-November 28th, 2012
To officially confirm the news that broke last night on Facebook, the revisions to Degrees of Horror are done and the new manuscript has been sent to Pinnacle.
The last couple of weeks have been a pretty exhausting push, to be honest. I looked at what was left and figured I could wrap it up over Thanksgiving weekend and be done in time to read the new Dresden Files book that came out Tuesday. That would be a celebration of it’s own, since I’ve hardly watched TV or read a book in more than a month. I wanted to be able to read Cold Days without feeling guilty about leaving work unfinished. Anyhow, I tried really, really hard, but I didn’t finish over Thanksgiving. It took Monday night, Tuesday morning before work, and Tuesday night to give it the finishing touches. I sent the manuscript to Pinnacle, another copy to Ed, and fired up my e-book reader to buy Cold Days.
So about the book. Here’s the part where I give its long and tortured history. Ed says we rewrote it three times. More accurately we wrote it (the earliest file I can find is from 2006 and we playtested it at Origins 2007), then both of us proofread the entire document and made a bunch of revisions. Then we went through it a second time, approving the Track Changes and making new changes in the process. It doesn’t sound like much, but for a document the size of a novel it’s a long and incredibly exhausting process. After all that, we turned it into Pinnacle. Then we got our editor’s notes back and had to go through the whole thing yet again. By this point Ed and I had lost our steam. Day jobs, family, church, volunteering…we just didn’t have much energy left to put into revisions. It became more and more difficult to find time to collaborate and make game design decisions, leaving a lot of small things unresolved. But two years later here we are.
So what’s next? For a while, nothing much. Pinnacle has other titles in the queue, so I can’t predict when they’ll get to Degrees of Horror and that’s totally okay. They waited patiently for us; we’ll do the same. In the meantime Ed and I have already been talking in general terms about writing new Pinebox fiction. We both thoroughly enjoyed writing for Buried Tales and want to explore more of Pinebox through fiction.
In the meantime, I have some reading to catch up on.Tags: Class Notes, Degrees of Horror, ETU
-November 14th, 2012
In the week since I last wrote, I’ve done so much stuff I can hardly remember. Off the top of my head, I’ve statted out about a dozen archetypes, reviewed all the Edges and Hindrances one last time for consistency, clarified how Jaded, Hardened, and Recovery works with Fear Effects, and generally organized, shuffled, and condensed the first 45 pages of the book.
The goal is to be completely done by the end of Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, THIS Thanksgiving weekend. Of course if I can’t make better progress than 43 pages a week then it’ll take me four more weeks instead of one, but past a certain point it should get easier. This last week has been all about the mechanics– largely character creation and setting rules. Soon I should be breaking free to the gazetter and various adventures, which will be a different kind of editing– mostly about making things succinct as possible. Also, I did the last two chapters (66 pages) after Ed stepped back, which means we weren’t leaving things for one another to fix later. With a few small exceptions, those two chapters are already clean.
Anyhow, that’s all for now. It’s crunch time at 12 to Midnight, and I should be editing.Tags: Class Notes, Degrees of Horror, ETU
-August 15th, 2012
I REALLY can’t wait for the day that I can talk about how this campaign has evolved over time. What a long, strange trip it’s been. There’s not a whole lot more I can say without giving away plot details, but let’s just say that certain elements have continued to evolve event this late in the writing process.
Oh well. Here’s what you really care about:
Plot points completed: 11 of 12
Pages: 48 of 48
PP word count: 1,865
Here’s some trivia for you. In the original draft, this plot point was the last one. The ending was left open-ended so that the GM could take it in the direction he or she wanted. Our editor (rightly) felt that we were making the GM do too much of the work in bringing closure to the campaign. So I’ll be writing one more doozy a plot point. Maybe–just maybe–I can slip in the “aftermath” notes from the original draft as a sidebar for those of you who want to take the ending in a different direction.Tags: Class Notes, Degrees of Horror, ETU, plot points
-July 20th, 2012
As part of ongoing efforts to change the university’s image as a party school, in 1994 former President Patterson authorized the creation of a university-sponsored daycare for children of faculty, staff, and adult students. The daycare, named Tiny Wings, opened two years later on the ground floor of the Education building. The daycare was staffed by full-time, licensed caregivers as well as part-time Education students seeking hands-on experience.
From the very beginning, Tiny Wings eschewed typical babysitting and instead emphasized educational curricula. Toddlers were taught rudimentary sign language before they even learned to speak, jump-starting their communication skills. From that early foundation, Education researchers gained valuable insight into learning development by trying a variety of teaching techniques and subject matter on older toddlers.
Within two years, Tiny Wings had earned a reputation as the best daycare in town; a nurturing place for happy, smart children. Unfortunately, their stellar reputation led to a long waiting list for vacancy and grumbling about favoritism. To alleviate the problem, in mid-1998 Tiny Wings was moved from the Education building to larger accommodations in the former Forestry Sciences building, which had been scheduled for demolition. Meanwhile, construction began on a new, state-of-the-art daycare facility.
With construction of the new building more than 80% completed, the university abruptly shut down Tiny Wings. Neither the staff nor parents made a fuss over the closure, and within a month the incident was largely forgotten. This may be due in part to those who would talk–the staff and parents the staff quickly finding new jobs in other cities. Oddly, nearly all the parents of children who attended Tiny Wings found reason to leave Pinebox as well.
For a while the new construction sat incomplete, but was eventually remodeled and completed as a student coffee house/lounge that remains open to this day. The Forestry Sciences building, Tiny Wings’ final home, proceeded with its demolition ahead of schedule. The former building is now a parking lot.
Since closing Tiny Wings in 1999, the university has left daycare in the hands of the surrounding community. Most folks have forgotten about Tiny Wings, considering how much time has passed. A lot of time. In fact, some of the little tykes who were there when the whole thing shut down would just about be old enough for college…Tags: campus tour, Degrees of Horror, ETU
-July 18th, 2012
I’m trying to get back into the habit of posting a Class Notes update whether or not I’m done with a plot point. In this case, it’s “not”. Even so, I actually feel pretty good about how things are going. Considering I was on a camping trip for three nights last week,1 so actually I feel like the 800+ words I’ve written for this plot point is decent progress. There’s a decent chance I could finish in the next day or two.
- Camping in Texas in July is an endurance trial. Just sayin’. ↩