Sunday, August 26, 2007

Writing progress

Work continues apace on This Favored Land for the Wild Talents roleplaying game. I lost essentially two weekends of work due to allergies. I've made up some time this weekend, though. Obviously my plan to finish most of the writing by the end of August and then spend September editing it isn't going to happen. That was a bit aggressive anyway.

The first chapter has been more difficult than I had thought it would be. It's the "splat" portion of the book. A "splatbook" is a roleplaying game supplement that focuses on a particular group in the roleplaying game's universe. The term "splatbook" comes from the way these books tend to cover a particular faction in the universe. White Wolf's vampire books are like this. They did a bunch of books on vampire clans that were named "Clanbook *", such as "Clanbook Tremere" and "Clanbook Brujah", etc. The "*" represents a "wild card" indicator in computers, or "insert word here". An asterisk looks like a smashed bug, so it's sometimes called a "splat". This is a long way of explaining that chapter one covers The Gifted (the people with super heroic powers), and four different groups that arose from the appearance of these super powered people. This requires the most imagination, and the most "refactoring" as I started writing each group's description. I stalled on a couple of the groups because my original ideas just didn't work once I started explaining them. I will have this chapter done tonight (with the exception of some character statistics, which I'll do later this week).

The second chapter is finished. This is the rules chapter that explains how to create characters. Chapter 3 is done, too. This is the chapter with the rules specific to the Civil War, including Civil War era weapons. I'm about 3,000 words into chapter 5, which is the "what was it like to live during the Civil War" section. Later today I will start on Chapter 5, and maybe even finish it. Chapter 6 is the "campaign" chapter. It gives the game master ideas for using the book. Chapter 7 is the introductory adventure. It's mostly done. I just have to write up the climax of the adventure, which I have in my head. I'm debating waiting until after next weekend to do that, as we should finish our playtesting of the scenario at that point. Chapter 8 is the references chapter and that's done. This leaves chapter 4. Chapter 4 is a timeline of the Civil War. It will be written like a journal, listing the major events of the war. In addition, there will be sidebars — which we envision will appear as hand written notes — describing activities of The Gifted. I hope to begin this in a couple of weeks.

It's been an enjoyable run, if a little frustrating at times. Now I'm getting into the stuff that will take less time to write, so I expect to see an acceleration in my writing in the next few weeks. I plan to take a vacation day the day after Labour Day. I'm also a bit concerned over the amount of time I'll have for writing the week after that, as I have to travel to Georgia to train clients. I certainly won't be bored...

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