I am not lost…

April 17, 2017

Getting to Know You

So much like large quantities of the rest of the gaming world, I’ve gotten myself sucked into Persona 5. Being a huge fan of P4, and at least passingly familiar with P3, it stands to reason that I’d be right on top of this when it came out. Truth be told, I didn’t do any research into the game at all. I didn’t focus on it, I didn’t know anything about it, I had no initial intention of buying it.

Why, I can’t really say. It could be a number of reasons. My guess (because I really don’t know) is that it’s the same reason why it takes me so long to grow accustomed to new Doctors on Doctor Who. I don’t like change. These are the characters I know and love, and trying to get to know new characters is hard.

(I don’t know how I survive as a writer. I truly don’t.)



February 20, 2017

I Hear You, Johanna…

(Don’t mind me and my geeky Broadway beginning. I can’t help myself.)

Maybe it’s how long I watched anime and the like, maybe it’s my own connection to theatre and voice acting…maybe it’s just me. But I run into a problem with I’m writing, particularly when I start creating new characters.

I start hearing voices.


October 14, 2016


So let’s take the character from Monday’s adventure, and start throwing him into some mess, shall we? You’ll see as I start to write this how quickly the rest of the world begins to form around him, how setting and character and plot start to get all jumbled up together. I’ve tried to keep this fairly firmly on Dana himself, but…well, it’s hard when there’s no mirror around. At least, I don’t think there is…


The door slammed shut behind me, the dark and silence inside worlds more welcoming than the howling chaos outside. What the hell is happening? I couldn’t see where I’d been running; I didn’t know how far from the house I’d gotten. Had I actually gotten away from the house? Looking around, I wasn’t with anyone, as far as I could tell. The tiny little room was entirely devoid of people. I could just make out the edges of some shelves, but aside from that…I was alone.

Alone and the world was falling apart around me. Why did that feel like the story of my life?


October 10, 2016


I’ve used that title for so many things over the years, and I’m never going to get tired of it. The origin is a Kurt Vonnegut story by the same name, about a man with little personality of his own but when he’s given a part in a play, he becomes utterly immersed into the character from beginning of rehearsal until closing night. It’s how I’ve described my style of adapting to jobs; I walk in and determine who I’m supposed to be…and then play the part. Morning person? I am absolutely not, but if you need me to be, I will be smiling and happy at six a.m. for you.

So when people ask me, “Hey Rion, which comes first? The plot or the character?” the answer for me is simple.

There is no story, if there is no one to carry it forward.


June 13, 2016

What You See and What You Get

I’m not positive, but I feel like I’ve probably mentioned the video game UNDERTALE on this blog before. (Almost put “channel.” Can you tell I’m on YouTube too much?) It’s an amazing game with some of the best cause-and-effect mechanics I’ve ever seen in a video game. But more than that, I’ve always been impressed with their character development. The characters have depth, they change, they grow. And in at least two occasions, we meet characters who turn out to be very different indeed from who we thought they were the first time.

I adore characters who defy expectations. These two do it perfectly.

(If you couldn’t have guessed, there are MAJOR Undertale spoilers beneath the cut, for both the Pacifist and No Mercy/”Genocide” ending. You have been warned.)


May 2, 2016

Tell Me Why I Should Care About You

(As a side note: as of May 1st, my car has–we’re fairly certain–completely died. Something has croaked in the engine and for a 17 year old car, I can’t afford to replace the engine. The trouble is, neither can I afford a new car. As such, I’m having to crash away from my apartment and closer to where I work so that I can carpool with people to get to my Day Job–which makes writing posts and whatnot a bit harder. I am going to do my best to ensure that nothing gets interrupted here, but if it is, I wanted you to know why. I’m also likely going to be working more in order to afford some kind of car, so my time to write and read is limited. I just ask for your patience and good thoughts/prayers for me. It’s a very hectic time in my family’s life as well as mine, and this could not have come at a worse time.)


I’ve made no secret about the fact that I think character development is one of the most critical pieces of writing. One of my strongest pieces of critiques or any work comes when I feel I can’t connect with or relate to the characters. I find sometimes, however, that I have difficulty pointing out the exact point where I realize that this has happened or failed to. My first clue has been lately, though. I take you all back to some of my favorites: the running app Zombies, Run!.


April 25, 2016

What’s In A Name?

Names have always been important in my writing. I say time and time again that characters come to me first, and that usually starts with a name. (This does lead to many of my characters having similar names, which is…something I’m working on.) Add into this my time dabbling in Lyn Thorne-Alder’s world of Addergoole, where names (and Names) have extremely large meanings, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time on BehindtheName.com. I love delving into meanings, and making the meanings tie back to the characters to which they are attached.

But some of my favorites were off the cuff decisions. And the name of your character is infinitely important.


April 11, 2016

Tell Me What You Remember

I’ve not made a secret out of the fact that character development is something to which I’ve devoted¬†way too much of my life. I was obsessed with character surveys. I’ve done star charts for characters–and then altered things depending on how accurate it was. I did my entire undergraduate thesis on the concept. And yet still, sometimes I have trouble carrying all of that onto the page where readers can see it. I can see the character so clearly in my mind; why isn’t that showing through?

But on the few occasions when I’ve really gotten it, I’ve been asked how I managed to do it. This is one of the few places where I’ll ever say “write what you know” and I’m totally serious.


February 29, 2016

Alternate Storytelling: Video Games

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw me retweet this excellent blog post from Chuck Wendig looking at the game Firewatch and how it tells a story, and what we can learn from its methods. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on Firewatch, and I can see the truth in both sides. This got me thinking, though. I’ve talked about non-traditional storytelling before, and also that I love the methods of storytelling I’ve seen in video games. So how could I pass up the opportunity to talk about one of the video games I’ve played lately that I think has changed the way games tell stories completely?

Let’s talk UNDERTALE. (There may be spoilers below, but I’ll point them out before I say anything, in case you haven’t played the game yet. …And you should. Go play. Right now.)


July 8, 2015

Time for Some Fun! Character Surveys!

Filed under: Writing — R @ 12:00 pm
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I used to do these All The Damn Time back when I was in high school. I was just surfing around and came across some¬†very old journal entries from back in the bad old days, and thought it might be amusing to do a new and improved one. (Actually I found two, so I’m going to do both of them. DEAL WITH IT.) If nothing else, this is a fun and interesting way to introduce (or re-introduce!) you to some of my characters. Most of them won’t be the main character of the series, since you know enough about them! And I need some fun in my life today. So! Here goes nothing!


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