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MoonHunter Sayeth 20180425


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Three Passes, Two Points, One Product.
Another catchy counting mnemonic to ensure better game elements.

So people ask, "Hunter. How do you make so many good posts?"

"Funny you should ask. I have a process...."

Groaning. Because of course you do is mumbled.

"This one is quick and easy as three two one and won't require you to read three blog posts."

--- -0- ---
Count it down with me.

Three is for The Audiences. Every game post has to address the three audiences. To do that you need to write with three voices.
  • The Author/ Artist: This one writes for the reader. This is the parts that are the cool, the interesting, the artistic. This voice is not practical or useful, it is just "cool bits" and put together in an interesting way. It just sounds neat. This is the artistic elements that make everyone go "ooohh" or "ahhhh"
  • The GM: This one writes the practical application for the chronicle. These are things that can be used to build up an aspect of the chronicle. They can add history, effect, or complications to the setting. Adding the details that the GM will need to use it. Mechanics are optional for this voice.
  • The Player: This one writes what is something for the player to use. Normally they want things they can add to the character. They could be places and organizations they can incorporate into their character's history or plotlines. They might need the mechanics (or a guideline to the mechanics) to use it.
There are things that work for only one or two audience(s). A good post needs to have elements for all three audiences.

Now some people try to do this all at once. That tends to be hit or miss. I think the best way is in three passes. The first pass is always as "The Author". If the piece does not have that "spark" or "flair", it will never really truly capture the attention and engage the reader. First think about how it (what ever "it" you are writing about) will seem and feel and work in the setting. This gives you a foundation to work from. Everything else you might add will serve the author view.

Add the details you would need to as a GM. This would give it some historical links, some connections to the world, and most important how it is easily inserted into a chronicle and what kind of scenarios evolve from its being there. It has to be playable or it is useless to the GM.

Put on your player hat. How will players want to use this element? Think about how you as a player would use it; then think about every player you know would use it? (Include some people you don't like playing with... just for contrast.)

Some write it all at once. Some people, like I, do this in passes. They write something, then edit/ improve it based upon the view/ pass they are doing. Some people write three different pieces, one from each view (which I think is tedious and too much work) then attempt to combine them together. Using these various points of view, a writer can address the needs of GMs and Gamers in the game, while still having the artistic flair of an author.

Two: Every good post has Bits of Chrome and Hanging Plot hooks. Every post should interesting. It should have intriguing elements. That is the job of the author. The second step is to sprinkle it with specifically interesting bits. The sprinkles make everything better right?

Chrome are bits of details, colorful things you add. Colorful details, OOPs (out of place things), additional details not required but nice to add, are all good examples of chrome. (They could be in jokes too,) They enhance the piece. The more details you can add appropriately to the various points, the better the piece can be. Now don't think it is about adding word count or bullet points; it is about putting together interesting and useful material.

Hanging plot hooks are just that. There are things that can easily be built off to happen in the chronicle. They provide things that could explored and new directions for the characters to wander in.

Some people use the 7Cs as GM Voice. I can see that. They can be used in any voice. However, Chrome is one of the important Cs of the 7. Insuring the various elements of the 7Cs has always been the "cherries on top", so checking and adding at this stage is always a good idea.

The last one thing: One Last Pass.

After you finish the piece, spend some time away from it. Read something else. Do something else. Look away for 60 seconds or more. Then make one more pass over it. Check that all three audiences are addressed. Check it for the The 7Cs adding elements, connections, consistencies, chrome, checking for all those other Cs. You basically have done this in step three and two, but never hurts to see if you missed something. Check from chrome and hooks. Oh and check for your spelling, punctuation, sentences.

Technically The Author mode edits/ rewrites with proper spelling, grammar, and format... so there is a mechanical aspect to the author. This can be done first, last, or while going working on it. (Edit the piece as you will.) One last pass at the end is the best way to do it.

When the pass is over - Press the Button and submit it.

--- -0- ---

Okay, there is a Step Zero. Technically it is Step 52. It is Bradbury's rule. Bradbury said, "Write a short story every week for a year or more. It's impossible to write 52 bad stories in a row." So in my case... practice writing pieces... produce a body of work. Everyone will forget about the less than average pieces and focus on the good ones.

--- -0- ---

Recently I do two posts that stand out in my mind. One post was my "new favorite post". Then there is the biggest "oops" I have done in a while. Even with the system, your results can vary.

This is from the super hero chronicles
3) The Scramble

The Scramble has a couple of scientific and official names, but nobody really uses them. For some reason, around the area of NY/NJ is the epicenter. (Some blame a scientist doing time research (but when?), or some bit of nuclear weirdness, or just dumb fate. The world has been scrambled. People, Animals, and Things, from other times (and places) have all been tossed into the present. The effect has occurred all around the world, but centers on the NY/NJ area. It created chaos. People were in danger. People were taking advantages with crime and violence. Animals roamed free, a danger to others and themselves. Then there were the fires and other disasters.

Still some people have stepped up. They used their skills and abilities to help establish order, corral the monsters, and stop the criminals. Many of The Displaced are exceptional, not just uniquely skilled. Groups of them have stayed together as "bands of heroes" to help deal with threats that have been scrambled up.

Note: The phenomena continues, though at a much slower pace these days.

Note: This sounded much cooler in my head... knights, cavemen, cowboys on motorcycles (or raptor), and rocket guys all on the same super team. Still, maybe I should just put a river running through it all. It should be neat... but nope. It misses all the cool bits, very little chrome and plot hooks, ... and oh well.

I guess they can't all be Jame's Birthday Party
Yes. I read this one later and realized... I failed. It was not awful, but it really was not as good as I thought it was. I hurried through it. It didn't quite have enough to make it work.

Even with this process in mind, you have hits and misses. Sometimes you don't spend the time. Sometimes you just don't execute. Sometimes you just miss it. Sometimes you surprise yourself.

Then I have Jame's Birthday Party. It is my new favorite post. It is from the 101 time patrol facilities. It started as a boring biostation monitoring dinosaurs and time fluxes from a meteor. I added some chrome, then it took over. I went back and worked it. There was a good artistic twist on the re-edit. Then this one became fun.

50) Late Jurassic Station 44

This is one of those stations. There was an impact of a Hyperanium meteor in this period, about 96 KM from the station. Because of that, any number of odd phenomena occur. Kirk/Enterprise timeline 1 kind of odd phenomena. Needless to say, this make the life of the people in what should be a boring biomonitoring stations a bit challenging. Thus these bioagents and scientists are quite busy. However, what they will be known for is Jame's Birthday. James is the station mascot and basically functions as a pet. Jame's 10th birthday was one of the epic parties for the Time Watch. It was bigger than Woodstock (which really wasn't that big), heck it may of been bigger than Urbrantu! You know... that kind of epic... the kind that they have to make new regulations after. (Like no kidnapping cloned versions of 21st century pop stars to entertain at Time Watch Parties kind of regulation.)

Jame's Party is one of those odd events that "saved the patrol". So many agents were clustered down time, in a time shrounded pocket - due to the Hyperanium-, that when that Alpha Fork happened (and Alpha Base was attacked and compromised by Kommag), there were enough science and unattached agents in one place that they were able to formulate a plan and restore the time flow to its correct path (and rebuild Alpha Base).

Thus there are many duty uniform's in The Watch with either the patch or the cloisonne pin with the Jame's Party Logo. These are people to respect.
Hanging Plot hook, Chrome, Neat bits. Well written. A nice reversal. It is a lot of fun. Yep. Favorite post of the moment. And well made too.


One last thing Jackie

You can use cards to help this process. We have five things to go over. Each Idea has a card. Each explanation or expansion of those ideas/ points should be on a card or tacked on to the original card. (Apply the 7Cs). Sort the cards into their five areas. You can then eyeball how much material you can have.
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