RPG Maker Super Dante - The RPG Fanatic Show
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jfreedan


Also known as RPG Tsukūru: Super Dante (RPGツクール SUPER DANTE), this program was released for the Super Famicom (SFC), the Japanese version of the Super Nintendo (SNES) in 1995 by ASCII. This cartridge allowed people to easily make their own Dragon Quest-style computer RPGs for the SFC system and share them with other players using ASCII's Super Turbo File add-on.

This is an episode of The RPG Fanatic Show, a Youtube Partner channel about computer roleplaying games.

Chrono Trigger Review
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jfreedan


Retro review for the beloved computer roleplaying videogame Chrono Trigger (1995) for the SNES / SFC by Square. This version is the Playstation re-release that was part of the Final Fantasy Chronicles (2001) bundle with FF4.

Chrono Trigger was created by Square's "Dream Team" division, which was led by Hironobu Sakaguchi (who created the Final Fantasy series). The game was written by scenario writers, Yuji Hori (creator of the Dragon Quest games) and Masato Kato (later directing both Radical Dreamers and Chrono Cross; wrote much of Xenogears and XenoSaga I & II), and character designer Akira Toriyama (of Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball and also pretty well known for his Dragon Quest concept art). All of the game's music was composed primarily by Yasunori Mitsuda (later known for his breathtaking music in Xenogears, Crono Cross, and XenoSaga) under the watchful eye of Nobuo Uematsu (the best known Final Fantasy music composer).

As a result of this combination of legendary talent, Chrono Trigger is often regarded as one of the best games for the Super Nintendo / Super Famicom.

Switching over
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jfreedan
I've decided that I'm going to start using my Blogger account from now on. The reason is because Livejournal likes to fight with me whenever I want to post a video into this thing, and Blogger has more support for apps.

You can find the blog at,
http://cmartell.blogspot.com/

You can also find my roleplaying game reviews at my Tumblr account
http://www.rpgvideoreviews.com/

Some good news
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jfreedan
My film company's first release, Cosplayers: The Movie is available for order on Amazon.com, but soon it will also be available for free viewing on Crunchyroll.com (you'll have to watch some ads though). In the meantime you can watch a trailer for the film on my Youtube account.

On Authonomy, my YA fantasy Twilight Chronicles: DAWN is now in the top 200 rankings! Based on feedback I've received about the prologue, I have re-written it, but I'm unsure if it is better or worse. Given the number of people who have said "I never read prologues", I've decided to stop submitting the prologue to agents.

I cannot possibly fathom why people hate prologues; to me, saying you don't read the prologue is as rational as saying, "I never read Chapter Two". Why would you not read the story? Sheesh!

As for the publishing industry, the following picture illustrates how successful my attempt to get an agent / publisher has been going:


Ironic quote for the day
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jfreedan
Posted by a frustrated writer in a writer's forum:

"The irony is that agents and publishers wander around telling everyone that they are looking for unique voices, then panning anything that deviates from the accepted commercial wisdom. "

Another one:

"The BBC reported that 300 new vampire titles were published this year, 300 for Christs sake
50 new vampire books are in the pipeline for next year already."

Punction marks are neccessary for clear communication
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jfreedan
I have often came across literary theories that state an author should never use punctuation marks (such as exclamation and question marks), because they build "artificial tension" and somehow make your writing look comical.

I strongly disagree and can say confidently there is nothing wrong with using exclamation points. I can prove it logically by exploring the use of these marks in the English language.

Using one does not build "artificial tension". It tells the reader what tone to read the sentence in. This is important when reading text out loud. Someone that really understand sentence structure does not read a question ending with a period the same way they do with a question or exclamation mark.

It is because any sentence can be read numerous ways that we have punctuation marks to make the intention of a sentence clear to the reader.

This is especially true for dialogue. People do not notice 'shouted/ asked Bob' until after they have read the dialogue because letters are so common they blend together. However, they do notice ! and ? marks because they are much rarer occurrences compared to letters.

Reading is the act of interpreting symbols into meaning. Use the symbols!

Lastly, unlike many writers I do not subscribe to the idea a reader should carefully study the intention behind a sentence. Punctuation marks exist so that readers do not have to worry about that, instead they can focus on the actual story.

If you disagree with me, have a non-writer read aloud your book that lacks exclamation and question marks. See for yourself how dull your story sounds when every piece of text is read as a level-voiced statement, lacking any degree of emotional expression.

Or sit in a grade school classroom and listen to young children (many do not yet understand the purpose of punctuation marks) read all text as a statement. The connotation in every word is lacking; every question sounds like a statement and every shout sounds like a whisper.

If you do not use punctuation marks in your writing you are not writing for readers. You are instead writing for those who hang on every word until the text loses much of its value (i.e. other writers). Please your audience before you please your peers.

Writing is communication. Be clear and concise in how you intend your text to be read. The English language has punctuation marks for a reason, and that reason is so the average reader knows if the sentence is a statement, a question, an exclamation, a request or a command.

Punctuation marks are great. You can communicate an idea so much more effectively with them than without them. For example, it has become common among my generation to use a tilde (~) to express an extension of the final syllables. This means, if you wanted to write the Mrs. Doubtfire quote "Hellooooo!", you can write it as the much more aesthetically attractive "Hello~!". I have a valley girl unicorn in my story that speaks in a sing-song voice, so many of her sentences use a tilde. I also use a tilde to denote how a magical incantation is spoken. Older readers may not get it, but my target audience will know exactly what it means. They use it in online games and text messages all the time.

What advice to listen to
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jfreedan
From a forum discussion,

"How do you filter through all the seemingly useful crits to find the ones that are actually worth taking note of? I just find myself doubting my own opinion AND that of the critiquers after a while!"

My reply:

You can tell which advice to take and which not to take by being well read in the genre you write in and aware of the various writing composition theories floating around.

For example, there is a theory that says you should avoid adverbs. I think, for some genres, that may be good advice, but I write humor and humor is hard to do without adverbs. Thus, I use adverbs in my writing.

Ultimately, you are the writer of your story and you must know who your target audience is. You cannot expect everyone to like your writing, but you can tailor your writing for a specific group of people. Doing that will improve your chances of being successful with your target audience.

More over-analyzing of prologues
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jfreedan
From a forum discussion,

"I can't remember exactly, but I think Jenny Crusie might have talked about prologues in her Beginnings and Endings workshop. It was either there or her pre conference workshop. But regardless, there I was--innocent little me sipping my tea and thinking about how much I would like a scone to go with it--when she blurted out, "Never write a prologue."

(She also said never write an epilogue, too, but that's another topic)

I think I was the only writer in the room who gasped...

http://jennifershirk.blogspot.com/2009/11/prologues-bad-rap-or-ditch-worthy.html

-This seems somewhat valid. I wonder if anyone thinks that my prologue would fall into the bad or good category? close quotes
Blogs like that are the result of over-analyzing writing."


My response:

Here's the first thing she (and others) do wrong: they assume Chapter 1 is the "start" of the story.

The story actually starts where the writer starts writing; so if they wrote a prologue, that's where the story starts!

I think the biggest mistake people do is decide a prologue is bad because it creates a number of questions that are not resolved by the end of the prologue. They don't ever ask themselves, "Maybe if I read the story, the answers will come?".

An effective prologues is just a hook. Prologues do not follow the usual conventions of a chapter, which is a self-contained story with a cliffhanger tagged to the end.

Prologues can do many things, but if they don't force you to read the rest of the book to answer your questions, it's not doing its primary job.

Wisdom of the past is not always relevant
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jfreedan
On a forum thread about rosy writing in modern literature, someone posted the following:

"Mark Twain said it best: Eschew adjectives."

I understand this is an often quoted thing in the writing world, but I disagree with this viewpoint.

Mark Twain is a great writer who, unlike many of the great writers before him, wrote stories intended to be read by the common man rather than the upper elite of society.

However, keep in mind he was writing in an age when most of the population was illiterate and the majority of those who were literate didn't know the meanings of most adjectives. This is often forgotten, but his advice was meant for his time period.

Unfortunately, how we use a language evolves over time.

All writing, no matter what other purpose it may have, is intended to communicate ideas. That is what language is for. As the way people speak evolves, so too must the way people write their stories in order to effectively communicate their ideas.

The honest truth is, of the literate English speakers today, many have difficulty following along Mark Twain's text because of the dialect it is written in. That goes double for older writers like Shakespeare. Words that were once common in those days are not so common anymore, and many words that are common today did not exist when those writers were alive.

If words are tools, when they gave advice on writing they were using a very different set of tools compared to the tools we use today.

You have to look at how people speak today to understand how to write today. You also have to know who your target audience is. I would not write a book for Americans the way I would write a book for British English because of the significant differences in how English is commonly spoken in both countries.

Harlequin becomes a vanity press
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jfreedan
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/the-authors-hearts-beat-faster-publishing-was-so-close-now/?ref=books

"According to Brent Lewis, vice president of digital and Internet for Harlequin, editors at Harlequin will not vet the books. Author Solutions will charge $599 or more to publish and distribute books, mostly in digital form, and will split those revenues with Harlequin."

And of all the print on demand providers they could have used, they choose to do business with Author House, the people that have scammed millions of authors.

Yet more proof publishers don't care about authors, they just care about making as much money as they can from them.

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