(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)
2 and letter B is on the docket. Instead of one topic, I thought I
would highlight two. Supposedly there was an email sent out (before I
registered) expressing shorter blogs yielding a higher likelihood that
people will read the posts. It makes sense. Well, those that have been
following along from the beginning know that really isn’t my forte.
It is what it is. Let’s begin today’s topics, shall we?
Once Upon a Time...
...in a lifestyle far far away...
more like 5 years ago... I was heavily involved in MMOs (Massively
Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, for those less familiar). No not
World of Warcraft. Specifically one called Final Fantasy XI Online. The MMO is based on the long running, and highly popular, Final
Fantasy game series.
was the leader of a Linkshell (the game's equivalent to a guild) named
The Black Omen. For a while I even owned a domain and forums for the
group. It was a lot of fun, but extremely stressful at times. My job
allowed me an abundance of free time to play, and I undoubtedly took
full advantage. I became lost in the gaming world of Vana’diel; my
escape from the real world which was ironically full of the same drama.
playing FFXI, I was continually inspired to write, but my block
remained persistent. Eventually, though, I broke free briefly and began a
fanfict titled: The Black Omen: Betrayals. I only completed a very short prologue, and part of the first chapter.
Compared to my other projects like After Armageddon, Betrayals
was a lot easier to write. The world, settings, economy, races, etc.
were already established. This access to an abundance of resources
allowed for a more casual approach. The block won in the end. I decided
to post the prologue on my fiction blog, and soon plan to place up the
first chapter. The hope is that I'm inspired to continue it. I have none of my old notes, but I feel it’s still very viable. It would possibly make for another good blog series.
The Black Omen: Betrayals
is a fanfict spanning the course of the Linkshell’s timespan. From it’s
fictionalized beginnings to it’s eventual end. Throughout the story
would be actual in-game events and intermixed storylines. The characters
involved would have been those that I met, joined and/or associated
with the group while playing.
main storyline revolves around an individual named Jak becoming the leader of The Black Omen linkshell,
due to the sudden disappearance of it’s original. Thrust into this
position, he struggles with maintaining balance amongst its members,
finding out what happened to Drake — the linkshell’s founder — and continuing Drake’s quest of uncovering the truth behind the return of
an ancient evil: Bahamut.
don’t agree with Jak’s new leadership, compounding hardships the
group faces as a whole. Friends becoming enemies, enemies becoming
friends, conspiracies, lost love, and tragedy abound.
throughout were various adventures and quests The Black Omen would undertake, leading up to the conclusion of the story. These
incorporate some of the games actual quests, locations, and cast of
would be great to finally write this fanfict. Remembering the names of
some of the individuals I played with would be hard.
That aspect, keeping true to an individual's character name (if
ever playing an MMO/online game, you know how said names can make no sense
sometimes), may prove distracting for those reading. Never know unless
you try, though. If need be I can always change them.
from writing, I’m a pretty avid reader. I like a variety of authors,
but the majority of them tend to be Fantasy/Adventure novelists.
Jordan/Brooks/Goodkind/etc. etc. I dabble in Dean Koontz and Stephen
King as well. With King I've found I stick to short
story/novella compilations. For a long time I was uncertain I actually
liked his writing style enough to endure it on an epic scale. This may
come off as sacrilegious to some, but The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger solidified that thought with me.
was years ago, though, and I’d very much like to reread the first book
and finally read through the series. There are various mechanics and
techniques he uses that ring true to my own style. One being the
interconnectedness of a handful of his other novels to that series in
some fashion. Now that I've read more King, I think I would better
appreciate his larger work. Who am I to judge, anyhow?
year some friends created a book club, and designed a simple voting
system in which one or two books are chosen to be read per quarter; each
quarter consisting of a different genre. The first two books were The Neverending Story and Merlin: The Lost Years. I’d never heard of the Merlin series and could care less about it, but The Neverending Story — being one of my favorite childhood movies — greatly appealed to me.
even recently looked up information about the book after hearing talk
about remaking the film. Finding out that the book was split between
the first two movies intrigued me. I don’t fully recall the second
movie, short of a few characters and the actor playing Sebastian. The
fact that the book club had chosen this to be one of the first books to
read was exciting.
was an issue, though. Since beginning to write again last November, during NaNoWriMo, my
overall intake of literature has severely plummeted. Actually, it's
been almost completely nonexistent. I’ve read a handful of blogs and articles,
but nothing in terms of novels (and I’ve quite the handful borrowed out
from friends I need to read).
So time went on, and I never got around to reading either selection for the book club. I made an attempt to have The Neverending Story
sent to my local library, but forgot the number associated with my
account was no longer in service. By the time I got around to
remembering that, the book had already been sent back. After that, I just
contemplated just dropping from the book club. Why be in it if I wasn’t
able to read any of the selections offered and attend meetings to
discuss? I kind of felt like a failure. I have so far stuck with the
group (it does consist of a good handful of my friends, after all) and
hope to be better about being involved with reading the chosen books and
This next quarter’s selections are: The Last of the Mohicans and The Count of Monte Cristo.
I’ve never seen the movie adaptation(s) of either, and plan to refrain
until after reading the books. If I can find the time to read them. It
would be nice to discuss both the books and movies with everyone, this
It will be a miracle, between the A to Z Challenge; Camp NaNoWriMo; and my fiction, to get any reading done this month at all!
written or read any fanfiction? If so, what was it based on? Anyone
participate in book clubs? Still go to the discussions if failing to
read the selections (if for no other reason than they serve good pizza)?
For those who write, do you find that once you begin writing regularly
your reading decreases, or the opposite?