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Somewhere Far Beyond


Notes on Worldbuilding and Infodumps

Posted by Rache , Jan 16 2013 · 225 views

It is hardly a secret that worldbuilding is my favorite part of writing. I don't care much for plots until I've got, at the very least, a detailed map of the relevant planet's ocean currents. I won't design a single character until I know where the tallest mountain is and whether it casts a significant rain shadow. I could go on, if I had no other responsibilities, for years, figuring out how a fictional world ticks. Once the planet is done, the ecosystems come in. Here I could get lost forever, and with good reason. I'm quite likely to, with no thought for what lies ahead, devote a significant chunk of my time to figuring out the last five million or so years of the planet's natural history. Once that's done, I can figure out cultures, and then characters and plot.
So I love world-building, and put clinically insane amounts of work into it. That is, from my perspective, great.
But, I do not harbor the illusion that the average reader actually cares about where all the deserts are. They don't. They're there for the plot and the characters, and pages spent lovingly describing the world will be met with a sudden loss of interest on their part. This is not their problem to fix, as it would be pretty daft of me to expect people to not read stories for the stories.
What this really means, then, is that only the bits of the world that are relevant need to show up. The rest is all still there, of course, much as the currents of the North Atlantic are still there in a Sherlock Holmes novel, but it never needs to be mentioned. This runs quite counter to the inclinations of some writers I've run into, who appear to believe that any detail is good detail, and thus pack whatever they write with infodumps on whatever they think might be involved in some way, even - or maybe especially - if it has no relevance to the plot.
If the way your starship's engine works never enters into the plot (or, if you're making an RPG, the gameplay of the RPG), the readers don't need to hear about it. You can have it all figured out in case someone asks, sure, but don't stress out about it if you don't understand all of the tiny nuances, and don't regurgitate every detail in a vain (of the self-image variety, not so much the futility sort) attempt to show the hours of work you put into what the reader is holding in their hands. Quite apart from making you look whiny, showing your work for the sake of showing your work is a recursive, stupid activity that tends to ruin your work.


A Poll

Posted by Rache , Jul 21 2012 · 521 views
minecraft, technic pack and 1 more...
I have recently procured a Black Pegasus in Minecraft, via the breeding of a Pegasus and a Unicorn.

Now, the Black Pegasus being the best of all horses, this one needs a name. I can't pick which.

Your options are either Sleipnir or Shadowfax (I named one of my other horses Stybba, and still another Snowmane, so LOTR-based names are perfectly valid).

Other options may be suggested, but nothing to do with MLP or I'll sic the Hounds of Tindalos on you.


Blig Blag Blurgh

Posted by Rache , Jul 20 2012 · 249 views

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm going to renew my actual Premier Membership at some point. Don't want my -3 readers to go without my terrifyingly dull input.


Nether Doom Blues

Posted by Rache , Jun 27 2012 · 377 views
minecraft, nether, death and 1 more...
More Technic fun.

I went tromping off through the Nether Portal I set up in a Siege Castle I captured a while ago, taking only weapons and food, with the intention of acquiring a few Blaze Rods so I could craft an Ender Chest or two... well, exactly two. Thaumcraft plans.

Knowing that a Nether Fortress would be the best thing to find, I set about the task of wandering aimlessly until I found one - finding, instead, this cheeky little pigman in a funky robe who immediately started setting me on fire, making me nauseous (a nasty little effect that makes your vision swim about) and spawning pigmen (not even zombie pigmen, just pigs on two legs) to rush forward and... I don't know, hug me? They weren't very good in battle, and judging by his swift death, neither was the Great Wizard Chuckles.

So more wandering ensued, followed shortly by falling in lava, dragging myself out, and burning to death. This resulted in a knee-##### expedition to find the site of my death, which resulted in abject failure, and the creation of a new escape Portal... which dumped me in a cave, under the ocean, more than three kilometers away from my house.




Posted by Rache , Jun 17 2012 · 292 views
ohgodwhy, minecraft, technic pack
You know that incredibly weird moment when you're trying to talk to the chief of a neighboring village, and you shoot him in the face instead, and he doesn't even get mad?



Posted by Rache , Jun 16 2012 · 325 views
minecraft, technic pack, no pants
So here I am, hiding, terrified, in a shack I hollowed out of a rubber tree, when I see some dude with really long, thin legs marching around in diamond armor, carrying a diamond sword, and kind of walking like a chicken. It's night, so I figure he'd probably stab me if I went outside, so I just watch him through one of the windows.

This goes on for five minutes, until I realize that the only piece he's missing from a full set of diamond armor is the pants.

This disturbs me greatly, until I realize that that's exactly what I'm missing from my iron armor.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have started a fashion trend among creepy tall people.


After Midnight

Posted by Rache , Jun 02 2012 · 193 views

If you want exciting things to happen, go talk to Eric Clapton.

This is me, listening to David Bowie, eating tiny ice cream, and reading Lord of the Rings.



Posted by Rache , May 29 2012 · 204 views
love them, then hate them and 1 more...
I really wish - and yes, I know I'm a couple of decades too late for this to actually happen - but I really wish Yes would have decided whether to be infuriating or awesome, and then stuck with one of those things. They sort of bounced between great prog rock songs and the most annoyingly repetitive vocals this side of a political debate, and it's a bit like a minefield when you're about to listen to a Yes song you haven't heard before.



Posted by Rache , Apr 27 2012 · 210 views
stale, repeat, recycled
One of my friends recently showed me a video of a song from a live performance Metallica did in San Francisco in December of 2011, citing it as evidence that Metallica has "a breakthrough on the way". Intrigued, I listened to the song, and found myself gravely disappointed.

From the beginning, the song failed to sound noticeably different from other songs Metallica has done. Now, I'm not expecting them to suddenly become an entirely different sort of band, or for James Hetfield to pull a flute out of his pocket, but some innovation would have been nice - anything present in the song to suggest that Metallica still has new ideas would have refuted some of what I've said for years about the band.

Instead, what I heard was the same performance in the same old way, and in a world that has Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Buckethead and Joe Satriani, I have no time for Metallica's stale, recycled riffs, simplistic, unchanging basslines, and disappointingly unsubtle lyrics. The only good thing I can say about this song is that Lou Reed was nowhere to be seen.

RIP Metallica


Paranoid Ranting

Posted by Rache , Apr 23 2012 · 192 views

I don't recommend it. It makes you look like an awful person, makes everything that moves think you're an awful person, except for that one guy in the corner telling you that yes, they are all out to get you, and when you calm down he just ends up looking and feeling awkward.

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