ain’t no reboot like a doctor who reboot

With the summer creeping up, it’s becoming high time for reboots galore! And reboots are the new thing – we’re not totally ignoring previous movies to deal with these characters and stories, we’re just starting over. Despite my cynicism, I’m totally excited about this year’s reboots/reimaginings. When the first summer season action flick hits, it’s the high holidays for me.

But to business.

Novelly Derivative is going to be undergoing a reboot of its own. I’d like to be able to say that’s why the posts have been so sparse lately, but that would just be precisely not quite ┬áin exactitude entirely accurate. But for now, it has become true, I’m holding off posting until I’ve got a system in place.

This blog started out as a way for me to just keep busy and keep writing about really anything, but I’ve decided I’d actually really like to do something with it, which means I need some focus and direction and structure. The blog started out as a way for me to chronicle transitioning into an “adult” mindset, and switching out of the college mentality. Thinking about it now, it’s funny to realize that that’s really sort of happened without my noticing it. I’m only three weeks into a new job, but I’m already in the 9 to 5 mindset and making weekly coffee dates and convincing friends to get into a kickboxing class with me. Also, conversations I’ve had in the last week have included loan consolidation, interior decorating, and Los Angeles area real estate.

So when the posts start coming hot and fresh again, I won’t totally be ignoring what this blog has been for the last year. The blog will sort of being starting anew, and I’ll be honing in on the parts I’ve decided are the important bits. Same story, just taking a closer look at different aspects, that were maybe glossed over in previous editions. Definition of a reboot, right?


New Mediums

My long absence is due to a couple of factors.

One: I left a job and moved 400 miles back down to LA. This has allowed me to give myself plenty of leeway in doing anything that is even a little productive, all in the name of “settling in.” Now officially settled in and hopefully finding a rhythm, it’s really time for me to get back on the ball.

Two: I found a new obsession in a new medium.I just recently built a PC, and so was able to start playing more games, or as a friend put it “joined the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race” – I even have a membership card. This process started out slow, with me sampling games here and there, until my birthday came around and filled my Steam library with enough distractions to effectually make me useless to the outside world. Particularly because I was introduced to Mass Effect.

If you’ve talked to me at all in the last few weeks, I’ve probably mentioned this game once or seven-hundred times. I started with the first and was addicted, and I think it’s only gotten worse as time has gone on. But this has bearing on more than just my obsessive tendencies. The reason why I’ve become so obsessed with this game is because it has a marvelous story. And because it’s a game, I get to write part of it!

I also picked up Ender’s Game again (mostly because I finished ME2 and was waiting to buy 3, so I had unoccupied time), and in the introduction, Orson Scott Card talks about the intersect between author and reader being where the real story happens – “the story is one that you and I will construct together in your memory.” This has never been more explicitly true than in video games.

I took a seminar in my senior year about “modular narratives” and the stories that exist in video games. If you don’t understand what modular narrative means, don’t feel bad, I took a class in it and still just barely cling to a definition of stories that don’t have singular linear paths, but jump here and there and all over the place to come together. I wish I had played Mass Effect while reading Ender’s Game then, because I would’ve had a bang-on thesis. Now my genius concepts will go unwritten (and therefore remain forever genius, rather than being proven kind of eh).

Anyways, these are just a lot of thoughts floating around in my head today. The main point is this new consideration of video game writing. It never occurred to me that that might be something I might enjoy, and to be perfectly honest, it probably still isn’t, given how many games, and gamers, really prefer that the story didn’t interfere too much with the rest of the game. But it’s a new idea…


Also, this is half total bullshit and half reasonable truth. Playing an RPG, besides the half-assed arguments that could be made for research, does actually fall into the category of, at the very least, story creation. At least if you play like I do, and try to think of the character as a character rather than just an avatar. So while my hours of playtime haven’t been precisely productive, there’s an argument to be made for ‘creative exercise.’