The SolAARium: Discuss the craft of writing - Alphabetical Index in the 1st Post

unmerged(16363)

Not so idle
Apr 19, 2003
3.716
0
I was reading some stuff here in the SolAARium about fixed style and about humor. All of them nice stuff. It is my first visit here, and I must to congratulate Lord Durham for "giving" us the SolAARium.:D

I have a rather fixed style on my portuguese AAR. Go there and see. It almost doesn't change. It is my first AAR atempt, and I thought it would be good to have a fixed style. And it isn't only my first AAR atempt: it is trully the first history ever that I write!

Sometimes I wonder if I do a big change on it, in order to introduce more humoristic talks and descriptions, or if I could introduce more funny passages on the way it is now. Maybe because I have a rather serious writting style, and perhaps I need to change it because people prefer reading other things.

I am not asking help on my AAR proper because this discussion might be useful for others. Is it good to, when you have a "tradition" of writting always the same way with the same formats etc, to break with the system and change it completly? If it could be good, how to? Doing it slowly? At once? Has anyone ever noticed some break like this on an AAR?
 

The_Hawk

To live, to die, to live again.
99 Badges
Mar 12, 2002
1.285
0
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Warlock 2: Wrath of the Nagas
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • Magicka 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Ancient Space
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
I think a set writing style can be both a blessing and a curse. If you've got a style that people enjoy, and that you can consistently provide, then you're likely to get a constant readership which constantly enjoys what you write. At the same time, it's hard to grow as a writer if you don't branch out. Within an AAR, an experimental post or two can't do too much damage, provided they fit; the trouble is actually making them fit. Experimentation with new styles tends to work better when it's the centerpiece of an entire AAR, but that often entails quite a bit of work.

In the latter category I'm thinking of such classics as MrT's Waiting for Todog and LD's Portugal AAR; both were unique works quite out of the usual range, both for those fine gentlemen and the boards themselves. One example of changing styles on the fly that springs to mind from my (admittedly limited) readership comes from Secret Master's Noble Lives. SM's work was generally character-centered, but he occasionally broke it up with his "Historical Extracts" which highlighted long-term effects of decisions those characters were making, or of trends which might not be immediately apparent to the reader. These were presented in a history-book format, and though it was definitely a departure from the typical post in that thread, I don't think they detracted from the story at all. Quite the opposite, in fact.
 

Storey

StoreytellAAR
7 Badges
Mar 16, 2001
5.975
4
Visit site
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • For The Glory
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
Originally posted by Director

Both require a certain continuity of style, though I think the novel is more demanding in this respect. It is difficult to 'switch gears' in a novel, so those works tend to keep a certain tone and style throughout. Episodes also are stylistically constrained because they follow a preset format, but (just opinion here) I think an author has a little more freedom of variation in a serialized format.


The advantages of a collection of short stories are strong: short length, no common characters necessary, resolution of plot within each story, freedom to change person, point of view and style from story to story. And a 'narrator' figure could comment and explain where necessary.




Comments?



Director

Sorry for the long delay but I had to chew on this awhile.

I agree a novelistic work tends to set a tone and follows that from beginning to end. If it starts out as a comedy then it tends to stay a comedy. It may vary the style of comedy but it stays a comedy. The only exceptions I know of off the top of my head have been collaborations. The short story approach would free you from that constraint.

Yes I see no reason not to be able to do this. Each post can be a short story that stands on it’s own. The whole might not be more than the parts with this method but since they would be short stories it wouldn’t necessarily matter. The main problem is that this is going to require a great deal of skill to pull off. If you’re applying it to a GC of 400 hundred years how many stories are you talking about? A narrator is a must for the over all story to make sense.

For some reason I think this short story approach might take a great deal more time to do.

Joe
 

Judge

Field Marshal
6 Badges
Jan 8, 2003
3.645
0
Visit site
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
Director I really enjoyed your Bremen AAR and it was a refreshing reading experience. I agree that if you are a capable writer that writing style is very appealing and you avoid the risk to get stuck in your own story if you know what I mean by that.

You can easily become victim of your own good intentions and others expectations. An example could be a comedy AAR where you inch by inch lose the ability to constantly deliver witty lines. In such case I think it is almost impossible to bring the story back on track.

However the “Bremen style” will require a lot of creativity and knowledge of the country you are playing but of course the result could very well be a first class AAR that manages to excite the readers more than other AARs.

By the way I said it in your AAR already Storey but I think your reformation of the Log Style AAR is very interesting with log information combined with funny episodes of high quality. Very interesting and perhaps the ideal form for busy forum members that want to write their own AAR?
;)
 

Director

Maestro
34 Badges
Aug 13, 2002
5.176
2.032
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
Storey,

One reason I am studying the 'short-story' approach (no pun intended, Joe) is that a series of short stories would allow an author to 'skim the cream', relating the interesting events and leaving the rest unsaid. I mean, unless it's unusual or pivotal, how many times do you need to write about a royal marriage? or spamming merchants to a CoT? (and failing. And being embargoed.) :)

I thought the 'military' essays were the least readable part of 'Bremen', mainly because of the dry recitation of army movements and battle results. I think now that perhaps I tried to tell that in too much detail. Comments?


Judge,

I have to say that the most fun part of writing the Bremen essays was making up all the crazy background. It's also fun to take a historic event and change what causes it... sort of like looking at history with a fun-house mirror.

Since many of the 'events' are fixed by the game's event files, we have to get creative about the causes and effects. Like that story about the man who was time-traveling to prevent someone else from being shot. He stopped the shooter, only to see a freak meteorite drill the victim through the forehead... history, you see, resisted being changed. The events will fire - or not - and must be explained somehow.


Anibal,

If you are asking about AAR's that feature an immortal character, there are several. I recommend MrT's L'Eminence Grise, Prufrock451's Siberia and my own As The Spirit Moves Me.

What Storey has done is adopt a consistent format - humorous definitions to set the tone, slider settings - and a consistent tone of wry, self-deprecating humor. There's nothing wrong with limiting an AAR to the important events - I wish someone could teach Anne Rice that. 'Brevity is the soul of wit' said Shakespeare - not a bad author to emulate.



I disagree with everyone on one point (What, only one? :D ). Storey's Three Countries is not a log style AAR. What he has done is turn the format inside out - to write a story about a game as a game, rather than as a fictional history and to use himself as the central character and his own human reactions as the narrative.

(Aside: AAR's about the game as a game are uncommon. I only know of two - Joe's, and my HistoryPark. Are there others? Does anyone know?)

Far more than mere rote recital of events - which is the 'log' style - what Storey is doing is telling us the key events and his reactions to them. THAT's what makes this one good (that and the fact that the man knows how to tell a joke even if he's on the receiving end). The man has wit, style and a sense of humor - look out, world!

We enjoy the tale because he shows us the human side of being a player of EU2, warts - and triumphs - and all.
 

unmerged(15337)

Field Marshal
Mar 6, 2003
3.699
1
Visit site
Director, I agree completely with you on your description of Storey's style in the "Three Countries" AAR, which is probably my favorite of the ones currently going on.

I haven't attempted to keep any kind of scorecard identifying AARs by type or style, but one other AAR that may fit your model of "writing about the game as a game" is the Prisonaar, although this involves other themes too. I don't remember the author for sure -- Paranoid Tsar? -- and sadly, it hasn't been updated for quite some time.
 

Judge

Field Marshal
6 Badges
Jan 8, 2003
3.645
0
Visit site
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
Director I am not sure there is any difference of opinion at all here;)

My point (maybe unclear due to language I guess) was that Storey has based his story on what appears to be a log format and then transformed it into a style of its own.

The description “to write a story about a game as a game rather than as a fictional history” would of course also apply on a primitive log AAR and in fact it is a right to the point definition of a log AAR.

The difference when you compare Storey´s work is that he has transformed that basic concept to something unique centered on the writer and spiced with witty lines, which is highly amusing to read.

Looking forward to something new from you as well in the future Director
:D

oh and immortal characters

*commercial break*

The Tiger in my Tiger of Mysore and Miss Hoover and the Judge in My Cum Deo Et Victuribus Armis - Der Deutsche Orden
 
Last edited:

Storey

StoreytellAAR
7 Badges
Mar 16, 2001
5.975
4
Visit site
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • For The Glory
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
Originally posted by Director
Storey,

One reason I am studying the 'short-story' approach (no pun intended, Joe) is that a series of short stories would allow an author to 'skim the cream', relating the interesting events and leaving the rest unsaid. I mean, unless it's unusual or pivotal, how many times do you need to write about a royal marriage? or spamming merchants to a CoT? (and failing. And being embargoed.) :)

I thought the 'military' essays were the least readable part of 'Bremen', mainly because of the dry recitation of army movements and battle results. I think now that perhaps I tried to tell that in too much detail. Comments?


(Aside: AAR's about the game as a game are uncommon. I only know of two - Joe's, and my HistoryPark. Are there others? Does anyone know?)

Director

About the Bremen AAR. Does it make sense to say I admired and enjoyed it with admired coming before enjoyed? I thought the craftsmanship was first rate. The concept was unique and imaginative. I enjoyed the attention to detail that you put into it. I don’t know why some of the chapters worked for me and others didn’t. It might have been the as you say the dryness at times or just the fact that there wasn’t a character to latch on to. Is part of the problem with the short stories going to be why that particular subject is being written about? Can you choose anything you want to write about and succeed, as in keep the readers interest? Is it always going to be about a pivotal point in the AAR?

One of the surprises for me in my AAR is the complete freedom in what I can write about. As you noted with "Bremen" there’s a tremendous amount of fun when you can put anything you want into the story. If I want to tell a story about my wife, fine. Want to talk about my cat’s horrid breath, great. Maybe mention the metal parts on my anatomy, sure. That’s a kick in the pants I didn’t know was coming.

I can think of another who’s done something similar. Rictus wrote one some months ago.




Strangely my current AAR fits into the discussion about short stories. How? Well I’m glad you asked. Several months ago I thought about doing an AAR in the manner of my current one and sprinkling a number of short stories in it. I even had a title for it "Snapshots" or something equally silly. However the more I looked at it the more scared I became. First I was worried about the time commitment. Second I felt that the short stories were going to have to be very good maybe even special for it to work. I didn’t think I had the talent to pull it off so I put it on the back burner and left it simmering. I then wrote a short story for Secret Master that I really enjoyed about a Royal Marriage. It opened up the possibility that I could attempt something this ambitious. However there is still the time commitment to consider. It took me a little over a week to write the story. So take a dozen stories and you’re up to three months work and I haven’t even started doing the narrative much less playing the game. Yikes!

Maybe this winter when the cold arctic winds roar down from Canada and I’m comfortably propped up in my favorite reclining chair in front of the fireplace with an Irish Whiskey on the nightstand beside me. The cat curled in my lap and a Mozart symphony whispering in the background, then and only then might I try attempting the impossible.;)

Joe
 
Last edited:

unmerged(16363)

Not so idle
Apr 19, 2003
3.716
0
Joe, I've been reading now some stuff on your AAR (Three Countries One Goal). Your log style is now a good inspiration to me. I heavily use logs on my AAR, but I feel I need to improve them in some way. I'll test some new stuff when writting my next chapter.

I must say to you all that it is very pleasant to share writting information. I mean, information on writting styles. These experiences are helping me a lot, since this is my first history-writting attempt at all! I'm trying a different approach than the log'n'talks on my installments at The Late Night Liqour Club. More centered on my character, maybe. Let's see how it works!

Another question: Is the use of historical poetry common on people's AARs? I've been using many on mine, but rarely see poetry on others.
 

Director

Maestro
34 Badges
Aug 13, 2002
5.176
2.032
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
Jwolf,

I remember the PrisonAAR and his struggles with Orleans. Enjoyable, I agree, but I think the author tired of the format and abandoned it. I just checked the librAARy - it was abandoned in game year 1610.


Judge,

No difference of opinion? You spoil all my fun! :D

Thanks for the info on your characters - I'll have to look them up.


Anibal,

Not sure what you mean about the poetry. Do you mean including poetry written by others or poetry written by yourself in a period style? You're right that neither is common. Research of any kind is hard work, and writing poetry is tough.

Sharing thoughts is the purpose of the SolAARium and is very valuable for me. This forum is a great place to experiment... the quality of the constructive criticism is high, I think.


Originally posted by Storey
About the Bremen AAR. Does it make sense to say I admired and enjoyed it with admired coming before enjoyed? ... Is part of the problem with the short stories going to be why that particular subject is being written about? Can you choose anything you want to write about and succeed, as in keep the readers interest? Is it always going to be about a pivotal point in the AAR?
Storey,

Ouch. Well, I admit I had more fun with some essays than others. Mozart, Frankenstein and the Heart, Hand and Eye spring to mind. The Colonial Corporation (did I get that right? I forget) for another. Did I say Anne Rice needed an editor? Maybe I wasn't ready to move boldly into a new format - I kept giving in to that urge to tell the whole story.

What I really enjoyed was a freedom to write about any point that interested me, without regard to chronology or the overall flow of the game. And I took a lot of pleasure in thinking up unusual ways to explain what was going on... the bell, Mozart and that Colonial Corporation are examples.

So yes, I think each short story should ideally both illustrate an interesting episode in the game AND be related from an unusual point of view AND tell something interesting. Um, that's one more than a 'both', isn't it. :D

And yes, I think I can choose anything I want to write about and succeed, as in keep the readers interest. :D Or at least develop some hefty authorial muscles in the process. :rolleyes: Heck, everybody slows down to look at a bad wreck!
One of the surprises for me in my AAR is the complete freedom in what I can write about.
Yes, but... Joe, you are the main character. See? The AAR is about you and your experience. It's autobiography in game form. I just think it's great that you can turn the spotlight on yourself with such zest and flair. I'd love to meet you, I'll bet you're a heckuva fella. probably hard to hold a conversation with that clanking noise, but whattheheck.
Several months ago I thought about doing an AAR in the manner of my current one and sprinkling a number of short stories in it. I even had a title for it "Snapshots" or something equally silly.
Oddly enough I've been assembling notes for 'A Portrait Gallery'. My problem is finding a game that I enjoy playing. Lost Poland in a computer restore.

Currently playing Songhai, which is a new brand of snooze-enhancing sleep aids. Great, fecal brown blob spreading from Fez to Fernando Po with no money and .4% inflation from gold... inflation over 65% by 1500's and rising. Impossible to get much done, and now the Portuguese are knockin' on the door. Blecchhhh.
First I was worried about the time commitment. Second I felt that the short stories were going to have to be very good maybe even special for it to work... However there is still the time commitment to consider. It took me a little over a week to write the story. So take a dozen stories and you’re up to three months work and I haven’t even started doing the narrative much less playing the game. Yikes!
Um. Huh? Play the game, write some stories on points that interest you - more than four, less than thirteen - and post them as you get them ready. I have no doubt you can write a great short story, but if you ever wanted a place to fail gloriously in a grand attempt to thunderous applause, this forum is that place.

Tell you what. You wanna split a game and write half the stories? Any way, any style, any thing you wanna do. Or maybe a group of us could pick a country and 'round-robin' the game file - each author plays a generation and writes ONE short segment about his turn at the controls.

Oooops. Sounds like a mass collaboration - call for Lord Durham and let me sit here quietly until the fit passes. :p
 

Wyvern

In the lands of Calradia
81 Badges
Apr 19, 2002
4.568
88
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Magicka 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Stellaris
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Empire of Sin
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
Not sure how relevant this is to the current discussion, I've only caught up on the last few posts, but anyway...

I like the novel approach to telling an AAR, probably because I'm more interested in the story for the stories sake rather than in actual game events. In two of my AAR's I've tried to follow this format; in Defender of the Isle it's a tale that spans hundreds of years and has proved pretty difficult at times to keep new the ideas and characters coming which I imagine is a problem for anyone taking on such a large format.

In my second and more recent AAR The Time Commandoes I instead decided to just pick a shorter time period and base it around a few key events where major changes had happened in game and weave a tale around that. I find I've been able to stay much more focused that way and hopefully this comes across to the benefit of the tale. I also learnt a lot from my first AAR.

Does anyone else feel sometimes that they'd just like to let the actual game itself take a backseat sometimes and progress with the tale regardless?
 

Languish

Fighting the Boredom
Apr 17, 2002
3.588
0
www.twitter.com
Personally i have grown to greatly dislike the "Novel" approach especially as this is an "After Action Report" forum. If a Novel style AAR is clearly based on an AAR and features tales surrounding events during the game there that's fair enough...

However...

I have seen dozens of AAR's here, past and present, that might as well have been (and probably were ) written straight from someones brain irregardless of how excellent that standard of writing is. If i wanted to read a book i'd go and buy one. Here i'd like to see how people get on in a game.

I mentioned, and still favour, a novella subforum for all that stuff a while back. There is clearly a large group of people here who would make use of it leaving this forum here for what it should be used for.
 

Wyvern

In the lands of Calradia
81 Badges
Apr 19, 2002
4.568
88
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Magicka 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Stellaris
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Empire of Sin
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
Hi Languish, I can appreciate your comment though I personally find those stories where someone has taken the time to try a different approach to incorporating game events into a tale to be more interesting. Normally this means I prefer the novelistic (is that a word?) approach.

Would it really gain anything by trying to sub categorise different writers into different fields? I like to think not, there's enough room in this forum for lots of different approaches and we can pick and choose what takes our fancy. I see it as a forum for writing tales around our favourite game, but also as an opportunity to try and improve our writing technique and such like, so I experimented a lot in Defender of the Isle with different styles before settling down.

Anyway a more story based approach (see I avoided the word novelistic this time :)) can still incorporate game events, they're just submerged a bit more below the surface. Take my Time Commandoes AAR for example. It is based on a game I'm playing as Milan, from it the reader should easily be able to tell how Milan expanded under my rule for the first 40 years of play, what the major events/wars were etc, yet it is still all very much portrayed as a story, with believeable characters etc, or at least I hope so. There will of course be updates that don't feature game events but just move the story along, but well I don't find that any bad thing.

Different tastes, different fancies I guess.
 

unmerged(16363)

Not so idle
Apr 19, 2003
3.716
0
Just about writting... How do people manage to write what (or based on) they do on EU2?

For example... While I play, I leave the notepad open and write my own logs when important events happen. For example, from the second chapter of my portuguese AAR, I wrote like this on my notes:

01/07/1436: Temporary insanity.
02/08: Pope wants The Canarian back to Castille. WE DON'T AGREE!

On the AAR, it turned like this:

"Lisboa, 2nd August, 1436 A.D.

- King, we have a message from the Pope.

- What's up? Leave me alone!

- No... that's important. The Pope went back on his decision of giving the Canarian Islands us!

- WHAT?

- Yes. The Canarian aren't ours anymore by right.

- NO! I DON'T AGREE! He gave us the islands, and they SHALL stay ours! We need them for the glory of Portugal! For the glory of our kingdom! For the glory of the portuguese!

- Okay so. I won't tell anything more. The decision is yours. But remember this will hurt our relations with the Pope, and may bring instability to our realm.

- We shall deal with that. We have the most powerfull army and navy in the world! - the king shows signals of crazyness."

The notes I take while playing. I.e., I have a temporary insanity, pause and then jump alt+tab to the notepad and write it. Go back to EU2, unpause, and then I have the event regarding The Canary's question. Pause again, write... and the cycle goes on. I must mention that I very rarely have CTDs doing this.

So... how do people usually do to write? Do like me? Look at the log on the .eug file? Use papers? Recall by mind? Black magic? Or whatever?
 

Wyvern

In the lands of Calradia
81 Badges
Apr 19, 2002
4.568
88
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Magicka 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Stellaris
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Empire of Sin
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
Pretty much like you Anibal I write brief notes, though not in notepad but on a pad of paper next to the keyboard :).

So the early notes for my Milan game look something like this:

Carmagnola conquers Piemonte 1423
Carmagnola dies sieging Bern Oct 1425
Schwyz conquered + cash March 1427
1447 Republico - allied with Emperor
1450 Francesco Sforza
1452/54 war with pope, used CB from Tuscany invading Modena. Captured .... (well I'm not going to say as I haven't reached that in the aar yet ;))
etc.

Just rough pointers to remind me of important events in the game, what date new monarchs came to power so I don't have to go back and look them up, that sort of stuff. If I want anything more detailed then I fire up history parser to get more detailed events from the game log.
 

haaf

de l'Omancha
96 Badges
Dec 13, 2001
256
3
  • Victoria 2
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Pirates of Black Cove
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Diplomacy
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Hearts of Iron III
As events come by I write on my paper pad to the side what I think. Sometimes it can be total rubbish, sometimes it won't find its way into the story.

Then again, I wrote just 1 A-4 sized paper on both sides and would save the game there. About half the total notes I have put down on the paper I didn't use.

I then take those notes and start typing in my wordpad. First just the events I think I can use, then add some notes on how to link them. When I suddenly think of something I might use (now or later) I add it on the next piece of paper I will use for the next session.

So Arnold Schwarzenegger I wrote down when someone in here said Supermodels (odd connection i know, yes, people have said that i have a weird way of thinking)
When I had some use for him, I already had a storyline I could use.

The downside is, that I can't use this very well in (very) long stories. The EU-game is just the backdrop to my twisted ideas.
 

unmerged(9046)

CatAARstroph1c moderator
Apr 26, 2002
3.546
0
Visit site
So... how do people usually do to write? Do like me? Look at the log on the .eug file? Use papers? Recall by mind? Black magic? Or whatever?

In my early stories I wrote copious notes on paper and then sifted through them to write the story. In my current AAR, I set up rules before I started up the AAR. The game took about 3 months to play back and forth with the guy who was playing it with me. We sent notes back and forth which covered the big events.

I write the AAR from the Game Logs. I have set up the story pretty far in advance so I know most of the plot points that I am building towards -- for example, in my current tale I had a big war with Korea in the middle of the game and voila, my arch enemy for the first hundred years has been created. Now I can blame random events on Korea and build the story around them.

The main problem with this style is that it often takes off in a direction I hadn't planned. I try and build in some of what my readers say into the story, even though the story was long ago. A good example of this one was the Time of Troubles for my Pskov AAR that became interactive in nature as people would react to the story and then I would build what actually happened aorund them.
 

Lord Durham

The Father of AARland
12 Badges
Apr 29, 2001
6.633
2
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron II: Beta
Interesting range of topics covered here in the past while. Allow me to comment rather Laconically on a few points, as one in particular has my dander up. :mad:

First and foremost, writers in this particular forum are encouraged to experiment and choose whatever style they wish to use. If a certain element desires nothing but short, fast AARs then go to the EUI AAR forum. There's lots there to choose from -- valium is supplied.

What sets apart the EUII AAR forum is the sophistication and maturity of the writing. I am constantly amazed at the ingenuity and beadth of ideas presented here.

If a certain element wants to read nothing more than: 'In 1492 I sent a merchant to Venice' or 'Watch me conquor the world in five easy steps', then fine. But I'd appreciate no more belly-aching about the use of the forum. I am quite proud of the work I have done here developing writers and encouraged authors to break from the norm. If the forum degenerates back to a simplistic form of log-style AAR writing, then I'll move on to something far more challenging.


As for notes. I ALT-TAB to Notepad and write down basic events as they happen. Later, I'll look for an interesting angle to present the game, then start writing. Even though I committ the sin of using my imagination to shape the story, it still follows the game notes. Usually I play about ten years ahead at a time so I can't be overly influenced by future events.

I know that MrT used to write everything down. He showed me his notebook once. It looked like cuneiform. :)

The only time I wrote on the fly was when a group of use played an MP game with increasing amounts of alcohol. Play for a half hour, write for a half hour, post, rinse, repeat... It was hectic... and rather insane... :)
 

Languish

Fighting the Boredom
Apr 17, 2002
3.588
0
www.twitter.com
There is a thinly veiled reference there which i personally don't like...

I don't have a problem with what people are doing, and as i continually repeat, i am a big fan of such work... i just dont think some posts don't match the definition sometimes... that's it! I am entitled to an opinion am i not? :confused:

I could have been far more "brash" in my approach to the topic... but i wasn't. I just thought a slight amendment to the AAR forum may be welcome. I am in a minority in that respects at that is fine by me :) Let's move on shall we?
 

Lord Durham

The Father of AARland
12 Badges
Apr 29, 2001
6.633
2
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron II: Beta
Originally posted by Languish
There is a thinly veiled reference there which i personally don't like...

I don't have a problem with what people are doing, and as i continually repeat, i am a big fan of such work... i just dont think some posts don't match the definition sometimes... that's it! I am entitled to an opinion am i not? :confused:

I could have been far more "brash" in my approach to the topic... but i wasn't. I just thought a slight amendment to the AAR forum may be welcome. I am in a minority in that respects at that is fine by me :) Let's move on shall we?
Stating your opinion is fine, but you've been harping on this in more than one thread. That's overkill. I will no more amend how this forum will be run than I would suggest how you run your own forum -- something that I have the good grace not to do. Thinly veiled references work both ways, and I take personal insult to the hard work I've put in here for the past two years making this forum as creative as it is.

Let the authors decide what they want to write here.

End of discussion. Next topic.