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Showing posts with label The Other Side. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Other Side. Show all posts

Monday, July 18, 2016

April In July (#atozchallenge)

It’s July. Time for beaches, bar-b-ques and planning your A to Z posts!
What?
Why so early you ask?

Blogging in the A to Z challenge takes time. If you are not used to blogging every day there is that, but even those of us that do blog everyday there is more time needed for this challenge. Especially to make it successful and more importantly fun.

So for me, July is the time I start planning my posts for next April.
I start off with a simple spreadsheet with letters A to Z going down the rows along with the date and days.  Sometimes having a particular letter on a particular day might influence me.  Like one year Z appeared on Saturday. Since I did a regular posting every Saturday about the comic book character Zatanna, I knew I was set.

Now for me I love to work with themes. I have been doing the A to Z Challenge since 2011 and been doing it with themes since 2012.  Themes give me focus and make me reach as a writer and blogger. Over the years I have done Games, Witches, Demons, Vampires and most recently Adventure.  For me a theme helps bring people back. I know there were several blogs I followed because of their interesting themes.  I want to choose a theme that first of all my regular readers will enjoy and then one that new readers will also find compelling and want to come back for more.  Since I am typing everything into a spreadsheet (a in truth I am using Google Sheets for this) I can actually develop a few themes at a time. Presently I have three I am working on.


I know there is the big theme reveal closer to April so I am kinda stealing my own thunder here, but the themes I am considering are “Undead” (like vampires, ghosts and the like), “OSR Games” (games of the old-school renaissance) and finally “Free Games” (games that you get for free).

Ok. I have my spreadsheet in place. I have an idea of my theme or two (or three).  What do I need to do now? Well I have nine months, give or take, to start writing my posts and gathering up what I need to make this all work.  Some of the posts of my themes almost write themselves.  Most don’t.  So I start to fill in the blanks to see what I have for each theme.  Some letters, Q, X, Y and Z I know will give me some issues, so I try to figure out what will go there first.
Well for Games and OSR I can use the game “X-plorers” and “Zfers” for X and Z respectively.  So that is a good start. For Undead I have “Zombie”, so not quite as good.

And...the search goes on. But you know what? That is OK since I still have some months yet.
A week or so later in July I am much closer to figuring out what I am going to do.

I know there is a big reveal in March, but I am going to give you a spoiler now.
I put down my first post for April 2017.  It’s for B and I picked “Basic Fantasy”.  I am going to focus on free games that you can download and play right away.
It is set now. I am committed. I just need 25 more posts! But now I know what I am going to do and a pretty good idea what the content of each post will be.   Come April I can concentrate on visiting all of your blogs now!

I say this summer spend a couple of extra minutes each day doing your April posts and make your April more enjoyable.  Sooner than you think 2017 will be here!

---
Tim Brannan is a blogger over at The Other Side a gaming and horror blog. He have been blogging since 2008 and been a participant in the A to Z Challenge since 2011.

He is also up for an ENnie Award (something like the Oscars of Gaming) for Best Blog and he would really like it if you voted for him.
http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/2016/ballot.php?category_id=6 
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".

Monday, September 22, 2014

Themes that Rocked the Challenge - Classic Monsters with Mina Burrows!

Today’s featured Challenge participant, author Mina Burrows, rocked with a theme of classic monsters!

What made you choose classic monsters as your theme for the Challenge?

I had a few themes in mind this year, but ended up asking my blogger friends for their opinions. They helped me pick the monster theme. I’m a huge fan of classic literature and am fascinated with classic authors and the original monsters they created. Monsters like Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. These beasts and their stories have mystified fans for years, and I thought it would be cool to highlight them.

Which monster was your favorite?

This is a tough one to answer. Out of this year’s A-Z posts, I think the Orc was one of my favorite monsters. These creatures, or a version of them, have been referenced in classic literature like Beowulf and then of course reinvented thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien. Orcs are menacing, man-eating, elf-like beasts and I just love them!

Many came from movies – care to guess how many monster movies you’ve seen over the years? How many of the films you featured have you seen?

I can’t even begin to guess how many monster flicks I’ve seen. I know I saw a ton when I was a kid, but I’m not sure if those count when I can’t remember much of the movie anyway. I believe I saw most of the monster movies from my A-Z posts, including almost all of Universal’s mash of monsters. Off the top of my head, I haven’t seen the latest Godzilla film (*smacks forehead*) and The Creature of the Black Lagoon.

Which letter was the most difficult?

Y. I wanted to choose Yeti, but that was another way to say Abominable Snowman so I couldn't do that one again since I used it for my A post. I ended up choosing Yule Cat, which I thought was so cool when I discovered it. Come to think of it, Yule Cat would be a great story to retell or write a spin-off in some cool way.

Are you a gamer? Did any of your monsters come from RPG’s like Dungeons and Dragons?

I used to play a ton of video games. Now I play stuff with my kids like Lego Star Wars and Harry Potter. Zombies are probably my favorite with respect to gaming. I’m a huge Resident Evil fan. When I decided to post on Dragons for the letter D, I knew instantly I would discuss Dungeons and Dragons. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about that game realm, but I had a wonderful time learning about it from Timothy Brannan’s blog, The Other Side. He has an amazing depth of knowledge about monsters, witches and the D&G realm. He's incredibly talented.

Do you think the Loch Ness Monster is real?

Yes I do! There is too much unknown lurking in bodies of water like the Loch Ness that I think it's completely plausible. That and there have been many sightings. In general, the Scottish Highlands is known for its legendary tales of magic and mystical forces like fairies, druids, witches, stone circles, gods and Nessie too. I think there may be some truths to the legends.

How many Godzilla films have you seen?

Gosh, I've forgotten how many. Several, when I was younger because I had two older brothers who made me watch stuff like that all the time. I was the youngest, so I didn't have much choice it what we watched so I’m glad I liked it.



Do you have a theme in mind for next year’s Challenge?

Not yet. I've been thinking about it too. I’ll probably do what I did this year and come up with a few ideas and let the readers pick. When you get audience or reader participation, you get people involved in the process and somewhat expectant or excited about what's to come.

That’s a good idea. Although I’d be worried what they might choose for me… Thanks, Mina!



Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, and his blog can be found HERE

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Is Planning Now for the 2015 A to Z Too Soon?


CONGRATULATIONS!

Hello everyone. My name is Tim Brannan. I blog over at The Other Side where I primarily talk about games, RPGs and horror.  I am a game author so I use my blog as a platform to talk about my books, but also to share with others in my blogging community to sorts of things I like to write about.

I have been writing material for games nearly as long as I have been playing them.  I started in 1979 and my first "custom class" was a Healer. And....I am not afraid to admit my first new monster I ever wrote up was a "Smurf". Yeah. I was 10.  My first witch class was written sometime between 1985 and 1986.

This was my fourth year of doing the A to Z Challenge on the Other Side. I have also done it one year on my Atheism blog, The Freedom of Nonbelief and another year at Red Sonja She-devil with a Sword, a shared blog dedicated to the comic book character Red Sonja.  Plus I have guest-posted here before on how to use the A to Z challenge in your own writing efforts and the importance of having a theme to your posts.

One would have thought I would have been more prepared this year!

At some point in February I was still planning on doing an A to Z theme on Vampires.  I had started the posts last year when I did Demons. I had an idea for a book about vampires and I thought it would have been a good way to do some research.  It was. Till I shifted midstream.

My newest book is now at Kickstarter to get funding for art and printing.  "Strange Brew: The Ultimate Witch & Warlock" is, well, the most complete guide to playing a witch in the Pathfinder game.  A bit of background.  Back in 2000 the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons hit the shelves with the "Open Gaming Licence" which briefly meant 3rd party authors could make their own books for D&D and not get sued or anything like that.  If you followed the admittedly simple rules of the Open Game Licence then you could do it.  Well I did and in 2003 I released "Liber Mysterium: The Book of Witches & Warlocks".  A friend of mine released a similar book for witches called "Way of the Witch". We liked each other books and we were happy.  2013 rolls around and this friend, Christina, decides it is time we mixed our books together with the newest version of the D&D 3rd edition game, Pathfinder (it's not exactly, but close enough).  We added in the Pathfinder witch and some others and decided to kick start it as a project.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/962794554/strange-brew-pathfinder-the-ultimate-witch-and-war

So far things are going great!  But my extra writing time was taking a solid hit.  I have 13 years worth and thousands of pages of notes and material to go through.

So to save some time I switched over to the A to Z of Witches.

It was a good idea.  Go through notes, post ideas as they come to me.  I only managed to stay about 10 days ahead of schedule and that was nowhere near enough.  So much for my own advice about theme and planning!

I got a lot of great posts up and in fact have enough for another couple months of solid witch postings.   I got to participate in a "mini-hop" of people doing supernatural creatures during the A to Z as well and that was the best!  I have to give very special thanks to Tasha (Tasha's Thinkings) and Sophie (Sophie's Thoughts and Fumbles) for helping me with the idea and then doing all the heavy lifting afterwards.  THEY, and everyone in the Supernatural mini-hop, really made this A to Z special for me.

If you look at my May 5th post I state I survived the A to Z challenge.  Survived is the right word. Not beat, not won, but survived.  Yes I posted everyday and still got in some of my other posts. Yes I visited my neighbor blogs, but didn't always comment on them.  Yes the material I wrote will find a home somewhere in Strange Brew.

But, I didn't get to interact with other bloggers as much as I wanted. I didn't visit every blog on the list like I have in years past.  And while I noticed that I was getting a good amount of traffic from the Supernatural A to Z and from the A to Z site itself, my regular readers dropped off.  So in that respect I didn't do as well as I would have liked.

I write about games.  That is who I am and what my readers want.  I tried to keep the topics I posted very relevant to gamers, but also to the non-gamers.  Most people in the world don't care if some beastie has 5 HD or 15 HD, you just want to know how tough it is. To gamers that is a big deal. It's a big deal to me.

I love doing the A to Z and I am taking my own advice to heart and starting my 2015 posts this summer.  I am still considering doing vampires. So to make it work there needs to be plenty of material for gamers (what we in the RPG biz call "crunch") and plenty of narrative material enjoyed by everyone else (what we call "fluff").

So what is my plan?

  • Start my post writing early.  Crunch takes longer to write than Fluff. I'll need the time.
  • Keep enough crunch to keep my regular readers happy. Especially if it something new.
  • Keep the fluffy interesting to keep the A to Zers coming back.
  • Visit and interact with more of the bloggers in the A to Z. If I write all my posts this should be easier.
  • I would LOVE to participate in another mini-hop like I did this year. That was awesome.

Looking forward to it!

About the Author 
Timothy S. Brannan is the author of The Other Side bloghttp://timbrannan.blogspot.com/
He has worked on a number of games including the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG", and is the author of “The Ghosts of Albion RPG”, “The Witch”, “Eldritch Witchery” and the upcoming “Strange Brew” which is currently in a Kickstarter Campaign. Please stop by and see if this is something you would like to support.
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blogging A to Z?: A Word from the Other Side

         On January 6, 2012 Timothy Brannan from the blog The Other Side put forth a challenge to OSR/RPG bloggers (that's " Old-school Renascence /Role playing gamers) to consider doing the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.   He presents valid reasons for doing the Challenge that would apply to all other bloggers as well.  This post is reprinted with Tim's permission.


Blogging A to Z?


Last year I proudly participated in the Blogging A to Z challenge in April.

I felt it was not only a good way to stretch my creative abilities but work on my writing and do a bit a cross blog-genre promotion.  My hits went up, and stayed up, drastically during and after April and I got my greatest surge of followers.

Well they are doing it again this year.

Though I am not sure I am going to do it this year yet or not.
Last year it worked out on many levels for me.  I recall thinking about the posts I had queued up and how they would fit the challenge.  When "Z" fell on a Saturday it clinched it for me.

Part of the purpose of the blogfest is to post every day.  I do that now anyway.

Keep in mind I am NOT saying participation is a bad idea, far from it in fact.
I actually suggest that we get MORE OSR/RPG bloggers participating to get our message out there.

The one thing we all talk about is getting more people involved in our hobby, we can't do that if the only people we talk to are already in our hobby.
Plus if you are selling a product you should participate just to attract more attention to you and your book or product.

If I do it this year then I need to do a theme or something, make it more challenging than last year.

Are you going to participate?  Why or why not?

Who's ready to accept Timothy Brannan's challenge?






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