More Wisdom from Jim Ward.

Jim Ward posted some wisdom about writing, and I had to share it.  Jim, if you ever see this, I hope you do not mind that I post all this…but its so good I need to share it far and wide.

Without further ado…

 

Keep Writing No Matter What
In 1974 when I started game designing and I was a terrible speller and it was a time before spell correction programs. All of my editors gave me tons of heat and most suggested I really didn’t have a career in game design. That didn’t stop me. Like Gary Gygax I could always tell a good story which in my mind is 80% of the work of game design.

So I took the editorial hits and kept on trying to improve my craft. One time the author of a Conan pick-a-path book vanished without a trace. I was the only one available to write the book. Pick-a-path books are tough to write because of the many paths in the story. I did it quickly and if I do say so myself the story was right on in the Conan style. The editor came to me after I was done and told me I had done a terrible job and really shouldn’t write any more TSR projects. I was unusually angry at her words. I asked her, “are the characters true to the Conan universe?” She didn’t know because she had never read a Conan novel. “Did I get any of the complex pathing wrong? No she said. “Was the general plots, and there were several, interesting?” Yes you did that okay. “Then what was so bad about the book you asked me to complete in three weeks when every one else took months and months?” She told me I spelled too many words wrong to be an author. Lucky for me I was her boss. I told her to quit belly aching and do her job. I worked much harder on my spelling in future projects.

I’m happy to report that as I worked with many full time game designers I discover that 100% of them were poor spellers.

 

Thanks again Mr. Ward.

Stay Mad.

Be Good.

Chinese New Year Approaches… Good News and Bad news.

Good News……. aaaaaand Bad News.

Quick Update Mad Minions.
So I got a new editor and they are working like crazy on the D&D Module I wrote, the bad news… it is highly unlikely it will be ready by Gary Con.

Its my fault, I trusted my old editor would actually would pull through.. but alas, they did not.

Learning Experience I guess.

Ah well, its a slight weapons malfunction. But, uh, everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here, now, thank you. How are you?

Stay Mad.

Be Good.

Jim Ward Part III or is it IV?

More great words of wisdom from one of my biggest writing influences…. Mr Jim Ward.

Getting the Work
I do the same things all the time as I work on projects. Maybe some of this information will be useful to others.
1 — try hard to bring projects ahead of the deadline. Troy Denning used to say that a deadline was something where you were dead if you crossed that line. I know I have gotten work in the past because I try very hard not to be late on things.
2 — Outline
I’m a great one for being focused. I outline every project I work on. I always change that outline as I work, but I always have one.
3 – Spell check, spell check, spell check
As I begun my writing career I was a terrible speller and there wasn’t a spell check program. I can remember Anne Brown saying she cried as she worked on my files because I spelled so bad. I’ve worked hard on that. Turning over projects with even a few spelling errors is a terrible idea.
4 — Know the companies you work for. I study the products of the companies I work for. I study their websites. I make suggestions on products unique to them.
5 — Know your competition. When I worked for TSR years ago I read all of the competition’s materials. Even now, I read what other companies produce and I try to beat it with my work.
6 — Try new things. I try to put unique concepts into all of my projects. When I wrote, with Anne Brown, the Storyteller’s Thesaurus we wrote that book with an entirely new way to work a thesaurus.
7 — Read a lot
I read short stories and novels every day. It gives me great new ideas.
8 — Write every day. Saturdays and Sundays are just normal work days to me. Holidays just mean I don’t write when I’m pulled away to fun family gatherings.
9 — Facebook
I try to write something on facebook or share something on facebook every day. I find it an inspiration to me on a daily basis.

I hope some of that helps. God Bless America

Hope your learned something. I sure did.

Stay Mad.

Be Good.

The editor is gone. The editor is gone away. The editor is gone baby. The editor is gone away. You know the editor done me wrong baby. And they’ll be sorry someday. (Apologies to the late BB King).

Well, one of my editors is fantastic. Everything I send her she gets back to me with a reasonable turnaround time. She is amazing. The other editor… well, since I started talking with them back in October, they kept giving me reasons they will delay working on my stuff. I bet they thought I would forget by now. But Mad Overlords are insane and never forget those who make promises (so they can exploit them for favors when the Day of Reckoning comes).

I understand that things happen. I pushed back the release of my first book no less than three times.  So, I do understand.  That said, I am now looking for a new editor with a race to see if I can get it done by Garycon 11.

Luckily, my first editor is awesome. I just need someone to look and see all the pieces are there. All the backstory works. Does everything make sense?  Does ANYTHING I write ever make sense? Specially when I am raving about how I will take over the world by making sure all toothpick containers have an odd number of picks inside.

The race is on.

If anyone knows of a good page layout artist, please let me know.

More cool stuff is coming.

Stay Mad.

Be Good.

 

2019 wishes.

Happy New Year Mad Minions…
 
I hope this 2019 you are not attacked by…
Giant Bees
Giant Snakes
Giant Ants
Giant Shrews
Giant Scorpions with a hangnail
Giant Locusts
Giant Crocodiles
Giant Ticks
Giant Octopuseses
Giant Birds
Giant Spiders
Giant Rabbits
Giant Lizards
Giant Scorpions withOUT a hangnail
Giant Pigs
Giant Leeches
Giant Sharks
Giant Aliens
Giant Monkeys
Giant Giants
 

Or Steve. You always need to keep your eye on Steve.

Stay Mad

Be Good

Meeeeery (Mad) Christmas! 2018 edition.

Merry Christmas Mad Minions!
As some of you might remember,  I have come to China to begin my plans for Global Domination. Each year that I have been here, I have helped out with an organization called ‘Alenah’s Hope (www.childrenshope.net) introduced to me by a great friend named Jacken, who take care of children who have been abandoned because they have some kind of disability. That said, please do no share any of these pictures, showing pictures of kids with disabilities is frowned upon in China and i am not even supposed to be sharing these without Photoshopping the eyes… but I don’t think anyone in China actually searches my evil Mad Webpage… so I am going to chance it.

Most of these kids have never been held and most certainly have never had a Christmas present. You are supposed to come and just play with the kids, but I made it my mad mission to make sure these kids know the joy of opening a Christmas present at least once (Once they are filled with joy they wont mind as much when my robot army stomps across the earth, bending all to my mad will).

Because Mad Overlords are not that great at wrapping presents (we are exception at wrapping the bodies of our enemies and sinking them in the marsh to hide them from pesky authorities), I ask some of the great volunteers to help me wrap things.

Once wrapped, we cart them to Alenah’s where we play with the kids and hand out presents.  This year there was a little girl in blue who as soon as I showed she screamed, “Santa!” and came over to dance with me.

Like any good evil Mad Overlord, I rewarded her by tossing her around like a sack of potatoes. You can almost hear her spine crack from here. Does my heart good.

smartcapture

After torturing this small child, I started hanging out the presents. Sadly, I mixed up the packages and none of them contained knives, grenades or flame throwers. Instead all they contained were crayons and cuddly toys.

How sad.

 

Before you think this holiday is all about your favorite Mad Overlord, lots of other people came to help out and this is just a small fraction of all the wonderful people who helped. Its a shame my robot army will have to crush them all because they are really good people.. but ah well.

 

And there you go. December was a hectic month with the move and the building catching on fire and all… But I am glad 2018 is going  out where I got to harass some children. Makes me smile.. and maybe not just because I am mad as a hatter.

Stay Mad.

Be Good.

 

We didn’t start the fire, it was always burning since… OH MY GOD THE BUILDING IS ON FIRE!!!

Hey hey hey fun folks. This is a late post since things have been super hectic here.. I just moved into a new place and EVERYTHING that could possible go wrong with this move, has.

I still do not even have internet at my place. The guy came to hook it up… couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working and then just left. They still charged me though…

*sigh*

Anyway, within 24 hours of Google saying they are going to delay.. even pause the Dragonfly browser deal… there was a fire on the roof of our building. We are on the 9th floor. Google is on the 5th.

Here are some pics. Thank goodness it wasn’t too cold out that day… about 34 degrees F.

No one was hurt. But it does make me wonder.

More stuff coming soon.

Stay Mad.

Be Good.

There is magic.

More words from Jim Ward.

Magic is real
Never doubt there is magic in the world. A simple shoe repair dude puts together an entire new game and 40+ years later millions of people are playing it and having great fun. That same man makes a truly challenging adventure and 40 years later Tomb of Horrors is still a famous world class adventure. A dude (me) is a terrible speller and has no writing experience and is challenged to make a science fiction role-playing game before such a game was even thought of. Now 40+ years later that game is still played and sold. Gary Gygax spun magic my facebook friends. I’m proud to say I’ve spun that same magic. Long after I’m dead and gone people will be playing my games. That makes me extremely happy. Chris Clark and I are about to publish through Troll Lord games a detailed map of the starship Warden. It’s over 500 pages long with terrific maps and illustrations. I have no doubt it will be played in some form on the first colonization starship man sends to the stars. Wouldn’t it be cool if they named that ship the Warden. Happy holidays.

 

Couldn’t have said it better Mr. Ward.

Happy Holidays.

Stay Mad.

Why am I mad? China.

Hey hey Mad Minions,

Some days I really like living in China. But Damn, one thing about about Chinese people (mostly Chinese men for some reason) that drives me crazy is they always think they know what is better for you than yourself… without even knowing what is going on in your life.

Many things are happening this upcoming weekend.
ONE: A game jam. This was originally going to happen on the 9th.

TWO: I just got a new apartment.  The original plan was to have the internet people for my new apartment come on Saturday the 8th.

Sound good so far? Well, after I made these plans, my buddy from the game jam contacted me via wechat (the chat program every one uses here) to say his wife had something to do on Sunday… .. so I had to switch the game jam to Saturday and the landlord stuff to Sunday.

No problem correct?

Well, just wait.

I am also assembling Christmas presents for Alenahs Kids https://childrenshope.net/ I did this last year  https://madoverlordstudios.com/category/christmas/

Here is where I messed up.

This year I thought I should get help. Why should I shoulder the entire load? This is why.

So I was planning on getting all the presents wrapped on December 15th, but since I told people… they said they could help and store the presents at their place (near Alenahs) so I said okay.

But then the people said they will be leaving on the 15th, so the only way we can wrap presents at their place (and store them) is if we do it this up coming weekend (either the 8th or 9th). This was also backed up by the fact the company where I work (FunPlus), told me I had to move all the presents out of the office this weekend.

But what about the landlord?

Well, I tried to choose the activity where I could be the most responsible and serve the majority of the people: which was wrapping christmas presents.

Unfortunately, the Chinese person representing my landlord and the internet guy was mad and called me irresponsible because I wanted to change the date again.

Maybe it is all my fault. But I made the choice to serve the greatest good I could while everything kept shifting under my feet.

I tried my best. I am only one Mad Overlord. Getting more insane by the day and getting *so* tired of Chinese people.  They’re talking like they know what is going on in your life more than you do.

Piss off world. This is why I am going to crush this ball of mud in my evil grip.

Stay Mad.

Be Good.

 

Words of Wisdom from Jim Ward.

I copied this from Jim Ward’s Facebook Page.

Great stuff. Thanks Mr. Ward.

Writer’s Soapbox
Back when young Jim Ward wrote Gods, Demi-gods, and Heroes and Metamorphosis Alpha there wasn’t a spell checker. My text was filled with grammar errors and bad spellings. I had good editors but they weren’t happy. Several TSR editors told me I shouldn’t be designing anything because of my poor writing ability. I listened but I wasn’t daunted. I worked hard at improving my writing. I proof read my material more. I got friends to read things over. during that time I had some huge successes. Deities and Demigods sold 60,000 units at its first printing. Gamma World sold 40,000 units in its first printing. The editors gripped at me less. I worked at my craft. Today I still make huge mistakes but not often. I feel the need to present the best possible product when I turn it over. So in the 44 years of game design I’ve been very lucky as people really like my material. Today I have several companies more than happy to take my work and especially run kickstarters with my name attached. I try to always do the same things.
1 — I outline to focus my thoughts.
2 — I try to throw in actual historical information in my products.
3 — I try to turn over things earlier than expected.
4 — I try hard to put new concepts in my products. This is tough as there are zillions of rpg product these days doing almost everything I want to do.

Happy holidays to you all.

What’s in a name? An N, an A, an M and an E. National Novel Writing Month 2018 – WON!

Hey hey Mad Minions.

The first year I joined Nanowrimo was in 2013.  It was really tough trying to reach that 50,000 words and looking back, everything I wrote then was complete garbage.

Fast forward to 2018. I hit 50,000 words on November 21st and going over what I wrote I am, for the most part, very happy with what I wrote. So happy in fact, I am going to combine this into a book of horror tales.

I will eventually need to find a cover artist… I threw this together in five minutes in flash.  I really like minimalist art in black and white so I  would like to do something similar here.

Anyway, just wanted to send everyone an update. The Castle of Blackwood Moors Adventures, is done with one editor and gone to the second editor. The Sequel is still being tinkered with… but I really wanted to get some horror short stories out there that have been bouncing around in my brain lately.

That and I still have big plans for the Youtube channel.

Stay Mad

Be Good