 am (UTC)
Nice icon.

I used to subscribe to F&SF. For years. Probably should resub sometime soonish, but aren't her shorts collected somewhere? Ah, found the Hoffman shorts collection, but it's out of print. Damn.
brainstormfront
Dec. 28th, 2005 04:30 am (UTC)
Nina's one of my favorites, but it seems no one parts with her books, as I've yet to find any in used bookstores anywhere.

A friend of mine introduced me to her early works a few years back when I was out in Seattle, and since then I've met her a few times, picked up her collections and novels when I could afford them, but her bibliography's a nightmare to collectors like me. How the hell can I afford to track down every odd copy of Weird Tales, Talebones, F&SF, and all the other varied places in which she's appeared? (Then again, it might be cheaper than Subterranean Press collections, though I prefer them, given the higher quality given the paper, printing, etc.)

ironymaiden
Dec. 28th, 2005 04:35 am (UTC)
i left those magazines in hotels all over eastern europe (i started the trip with a stack of back issues and left them behid bookcrossing-style as i finished them) and now i regret it. and yes, she's a sweetheart. i have a rose she made me out of a candy wrapper on the shelf above my desk.
( 8 sutras — Your wisdom )

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