Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A (Lack of) Progress Report

As far as writing has gone this past week... well, I haven't done much. I've wanted to, but I haven't exactly had as much opportunity as I would have liked. The most significant thing I've done is actually figure out why I want to write a particular series. That was done by figuring out what the overall story is. It's important, but it doesn't bring me closer to my target.

The main problem is that I've been spending my spare time relaxing a lot more than usual. That, when combined with exhaustion from a series of sleepless nights (partially my fault for staying up too late when I have to be up early, partially the fault of alarms going off in the middle of the night), has resulted in me doing much less than I'd have liked to.

I'm hoping that tomorrow will help put me back on track, with a couple of things planned for the afternoon and nothing else planned for the evening.

This means I have to avoid the PS3, though. That's been the biggest distraction. You see, recently I came across Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, and, having played the first game a few years ago, I couldn't help but buy it and play it. And play it I have. Constantly. It's not just a nostalgia rush, of course. I genuinely love the game, and I love following the story.

Yes, some of the dialogue is ridiculously cheesy. Yes, the graphics aren't the best. Yes, it's a dated game at this point. But it also has an interesting system of religion at work. It demonstrates the struggle for ideals in equality and peace.

It's a game that helped form the sort of depth I've wanted to include in my fantasy novels. I want to develop a system of religion that fits into the world. I want to create a rulebook for magic users. I want to create a world in which life is actually at stake, but not merely on a global level.

This is why I play games, even when it means not writing. The games that explore religion, and the games that explore the concept of the martyr, they help to create human stories concerned with personal destiny in the wider scheme of life. Colette in Tales of Symphonia has to save the world, knowing it will end her life. The l'cie in Final Fantasy XIII have to make a decision: destroy the world they come from, or die tragically. Yuna in Final Fantasy X has to stop Sin, knowing that the summoner never survives the pilgrimage.

I want to tell my own story. I want to figure it all out before I start writing that book.

Unfortunately, I don't think I can use that as an excuse for not writing the books I've already planned. I have a feeling I'll be playing catch-up on my books for the rest of the 40-day challenge. So be it. But I'll be damned if I have to give up doing something else I enjoy, too, especially on the days when exhaustion takes it toll.

My progress is lacking, but that doesn't mean I can't talk about it.

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