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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What's this here for?

I'm not sure why, but I've had an itch in the back of my brain to write for a very long time.  When I tell people this, most are usually quite surprised.  See, until recently, I have not spoken about this desire (need?) to those around me.  To some reading this now, it may be a bit of a shock!

There are a lot of reasons for this, of course, and that's what this blog is really going to be all about!  I am going to write the book I always wanted to, and I hope that through this blog I will have an outlet to share my experiences, my frustrations, and my successes.  I hope that some may find this interesting to read along the way.  Please join me, and feel free to share comments.

To get started, I want to talk give a little background.


What is Ryndaria?

Ryndaria is a world in my head that wants out!

I first created Ryndaria as a world for Dungeons and Dragons back in high school. Having your own created world was necessary for any "real" player and dungeon master, so I went to work drawing maps, creating cities and peoples, and putting together a history for the world. It was a lot of fun to create this world and then have friends play D&D in the world.

It was during this time that I first created the character Trezl. Trezl was an elf wizard in the land of Ryndaria who was faced with trials and heartache early in his life.

I so enjoyed the name Trezl that when the internet started taking off in the late 90s, the name became my handle everywhere on the net. If you see Trezl out there in games, Twitter, message boards, etc., there is a good chance that is me.


Writing...

In my junior year of high school our English class had a big project we were to work on for most of the 2nd semester. The assignment was to "make something" and then present it and describe how to make it. I still have no clue why, but I really wanted to write a story as my creation. I was (and still am) really into the Drizzt series of fantasy novels by R.A. Salvatore, and wanted to write my own fantasy literature. Trezl's story seemed perfect to finally tell.

I put a ton of work into the story. I commissioned a friend to help me with cover art, and asked another to be my editor. Over the next several weeks I wrote a short story, about 30 pages long, detailing Trezl's story. I think it was the one project in high school that I worked the hardest and longest on. It became a labor of love.

You can imagine my surprise when I got a B on the assignment! I was pretty used to getting A's on my papers in class, and some people literally just made a batch of cookies and talked the class through the recipe to equal or better grades. I am still a little bitter about the whole thing, if you can't tell.  Looking back, I realize that the grade was due to not following the assignment closely enough.  It was more about the presentation and describing how someone would go about making it themselves, not just on the quality of, and effort put into, the creation.


What  happened next?

I put writing away at that point.  I'm not saying the experience scarred me or anything.  I finished high school and went to college to become an engineer.  There's a lot more math and science there, and the idea of writing just went to the wayside.  I never fully gave up on Trezl and Ryndaria, but I also never spent a lot of time focused there either. 

Then, a couple years ago, it all came back.  As an engineer, I've always figured I wasn't much of a writer anyway.  So when Microsoft released a platform for developing video games on the XBOX360 (XBox Indie Games), I thought there might be an outlet to resurrect Ryndaria.  I started down the path, joined by Paul, a gamer/programmer friend, and we set out to create a Ryndaria video game.  Of course, we soon found that to be much more work than we realized it would be and while the game lives on, it may be a while before it ever sees the light of day. 


Old Passion Renewed!

A little over a year ago, after our family moved into a new neighborhood (an entire story / adventure in itself!), I found myself at a comic book shop near by.  While there, I met a bunch of people playing Dungeons and Dragons!  I couldn't resist, and started playing again myself.  In the process of creating new characters for new games, that little itch became evident again and I began to write little background stories.

Over the last year, I have put together all sorts of new history for the world.  I also even led a D&D game in the world for a while (and expect to bring it back again in the future).  I've been cleaning up a lot of what younger, teenage me first put together all those years ago.  And now I have finally started writing Trezl's story down.  I hope to eventually publish it online.

This blog is where I will discuss the process of writing a book.  I have absolutely no formal training, and I'm learning as I go.  As my wife tells me all the time, I need to stop fearing and criticizing what I haven't even written yet, and I need to just write. 

So here I go...

If you want to find me, you can start with @Ryndaria on Twitter!