Thoughts, a Blog: 2004, 3rd Quarter

A blog about my efforts at writing.

2004-08-17 (Tuesday) – Progress Report

So much for "strongly considering." I've reorganized the chapters and books (each book now has its own folder). It was simply too confusing to publish the new Book 2, chapter 1 v2.0 beta, while still having links to chapter 9, errr, make that chapter 2 screenplay format on Book 2's Private page. Then, of course, there were the links back to the original chapters 8 through 11, ummm make that 1 through 4, on that page….

2004-08-16 (Monday) – Progress Report & More News

A first pass of the rewrite for chapter 8 is complete. I'm strongly considering starting chapter numbering over with each "book" - that is I will make them more like real books. This should have minimal impact. The new chapter 8 strongly reinforces the true nature of Milliscent. I've de-emphasized some aspects of her morning, slightly expanded on others, and I've cut words or whole sentences. The new chapter is about the same size as before.

I will probably remove links to the last of the PDF files. Too many changes happening to consider hard copy at this point.

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The renaming of features in SkunkWks drags on. I've looked for inspiration in other languages and cultures—even dipping into online translation sites to try names in Italian, French, Latin, and even Welsh. And a friend did come up with a pretty good suggestion for the swamp. However, I fear I will come up with a hodgepodge by following this approach.

Last night, I hit upon an idea: I will dip into Tolkien for naming inspiration, probably concentrating on names from the first and second ages of Middle Earth. There is poetry in the way Tolkien's names slide over the tongue. I will also consider the races of characters in the world/story. Making them analogs of the races in Tolkien—analogs, but not copies.

For example: The ferret race (which will eventually grow to seven individuals) will be very loosely based on the Hobbits. As if Hobbits had become a diminutive race of farmer/hunters, with a strong streak of larceny.

In The Woods of Westermain, there will be a group of fauns, loosely based on the sylvan elves of Tolkien. Perhaps living in shallow caves, deep in the heart of The Woods, rather than trees. Fae, in the form of faeries (bird-like Fae) and piskies (mouse-like Fae) will also inhabit the woods, and be allied to the fauns.

An expansion of SkunkWks will be required to add a race of badgers to the southwest corner of the world. Living tribally, these characters will represent the race of men in Tolkien's works.

Now… what to do about the tigers? Rather than a whole race (a group), I will probably limit myself to two adults. Perhaps they will represent the darker forces in Tolkien's works.

That's basically it. A healthy dose of Tolkien with Cornish and Gaelic influences and a large part of the look and feel coming from Shrek and ILM's short, A Work In Progress.

I think I need a P-50.

2004-08-08 (Sunday) – What's Happening?

I've spent most of this past week doing research on how to write fiction. I've done quite a bit of technical writing; so learning fiction is new for me. Fortunately, most of what I've produced so far is pretty good from a structural point of view. I've also been doing a bit of research on place names and the Fae.

I've not done much on the web site this week, but here are some site statistics from last week:

2004-08-03 (Tuesday) – Progress Report

A bunch of new pages in the section, Private Bot Story. Getting ready for my dialog consultants and beta readers. I've also started a rewrite of chapter 8, which, so far, is much better than the current chapter 8.

I've also been working on getting a forum set up on this web site. I have three new pieces of software to set up on Gobo to get the forum working: MySQL, PHP, and phpBB (the actual forum scripts). Each step seems easy enough, but I've been spending the past few days making sure the installations of MySQL and PHP were reasonably secure. Then I managed to bomb MySQL, really broke it! After some registry edits and two reboots, it's working again. On some pages you can see the new link to the forum, which I've created in anticipation of having it going.

2004-07-20 (Tuesday) – What's Happening?

Huzzah! Two days late, but I've gotten the new pages up. I created the new Design pages (which contain much that is relevant to the future of Bot Story). And I've created the new Important Announcement & Plea For Help page. (Note; I deleted this page, 21-Dec-04.) Additionally, I've converted all pages (about 30) to use CSS and I've created a new banner graphic and new navigation bars.

What is happening behind the scenes with Bot Story? #1. I've decided that Tedd and Trelane's dialog needs to be rewritten. They are supposed to be 16-year-old boys, but they talk like 40-something year old white men. #2. I want to get rid of some of the cute place names, and I want some unnamed features to have names. #3. Finally, my characters Don Key and Bluto are blatant rip-offs of a couple of copyrighted characters, so they need to be completely recast, but I still need the function these characters provide. Maybe you could help, go to the Important Announcement & Plea For Help page and see if there is something that strikes your fancy. (Note; I deleted this page, 21-Dec-04.)

In the private pages for SkunkWks, I've started creating character studies for Tedd, Trelane, and all the bots (present and future). Rather than just churn out bot-characters, I've been asking myself, "What is the function of this bot in the VR world SkunkWks?" (The real VR world, not the Bot Story VR world.) The fiction of Bot Story is to be a reflection of the reality of the VR SkunkWks world—the places will match, the avatars will match, and the bots will match. Of course it goes both ways, Bot Story inspires the real SkunkWks.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

2004-07-13 (Tuesday) – Announcement

I have not forgotten, and I have not abandoned Bot Story. Things are happening behind the scenes. I started to form a proper announcement and a plea for help back on the last weekend in June, but other projects intruded before things were ready to publish. I shall be working on the relevant web pages in the next few days and hope to have something very interesting published by this weekend.