Thursday, May 25, 2017

Studying Authors' Writing Style

I need to create a good method of researching an Author's writing style. here is my draft process:

  1. Google/Search Author's Writing Style
    1. (Needs a list of key words and terms to try)
  2. Dump them all in the Gaming Skills Doc as references for processing. Typically I slowly work my way through them. 
  3. Proceed to draft and model one of the aspects of the storyteller's style.
    Note: I can't get the OVERALL style, I can only comment a piece of the authors style like the blind men and the elephant
    1. Categories tend to follow Pacing. 
      1. Immersion, Setting Expectations. 
      2. Hooks, Building up to Climax, Complications, Escalation of Conflict. Cliff Hangers  
      3. Pivoting, Twists, Deflecting, etc...
      4. Closure.
  4. Sort and Collect a number of Author Styles for evaluation into TRPG storytelling. 

Started on Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I notice the author works with a lot of complex elements and pleasant distractions. He can hammer at your attention with one two punches of descriptives that lean but filling for your imagination. Then when your attention is saturated he pivots the story into directions that surprise and engage.

When I compare him to my favorite author - Jim Butcher uses more modern memes to embed a lot of meaning with a few words while Christian Cameron uses a lot of athletic, logistic, and military immersive detail to draw my attention.

I have a Hypothesis that Storytellers need to be armed with all the various ways to describe key Interest point. It can be either Logistics, Geometry of Combat, Athletics, Attention, Beauty, Nature, Cities, etc... That one can use the 20rffk to create a methodology of describing one and another, and that some methods can carry over to another field/specialty.

Narrative Combat - describing Combat Geometry, and Physical Movements of Fighting and Time are one of the methodologies I want to help detail.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Gaming Skill List Update: Redefining Goals

The original goal of the Gaming Skill list was that it was a place to dump knowledge useful to gaming. It typically drew from a lot of places. One favorite use was Rules of thumb or Heuristics we used in Work Operations and Daily life.

The Document has gone through some changes that mirror my professional training and my general education. Particularly in Process Systems Engineering, Language Studies, and my experience at work and life.

Process Systems and Project Management is teaching me to better organize information in a way that it can be acted on, replicated, taught, and communicated.

My mandarin studies was a revelation about Spaced Repetition System and Active Recall Testing. It has influenced the document in how it is possible to train in Storytelling, Improv, Problem Solving, and Analysis Techniques. That is why Its being reorganized in a way that the Techniques can be made into a Flashcard for SRS.

Another revaluation was the GMless Game. The GMless game is an inspiration because it means that the work is trully shared and everyone has the duty and responsibility to Uplift the other person's story and experience in the game. Its one of the things I learned from Transformational Leadership. That real transformational leadership transforms a group that they don't need a leader to organize and rise to aid each other to make something greater than the sum of its parts.  That everyone takes a role adapting to the situation, everyone may have their strengths, but they are cross trained and coordinated to mitigate each other's weaknesses. I know that there needs to be some accountability placed on some individuals and all those tiny little details and constraints in how such a transformational team works out but i wont go into the long rambling thesis of it.

Current Challenges in the Document is organizing some of the Self Improvement and Study Aids into it. The Document serves to help gamers, like myself, be better at creating a collaborative game experience by having more skills and tools for them to create an immersive experience (analysis techniques and storytelling techniques for delivery), compelling action (through problem solving techniques, and again storytelling techniques), and a way to feedback and work on one's weaknesses or work towards a strength.

One underlying philosophy of the Gaming Skill list is that - its System Agnostic Approach to improving our gaming experience. That our skills in collaboration, storytelling, problem solving and improv has the BIGGEST impact on game experience relative to the time we put in.


How this document is supposed to be used.

  1. Technique or Heuristics
    1. Basic Description of Technique (if Needed)
    2. How it is used (Process of the Technique which follow 20rffk)
    3. Examples
    4. References or Sources
    5. Description at Length
  2. Definitions or Knowledge
    1. Basic Description
    2. How it is Used
    3. Example of Use
    4. References or Sources
  3. Activity
    1. Basic Description
    2. How it is Used
    3. Example of Use
    4. Reference or Sources

Organization and Categories

Running Games

All the knowledge that deals with Running the Game.


Deals with the Player’s Ideation and collaboration. Skills and abilities in collaborating with other players tend to default to here.   


Deals with Player’s Narrative Delivery and Structure.  

Problem Solving

Deals with skills and techniques that help identify or define the everything around the creation of conflict and its resolution. Like course of action, challenges, problems, risks, constraints, strengths, weaknesses etc....   


These are all the time consuming activities that can’t be done while running the game.

World Building

Deals with techniques and Knowledge that Populate the setting, world, or provides backdrop or background to the game. Warfare, Politics, Economics, Technology, Culture, Language, etc… default under this category.


Deals with methodologies of training, studying, and improving one’s “game”.