If you want to watch Marc Sollinger, co-creator of @archive81 and @deepvaultpodcast, gives tips and tricks on how to make audio drama… well, watch this video. It’s a lecture recorded by @wgbhnews‘ forum network at the @prx podcast garage.

Plot Doctoring: 9 Steps to Build a Strong Plot

Like the main event itself, NaNo Prep is always better with an incredible writing community around you. Luckily, our forums come with such a ready-made community. Inspired by the Plot Doctoring forum, we asked Derek Murphy, NaNoWriMo participant, to share his thoughts on plotting, and he outlined his 9-step plotting diagram:

Here’s a truth: you must write badly before you can write well. 

Everybody’s first draft is rubbish. It’s part of the process, so don’t worry about it. The writing can be polished and fixed and improved later, after NaNoWriMo, during the editing stages.

What most writers get out of NaNoWriMo is a collection of great scenes that don’t necessarily fit into a cohesive story—and that’s a problem if you want to produce something publishable.

Nearly all fiction follows some version of the classical hero’s journey: a character has an experience, learns something, and is consequently improved. There are turning points and scenes that need to be included in your story—if they are missing it won’t connect with readers in an emotionally powerful way. And it’s a thousand times easier to map them out before you write your book.

Keep reading

BioWare is Closing the Forums & BSN

Well, at least we’re pretty sure they are. Despite repeated inquiries to clarify the contents of their blog post in regards to BSN, BioWare has refused to elaborate on the following:

  • How will the approximately 4100 BSN Projects (fan-created mods) be affected by the closure of the site?
  • How will the official Dragon Age: Origins (DAO) Toolset be affected by the closure of the site?
  • How will the official DAO Toolset Wiki be affected by the closure of the site?
  • How will the official DLC and Patch downloads for DAO, Dragon Age II, and Mass Effect 2 be affected by the closure of the site?
  • How will the soundtrack downloads for Mass Effect 3 be affected by the closure of the site?
  • How will the redemption of promotional codes be affected by the closure of the site?
  • How will the registration/verification of game content be affected by the closure of the site?

Nice of them to omit all this info, eh?

Not to mention, that blog post reads like a bad meme, right? “Your feedback is important to us… so we’re going to close our official forums.”

What really puts a foul taste in my mouth besides them dropping this announcement on us and then fielding questions for all of one day… (Sidebar: Seriously, the Community Manager, Conal Pierse, hasn’t made a single post since August 2nd, and nobody from BioWare has bothered to respond to any of the above questions that have been asked repeatedly by players.) … is the obvious calculation that went into the timing of this announcement:

  • The announcement was made on a Friday, which lessens news coverage.
  • The announcement was made at the very end of July, when many folks are on vacation, lessening the amount of people who will see it.
  • The announcement gives the community only a month of warning before the change to read-only, which is a very short time span.
  • Conveniently, this time span corresponds to when many college-age players are moving back to college to start the new academic year.
  • The announcement was made well in advance of their next title, ensuring that any drama from the closure will have died down prior, and ensuring that any drama related to ME:A cannot be posted on the forum.

Well done, BioWare.

So, what about all those 4100 Projects? They are about to be lost, unless they are hosted elsewhere.

What about all the gameplay and modding guides contained in forum posts? Gone.

What about player blogs where they shared modding advice, fan fiction, or musings on their favorite characters? Bye-bye.

What about the players who haven’t logged into the forums since mid-July and happen to try to log back in on November 1st? Nope. Sorry. The forum will be completely gone.

So, myself and some others have started two projects:

  1. A website. Because all the information related to the closure will be gone come October 25th. This website will explain to users what happened and what – if anything – they can do about their content. Mods, blogs, etc.
  2. Site Archives. A couple folks are working on archiving the entirely of the existing BioWare Forums site, the BSN, and the original ME1 site, which is still around.
  3. The New BSN Project Archive. We’re headquartered on Nexusmods and are putting together a spreadsheet of all BSN Projects so these great mods aren’t lost. It’s a huge project and we need more help, so please pitch in if you can. Read more about our efforts here.

Please help let folks know about the closure by reblogging this post. Also, please spread the link to the website. We need to build hits before the forums close, to ensure that folks will be able to find the site with their search engine.

Thanks for reading and next time I’ll have news of ThaneMOD :)