22
Jan
2016
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Friday Link Pack: 1/22/16

I’m back again for another go at the Friday Link Pack. Last week, Will Munn hosted his first FLP of the year over at liamwrites.com – you should follow his blog if you aren’t already. There are a few interesting articles here, but another busy couple of weeks kept my options a bit low again.

Worldbuilding

Fallout 4 and the Struggle of Consistent Worldbuilding – KM Alexander
I am sure by now you must think that all I do is promote my friends’ blog posts, but I cannot overlook a great post no matter the author. This is by far my favorite article read sincy my last post. Since I enjoy worldbuilding so much, these types of analyses hit home for me. I haven’t played Fallout since the first one, and I only played that for a few hours. The great thing about this post is how it really doesn’t matter – I can understand and relate to everything KM points out on a worldbuilding level. I have already recognized several holes in my own world, Cildaire, just from cursory reflections from this article. If you want a new lense with which to see your world through, this is a great way to self-critique your timelines.

Dungeon Masters Guild from Wizards of the Coast
I have had several friends send this announcement my way since its release. WotC has recently made the D&D 5e rules public via their OGL (Open Gaming License). This allows fans and game publishers alike the ability to use the generic 5e rules to build their worlds around without legal ramifications (this is an overly simplified explanation, but alas). They’ve done the same with other versions of the game as well, which helped spawn the existence of such companies as Paizo, who used the 3.5 OGL rules to create the Pathfinder RPG which has, at times, outsold D&D. The announcement of the Dungeon Masters Guild is an interesting twist for WotC though, as now they are allowing players the opportunity to publish materials based on Forgotten Realms. This is an opportunity for fans to create stories within one of the largest and most developed fantasy settings of all time – it also allows them and WotC to make a profit if their product is good enough. I’m not sure how Ed Greenwood, the original creator of Forgotten Realms, feels with other people running amuck with his world, but I am sure aspiring writers are frothing at the mouth. For me though, I have no interest in this proposal, as I am still working on my own world, and would rather play there than with someone else’s creation.

Writerlings

The Difference Between a Critique Group and a Writing Coach by Lauren Sapala
Lauren does it again. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – If you aren’t following her over at laurensapala.com, you are doing yourself a disservice. She is a special person who really understands writers, mainly due to the fact that she really understands people. I love the blunt honesty of this post, especially the section which discusses how critique groups can become an automaton of guilt stricken obligation to read and critique the rest of the groups’ work, just to make sure you get your work critiqued. I love my group and value their feedback, but I also understand my work is not anyone’s priority, and I am sure they understand the same. The value of a writing coach goes so much deeper than finding out where your writing needs to improve – a great writing coach will help you improve yourself along the way. I have talked at length with Lauren about writing and we were quick to become friends. Apart from that, she has worked with me on a few things with my craft, and she is completely legit. If you are in the market for a writing coach, you owe yourself the favor of sending her a message.

NYCMidnight 10th Annual Short Story Competition
This is as last minute as it get, folks. I have just signed up for this competition with a mere four hours to spare. I am 100% excited and 100% nervous as hell about this for a few reasons. First, I think the first round timing is pretty feasible for me. When I sit down to write, I can really turn out the words. However, if I do happen to make it to the second heat, the writing period falls smack dab in the busiest part of my family trip to Hawaii (#firstworldproblems, I know). I still think it will be feasible to get something on paper, given how short the timeline is. The last heat is the most interesting for me though. I feel I would actually have an advantage in this heat, as my writing typically is strong even in a first draft form. Who knows what will happen, but if I end up writing even one more short story than I have now, it is totally worth it. Also, if feedback on the writing is given, I consider that a win.

Fantastic Readings

On the Hunt for America’s Last Great Treasure by Peter Frick-Wright
I have read this article before, but it recently appeared in my Facebook feed again. I love reading articles from Outside.com, but this is by far the best one I’ve read. It reads more like a story, and keeps my attention like a Dan Brown novel. The author uses some of the same “dirty pool” writing tricks of which Dan Brown is so famous for, but I do not hate either of them for it. I am so fascinated by this story that I have had to restrain myself from buying The Thrill of the Chase as I know there would be a high probability chance I would become obsessed with finding this treasure as well.


 

In Memory of Zach Hill by Larry Correia
Last week the world lost a pretty great guy in Zach Hill. I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting Zach once and it was nearly a year ago at LTUE. We have several friends in common and I was introduced to him by Alan Bahr, Steve Diamond, and Larry Correia. We all sat down at Alan’s house and gamed together and had a great time (although I am sure someone wanted to punch me for playing Treach, the BurningMan granola hippy travel guide). His passing has had a great impact on my friends and I ache for them. To know how some of these guys, guys who don’t show a whole lot of emotion, have broken down from his loss shows just how great of a person he was.
If I can help boost the frequency of this post in any way, I will be happy. There are several ways to support his wife and his legacy linked within Larry’s post.

Please, let me know what you think.

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