TOA's 10th year

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TOA's 10th year

Postby IskatuMesk » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:23 pm

I realized that this is 2011. That TOA is actually around 10 years old now. The first versions might even be a bit older. 10 years, god damnit. I've been writing this novel for almost half my life and I'm not even halfway finished. If anything, this acknowledgement makes me all the angrier.

TOA has had at least three major versions. The first was the sequel to my first novel, which was finished in 1999-2000-ish. Then it was revised and rebuilt and made about 90ish pages or something like that. Then it was revised and rebuilt entirely from the ground up and began its long, craggy road to today. In many instances it suffered heavily from my depression, especially when my dogs died, we were kicked out of our home, and other events. At the end of 2009 I was making the most progress I had ever made, sometimes writing up to 30 pages of decent content a day. I began yet another revision project to rewrite all of the ancient writing in the first half of my work, but eventually decided I would probably end up revising the entire thing over again anyways.

In grand total I have probably written over 2,000 pages worth of material for this one novel, but the current document is sitting at 1323 pages, 585k words.

My mods all lived short lives. Even the tremendous 2042 project, the AoW2 TC with work spanning across one and a quarter years, was fleeting compared to TOA. I never took my writing with dead seriousness until I began TOA as it is known today. After that, it slowly became an obsession. TOA is the conclusion of my life's work. I don't go to school, I don't work, I spend my days dreaming of alien worlds and dialogue, characters, stories, entire universes. What began in my childhood as an overactive imagination soon consumed me and all I have ever done. I have many universes, and Throne of Armageddon's universe is above and beyond the accumilation of all things I have ever done.

I don't attempt many mods based on this world, because they obligate myself to a level of quality I can never commit to. I wouldn't comission any company currently in the market with such a charge. I always pursue perfection, but to me this writing must be represented absolutely or not at all. Thus, when I began writing so many years ago, I swore never to make it public or pursue publishing. I had inquired about publishing anyways and decided it was too great an investment for something that would immediately fail.

TOA is the first of what was planned to be a trilogy. The two later novels would be of equal or greater scale than TOA's final incarnation, but it is not likely I will ever be able to write them. In the last few days I have been able to break past the major part that was holding me back for the last one and a half years, ever since January 2010, but I will inevitably fall into another pit of depression and go on for an extended period with no progress. That's just the way I am.

I started Black Sun: Salvation in an effort to inspire writing again, but I think the sudden activity has nothing to account for but merely idle hands. Black Sun's progress is incredibly slow and trying, and I haven't been casting for a while now. I won't even touch the UDK until Black Sun is finished, my thoughts are stretched thin enough as it is. Somehow, through aversion, I started writing again. But, as all things born in trying times, it will not last, and thus I do not celebrate. I get mad.

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During the period between TOA's activity I tended to focus more on mod work and other things in an effort to get my mind off of depressing thoughts. But Black Sun constantly reminded me I could always improve my writing in much the same way my modeling was juvenile at best. I have been modeling for nearly a decade now, and I still don't know anything past the absolute basics. Only a few weeks ago did I discover you can extrude edges. I feel like a moron trapped in time. I feel like the only thing keeping me moving is luck and an endless wasteland of designs that can be butchered into 3d. As far as technical and logical skills go I am barely an infant in the world of art.

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There is no justice in spending a year making models and scarcely making any progress, but there is a justice in stirring one's own heart. To see his dreams live, that is this one's greatest desire. Nothing else matters in the end. Even if I never finish a mod, as long as they brought me some shred of solice that is all I desire. But TOA is different. It must be finished. An hour does not go by where I do not tackle the numerous challenges in my mind, playing out simulations with words and motions, sounds, music, trying to find the best approach to any given difficulty.

The most difficult things in my writing are non-aggressive dialogue and descriptions. My vocabulary is rudimentary at best, obliterated by twelve year olds who go to the average American school and at least pay some degree of attention. Admittedly rare overall, but for a writer my library my words is extremely limited. I also lack a fundamental understanding of grammar and sentence structure, relying largely on what I read on the internet as a basis, which has taught me bad habits in the past. Repetition is another hurdle. Even if I can play out the perfect scene in my head I still have to translate it into words, and this is where it all falls apart.

Knowing how to describe something in the most fluent manner possible as accurate as possible with the least amount of words to an audience that knows nothing of it, that cannot see your visions, is a truly impossible task. Although my handful of readers praise my efforts, I can never help but feel hollow. There is always a void in my writing, waiting to be improved upon. Sometimes I know where to strike in this void, and I make motions I feel are brilliant in their own way. But the writing is too vast for any single victory to be worth celebrating - as a whole it must flow in perfect harmony.

A year and a half of inactivity has harmed my writing skills a lot more than I thought it would. If I am to keep up this tiny bit of momentum I must devote absolutely everything thought-wise to it. This means more delays in my other work. But I wasn't making any headway there, anyways.

I needed to rant. That is all.
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Re: TOA's 10th year

Postby IskatuMesk » Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:45 am

I am now beset with the task of rewriting the ship duel in Segment 1 2/4. Our main character, Mauu, will experience her first true duel in the writing, and with another character of significant value both to her history and her future involvement with other affairs. Additionally, the risks involved in this fight are most severe, with the weight of her future not only in the world of the living but, should she fail her mission overall, in standing with her father and kin.

Mauu is present in her ship, linked mentally with the vessel using an advanced variant of the Templar's command modules. Thus, the ship's immense capabilities are linked to her mentally and react as though they were her own body. However, she is inexperienced in combat overall, much less ship to ship combat. Additionally, her ship has been damaged. Unlike most ship to ship battles in the novel, this is a very personal, very low level fight. But the impacts of this first fight, both plot-wise and in writing, set the stage for the novel in the rest of our time with these characters.

This will be the first fight of its nature in the writing, and thus the pressure to do it properly is extremely high. All of the revision undos the damage of terrible writing from 8 years ago, but this part in particular is very poorly written in the old text. It is clear I did not have a real, sensible means of instigating the first steps of the fight; after that it gets easy, but the first moves are generally the hardest.

Before we begin writing we must, above all, consider the two characters involved. Mauu is more a scientist and a scholar than a warrior, and the character she fights is best regarded as insane, but not uncontrolled. Their ships are similar, with the other character possessing an advantage in psionics and her ship possessing an advantage in technology. Mauu is capable of psionic combat, but she will be clouded by emotions during this fight, trying to control herself and her ship will be just as difficult as controlling the confrontation. On top of that, she can't outright destroy the enemy ship - she has to disable it. She doesn't know what the enemy ship is capable of. Her opponent, however, intends to torment her for a while, just for the lulz. But the joyride won't last long - he tends to lose interest quite quickly.

The first motions of the fight will set the pace for much the rest of it. By writing this fight I am demonstrating the way both of these characters think. It's a critical opportunity to introduce their thought processes and personalities in ways I can't through descrptions, thoughts, or dialogues. When met with danger, anxiety, and forced decision making, there is little opportunity to delegate reasonable courses of actions. Training, however great or little, suffers at the hands of inexperience. Thus, we get to see the characters as they think in such circumstances unobscured by layers of age and previous engagements.
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Warning: dialogue contains politically incorrect content. Viewer rearsore may occur.


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