George R.R. Martin: 10 Writing Tips On Game Of Thrones

I copied the vid notes below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5Q2KdiwEO4

George R R Martin is an American novelist and short story writer, screenwriter, and television producer. He is the author of the series of epic fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into the Emmy Award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones (2011–2019).

01 – The human heart in conflict with itself is the only thing worth writing about. You need characters to question who, and what, they are and how they fit within the world around them. This is key for character development.

02 – Write for yourself. Following trends, or pleasing your audience in spite of your own plans, harms good storytelling. Listening to critique is good, but inevitably you must be entertained and feel your way through the writing process.

03 – Anyone can die, and death is a key part of any story with conflict. Don’t give your characters any special treatment, have them play by the same rules you set upon your world. Not only does it add constant tension, but it also creates a realistic atmosphere.

04 – Sometimes an idea can just come to you. If so, do not disregard it, instead follow the idea as a writer and write it! It could either lead into an interesting project or serve as useful practice.

05 – Show don’t tell. Immersion is essential to any story. Only through visuals and vivid descriptions of your world, can your audience even start to imagine themselves in your world.

06 – Allow yourself to discover in the process of writing. While you need to know the major outcomes of the story, and character arcs, allow yourself to enjoy and be aware of your sixth sense on your way through the story.

07 – When writing a script, dialogue should never be too long. Other than a few monologues, or moments, keep it short and sweet. Also, read the dialogue aloud by yourself or with the cast, this is a simple effective way to see if it works.

08 – When adapting a novel, you’ll always lose some content. However, a good adaptation rides the fine line between cutting side content and keeping smaller meaningful moments that enrich the story.

09 – Being a writer is not a career for those who wish to be stable. It is a massive risk in every way. A true writer, even during the lows of their career, will never stop storytelling. It is essential to whom they are. So, from a beginner to a bestseller, never stop writing.

10 – The ending to an act is fundamental to keeping the audience engaged with your story. Leaving it on a cliff-hanger, or teasing the audience with a different outcome can be the best way to break up converging storylines and finished acts. 

Jerry Jenkins: 12 Step Process On Writing Novels

I’ve outlined the steps below, and a few other notes Jenkins mentions. I think I’ll use this structure for my next novel. By the way, I included 10 different story structures in my e-book Space Sci Fi Generated Prompts. The book is available as Pay What You Want on Drive Thru RPG. Here’s the link:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/404184/Space-Sci-Fi-Generated-Prompts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn__v80q7_w

Descrip: In this video, I share with you the 12-step novel-writing process that’s helped me write more than 130 novels over the past 40 years.

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1. A Winning Story Idea

2. Outliner Or Pantser? (early outline or write by seat of pants)

Dean Koontz classic story structure – plunge character into terrible trouble, make matters worse, predicament appears hopeless, character becomes heroic

3. Unforgettable Characters

Character questions – what do they want, who or what is keeping them from getting it, what will they do about that

4. Conduct Thorough Research

5. Your Point Of View Character

6. Begin In The Middle Of Things

surprise opener, dramatic statement opener, philosophical opener, poetic opener

7. Trigger The Theater Of The Reader’s Mind

8. Ramp Up Character’s Trouble

9. Make Hero’s Predicament Appear Hopeless

10. Bring It All To A Head

11. Leave Reader Wholly Satisfied

12. Separate Writing From Editing

Non-Retrieval: System Agnostic Sci Fi RPG Adventure

Two announcements: First off, after 2 failed attempts at paying graphic artists to make the cover of my dreams, and at least 15 attempts I made on my own over the years, I went through Canva and used their cover design tools to update my sci fi novella. The result is the cover show below, which I am using both for the novella and the RPG adventure.

Second, I turned my novella into an RPG adventure. It is system agnostic, meaning I include the plot, characters and gear details, but I don’t provide RPG stats. You can do that on your own, based on your favorite RPG game’s rule system. And guess what? The adventure is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY), which gives you the chance to adapt and modify the adventure to your favorite game, and to make money off of it, as long as you give me, Raymond Towers, credit for having created the adventure.

The purpose of releasing the adventure this way is because people in general are not reading books, but Game Masters and players read plenty as they set up and play their RPG games. If this experiment goes well, I will see about adapting some of my other fiction in the same format, and maybe I’ll have some spending money for the holidays.

Pay What You Want for this adventure on Drive Thru RPG. Reader Sets Price for the novella on Smashwords.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/416645/NonRetrieval-A-Sci-Fi-Adventure

About this title: This sci-fi adventure includes a bare bones outline you can tailor to fit many weird genre RPGs, an expanded outline that stays true to the original fiction it is based on, plus details for up to 15 Space Marine NPCs, 1 hostile alien race and 1 neutral alien race. Best of all, this adventure is licensed as CC-BY. You can modify it with stats for your favorite RPG, create new characters or scenarios, and market it any way you want, as long as you give Raymond Towers credit for the original work.

For rookie Spaceman Harold Douglas, the mission sounded simple enough. Take the squad of Space Marines out, discover why the outpost had gone offline, and bring them back home in one piece. That was before the transport suddenly vanished, stranding them all on an alien planet. Now, they are fighting for their lives against the greatest threat humanity has ever seen.

NPC Archivist: Border Skirmish – Defender Vs Bandit

Use your imagination a little bit, and you’ve got a horde of opportunistic raiders carrying out multiple attacks against the armed and angry settlers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9g7xqw_eOM

This is one of the best NPC duels I’ve seen in a while. A true spectacle, showcasing their clear mastery of the blade. Most definitely not the ideal NPC to encounter with an under-leveled character.. tread lightly my fellow adventurers.

Space Sci Fi Quick Plots And Villains – Updated!

Just released the 5th version of this title. Over 100 pages, with 150 plots and villains, and 18 roll your own campaigns. Get this title free on Drive Thru RPG. Link below.

Ready to download on Drive Thru RPG. Pay What You Want for it, get it free, as long as you can squeeze something out of it, something fun, I’m happy. Slanted toward Space Opera or Sword And Planet aka Planetary Romance. Everything you need to get a great story started except a kick in the ass.

Get this title here:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/403320/Space-Sci-Fi-Quick-Plots-And-Villains

Created with GIMP

About this title: For role-players and storytellers, this is a quick resource based on Plots and Villains from the Space Science Fiction genre. If you’d like to spice up your writing or game with ideas from classic Space Opera TV shows and from additional genre resources such as movies, comic books and RPG game-play videos, I’ve collected a number of brief Plot and Villain descriptions that you can add to your story / game, and even entire campaign outlines you can play through. Use your imagination and existing world-building tools to fill in the details. Roll a few dice to get going, and you’ve got yourself a random story starter, foes, and a series of adventures for your characters to go into space with.

Major categories in this supplement include:

Buck Rogers

Flash Gordon

Space: 1999

Starship Troopers

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Here is are random Plot and Villain rolls from my Space 1999 lists. Can you create a story out of them?

Plot #31- S2E7 The Rules Of Luton

The crew touches down on a promising location / planet. When the ship malfunctions, it must return to home base right, away, and it is always a good idea to have crew members stay behind on unknown lands. As it happens, the members of the crew taste berries and pick flowers. These are criminal offenses on this strange world run by tyrant vegetation. The sentence for the unwitting crew members is combat to the death. Sub-plot: The ship the good guys came on can no longer find the planet because it has become cloaked from scanners. The planet will appear again once the conflict is resolved.

Villain #29 – S2E5 Journey To Where

Primitive tribal warriors that wield swords and shields, who live in caves and are suspicious of strangers. The uniforms and devices used by the crew are enough to anger these warriors, and so will signs of sickness caused by the environment’s cold temperatures.

Inspired By M.C. – short story collection now available

Recently re-released and reformatted. This collection of short stories, novellas and poetry spans a number of genres, including fantasy, horror, science fiction, humor and erotica. The collection is currently available for $6.99 at Smashwords.

About this title: This is a collection of my artistic, romantic impressions, inspired from dialog with my female pen pal M.C. There is a broad range to these stories, including fantasy, horror, humor, science fiction and erotica. For a time, my entire perspective revolved around this singular woman. Da Vinci had his masterpiece in Mona Lisa, and in a similar vein I have mine in M.C. Rating: HIGH controversy.

This title’s page on Smashwords.

An excerpt from The Black Rose, included in this collection:

My dreams haunt me, of her. For weeks now, I have been having them. I have seen her everywhere in my house: on the porch during the morning hours, through the windows on both floors and in the various dark corners of the house during the day. Most recently, she has appeared at the foot of my bed, in the heart of the previous night.

So often have I seen this phantom, that I can now describe her with the utmost accuracy. She can’t possibly be of a higher stature than one or two inches past five feet. Her hair is fairly long, but I have not seen it in its entirety and therefore I cannot be completely certain. Her hair is either a very dark brown or as black as pitch, as are her eyes.

Those eyes, they pierce through me like daggers.

Definitely, her features are Spanish. With the slight upturn of her chin, she reminds me much of the regal portraits I have seen of that country’s queens and princesses. Her nose is pleasant enough, her lips sensual and thick, her jowls fleshy and soft, and her bosom prominent. Always, she is enrobed in a long and flowing gown of white, which seems to flow of its own accord, even when there is no breeze to taunt and stir up against it.

Were I any lesser man, or is it one less foolish, undoubtedly my house would already stand vacant. Alas, I have neither the relatives willing to take me in, nor the funds for me to procure a new place of residence. Any ideas of my departure most closely resemble a wingless fowl attempting to take flight. Ha!

My resolve has always been to remain here, in order to confront this enticing demoness that has chosen to plague me, if indeed a demoness it is…

Balenciaga Fashions – For Your Dark Fiction NPCs

Need a physical description for your dark future fiction or role-playing game NPCs? Here you go. These models and their outfits can fit into a variety of settings: post-apocalypse, Mad Max, near future urban blight, near future horror, vampire, goth, raver, arcology gone wrong in cyberpunk, all kinds of scenarios.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh_1K9s6UV0

Descrip: Summer 23 Collection More on balenciaga.com/summer23

Geek & Sundry: Call To Adventure Board Game One Shot

Very well acted play-through, with a lot of humor and hijinks. This is the second game-play vid I’ve watched. The game mechanics seem a little nerfed, but the story-telling aspects are top notch. Stick around to the end so you can hear the character life stories the players came up with. There are some surprises thanks to the Hidden Destiny feature.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVeTpCerhos

Descrip: Overcome challenges and shape your character! In this week’s Game the Game, host Becca Scott is joined by James Katica and Amy Vorpahl to play Call to Adventure from Brotherwise Games. This character creation and storytelling game pits 2-4 players against each other to create the greatest destiny.

Thanks to Brotherwise Games for partnering with us on this video. Reveal your own character backstory: http://brotherwisegames.com/store

List Of RPG Companies Freedom Lovers Should Avoid, 2021

Get Woke, Go Broke. Fuck you, WotC.

Link to RPG Site forum post where list is located.

Link to PDF version of list that you can download right now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JztnOHZw8h4

Descrip: RPG Pundit – The List That Drives D&D SJWs Nuts

Someone on theRPGsite made a list of Woke, Woke-Collaborator, and normal RPG companies. The D&D SJWs have gone completely nuts about it. But they don’t debate the accuracy of it; so why?

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The worst of the worst:

  • Arc Dream Publishing (Delta Green) Delta Green Handlers guide has a whole section on Trump. They are actually more hostile to Trump than actual historical nazis.
  • Arcanist Press Only make diversity products, they based their company on their politics
  • Brittania Games (Chivalry & Sorcery, Land of the Rising Sun for 5e D&D) “… In this edition of the classic medieval fantasy game we have drawn on modern [i.e. Intersectional Marxist] research to present the Middle Ages as they really were; diverse and rich in cultural influences and visitors from outside Europe. If this does not reflect your vision of the Middle Ages, this is not the game for you.” and “… In this edition of the classic medieval fantasy game we encourage you to break away from the bland white, male Middle Ages of yesteryear and make your game as rich and varied as the Middle Ages really were. If this does not reflect your vision of the Middle Ages, this is not the game for you” -Marxists automatically go here.
  • BurningWheelHQ/Luke Crane (Burning Wheel, Torchbearer, Mouseguard) It was painful to put this one here because I remember I sort of enjoyed reading burning wheel back when Burning Wheel Gold first came out, it had some interesting ideas however I cannot ignore the fact that Luke Crane and his company have extremely close ties with Anita Sarkeesian (Feminist Frequency). You can find their selfies together online, as well as a report of her position being official on their old forums and any support of gamergate was forbidden. If you’re a masochist here is a link however the old forums are gone and there is no link to the original post however you can easily find the interview with anita on youtube with Luke Crane.
  • Evil Beagle Games/Sean Patrick Fannon Evil Beagle “Games is dedicated to the principles of Inclusivity, Diversity, Representation, and Kindness in the gaming community.” and went rambling on about critical race theory being a driving factor. Asked to be on this list as red. Also SPF has accusations of sexual harassment, see here
  • Evil Hat Productions/Fred Hicks (FATE RPG, Swords in the Dark)– Another poster child for woke gaming. Embedded in everything from their forums, to their products and staff. Also produces Thirsty Sword Lesbians with Gay Spaceship Games. Has gotten products pulled from one bookshelf, and tried to deplatform others. Has official stances on politics and must be intersectional feminist to play his games. Openly tells you if you don’t like their politics don’t buy their games. Too easy 
  • Gencon A convention, but honorary assholes nonetheless. They go a bit ban happy, see Jeremy Hambley and the whole thing with “nu-tsr” despite being short lived. Jeremy Hambly AKA The Quartering on youtube was assaulted by someone at Gencon, and banned for being the victim of a crime at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was founded by Peter Atkinson, former president of Wizards of the Coast.
  • Goodman Games (Dungeon Crawl Classics) – Tried to protect itself by distancing itself from Judges Guild and donating to ADL. Other than that, I can’t really find anything else on them. Praised BLM last year and donates to woke charities Charity Drive.  There is now an announcement that the next printing of DCC will be in all gender neutral pronouns we aren’t sure what that means and released what sounded like a fairly politically driven warning for conventions. Also their convention rules go beyond what is reasonable DCO Policies.docx (goodman-games.com)
  • Green Ronin (Blue Rose, Song of Ice and Fire RPG, Dragon Age RPG) – Chris Pramas is a self described member of ANTIFA Link (see his bio on twitter), has a vitriolic hatred for white people, and his products reflect this. Publishes “Blue Rose”, the gay RPG. Proto SJWs, they were making political statements in their games before anyone else was.
  • Grim and Perilous Games (Zweihander, Flames of Freedom, Blackbird) Freakin Dumpster Fire, Official discord and forums heavily enforce Daniel fox’s politics down to having a bot that blocks any message using banned words. A bunch of names are on that list. Flames of Freedom openly preaches against colonialism and white people, and has a heavy dose of historical revisionism, which is a fair critique of a supposed historical setting. Has allegedly stated if you are anti sjw or anti woke that you do not buy or play his games and will pay you for your copy. Also allegedly a self described “anarcho communist” both of these need citations but based on my own interactions and findings seem like reasonable assumptions
  • Judges Guild (Bob Bledsaw II) Anti Semitism, see Judges Guild Controversy
  • Kobold Press Chapter 2 of “Guide to Gamemastering” has a whole section telling the reader to “check your privilege” and the whole thing kind of reads like a gender studies course or something. Actively disparages cis white males. Also known to charge writers for the chance to write for them, and then prides themselves on paying them a penny per word.
  • Magpie Games (Avatar Legends RPG) Way into BLM and “Diversity and Inclusion, also hired Daniel Kwan from Asians Represent Youtube channel. They tried to get Oriental Adventures banned from one bookshelf and other storefronts. Market their game as non western storytelling.
  • Modiphius (Infinity, Vampire the Masquerade 5th Edition, Fallout RPG, Conan etc) Publishes some woke products, and feminizes Conan the Barbarian. Allegedly hires based on race. THese are also the current license holders for vampire the masquerade, which has been a trip to keep up with. See this Changes to Conan the Wanderer
  • Monkey House Games/Jeff Dee: Enormous asshole and activist. If you are republican or conservative or Christian this hates you.
  • Monte Cook Games (Numenera) Partners with Shanna Germain and wrote consent in gaming. Anything with Germain’s fingers on it is automatically red
  • MyFarog/Varg Vikerness Owns the blog Thulean Perspective, did time for murder, self described Neo Nazi, regularly posts anti semetic remarks. There is a good case to be made for these ideas to be actually in his game as well.
  • Ockult Ortmastare Games/Stockholm Cartell (Mork Borg) – Uses OGL to shoot down authors they disagree with. Supports BLM and bailing out rioters. View their License for yourself but we need some concrete examples of them actually using this Mork Borg 3rd Party License
  • Old Skull Publishing/Diogo Nogueira (Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells) Was previously placed here for an unsubstantiated rumor, however has expressed a strong desire to remain in this category due to a strong feeling to those who don’t specifically share his views. Keeps close relationships with self described communists as well. It’s public on his twitter feed. Openly mixes politics with gaming as well Example: Experience Points: Oranoslob and the Cult of Hate and Lies (pontosdeexperiencia.com.br)
  • Onyx Path Publishing (Chronicles of Darkness) Heavily enforces political requirements in their communities, games are full of post modernist and leftist themes and preaching to no end.
  • Paizo (Pathfinder)– Has whole pages in their books telling you how you must play their game and be inclusive. Harasses customers, aggressively moderates forums against anyone to the right of stalin, Retconned Golarion lore to be more inclusive, starfinder even had an adventure where you needed to get a professor at a university to apologize for being insensitive despite being factually correct. No lie, first adventure path. Another AP for Pathfinder showed all men as incompetent, read like a tumblr blog and all the women were super powerful and if you didnt bring the black, lesbian, disabled ranger with you then you automatically lost. Iron Gods or something like that.
  • Pelgrane Press (13th Age) “The thing about SWGs (Straight White Guys) is that they make great punching bags. ” Still need a citation for this but for now it’s going red. Also published #Feminism
  • Renegade Game Studios (Vampire the Masquerade 5e) I believe these guys are the current name of who owns VtM. Not sure where to start with these guys, nonstop preaching, large chunks of their books will be ranting about fascists, right wing, and pretty much everyone they disagree with.
  • Roll20 (Virtual Tabletop) Strongly supports BLM and woke titles, participates in fund raisers for those causes. Also refused to sponsor a live play by taking20, dawnforged cast and a few others because they “didn’t need any more straight white guys.” Not sponsering the video isn’t the problem here, it’s their reason is racist as fuck
  • Sigil Stone Publishing (Five Torches Deep) Just read the last page in FTD Origins. Titled: “BIOESSENTIALISM, RACISM, AND COLONIALISM
    Stygian Fox (The Things We Leave Behind, Occams Razor, New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley) A transgender owner and fully inclusive team including a sexual and bisexuals. Hires favouring trans, people of colour, IDIC, and other minorities. Each book contains a trigger warning system and most covers has ‘for mature gamers’. Produces Lovecraftian horror roleplaying books and often makes statements via twitter of inclusivity and stating ‘if you’re not like us, don’t buy our books’. Definitely Red. Almost infra red. ‘Woke’ AF.
  • Wizards of the Coast (Dungeons and Dragons) – Harasses customers, diversity checkboxes, hires based on race, pedo judges, bans anyone they disagree with on social issues from all sanctioned events. True dumpster fire.

Jason Bulmahn: Basics Of D&D/Pathfinder Worldbuilding

More of a dry explanation, with a few pointers and a lot of exposition about them, with a Q&A session at the end. I expected a little more in-depth detail from a lead designer at Paizo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZORaxcKa-4

Descrip: In this video, I explore the basics of building a world for your Tabletop RPG game, starting with organizing your work, creating rings of design focus, and using play to drive your design. While the focus here is on fantasy RPGs like Pathfinder and D&D, these techniques can be applied to just about any game. This lecture was broadcast live on my Twitch channel. You can join in the fun every Saturday at 4pm at twitch.tv/JasonBulmahn