It’s important, from time to time, to stop and do a self-assessment of the direction your life is taking: personally, professionally, spiritually. Are you investing your resources in the areas that you really want to? Are you making progress toward the goals you set six months ago? A year ago? Five years ago? The past month has been such a time for me.
This month will mark three years since Maiden of Pain was published. I should be four years into my five year plan. Instead, I’ve spent the last two years developing a multiplayer, turn-based strategy Flash game, and the only fantasy fiction story I got published was in a non-professional market.
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This week marks one month since I stopped my subscription to the City of Heroes MMO. (I also realized that this month marks the four year anniversary of this blog!) I’ll admit I’ve been tempted a few times to reactivate the account and log in. It’s not that I miss the gameplay, so much as I miss the characters. Many of the superheroes I played in the game were versions of superheroes I created twenty-some years ago. They have detailed origins and defeated villains in classic stories jotted down in old notebooks. I even came across some horrendous sketches I did of them during the move.
Foremost among these superheroes is Longarm. He patrolled Paragon City as Officer Longarm, a super-strong, invulnerable, technology-based tanker who reached Security Level 40 before I quit. He began his career as Sergeant Steele, however.
Names haven’t been the only changes Longarm has experienced. His origin has fluctuated between simple, cybernetic prosthetics to a brain transplant into a robotic body, a la Robocop.
The great thing about being a writer is that Longarm continues to exist outside the confines of a game. I still have those old notebooks full of story ideas, but I’m not content with simply waxing nostalgic. I’ve been outlining story arcs and writing scripts for Longarm comics since July of last year, as well as developing a business plan for launching a superhero-based webcomic. After Eternal Warlords launches this summer, I’m going to start the search for an artistic team (penciller, inker, colorist or some combination of the three). As Longarm likes to say, “It’s time for some police brutality.”
Villains, beware! You can’t escape the long arm of the law.
I read a portion of Chapter 6 to my wife last week. This is a regular part of my writing process now. After I finish a section, I read it to her before we go to bed. If she doesn’t fall asleep during it (she thinks the sound of my voice is soothing, not that the writing puts her to sleep), she usually has some good comments.
So, I’m reading through what I’ve written for Chapter 6, and I’m hating it. The words don’t flow, it feels like there are gaps in the pacing and I can practically see where I started and stopped each night over the past week. I almost can’t read it.
Joanne loved it. She felt the pacing was good and had no trouble visualizing the scenes. And while she is a bit biased about my work, she has pointed out past sections in Maiden where she felt I was moving too fast.
I read through it again the other night, making some tweaks before I picked up from where I left off. I figure I’ll go over it with a fine-tooth comb after I jump back to do Chapter 5. It’s interesting to note that this happened during a stretch where my writing came in short bursts. I didn’t seem to have this problem when I was writing around 1000 words a session.
I returned the link to Elf Only Inn under Web Comics. The creator is back and has promised to maintain a MWF schedule.