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So, Update on Story Stuff?

Posted by xccj , in News, Stories Nov 01 2013 · 165 views

The most ironic thing about the shutdown?  I was one chapter shy of finishing my repost of my epic Kulagi's Kanoka.  Now, after a second data loss, I have to repost it AGAIN.  I'm not angry or anything (nobody was reviewing it anyway) but I find the irony amusing.
So I'm going to try and repost it.  (And get my post count up some more... gee, I lost all of like 30 posts!  That's a lot for me!)  No, seriously, I'm reposting it! Maybe try to do it faster than last time.  Maybe not.  I've also considered posting it elsewhere online.  I mean, I've come across other fan fiction sites before.  But I'm hesitant to do so because it probably wouldn't get me any new reviewers, and because I'm too fond of the BZP library, even in its excess of inactivity.  I might do it at some point, but I'll focus on BZP first.  At the very least, I have a good copy saved on my laptop AND external harddrive.
(Additionally, I found that somebody also copied my epic Time Disruption onto some Bionicle fan fiction wiki, so even tho it was without my permission, it still means that it's out there on the internet.  Doesn't bother me, except that maybe they should've copied a few of my other stories too.  :P )
And even tho the lack of reviews kinda depressed me, I did start a mini sequel to Kulagi's Kanoka, set during the Dark Hunter wars.  I'd love to post it here eventually and get people's take on it... but I kinda already know that nobody would read and review it.  I had a hard enough time getting reviews when BZP was in its golden age... can't expect much now when the library is almost a graveyard.
And finally, I'm thinking about doing NaNo this year again.  I'm kinda harsh on the whole National November Writing Month thing, because I view myself as better than them cause I can write whenever I want to, and I work on quality over quantity, (And even then I can produce some quantity... even tho quality is only determined by me.)  But between having a few stories I need to rewrite and still technically being unemployed, I have the time to do it, so I should challenge myself.  Although it will be different than the first time I really participated.  Then, I used existing characters from one of my original story themes and wrote a new story.  This time, I'm planning to rewrite a story that I lost years ago.  This means that I know all the basic plot twists and how it ends and everything waaaaay in advance, so I just need to push myself to type it up and flesh it out.  The issue is that I'm pretty sure the original one I wrote years ago was more like 30,000 - 40,000 words, so I dunno if it'll hit the 50,000 word mark before I finish it.  But if that happens, so what, I'll have one of my stories completed!  (The NaNo I did three years ago was 51,000 after one month, but incomplete.  I finally wrote the finale this summer, and it finished at about 72,000.)
But don't worry, I don't plan on posting it here and asking you to review it.  :P  Heck, the 582 word blog entry is already pushing it for your expected attention span.  Oh well.
Maybe tomorrow I'll write a blog updating some MOC things I've been working on.  :P


NANO Completed

Posted by xccj , in Stories Aug 14 2013 · 158 views

I just completed my NANO Story from 2010.
So back in 2010, I participated in the National November Writing Month thingy whatever.  The one where you write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Huge time consumer, and didn't help that I was in over my head as far as school was concerned.  But by the end of the month, I was just over the word count mark.  But the problem was that my story was only partially over; I had set it up for the big climaxe, but didn't continue it.
And then the story got put on hold.
Fast forward to this summer.  I decided to retackle this, since I had the plot all figured out, and just needed to write in the details and battle.  (The idea was based on a 7 sins idea that I totally stole from Makaru and Kumata back in the day)  In the process, I added another bunch of words, so the final count is 73,280.  Not quite my longest story ever, but its pretty impressive.
For the record, my Time Disruption story was 88,000 ish words long, and my Slizers epic was almost at 120,000 words, and that was also a WIP.  My longest story is currently at 220,000 words, but I've been adding to it for four years now... and those are the longest ones I have to offer.
Now I have like 4 other WIPs I should start working on.  Oh, and that whole "find a job" thing should also take priority, right?


Palm Pilot

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories May 23 2013 · 159 views

So, way back in the day, there were these devices called Palm Pilots or something.  They could include calendars and notepads and other stuff on them.  Basically, I always saw them as hand held computers, although clearly they were limited compared to desktops.  This was like in the early 2000s.  I know a couple of my classmates had some.
And back in 2003 or 2004 (I forget when) I wrote this adventure story that I'm sure I've mentioned here before.  It was about four friends getting trapped in a virtual game, where if they die there they die for real, and the only way out was to win the game.  (Rip off of Sword Art Online?  No, I finished this before then.  It was a rip-off of some other cartoon idea.  :P )  But one guy was able to keep out of the game, and he spend the story hacking into the program and trying to free the friends.  At one point, his desktop is compromised, so he downloads the data onto his palm pilot and goes mobile.  The palm pilot is integral to him finally figuring out the coding in the end.
The problem?  Well, I'm updating the story again, and something occurred to me.  Palm Pilots totally want out of style, and were never quite the extravagant hand held computers anyway.  But... well, what I described does sound familiar, doesn't it?  Oh yeah, smart phones.  Everybody and their dog has one nowadays, and they're clearly not a passing fad.
So, should I replace the palm pilot in the story with a smart phone?  It would be a little more accurate and true to current technology.  But it's also a classic part of my story which follows the technology of that era.  So, opinions?
(I know, first world dilemma for sure!)



Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories Dec 18 2012 · 164 views

What is it with some of these Anime?  12 episodes and I get emotionally attached to the characters and moved by the finale.  Doesn't happen a lot for other shows I watch.  Maybe it's cause I'm watching entire seasons back to back instead of drawn out... but still.
And by "moved" I mean slightly choked up but not bawling or anything.  :P  And this doesn't apply to everything.
It has made me think of some of my own writing experience.  Honestly, there is only one time I ever got choked up over my own writing, and that was when I killed off Duka in my Bionicle epic Time Disruption. (Oh, uh, spoiler?)  But in general, I've avoided tragic deaths in most of my writings.  Sure, I have bad things happen to the characters, and the endings aren't always 100% perfect, but usually most of them survive.  Well, there is one story where I killed off all the supporting characters, one at a time, and the protagonist had an emotional breakdown, but it didn't happen to me as a writer.  (Because he used time travel to go back and change the chain of events, thus leading to only a few deaths of supporting characters... uh, yeah, spoiler again!)  But the point is, I never got choked up as an author because I knew I was bringing the characters back.  In retrospect, Duka's death kind of came up at the last moment, and although I was expecting to give him a sad fate, his death just seemed to accidentally slide into place and thus the emotion felt more real.  (And Duka wasn't even one of the main characters either!)
But yeah, this doesn't normally happen.  I mean, Toy Story III is one movie where I got teared up a bit (not just the incinerator scene, but also the lost teddy bear scene, cause that actually did happen to me as a kid except without an exact replacement.)  And I guess the seventh Harry Potter book was a little sad in that chapter where he walks through the forest.  But do those Anime writers have nothing better to do than write moving stories with relatable characters??
That's it, I'm going back to watching the robot mecha gory ones instead.  :P


Ninjago Story Contest Entry

Posted by xccj , in News, Stories Dec 10 2012 · 120 views

Woo Hoo, I managed to finish my story and enter it into the contest. Yay! You can read and review it Here.

What the Karzahni? I just wrote an extensive blog entry and then 90% of the text gets deleted when I posted it? Oh well, I guess I can go into the detailed about the story in a later entry. Suffice to say, I hope you'll take some time to read it, and I hope it does well in the contest. (It is quite long; the longest entry so far.)

So please review! Thanks! (Oh, and go enter the contest yourself, since it only has like 7 entries and the deadline's tonight.)



Working on my Ninjago Story

Posted by xccj , in Stories Dec 01 2012 · 117 views

Y'know, for that contest.
The problem; I'm already at 7 pages and I'm just now getting to the climax.  And I haven't even done my whole big Green Ninja reveal yet either!
I know there's a lower limit of 500 words... but this might be pushing the upper limit a bit much.  :P  It might work better as a short epic instead of a looooooooong short story.


Sword Fight Story

Posted by xccj , in Stories, News Nov 20 2012 · 171 views

I haven't blogged in a while, which is sad because that's the bulk of my BZP activity nowadays. My life is just that dull right now, and I have lots of school stuff to work on.

But anyway, November is the month of writing, according to NaNo. I didn't do it this year, but I did get 50,000+ words in 30 days done this summer. And hey why not take an excerpt from one that!


Not gonna post the whole thing, but here's the premise. The protagonist has snuck onto an enemy base, and he has a sword that he can summon to his hands. Before he can progress to the computer room, he gets cornered by ten guys with swords. Battle ensues!

This is actually an older story that I'm rewriting. And I remember for this particular sequence, I just wrote "and there was a terrible sword fight" and left it at that. This time, I actually tried to include more action details into the fight. Let me know how I did!


“Third floor,” I said to myself, remembering the location of the control room. I pushed through a large hallway looking for a stairwell, but as I turned a corner, I froze. I could see the stairs, but now there were five men standing between me and them. The men were armed, but this time not with laser guns. This time, they were wielding swords.

“This ends here, rebel,” one of the men said. I heard more footsteps behind me, and I spun around, drawing my laser gun as I did so. Five more men had blocked me in, and they were also holding onto swords. The lead solder pressed forward and swung his blade even as I lifted my gun. He slashed my hand, forcing me to drop my weapon. I stepped back, narrowing my eyes. Knocking a gun out of an opponent’s hands with a blade was my trick!

“You’re mine,” the man said, and he stabbed his blade forward. But I sidestepped and summoned my own Green Sword. Instead of piercing my flesh, his blade slid across my own. I twisted my sword and we locked blade. As I forced his sword to the side, I kicked up with my left foot and caught him in the leg, breaking his balance. He stumbled, and I broke his grasp on his weapon and knocked up upward in the air. While he was stunned, I swung my free hand and punched him directly in the face. He fell back, and I reached up with my other hand and caught his sword in midair before it hit the ground.

I pointed my two blades at the man. “You still think you’re going to win this fight?” I asked.

But I had more to deal with. The other nine men in the room were still armed, and they pressed forward. I swung my Green Sword and struck the first man with the flat of my blade, knocking him out. And then I utilized both my swords to parry the oncoming steel from my attackers.

It was dangerous for all nine men to attack me at once, but two could easily charge me from each side, which meant that I had to deal with up to four opponents at once. And unfortunately, these men were not novices when it came to the art of fencing. Luckily, I had lots of skill with a blade, and I now had two at my disposal. I was able to stand my ground and fight them back, but just barely, and it was taking all I had to do so.

My blades sliced through the air as I swung them to parry incoming blows. Meanwhile, I was forced to dodge around the attacks that I couldn’t block, which meant that I was sidestepping, ducking, and leaning to the side even as my swords clashed with those of my opponents. They weren’t able to land any deadly blows, but their blades still managed to cut into my arms and legs, leaving thin cuts that began to bleed. I was barely able to defend myself, and I couldn’t last forever against such an onslaught. I needed to go on the offensive.

One man attempted to stab me, but I dodged to the side and shoved him down. This gave me an opening to rush into, and the three swordsmen behind me slashed at empty air as I made my move. One man was in range and he charged forward. I blocked his sword with one blade, but then I swung my second one and pierced his side. He yelped out as I roughly kicked him, and he went down.

Two swordsmen charged me, hoping to push me up against the wall. But I charged towards it, jumped, and kicked off it, and turned my momentum into a thrust towards the two men. They dodged to the side and I raced between them. They turned to face me, but I turned faster. I sliced the back of one of the man’s knees, and he crashed to the ground in pain, unable to stand. The other man blocked my blade, but he was now on the defensive. Before the others could join him, I pressed on the attack, pushing him against the wall. He did a wide swing with his blade, but I was able to strike his hand and knock his sword away. More men advanced from behind, so I jumped forward and kicked off his stomach as I turned to face his comrades. He collapsed, having endured too much pain, and I clashed with the next men.

The swordsmen were very skilled, but they lacked my speed and agility. Instead of fighting them face on, where they had the advantage, I circled around them, using the walls to my advantage. My quick jumps kept them from ganging up on me, and so I had an easier time defending against their blades. But I was also going on the attack, and slicing them whenever I could. I did not hold back; I issued long slashes in painful areas that would quickly disable them, and if some of them weren’t treated, they would even prove fatal. I couldn’t just use the flat of my blade to strike them; they were attacking me ruthlessly, and I couldn’t do anything less if I wanted to survive.

I reduced their numbers down to three, and I locked blades with the largest fighter. I drew back, hoping to stab at him with my borrowed sword blade. But the other men suddenly caught me from behind, and I had to do a hasty jump to avoid getting skewered. This forced me off balance, and I instinctively stabbed my borrowed blade into the ground to offer stability. Unfortunately, this led to the blade snapping in hand, and I fell to my knees. As I got up, I realized I was now down to one sword and a broken hilt.

The large fighter grinned and started to advance on me, thinking that he now had an advantage since my other sword was out of commission. As I stepped forward and used my Green Sword to parry his blade, I thrust the damaged hilt into his exposed shoulder. He howled out in grief, and I kicked him backwards.

The last two men ignored the anguish of their comrade and charged at me, thrusting their swords quickly. I parried with my Green Sword, but my reflexes were slowing. My energy was running out; my muscled aches, my breathing was heavy, and sweat was dripping down my face. But the last two men still had energy to spare, and they pressed down on me, hoping to finally bring me down.

I locked blades with one of them, and the two of us strained as we tried to break the other’s strength. Meanwhile, the second man stepped back and prepared for a side attack, which I couldn’t defend against. I drew back on my sword, and dodged around the second man’s blade. But the first man now had a clear shot, and he sliced down my right arm. I fell backwards with a cry, and my sword arm started to go limp. The two men grinned and advanced.

Pain seared through me, but I wasn’t finished yet. I reached over with my left hand and gripped my sword’s hilt. Then, using both hands, I swung my sword outward. Only this time, I poured energy into my Green Sword, and it began to glow. It came into contact with my opponent’s swords, but they were no match for it. Their blades disintegrated in the energy outburst, and the two men were thrown backwards into the wall and knocked unconscious.

I collapsed to the ground, with my arm and various cuts bleeding out. I was nearly exhausted, but I was alive, and the ten swordsmen were down. Gingerly, I reached into my pocket and took out a healing ointment that I had brought along, and quickly applied it to my worst cuts. It didn’t take care of the pain, but it lessened down the bleeding. After a minute, I started to regain feeling in my right arm again. It would need proper care later, but for now I’d survive.

The sword fight was over. But I could hear more soldiers running towards the building. I needed to get moving and find the control room, and I needed to do it fast before any of them caught up with me.



New Slizer Game

Posted by xccj , in Stories, News Oct 04 2012 · 263 views

Wait wait wait. What the heck? I finished this?

So you can continue to read the blog entry for the background story. Of if you're gonna go all "TL/DR" then just check out the game here and test it out for me. Comments appreciated, granted that you understand this is an armature project and not exactly high quality stuff to begin with.

I'm not sure if I blogged about it before or not, but I've had this general idea for a Slizer game in my head for a while. The basis is around my defunct Slizer on Mata Nui epic, where the six Slizers fight against evil worm things (named Zarxec because that's an awesome name) and their leaders who want to take over Metru -Nui / the world. As I wrote the epic, I gave each Slizer character strengths and weaknesses. Eventually, I assigned values to them too.

And then came the idea of the game. I had skill values for the Slizers and the Zarxec. I originally made cards, so that you could do a simple game where you determined skill ahead of time and then played your character cards to see who'd win. But then I was intrigued by the idea of an online game.

So this is coded using mostly Javascript. The computer randomly selects one of the Zarxec, and then you decide which Slizer will fight against it, by comparing their respective skills. Then you roll for which skill you use, and that determines the winner. A simple game idea, but gosh it's complex to code from scratch. I started coding this thing up probably over a year ago, but it kinda got shoved to the side for more important work. But I was looking through my past projects to use for my portfolio, saw this, and then got a few cool ideas for how to code it... and boom, in a night the game when from demo to actually playable.

Granted, there are a few issues with it. The characters may be a little too evenly spread out with skills; if they're big on speed and agility, they're low on strength, and as such any pairing has about an even chance of pulling off a win or not. Thus, kinda hard to use strategy, when really any Slizer can beat almost all the Zarxec if the right skill is chose (at random.)

Plus, there are things I wanted to add. Right now it's more of an arena game, but I was thinking of more of a campaign, where the enemies got tougher as time went on, the Slizers got power-ups part way through, and somehow Matoran could be added as a bonus.

Oh, and the design is still a WIP. Backgrounds are just random light colors, where I could make them more detailed and change based on the enemy character. And the character artwork is basic too. The Slizers are just set images copy/pasted in, and the Zarxec are doodles from like 5 years ago. (Or more... gosh, I wrote that story a LONG time ago.) I've already animated Torch, so I could do that for the rest of them too, but that takes more time and effort than I might have to spare. (Plus, then there's the whole idea of designing this game using Flash ActionScript, which is also brings to mind some different styles of game play and animation... but would force me to learn more of that coding language.)

So yeah, I'd be interested to know what people think about this, and if I should expand it or not in my spare time. As is, I'm going to use this in my Portfolio as evidence that I can code with beans using Javascript. What, you want me to add Javascript security to your site? Dunno about that, but I can make an interactive game instead! :D

(FYI, DON'T use Javascript for security, bad practice.)



Time Disruption Reevaluated

Posted by xccj , in Stories, News Sep 09 2012 · 126 views

So I was bored this weekend, so I browsed through my files and pulled up my old Time Disruption story. Basically it's something I started back in 2003 (or early 2004, sometime around there) and worked on for 3+ years. It was probably one of my more successful stories on BZPower, and it certainly drew the largest number of reviews I've ever gotten for a story. :P I haven't reread it in years, so I thought it would be fun to do.

Of course, there were parts I still loved about this. The general plot was awesome, and some of the character developments were great. (Heck, Duka's death scene is one of the more emotional ones I've ever written). However, this isn't a "I can't believe how good my writing was back then" entry.

This is a "Oh my gosh was I really this terrible at writing" and "how could anybody ever read this??" entry.

Seriously. Between the spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, incomplete descriptions (I even remember how I viewed some of them in my head, but the writing totally did not convey that), repetitive use of words (I'd use the same descriptive word like 5 times in 1 paragraph... talk about overuse)... I mean really, the story seems almost too disjointed to follow correctly. How did I have so many reviewers back then? I remember always getting nagged about my spelling, but the writing is just so off, I'm surprised anybody managed to get through the first chapters.

Now I'm tempted to rewrite the story. As I mentioned earlier, the overall plot of the story is still one of my best, so now I just need to update the writing to match in quality. But here are a couple of issues with that. First off, there's a long queue of old stories I want to rewrite, as well as a lengthy list of potential new story ideas. Secondly, the whole story was written based off assumptions from 2003-2005, which means that we didn't know the true purpose of the Bohrok, the overall goals of Makuta's plan (or that there were even multiple Makuta), and that the Mata Nui island was actually just some robot's face. (Yes, that last one still irks me.) If I wanted to try and tweak the story to fit into the current canon... well, I might lose some of the essentials to the plot. And finally, would I even have an audience? I could update the writing, but the basic plot twists wouldn't change, so it would hardly be a new story. Granted, I'm fairly certain that all my older reviewers (save Kumata and Snoopy) have left the site for good, so anybody else around would probably have never read the original... but they could always look it up in the forum archive. (This is also a reason that I'm hesitant to rewrite Slizers on Mata Nui, even though I think that could use a reboot too.)

But I guess the older story proves that I have improved overall as a writer. I would love to go back to the days where I could crank out fun Time Disruption chapters, because that story was one of the most enjoyable to write. But I don't have as much time or inspiration to write anymore, and I'm a little sad to see that my old story was not as glorious as my nostalgic remembrance of it seemed to be.

Aaaaaaaand, let's see. In other news, I've been in school. Last semester. Got a bunch of hard classes tho. Including a senor seminar, where we get to do projects for local non profits. Most of that class is working on a cool interactive display for OMSI (the Oregon Museum for Science and Industry in downtown Portland) but I'm instead working on some promotional videos for a Russian Speaking Student conference. While the other project sounds like more fun, it's also something that they won't be able to complete in one semester, whereas I'm looking forward to putting my video editing experience to work and coming up with a quality promotional video.

Also spend the weekend watching anime, playing with the dog, and staying indoors while it's in the upper 90s. Seriously, we're having a delayed summer in the Pacific Northwest. (Today isn't too hot tho.)



That's a lot of Writing

Posted by xccj , in Stories Jul 29 2012 · 170 views

So I've probably mentioned that I've been working on one of my personal stories. It's a long one, already over 200 pages long. But I started rewriting it way back in 2009, and I've been making slow progress on it. I've only really begun to crank it out this last month, when I got past a lull point and moved onto some of the exciting parts! And I've been keeping my progress documented too, so I know roughly how much I've written and when.

A week ago or so, I noticed that I had written quite a lot, and I checked. It was around 37,000 words in only like 20 days. I thought of NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) where you're supposed to write 50,000 words in 30 days. So I decided to see if I could do that this month. The acronym would be more like Per-Ju-Wri-Mo-Ki for Personal June/July Writing Month Kinda. :P

Yesterday was my 30 day mark, so I calculated up my total writing for the past 30 days. 56,294. :br:

Hah, that's more than my last NaNo story, which is still unfinished but since it's part of a series I need to end it eventually. I have ideas of where to go, I just need the time and proper inspiration. But apparently I've got that for this other epic instead. :D

But I also go back to school in a few weeks... yeah, unemployed summer is almost over. Then my writing will dip yet again.


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