It’s a staple of writing thrillers that the stakes and the difficulties for the protagonist must keep ratcheting up throughout the story. After all, if the protagonist is faced with a difficulty, comes up with a plan to overcome it, and executes that plan seamlessly, there’s not really that much tension/suspense. Heck, there’s not even much of a plot.
There’s a whole raft of things that can be done to thwart the protagonist’s efforts. He can have underestimated the difficul
Despite the fact that I am heading off to my 34th GenCon shortly and that I was the world's top-ranked player of Classic RPGA tournaments for fifteen years (1985-2000), I've never really thought of myself as an early player of Dungeons & Dragons and, by extension, modern roleplaying games. After all, my first Dungeons & Dragons experience was in a camper in the parking lot of University of Wisconsin Parkside the night before GenCon XII in 1979, after I had already graduated f
Just watched A Good Day to Die Hard (Die Hard 5) a few days ago. This isn't a movie review column, so I won't go into why, despite the fact that the original Die Hard is one of the best action movies ever, the latest installment is a murky, boring, and unlikeable movie ranking as one of the worst action movies of all time (unless you have a car crash fetish). But it highlighted some of the thoughts that I had been mulling recently about the isssue of collateral damage in movi
Lots of the people who read this blog or follow me on Facebook or Twitter are writers--and most of the rest are pretty avid readers. Some are probably also role-playing gamers. So, when we run into one another, we tend to sometimes talk about fiction--not just about what book or game we like or why ("the pacing was slow" or "awesome effects"), but about things that happen in the book or game as if they occurred in real life. This can be especially noticeable with gamers, who