This week’s been a bit of a mixed bag, I think. I’ve done a ton of reading, but I haven’t spent the time I’d like on my writing.
My plan last week was to be reading from Ursula LeGuin’s Planet of Exile and Walter Burket’s Greek Religion. I’ve done a lot of reading this past week, but I haven’t spent much of it on Planet of Exile. I have made good progress on Greek Religion. It’s fairly interesting, and giving me some material to play with in my head when thinking about religion and beliefs in my own invented worlds.
I’ve also been reading from the core books of Adventures in Middle Earth, a game set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth using the 5th edition rules of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a setting I’m very familiar with, based on rules I’m unfamiliar with (but have respect for). I started playing tabletop games with the 3rd edition of D&D, but didn’t care for the 4th. By the time 5th came out, I was already playing a few other games and didn’t have great interest in learning the new edition.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever play or run a game of Adventures in Middle Earth, but I’m glad I gave the Player’s Guide and the Loremaster’s Guide a read-through. I find game design an interesting space to think in and try to work in, and Adventures does some interesting things to combine narrative roleplay with mechanical design. It’s tricky to find a game that combines the different elements smoothly, and I think Adventures looks to do it well.
In particular – if you’re interested in trying the game – I’d highlight Adventures in Middle Earth‘s system for playing through long journeys (like the ones in Tolkien’s fiction), and for measuring the corrupting influence of the Shadow. It’s a brilliant way to actively, mechanically penalize players for normal player behavior in tabletop games – looting, murdering, generally being not-so-nice.
In Adventures in Middle Earth, the players are mechanically incentivized to be heroic. And that’s really cool.
Like I said above, I haven’t gotten a lot of writing done this week. I’ve continued tinkering with my outline for Jiharel, but didn’t make the progress I’d intended to. Progress is progress, but it’s not as much as I’d aimed for. Frankly, I just needed to spend more time working on the outline than I did.
This upcoming week, I’m going to work on a revision of one of my short stories. I’m going to need material to submit to my current workshop class – for my MFA – and I’d like to have something brushed up more than what I’ve currently got sitting around.
Apart from that, I’d like to continue making headway on the outline for Jiharel, but it won’t be a priority.
Last Week: Read from Planet of Exile and Greek Religion, and get the major moments of the outline written. Not particularly completed; plenty of reading from Greek Religion, but didn’t really spend any time on the outline.
This Week: Revise a short story for my current workshop class, and keep reading from Burket and LeGuin.