Over on the blog for The Ion Age I published a little story about Caracan the Strider; a light mecha used in the Patrol Angis game system in 15mm scale. I write a lot of fiction and non-fiction but on this occasion I decided to set myself a challenge in that I would try and create 2000 words of fiction in less than two hours with only five minutes of editing afterwards and then straight to publish. I just managed it and the article went live half a day later. Responses have been kind and nice and sure I made a couple of mistakes but all in all it worked. Have a look and enjoy if you like science fiction with a military leaning.
Writing Two Thousand Words in Two Hours…How?
So. You might be thinking how do I write a story of 2000 words in 120 minutes. Well there is no magic formula really. From my point of view I have and do write a lot so my typing speed is faster than typical. It helps I use a wired full size keyboard as smaller boards and wireless can pose problems and slow you. I am a great believer in the motto of ‘just start’ as it works. When you try this just begin with one sentence which sums up what you are going to write about. Such as ‘This mecha, what is it, who is its pilot and where are they fighting’. Then drop a few lines, I use open office mainly in single page view, and type in salient points of the story you are now thinking of. So any action or dialogue or description you intend to hang the story on. It could be the opening or last line for example. By this time you are five minutes in and have the skeleton of a two thousand word tale.
Now. Do not stop. Type typing and ignore everything else if you can. Take your salient points and begin to build on them with paragraphs. Name your characters and identify places. Ignore the beep of the phone, the call from mates and such (if you are on fire then put it out of course!) and carry on. Frankly I am ignoring Messenger and Whatsapp right now! By the time you are an hour in you should have nearly a thousand words and a story that would work if left as it is. It would be somewhat vapid and missing elements but it exists. Now take a minute and read it back.
The second hour is the power hour. You are in the zone now and you are burning up the virtual paper. Now is the time for the main focus of the tale to take place, focus on the action scene or the central trunk which readers will remember. Get it done and then jump back and expand upon the beginning then hop to the end and write it out and then expand it. Two hours goes fast. You should now have your story…
Pompous eh? What am I like. A fast thinking, fast typing, veteran scribbler telling you it is this easy. Well it ain’t easy and I got there with seconds to spare. It is perfectly fine to try for 1000 words or for three hours when you begin and I recommend you try and do an exercise of 500 words several times if you are very new to this. If you manage to craft a tale then you deserve some applause as many people simply never do it.
I began with books like the one above and they are well worth reading. I will end on this notion. Begin with the End clearly in Mind. It makes all the difference.
Alternative Armies and by extension 15mmcouk and The Ion Age now have a dedicated group on Facebook overseen by myself. A place to talk miniatures and games and ask questions.
All interested are welcome so please come along and join.
New beginnings, fresh starts, reaffirmations of love and promises for a brighter future all come to mind for a New Year. We resolve to get in shape, lose weight, improve career paths, and the like. Then, there are the heartfelt promises we make to others, whether aloud or in our minds. We want to care more, express love more, reverse bad feelings in old relationships or seek out new loving relationships. We try our very best to put these desires into words. Though New Years can be a time of celebration and cheer, there are many people who are facing difficult circumstances. They may be entering this time of year with apprehension or anxiety. I send out a hope of encouragement and for prosperity to you at this time of new yearly birth.
My own plans for this new year are as they were for the last one. To do much, to enjoy and to bring happiness to as many people as I can manage in person and by proxy online with words and with miniatures from my work.
If you like the look of the picture above that is great. It is the free miniature for January 2017 at my little Ion Age which you can see online.
“This last decade has seen suffering on a scale not seen for centuries since the obliterating horror of the Aldan Crucible. In the twenty years since the murder of my father in rightful battle and following this my abduction as a child, Prydia has been aflame and never more so than in the this decade now closed. None know the true count of this conflict but it is in the billions of needless deaths. All these deaths needless and the result of the ambitions of the rebel barons and their leagues. Now, here, in the liberation of Bosworth IV we have reached the high water mark of the Leagues. They will rise no more. Edmund Bluefort, leader and lord of the League of Canlaster, is dead this very day in fair joust. With his death and the returning of this planet to freedom I send out this message across all the systems in the Precinct. Freedom is coming and the darkness will be lifted in the months and years to come. As long as it takes, you will all be liberated and returned to a worthy peace. Coming from the skies the red and white of the Prydian Army will drive out the rebel barons and their lackeys one planet, one settlement at a time. The flame that threatened to burn us all and reduce us once more to savages will be put out. Already it gutters and fails. That which has been ruined will be rebuilt and restored. Prydia is rising once more and now more than ever before we must stand united against threats that may come to us from beyond our own stars. This civil war will end!”
Princess Daphne Cyon addresses the Precinct from Zone 62 New Bosworth 4330 IC
My space opera setting just doubled in size!
You can read all about my latest book Callsign Taranis online on its page of the website. I am very proud of this expansion book and though it took longer than hoped or expected to chisel to a finished monolith it is now crossing the globe to all those who made the choice to order it up early. Thank you! I only wish to add some pictures here of what the book likes like internally. Its pages and their quality. We decided to get the book printed in Scotland and went for a high quality paper and bind meaning Callsign Taranis will stand up to the rigours of long term use by wargamers. It is a thing of beauty and that is important and I think we will do this again. It costs more and means we make less money but at the same time the customer gets a ruddy good product and we keep people in work here. This also applied to the larger format pre-print with new cover art of the original Patrol Angis book to which this new one is the expansion sequel.
“In Callsign Taranis you will find the expansion rules covering the use of Vehicles in play as well as Structures and other bolt on mechanics. There are also game statistics for the vehicles of the Prydian Civil War and additional skills, equipment and items for your troops. Following on from Patrol Angis is part two of the Prydian Civil War background. Also in this book is the Support Phase and the Between Games development of your forces. Rules for how to play larger games of Patrol Angis and how to generate random terrain. A bolt on section for Building your Forces with Vehicle and Mixed platoons. This and more all in a packed sixty four pages! 15mm Wargaming!”
The Ion Age is my own baby. My forth child as it were. It is by a long margin the smallest compared to Alternative Armies and 15mm.co.uk but it is growing and between myself and Sam Croes we are creating something special, something unique.
I have made the choice that although I will not be posting much here on my own site I will be putting up short articles with my own look at some of the books and products I am involved with closely. What I have written or been impressed by. If you want to see what I am up to most every day then look to the right and follow me on Googleplus and or Facebook. My own site is for musing and mutterings beyond these.
Do you like what you see? I do…and I have seen the finished art that this sketch was the beginning point for. There are great things a foot at The Ion Age. In a few weeks time we will be all about Callsign Taranis the book and the pre-order offers too. Before that we will put the new and improved production method IAF035 Adder Combat Cars (all six different models) back on the website shortly and we will tell you just what is in Callsign Taranis the expansion to Patrol Angis. But first this little article by way of introduction to what will come.
Both Patrol Angis and Callsign Taranis will be published as A4 larger format books moving away from A5. We have responded to customers and shortly the smaller A5 format Patrol Angis will be removed from our website meaning that if you have one of them it will be a collectors item for there will be no more smaller format books in this growing series. If you want the smaller format book get it now as it will be removed with the pre-orders begin or sooner if stock is exhausted. Simply put I placed so much value and word count in Patrol Angis (and Callsign Taranis) that it needed more space for everyone to be able to enjoy it properly!
I have shown the cover art of both books before and now I will tell you that those two great pieces of art are NO LONGER the cover art for the books. Sam Croes the lead designer and artist at The Ion Age has created two new much larger works of art for the covers. So in conclusion the existing Patrol Angis rulebook will be re-issued as a larger format with new covers but with exactly the same content and Callsign Taranis will be larger format too and will have new cover art and totally new content. Hope you liked the sketch.
p.s. This article is taken from the blog for The Ion Age and marks my small return to my own website here after a haitus which saw illness, joy and sadness as well as accomplishment too. More to come.
Real interest straight off the bat with the new free miniature from my baby brand The Ion Age. And why not, she is lovely. Have a read on the link.
This Saturday the long anticipated wargame show Blast-Tastic is happening in Bristol in the UK. The show is a new venture specialising in science fiction wargaming mainly in the 15mm scale. I had long planned to attend the show (one of the first to sign up to it!) but due to circumstances beyond my control (other meetings scheduled on the near thousand mile round trip pulled out on us!) it had to be cancelled. This is actually rather upsetting as I had been really looking forward to going and had already got the stock ready and the demo game of Patrol Angis too! The game is near completion and this would have been its only gaming public appearance before publication.
But all I can do is put a link to the details of the show and ask if you are near Bristol to consider attending on Saturday.
Seems a weekend in the rain of Ayrshire is now mine. 🙁
I know something huge is happening on Thursday 18th and to be honest regardless of the result I am sure I will survive and prosper. But I am fairly tired of talking about it and being pushed for an opinion. So while I will be putting up the results and my thoughts on it..for the moment lets look at something awesome instead. The latest 15mm model designed by my good friend Sam Croes goes up on offer at The Ion Age upon the morrow and its a beauty too. The Mullo Armoured Fighting Vehicle a space opera dream made real.
Ain’t she lovely! Thanks for looking.
Sometimes art takes many forms and today I got to see an example of Pyrography which is, to us lay folk, the art of burning images into wood. An ancient and worthy form of art in my opinion. Now to the matter in hand hot as it is! Shani wife of Mark and a fan of The Ion Age made her loving husband a unique present of a dice box as seen in the image above. It was fashioned to match the cover of the coming Patrol Angis rulebook which you can see below.
I think Shani did an excellent job of it. You can see the original post HERE.
Its our biggest code on the Ion Age so far and this little look at it gives you a taste before release day. Our birthday month is heating up and thanks to everyone who has sent in kind words and picked up the figures they missed from the Year One Collection. Read on and dream of a grand space opera setting. Go to the Ion Age blog and excuse me after a massive typing day for not saying more here inside my own head blog.