Monthly Archives: November 2013

#30 Age of Torridan, first draft

Well met, my friends!

yesterday I added another 349 words to my work in progress “Age of Torridan”. In fact, those words completed the final chapter. When I got home from the writing session, I printed the entire book for the first time. The first draft came in at 73817 words and 242 pages.

I actually thought it’d be something like 250 words per page, but now it seems that it’s more like 300 words per page. Since a “real” book is 300+ pages to me – yeah, it’s a completely arbitrary number – that means I have to add another 18k+ words or so to the book during revisions. Fortunately I’m already aware of a couple of scenes that are missing. My descriptions could be strengthened as well, so I don’t foresee too much of a problem. The only challenge is to go through the revisions fast enough to hand the book to my beta readers before the end of the year. We’ll see how it goes.

It feels great to finally have the printout of the book – I can’t wait for tomorrow’s writing sessions, which will be more of reading sessions. That’s pretty much the downside: since I need to read the book for my revision, I most likely won’t be adding words to it during the rest of NaNoWriMo. Currently I am at 4k there. I already knew that I wouldn’t make the 50k, but it would have been nice to at least exceed last year’s word count.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted about the new developments regarding Age of Torridan and / or NaNoWriMo.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#29 Hearthstone beta

Well met, my friends!

In yesterday’s episode of gamesäge, I’m having a look at Blizzard’s latest game Hearthstone, which is currently in the beta test stage.

Although it is technically a card game, it uses the advantages of being on a computer quite well: Some of the spells assign damage to random targets. This could also be done in a card game with lots of dice rolling, but having the computer do this automatically for you is quite convenient. It also allows for things like transforming a character into a frog and then recalling that character back to your hand: All of a sudden the cards in your hand also include a frog card, which previously didn’t exist. Two immediate improvements in comparison to magic the gathering are that you don’t have to rely on drawing land – in Hearthstone your available mana always increased by one per turn up to a maximum of ten. The other improvement is that there are no interrupt spells, which means that you can play through your entire turn without having this chess-clock situation that arises in the computer version of magic the gathering. It’s annoying to time out, simply because you did not see that you have the option to interrupt your opponent’s play and the program is waiting for your reaction.

Overall I quite like Hearthstone. Hopefully it’ll be a big success post release and won’t fade out too quickly. If all goes well, I’ll have a board game episode up, before doing another computer game review.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#28 Meeting Patrick Rothfuss

Well met, my friends!

About two and a half weeks ago, Patrick Rothfuss announced on his blog that he wouldn’t just be in Brighton, but that he would also do signings and Q&A sessions in Oxford and London.

The Brighton event had been announced at least half a year in advance, but this new itinerary was on short notice. There was an upcoming deadline at work, which would thankfully finish right before those dates. Since I figured I could use a few days off after what looked to be a stressful work week, I decided on a whim to go and bought a plane ticket one week before the event.

On Mondy the 4th of November, I went to “An evening with Patrick Rothfuss” in Oxford together with my friend Laura. This was a long Q&A session, interleaved with him reading portions of his former columns that he wrote over a decade ago. Most of the time he doesn’t just answer a question, but comes up with a long and amusing tale. I tried to think what would provide the best opportunity for such a story among the questions that I had and asked him how he found his beta readers. The serious part of the answer was that back in the days he asked family and friends, as one would expect. Nowadays of course there is no shortage of people volunteering. Eventually he did make some jokes about picking people that are unlikely to forget his manuscript on the train, but I guess you had to be there.

Afterwards he made the time to sign people’s copies of “The Name of the Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear”. As you can see in the picture, I am beaming when I sat down.

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This is because A) I was happy to meet Patrick Rothfuss again and B) I had a big imposition for him: as I sat down, I said “So I’ve started this youtube channel…” Unfortunately he already knew what was coming and immediately started shaking his head. I did ask him whether I could hog five minutes of his time on the day after for a brief interview, but his day was already pretty planned out with travel, other interviews and then the signing and Q&A in London. I figured as much and didn’t press the issue. Back home, my friends thought that I should have been a bit more tenacious and that I should have mentioned that I specifically flew in to see him.

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I don’t know, I feel that if roles were reversed, I wouldn’t have agreed to an interview either, simply for the reason that he doesn’t know whether I’m reputable. For instance, in both Oxford and London (and also at the 2009 Q&A in London) he stressed that he would prefer if people didn’t film the sessions, as he doesn’t want his words to be taken out of context. I actually filmed him for about a minute in 2009, before he announced that. I haven’t made that video available to anyone, but I did give him a memory stick with the photos and the video from 2009. It’s really low quality, mostly due to bad lighting and I’ll leave it to him to post it or to hang on to it. I also put the videos of my youtube channel on the stick – on the off chance that he gave me a “maybe” regarding the interview request, I wanted him to see what my channel was about without having to go online. Thus, Patrick Rothfuss is now one of only two people in the world, who has the HD version of my videos…

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Anyway, I shall ask him again at some point in the future via more official channels, once my style is a bit more proven and I have a few more subscribers.

I particularly liked that at both events, nobody asked the dreaded book three question. The signing in London was a dual event together with Scott Lynch, who is standing next to him in the picture.

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It was so busy that the venue Forbidden Planet had already sold out all the books and more or less turned me away. Instead, I made my way to the Q&A venue at the Phoenix artist club. One of the things that wasn’t a question and that came out completely wrong was my remark on him doing things differently in the future. I wanted to convey that it was great to see him in such a nice venue as the Phoenix to answer questions, but instead it came across as more of a demand. However, he announced on facebook that his signing sessions in Spain drew massive amounts of people: In Madrid apparently about a thousand people showed up and it took nine hours to sign books. Given that, I understand that he needs to change his public appearances and that perhaps these smaller events are unlikely to happen in the future. We shall see. In any case, it was great to see Patrick Rothfuss in Europe again after those four years.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#27 Miscellaneous things

Well met, my friends!

In the meantime a few things have happened, so I’ll just sum them up in one big blog post:

Spiel and Gamesäge
In late October I’ve attended the annual games fair “Spiel” in Essen, which is the biggest event of that sort in the world. I didn’t try out any new games, but I participated in a King of Tokyo tournament. Unfortunately I did not manage to win one of those four player tournaments until they ran out of prizes. Still, that was good fun and perhaps next year I’ll attend all of the days and will try out and buy more games. Regarding gamesäge, I’m behind schedule, but the last video I posted also deals with Spiel 2013.

Sword & Laser season 2
Some of you might remember the Sword & Laser podcast I mentioned on my blog, because I submitted a story to their anthology (see blog posts 4 and 16 for details). Right now they are trying to raise money for a second season of the video version of their podcast. The kickstarter campaign still runs for 15 days – I’ve already backed this and am looking forward to reading the aforementioned anthology, which was the kickstarter reward for backing.

Age of Torridan
Unfortunately I didn’t complete the milestone of finishing my work in progress novel “Age of Torridan” by the end of October. I’m at seventy thousand words and there are just four chapters left to write until the first draft is ready. This leads me straight to the next point:

NaNoWriMo
The first of November, which is NaNoWriMo‘s start date, is a holiday in Germany. However, this year I had to come in to work, since there was an important deadline. I did not get any words done for NaNoWriMo on the 1st and 2nd of November. Afterwards I flew to London for a short vacation. Since I didn’t note card a new story, didn’t finish Age of Torridan and started late, I’ve decided to be a “NaNo rebel” and continue working on the old book.

London
My London trip was great as always – I attended Patrick Rothfuss‘s signing and Q&A in both Oxford and London. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, as that actually is a relevant blog entry on its own.

Twitter follow etiquette
Originally I only followed people on twitter, if I “discovered” them or if I knew them well. However, I’ve changed my mind regarding the whole “follow back” etiquette and as a result I soared from 26 followers to 70. So my new approach is to follow back everyone, who adds me, but when people post too many weird, disagreeable, nonsensical things, as determined by my mood, I may unfollow again. In any case, people are in good company, as Wil Wheaton usually goes on a twitter rampage once a year, resulting in me unfollowing him and adding him again a few months later.

That’s all for now. Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

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