The Mindstorm Weekly, Dec 27–Jan 02, 2021

A roundup of the things I was checking out this week.

D666 World Creation

The Grand d666, by OtspIII.

This is a great post that follows a similar procedure to my own post, Adding Congruency to Anti Canon Worldbuilding. Instead of a table of 10ish world anchors, Misha recommends a d666 table, filled to the brim with theme, factions, personalities, and all the other beautiful nouns that can churn out a world. I’ve essentially added my thoughts from this post to the Congruency one—but this is a good read, especially since you can use the d666 method to help generate content, not just link it to your anchors.

The Big Dread Video

Dread and Other Emotions, by Collabs Without Permission.

Vi has consistently put out some of the most entertaining video essays (reviews?) about games in the last year and this is one of the best yet. This isn’t a review of dread. Well, it is, it definitely is, but it’s also more than that. It’s entertaining, beautifully scripted, cut together well, and dives deep into the infamous system doesn’t matter discourse.

It’s long, but well worth it.

Flying Forward

Strange Methods: César Aira’s “Flight Forward”, by Lincoln Michel.

This is an interesting article talking about César Aira’s writing method, which is essentially the opposite advice of writing a first draft as fast as possible and then revising it endlessly.

The gist of the method is that Aira writes carefully, a few pages a day, but never goes back to revise. He pushes forward until the book is done, writes the date of completion at the end of the manuscript, and then moves onto the next project.

It’s such a strange, unorthodox, and not spoken of method that it’s become fascinating to me.

The core of Aira’s method is not wild, absurdist leaps, but rather pulling new material out of what is already on the page and (mostly) marching ever forward.

And this:

But it is great at producing strange and surprising novellas. His method provides an inherent unpredictability to his novels that is refreshing in an age when so many books seem to telegraph their plots from page one.

It seems like and almost liberating way to write. Like anything, the concept can be broken or half-followed, but I do wonder what kinds of works I could produce through a careful deliberation of words on the page, with as little revision as possible. What comes from that?

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