OOU Notes, Questions, and Commentary

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Soban
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OOU Notes, Questions, and Commentary

Post by Soban » Thu May 22, 2008 3:56 pm

This is a general thread for me to state things from an OOU perspective, as well as a place to answer questions if people have them. Damna is still relatively young, ignoring the fact that it just got a complete overhaul, so I expect most people are just watching to see where I'm going with this.

On OZ, the Damnaticia forum was effectively dead for months. That's because I had been working behind the scenes in my spare time, mostly musing over ideas and concepts on my "other" Damnaticia forum, which is on Adam's (Destructionator's) private forum for the M3 RPG project. I'd been throwing out ideas with some very helpful commentary and advice from Dan (Dakarne), and devised a completely new magic system for the 'verse, while abandoning a lot of the old events and many of the characters from what I now call "Damnaticia Arc-1". That isn't to say that Mirela, Serghei, and Antony are gone, but the story I was telling with them is. Like with other stories, I abandoned an idea that had hit a very big obstacle, though I do intend to revisit their plot someday.

Even when I was actively pumping out the Arc-1 stories, I neglected articles and behind the scenes info. As it originally stood, Damnaticia was originally intended to be developed primarily from a literary perspective, though I think I learned some good lessons with that approach. Worldbuilding does help considerably, and I intend to eventually fully flesh out neo-Damna as a verse with lots of articles and stories.

The direction of Damnaticia really shifted around aimlessly during those months of inactivity on OZ, as it went from "dark fantasy" to "horror" and back to "dark fantasy", before settling on its present course. I'm now confident enough with this universe's direction to stick with it, so it won't end up like Imbalanced Powers, getting rivised twice and then left to rot on the face of the board because I was too indecisive to tell Arty to delete the abortion. I'm also confident enough as a writer to stick with it.

Something else I might bare mentioning is my original attempt, back in '05 and '06, at contemporary fantasy; that would be Artemis' Atlantis Rising, which despite my mistakes and various flaws in the 'verse, I feel was good for "teething" as a contemporary fantasy writer. I have a few fond memories of various AR elements, and although they are few ( :lol: ), I've revisited some of those old ideas for this reborn universe.

Foremost amongst those was The Arcane Order, which I still more or less consider to be the crowning achievement of my tenure as AR's author. The concept of TAO has been revisited during my downtime from OZ, and it is my plan to write a new TAO, with revised versions of some of the old cast, and many new additions. The new TAO actually bears only cursory similarities to the original, but working on its rebirth over the last month has been a bit of a labor of love for me.

As Damnaticia is born anew, and elements of old ideas and universes are reborn within its womb, I look toward the creation and fleshing out of a living world, and I hope you will all join me in watching it grow.
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Re: OOU Notes, Questions, and Commentary

Post by Dakarne » Thu May 22, 2008 11:26 pm

I'm looking forward to seeing more of it.

You're welcome on the ideas, by the way, if only I could more coherently decide on some of my own. :P
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'For the moment, mortal, they find the thought of killing me more desirable than that of killing you.'
'And what are their chances?'
'The answer to that is evident in how long they've been hesitating, wouldn't you think, mortal?'

-Anomander Rake and Ganoes Paran in Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

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Re: OOU Notes, Questions, and Commentary

Post by Soban » Thu May 22, 2008 11:32 pm

Just giving credit where credit is due. :)

And I've been on that ship before myself, believe me. :lol: Half of that "downtime" was my musing over fifteen different ideas, as you well know. I'm quite happy that I've managed to get focused back on one thing, indead of hopping madly through attention deficit land. ;)

I honestly hope you can get back into 'verse building again someday, although I understand how you prefer to mainly work on stories and not worldbuilding. I'm still a big fan of CC. Vampires? Overdone? Who cares! :D
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Re: OOU Notes, Questions, and Commentary

Post by Dakarne » Thu May 22, 2008 11:53 pm

Soban wrote:Just giving credit where credit is due. :)
I appreciate the credit when I receive it. You'd do the same for me, I reckon.
And I've been on that ship before myself, believe me. :lol: Half of that "downtime" was my musing over fifteen different ideas, as you well know. I'm quite happy that I've managed to get focused back on one thing, indead of hopping madly through attention deficit land. ;)
For me, quite a lot of ideas are difficult to pin down because you can pin the first part down but can't pin the second part down, and when you finally do pin the second part down the first part you already pinned down is suddenly called back into question and starts waving at you while loudly singing the Dalek Song. At least for me, it's like that. :P But I'm an intensely self-critical literature student, I seem to breathe this stuff.
I honestly hope you can get back into 'verse building again someday, although I understand how you prefer to mainly work on stories and not worldbuilding. I'm still a big fan of CC. Vampires? Overdone? Who cares! :D
If the Crimson Chronicle is resurrected, it'll have to be after a long period of downtime on thinking about vampires and similar creatures in general.

As you know, I'm currently trying to work on a classical fantasy novel where all of the typical aspects of the Hero's Quest are either thrown out of the window or twisted beyond recognition. I've got a coherent idea for the storyline, but the execution itself is troubling me in a few aspects. Most notably the way magic works. I don't want to become Yet Another Person Who Rips Off Jack Vance. It was done well three times, and done in an okay-but-could-be-better fashion once.

I'm still thinking about it a bit, though.
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'For the moment, mortal, they find the thought of killing me more desirable than that of killing you.'
'And what are their chances?'
'The answer to that is evident in how long they've been hesitating, wouldn't you think, mortal?'

-Anomander Rake and Ganoes Paran in Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

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Soban
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Re: OOU Notes, Questions, and Commentary

Post by Soban » Fri May 23, 2008 12:38 am

Dakarne wrote:For me, quite a lot of ideas are difficult to pin down because you can pin the first part down but can't pin the second part down, and when you finally do pin the second part down the first part you already pinned down is suddenly called back into question and starts waving at you while loudly singing the Dalek Song. At least for me, it's like that. :P But I'm an intensely self-critical literature student, I seem to breathe this stuff.
I have had that problem at times, but apparently not as often as you. I can see just how frustrating that can be, though.
If the Crimson Chronicle is resurrected, it'll have to be after a long period of downtime on thinking about vampires and similar creatures in general.

As you know, I'm currently trying to work on a classical fantasy novel where all of the typical aspects of the Hero's Quest are either thrown out of the window or twisted beyond recognition. I've got a coherent idea for the storyline, but the execution itself is troubling me in a few aspects. Most notably the way magic works. I don't want to become Yet Another Person Who Rips Off Jack Vance. It was done well three times, and done in an okay-but-could-be-better fashion once.

I'm still thinking about it a bit, though.
I agree, since I've very much dealt with the same problems in my own wierd way.

The "Immortals", as they emerged as the Lilu that they currently are, very briefly existed as your typical vampires (and kudos go to Ford for pointing out what kind of lame idea that was) before I came up with the idea of making them Un-Vampires in every possible way, using my new magic system (which was the other really big obstacle to making this thing work) to explain why they would consume blood and souls, and then going to say that pretty much every less-than-moral wizard does it anyway.

So my solution to vampires was to say they don't really even exist. :lol: Of course you would want to come up with a much different solution if your story was actually about vampires. Granted, your idea of blood being an addiction for vamps remains, in my mind, one of the coolest original ideas I've seen added to an otherwise over-derivative genre.

I think we need to make a vampire thread in Worldbuilding, it could perhaps yield some more interesting ideas...
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Re: OOU Notes, Questions, and Commentary

Post by Dakarne » Fri May 23, 2008 1:09 am

Soban wrote:I have had that problem at times, but apparently not as often as you. I can see just how frustrating that can be, though.
It's practically every problem I ever have. Particularly with the magic system, funnily enough, as it just can't seem to stay still and be decided on.
The "Immortals", as they emerged as the Lilu that they currently are, very briefly existed as your typical vampires (and kudos go to Ford for pointing out what kind of lame idea that was) before I came up with the idea of making them Un-Vampires in every possible way, using my new magic system (which was the other really big obstacle to making this thing work) to explain why they would consume blood and souls, and then going to say that pretty much every less-than-moral wizard does it anyway.
Magic systems are a bitch. Let me tell you. Though I think you handled it quite nicely enough. Any problems at this stage are just minor bugs and issues that need to be ironed out, really.
So my solution to vampires was to say they don't really even exist. :lol: Of course you would want to come up with a much different solution if your story was actually about vampires. Granted, your idea of blood being an addiction for vamps remains, in my mind, one of the coolest original ideas I've seen added to an otherwise over-derivative genre.
Well, the over-derivative part was one of the main problems. The other problem was, for me, that regardless of the reasons whether they be addiction, need for sustenance or 'we just like bloodsucking, kthxbai', I was faced constantly with the fact that vampires have had their stories told into oblivion. Vampire private investigator. Vampire working with a private investigator. Vampire cop. Angsty vampire relating personal story. Angsty vampire's angsty sire relating personal story. Vampire internal power struggles. Half-vampire hunting other vampires. More half-vampires hunting other vampires. Ditto. A super-vampire hunting vampires in service to the British monarchy. A Byronesque vampire villain. A seductive lesbian vampire villain. Count Dracula. Count Dracula retellings. Seductive lesbian vampire going through the ages using vampirism as a sexual metaphor. Vampires as zombie-esque monsters in mass numbers. Vampires as smart monsters in mass numbers.
I think we need to make a vampire thread in Worldbuilding, it could perhaps yield some more interesting ideas...
It would, at that. :D Probably requires a bit of thought, though...
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'For the moment, mortal, they find the thought of killing me more desirable than that of killing you.'
'And what are their chances?'
'The answer to that is evident in how long they've been hesitating, wouldn't you think, mortal?'

-Anomander Rake and Ganoes Paran in Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

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Re: OOU Notes, Questions, and Commentary

Post by Soban » Fri May 23, 2008 1:58 am

My god, vampires stories really have been overdone. I even knew about most of those you listed, but just seeing them all listed in one group makes you have a little bit of an ill feeling. No wonder you've been so loathe to write about them.

I will admit that it isn't really possible to write something that, on the surface, hasn't been done before by someone, somewhere (at least in part), so my only real advice is that one has to put a new twist on an old idea. It does work from time to time.

Take, for example, the "angsty vampire relating personal story". What about a vampire relating his personal story, and the fact that he has no regrets? He enjoys the Hunt and the Seduction? Almost like a Hannibal-esque vamp, I guess. Or a vampire (or dhampir) bounty hunter not hunting other vampires, but human enemies of the coven? What about a vampire crooked cop (perhaps he gets turned and becomes even more crooked :P)? Or the misadventures of a vampire nun (for comedy)? How can one be a virgin vamp? Dunno, don't care!

Just some thoughts to consider for when we do make the vamp discussion thread.
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Re: OOU Notes, Questions, and Commentary

Post by Dakarne » Fri May 23, 2008 9:11 am

Soban wrote:My god, vampires stories really have been overdone. I even knew about most of those you listed, but just seeing them all listed in one group makes you have a little bit of an ill feeling. No wonder you've been so loathe to write about them.
With the way my mind works, I see the whole list just by thinking 'vampire' and waiting for the ideas to bleed through. And those are merely the ones I've encountered personally and could think about offhand, and very quickly. Vampires are beyond what you would call the sane requirements of 'overdoing it' and have long since crossed over into the insanity that makes them so very, very overdone now.
I will admit that it isn't really possible to write something that, on the surface, hasn't been done before by someone, somewhere (at least in part), so my only real advice is that one has to put a new twist on an old idea. It does work from time to time.
It does. Hell, Diane Duane revolutionised the 'young people discovering magic' story before it even became clichéd. Her Young Wizards novels, despite being about magic and sorcery almost certainly double as science fiction due to her holding the magic to a rigorous scientific standard to the point where (if magic didn't actually work) it'd be 'hard' science fiction. (In the sense that it's all very consistent in what can and cannot be done.)
Take, for example, the "angsty vampire relating personal story". What about a vampire relating his personal story, and the fact that he has no regrets? He enjoys the Hunt and the Seduction?
Sorry, I'm afraid that one's actually been done before. At least twice. It's actually fairly common in some areas, as the sad angsty regretful vampires are often seen as being exceptions to the rules within their own universal contexts. Though it's becoming a little bit of a Do'Urdenism.
Or a vampire (or dhampir) bounty hunter not hunting other vampires, but human enemies of the coven?
This is covered in Moonlight a few times, Vampire: The Masquerade, and Legacy of Kain all three of which I've already listed, where humans are frequently killed so they either don't expose the vampires for what they are or start organising slaying parties. Legacy of Kain focuses quite specifically on it, with vampires being the protagonists and the Sarafan (human vampire-hunters) are their most frequent and notable enemy.
What about a vampire crooked cop (perhaps he gets turned and becomes even more crooked :P)? Or the misadventures of a vampire nun (for comedy)? How can one be a virgin vamp? Dunno, don't care!
Those last two haven't been done, admittedly. :P Though the vampire crooked cop is a possibility hinted at a few times in Blade, IIRC...

Of course, for almost every vampire idea, there's as many ideas about wizards or werewolves, but wizards are at least more versatile considering that you can have magic itself as everything from natural development to a maddening curse.
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'For the moment, mortal, they find the thought of killing me more desirable than that of killing you.'
'And what are their chances?'
'The answer to that is evident in how long they've been hesitating, wouldn't you think, mortal?'

-Anomander Rake and Ganoes Paran in Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

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