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the Stevenomicon
A blog of thoughts, commentary, self disclosure, and minutiae.
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Greatest American Hero symbol
Writing my own adventures, be they exploring a dungeon in Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) or a spy mission in Top Secret (TS), an espionage themed role-playing game, indirectly taught me about writing screenplays for film, TV, etc.

Writing the plot of the adventure or mission alone teaches about storytelling formats: nonlinear and linear. Nonlinear storytelling is a freeform adventure where the player characters (PCs) just go about exploring a dungeon without a set purpose or objective other than gaining experience to move up in level, slaying monsters, and looting treasure, weapons, magic items, etc. Conversely, Linear storytelling is an adventure with a purpose or goal, such as saving a city from a rampage of slavers who are kidnapping the town’s citizens (D&D’s Slave Pits of the Undercity adventure) or preventing the villain mastermind from flooding the world with a potent and highly addictive synthetic drug (TS’ Operation: Rapidstrike).

In a film, a scene is a specific room or outdoor location where sequences, take place. A scene could be a Wizard’s workroom, an alchemists’ laboratory, a massive underground cavern containing a garden that has become an overgrown botanical nightmare, etc.

A sequence is what happens in the scene, i.e. the specific room/outdoor location, such as: an encounter with an in-room monster, a thief checking for traps or secret doors, a thief deactivating a trap, a magic user casting a spell, defensive magic triggering (i.e., a guards & wards spell), etc.; a scene can have multiple sequences.

Lastly, writing dialogue comes from the interactions between the PCs and the NPCs or sentient creatures in the course of the adventurer. Dialogue takes the form of canned responses to certain anticipated questions or as guidelines for adlibbing the interaction, such as what non-PCs say and how they emote it.

This related article speaks to the topic of this entry.
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/07/14/books/dungeons-dragons-has-influenced-a-generation-of-writers.html
31st-Dec-2013 08:21 pm - 2013 Year End Recap
Greatest American Hero symbol
2013 Year End Recap

My annual list of the things I've done in the past year – 2012 – music I've listened to, books I’ve read, movies and TV shows I’ve seen, places I've gone to, things I've experienced, web sites I've frequented, etc.

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31st-Dec-2012 08:48 pm - 2012 Year End Recap
Greatest American Hero symbol
2012 Year End Recap

My annual list of the things I've done in the past year – 2012 – music I've listened to, books I’ve read, movies and TV shows I’ve seen, places I've gone to, things I've experienced, web sites I've frequented, etc.

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19th-Mar-2012 04:27 pm - Carthulhu has risen
Greatest American Hero symbol
My car has now become evil to the point that I have renamed it “Carthulhu” (Lovecraft fans will get the riff---for a visual, mash up the Lovecraft’s ultimate evil with transformers). I brought the car into the shop for major maintenance service (90K) after hitting the 100K mileage mark plus some “minor issues” (to quote an SNL sketch, those are sarcastic quotes around minor issues) that need attending to (but one of the issues had been fixed previously, so not a problem, right?).

The initial cost for the 90K maintenance service is $300-something, but with the “minor issues” closer to $400/$500-something, roughly what I was expecting. But the minute I entered the service bay and got out, I see a noticeable but not obnoxious dent in one of the quarter panels as well as a nice mark of black paint (at least it goes with my car’s silver paint job) and a gash in the metal. “Car-Sothoth” (another Lovecraft riff) has opened the gate.

I go to the waiting area and an hour or so later Carthulhu steps through… The clutch is just starting to go (something I was already mildly aware) and that’s going to be another $1500-something; that “minor issue” that was repaired previously, now requires a complete replacement. When all is said and done, the entire cost of repairs will be close to 3K.

So, now I’m driving a loaner Prius until Wednesday. The dealership expects my car to ready tomorrow, but do to my schedule I won't be able to pick it up until Wednesday. The only good thing about the loaner is that it has SiriusXM satellite radio... and, I just found the “HairNation” channel (Sat 3, channel #39) dedicated to 1980's Hair Bands.
31st-Dec-2011 03:38 pm - 2011 Year End Recap
Greatest American Hero symbol
2011 Year End Recap

My annual list of the things I've done in the past year – 2011 – music I've listened to, books I’ve read, movies and TV shows I’ve seen, places I've gone to, things I've experienced, web sites I've frequented, etc.

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31st-Dec-2010 11:59 pm - 2010 Year End Recap
Greatest American Hero symbol
2010 Year End Recap

My annual list of the things I've done in the past year -- 2010 -- music I've listened to, books I’ve read, movies and TV shows I’ve seen, places I've gone to, things I've experienced, web sites I've frequented, etc.

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31st-Dec-2009 11:59 pm - 2009 Year End Recap
Greatest American Hero symbol
2009 Year End Recap

My annual list of the things I've done in the past year -- 2009 -- music I've listened to, books I’ve read, movies and TV shows I’ve seen, places I've gone to, things I've experienced, web sites I've frequented, etc.

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31st-Dec-2008 11:52 am - 2008 Year End Recap
Greatest American Hero symbol
My annual list of the things I've done in the past year, 2008: music I've listened to, books I’ve read, movies and TV shows I’ve seen, places I've gone to, things I've experienced, web sites I've frequented, etc.

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Greatest American Hero symbol
I fear for the future of my planet. This video in Japan shows a trained monkey acting as a waiter --- this does not bode well for man.

As any Sci-Fi/movie geek knows, in the movie Conquest Of The Planet of the Apes from The Planet of the Apes movie series, Chimpanzee's are used as trained servants before Caesar (Roddy McDowall) organizes them into a revolutionary force. They then overthrow their human masters and reverse the roles so that the servants are now the masters.

*SIGH* I guess I better prepare for a dystopian future.
27th-Jun-2008 12:55 am - Essay on the Batmobile
Greatest American Hero symbol
A funny essay that muses on how much of a hassle owning and driving the Batmobile must be.

(source: http://daveslongbox.blogspot.com/2007/04/batmobile-what-pain-in-ass.html)


The Batmobile: What a Pain in the Ass
What a fucking hassle it must be for Batman to get around.

He has two primary modes of transportation: swinging from gothic clock towers on his Batline, and cruising around Gotham in the Batmobile. Sure, he’s got a Batwing and a Batjet and a Batcopter and even a Bat-Segway, but mostly Batman relies on his ride to get from point A to point B.

Now, the Batmobile is a seriously tricked-out car, and you can’t blame the guy for wanting to drive it, but it must be a serious pain in the ass dealing with the Batmobile every night.

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