We all have a little Anime nerd in us. (When you just gotta critique the critique)

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A video by TheLostChaper popped up on my meda feed, and with it the euphoric glee of watching someone assess in detail some enjoyable anime.

 

Go check it out, subscribe and see what you think before reading into my assessment of it.

 

While I enjoyed the format and the questions it posed. The content had some holes in it. My inner writer just had to jump up and say something!

 

While there is good merit with this video, there are many parts that just don’t add up.

You’re explanation of these “Rules” makes sense until Minute mark 4:01. “There is not a single fight where the viewer isn’t given 100% of the information”. The viewer is NOT given all the information. I didn’t see the nen lines from Hisoka until after the fight. The Kastro VS Hisoka fight is intentionally filled with seemingly impossible holes. If a completely new viewer where to watch, they would question the impossibility. That is an excellent way to tell a story, but hardly comparable to the rest of the Hunter X Hunter story writing.

From a writing standpoint the audience gains this from that fight:

A: We get a full demonstration of the more powerful parts of nen Wing was trying to explain/hide.

B: This is the first time we get a good glimpse at what Hisoka can really do. The audience knew that Hisoka was powerful before, but never knew why. This fight cemented it.

C: Hisoka is a trickster by nature. He operates with deception and cunning to surpass his challenges.

    Kastro WAS more powerful than Hisoka, but only because of the surprise ability he had. Kastro had years to prepare for his fight with Hisoka. From what I can deduce, Hisoka had to have a nasty reputation. So Kastro decides that the best way to fight a trickster is to deceive him. He learned a powerful technique that he naturally had a difficulty with. It worked, for a short period of time, if he had pressed the offense rather than trying to play it safe, Kastro would have won. Kastro VS Hisoka was a fight of deceit from both ends. The only other fight to reach this depth of manipulation will come with Chrollo Vs Hisoka.

    Next up is your assessment of the Greed Island arc. Yes, the rules were complicated… But never used to fool us. None of the conflicts even came close to the complexity of the Kastro VS Hisoka fight, because nobody ever needed to. Sure, the cards made the fights shift to a different direction, but did it really? We witness that Hisoka does plainly well in the game without taking the time to learn the card system. Brute force is still trumps any of the complexities created by the Island. The dodgeball game has the most arguably deceptive complexity to it, and yet only a few of the card/game rules came into play. This is not a good example of writing that fools the viewer.   

Next is your comparison of “writing trickery” to Gon. It seems to might have overlooked some of the earlier aspects of Gon, mainly his character development points. It is true that Gon has some similarities to the stereotypical “Good Guy” but the sudden shift in his character was not a deception or Togashi trying to trick us. Let’s take a look at a few aspects of Gon that could allow for such a change:

A: Gon is a child. He has not reached the mental maturity of the adults around him. His power allows him to compete and interact with adults, but he will still think simplistically like a child.

B: Gon lacks foresight. This is made painfully clear in episode two when questioned by the old woman. Gon is not the type of person to think around or forward, his thoughts are in the now. When you claim that Gon intentionally put his friends in danger? More than likely he wasn’t thinking of it at the time and was focused on what was in front of him.

C: Because of the two previous aspects, this makes Gon morally flexible. It’s not that he doesn’t care if a person is good or evil, is more likely that he wants them to prove it first. You can claim you’re a killer, murderer, trickster, but until you SHOW Gon, he won’t care.

    Wing and Zepile’s assessment of Gon can be explain with this analogy: Gon is a baby with a loaded pistol, who can shoot on the same level as a competitive sportsman. Yeah, it’s pretty cool to watch a baby shoot a gun, but there are so many bad things that could happen with that situation. It makes sense that they are uneasy with Gon.

    This “truth” about Gon in the ant arc is because of something that not many people get to witness. It’s what happens when you have a person who is extremely solid or flexible in willpower, and you break them. Everyone has a breaking point. Gon hit his at the death of Kite. And people who are as strong mentally as Gon, fall HARD. The only reason I’ve seen this is my work in a mental institution, it doesn’t happen often.

These aspects of the characters and the shape of the story were not to fool the viewer. The Kastro Vs Hisoka fight is the only good example of that. The rest of it is well designed characters and complex yet fluid story line.    

 

Well written Anime is difficult to find. Hunter X Hunter is well written by my standards and you should go check it out. Rant over!

 

Silver the Bard: “If you haven’t heard from me, assume I’m dead and avenge me.”

 

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Corgi Knight Sneak Peek! (Sendo Magic)

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Sendo is one of the few dogs capable of using magic in the land of Luterra. In this sneak peek you get to witness him truly wield the power for the first time. Unfortunately in this moment he forgets the basics of magic.

 

When Sendo reached the surface, he noticed an opening to the east near the fountain and dashed over to it. The Shiba took a moment to look around and observe the area before deciding. Now with the enhanced perception it was becoming clear that his lack of physical training was going to hold him back. Even though he could see the correct path to take his body could not keep up. Fortunately, Sendo did have a unique sight compared to the rest. He could now see the ebb and flow of magic around him. The Shiba stood in the middle of a formless ocean of energy that swirled through and around every solid object. Sendo could even see the magic flowing throughout his body. The sensation was unique, yet familiar. From his ears he could see a long flow of magic that reached out to the now transparent Melody floating above Lord and the crystal source. A leash of similar magic flowed to each of the squires in the marketplace. Sendo chose a differing path, one that involved the flow of magic rather than the emotional and physical reactions of the people around him. With its vast amount of life, the largest source of nearby magic was the swamp water underneath the city. When Sendo reached down beneath him with his paw, he could feel the water react. The Shiba channeled his energy, with it the water underneath burst forth into a mighty wave that swept him to the very top. The massive wave hurdled through the market to the west, with Sendo surfing above. The soldiers could do nothing compared to the power of water. The wave would wash over any object or person and push them down underneath. The power Sendo wielded was euphoric as he effortlessly made his way across the markets. In his new invincible state, the Shiba watched the other dogs from afar, until he noticed a large group of guards converging in on Bella’s position. No other dog was nearby to assists so Sendo took it upon himself to aid her. Sendo reached out with his other paw in an attempted to control the water underneath the soldiers. But the water did not move, instead the Shiba watched the magic in his own body swell up in his arm until finally it burst forth.

 

Magical backfire can be a disastrous hurdle that will quickly end the career of even the most capable wizard. What do you think will happen to the young scholar next? Leave a comment if you enjoy speculating or want to see more sneak peeks from the book!

 

Silver the Bard: “If you haven’t heard from me, assume I’m dead and avenge me.”

 

 

Villainous intent. Tips on writing the person we love to hate.

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I’ve crafted some seriously vile villains over the years. From them I’ve learned a few good guidelines. If you’re having trouble coming up with a convincing villain try out some of these:

#1: A villain is just a person with a differing viewpoint than your main characters.

One of my greatest Villans was a Shapeshifter by the name of Klide. He had a way to sink so deep underneath my players skin that they would have the urge to curse every time they mentioned his name. But Klide was never “Evil”. On the contrary he was developed as a Lawful Neutral person. He had the same goal as the player group “Find X bad guy and kill them” But Klides actions and methods were so severe that it would impede on the players work. Imagine that! A person who is just intermittently annoying and hampering was labeled a worse evil than the baddie they were hunting! It also didn’t help that he was naturally a jerk in conversation.

Being a villain is a perception. All you need to do is create that perception in the minds of your readers.

#2: No villain thinks they are evil.

Being evil is not a motive for a villain. Revenge, greed, hate, envy, lust, embarrassment, loyalty, racism, sexism, opportunity, status, love, politics, power, obsession. These are some good motives!

And usually it’s not just one. Pick two or three major ones and craft them into the backstory of your villain.

I specifically left out insanity as one of the motives from the list because of its difficulty. There have only been a handful of villains that use the insanity motive well. Mainly because it takes being mentally unstable yourself to write insanity at it’s best.

#3: Villains are highly motivated.

You must possess a high amount of motivation in order to influence a large amount of people. This is usually the big reason the villain influences the main character as well. Make certain that your villain is not just an army of one.

#4: Villains are highly organized and rarely dumb.

This one comes from the Evil Overlord List: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilOverlordList

This rule is what separates a sub-par villain from a great one. The reason we love to hate a great villain is that despite the fact that they did everything perfectly, the main character found a way to overcome. It’s a difficult thing to write, but strive for it! This can only happen if the villain is neither dumb nor disorganized.

#5: Villains can become heroes and vise versa.

Don’t for a second think that it’s cliche for a villain to turn tides. When written properly it’s an amazing read. My favorite villain I wrote was a Dark Elf by the name of Shade. He was given a meticulously crafted backstory and intended to be taken down by the players. But once the players learned of his plight and how low the other major players in the story were willing to go to kill the guy, they decided to join him instead! The good guys, joined the bad guy. And it was amazing! The campaign lasted three years after that. If a villain is written well enough, anything is possible. Sometimes not killing the villain can be just as satisfying!

 

-Silver the Bard. If you haven’t heard from me, assume I’m dead and avenge me.

Can’t think of a conflict? Map it out!

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If you think your characters motivation is lacking or unoriginal, try assessing the world around them. In the real world we are influenced by the highest levels of power. From world governments, local government, society and individuals, we all are connected to the conflicts that arise on any of those levels. It’s difficult to notice sometimes but if you’re not a hermit in a mountain cave somewhere on a typewriter, you hear and see the effects of global conflict around you. Sometimes it’s in the news, sometimes it’s the technology we develop, most likely it’s your family and friends.

Create a map of the region, or space station, or underground vault, if there are other beings (intelligent or otherwise) you will have a conflict that is influencing your characters and their development.

In this post is a rudimentary map of Luterra, the island continent of Corgi Knight. There are plenty of map creation apps and sites out there. If you wanted to use this one head on over to: http://rollforfantasy.com/tools/map-creator.php

With a bird’s eye view of the land I can begin to see how the separate races interact with each other. Are they at war? Are they at peace? How long have they been in this state? Will this time change my characters? Villains? Ancestors?

People enjoy depth to a character. When you understand the world around them and how they interact, you can write accordingly. And your audience will notice!

 

-Silver the Bard. If you haven’t heard from me, assume I’m dead and avenge me.

Magic? In my writing? It’s more likely than you think.

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When choosing to use magic in a fantasy setting it helps to create a functioning system for you to base a spell or magic event off of. Without it, you tend to run into situations where a conflict could be solved by a simple snap of the fingers. Here I have an example of the magic system in the Corgi Knight Series. It’s written in a Magic Guide for Dummies format.

Silver’s beginner guide to magic.

Energy = Matter = Magic.

Magic is the bonding force between all realms. It sits in a space of its own partially on our reality and on the realities of all other realms of existence. Academics have come to call this The Source. Archmagi Spotty Hindzel described it as “A vast sea of energy. As if you were standing at the bottom of the ocean and could see the eddy’s and currents flowing around you that are expanding forever”. Magic is everywhere. It has different consistencies in certain areas but otherwise considered universal.

The first rule of magic: Magic will always return to the source.

Magic can be converted into energy or matter. All three are interchangeable with one exception, magic will eventually return to its source. If you craft a solid object out of magic, it’s magical components over time will attempt to deconstruct and return to the source. Even the oldest long-lasting spells will eventually end if not given a new enchantment. Energy has the quickest return rate to the source. If you craft a ball of fire in your paw with magic, the magic components of the ball will return to the source within seconds if it is left without craft or bond.

 Not all life uses magic.

All life influences magic. Anything living will change, shift, consume or condense magic. From the smallest blade of grass to the mighty whales of the sea, all life has an impact on the source. Despite all living things influencing magic, not all living things utilize it. For example, dogs are separated into three different categories depending how their bodies react to magic: R+, PR and R-. R+ stand for positive reaction. Dogs whose body actively utilize the source are capable of crafting and casting magic. Less than one percent of the population has been recorded being R+. PR stands for partial reaction; most dogs fall into this category. While their bodies do utilize magic in some way, it’s usually not universal across all parts. This makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible to craft magic. R- stands for rejection. An extremely small percentage of dogs reject magic and shift it away from themselves. These people used to be incorrectly labeled “Magic Eaters” when scholars witnessed the voids of magic these people would create. Some creatures condense magic into their biology, Dragons and Unicorns are excellent examples of creatures that have evolved to condense magic and can craft magic naturally. For most living beings, the nature and flow of the source will never be noticed throughout their life.

Condensing and Conduction.

Magic rarely exists in a naturally condensed form, with two exceptions. Crystalline structures and bones. Crystalline structures of any material have a unique clustering effect on the source. Like a sponge in the ocean, crystals naturally collect magic and hold it. Bones possess a similar quality but seem to require a biological component to function. Bones, wood, and certain metals have a unique quality to facilitate the movement of magic across them. Some materials can also reduce or stop movement of magic, the most notable one being lead. When first learning magic a novice is taught the somatic movements of spells or crafting. This is because of the bones within the body. Often large amounts of magic must be moved across the body to cast or craft.

Casting, Crafting and Enchantment.

Using magic is classified into three actions. Any combination of the three can also be attributed to using magic. Crafting magic is creating or utilizing magic within one’s own biological body. This is the precursor to the second two forms of magic. Casting magic is projecting or manipulating a craft into the environment, your own body or another body around you. Most spells fall into this category. Enchanting is placing a crafted magic into an object or material that does not naturally contain magic. This is commonly done with weapons and armor.

Your body and magic.

While every part of your body can hold magic, there are certain pieces that are far more efficient at it. The dog brain is the powerhouse for magic in the body. The brain is estimated to hold 50% of the magic within a body. The muscles are next, housing close to 35%, the bones contain 10% and the remainder is held in the blood. The amount of magic a body can hold stays relatively constant throughout a dog’s adult life unless there is constant magic fluctuation. Therefore, it is always important to practice magic often and keep your body in top shape. Archmagi level of casting is achieved by years of diligence and exercises expanding body magic capacity.

Power, Backfire and Focus.

Wizarding communities classify how powerful a spell is by how much magic is used to perform the spell from start to finish. One level is equal to the same amount of magic a 200-milligram diamond can contain. The highest recorded level cast by an individual dog is 9. At some point all beginners experience backfire. It is most commonly witnessed at tiny pin pricks in one’s arms or paws after attempting to cast a spell. If a crafted spell is improperly done the resulting magic can cluster and detonate within the body. The more powerful a spell the more catastrophic the detonation. Practice and precaution is your friend when dealing with backfire! A focus is referred to as any tool crafted to assist with the casting of a spell. The materials used are often bone, wood and crystal. Holding the focus at the end of your paw helps facilitate the movement of magic out of your body. There are even some foci that can amplify certain spells if used properly.

The components of a spell.

When first learning magic a beginner is introduced to three separate types of spell components to assist in casting: Somatic, Verbal and Material. Do note that it is possible to train yourself to a point where you no longer need spell components. The Somatic component is precise moments and gestures with the paws and arms. These movements help facilitate the magic from a crafted state in the body to a spell. It’s possible to use your legs and hind paws to accomplish the same thing, but with the restricted movement range it becomes considerably harder. The Verbal component of a spell is a distinct word or phrase coupled with the casting. This is primarily used as a mental focus to keep one’s mind attuned to a certain feeling. Much like muscle memory when learning to use a weapon, the mind too can be trained to react quicker and more efficiently when casting. Material components help with connecting the kinesthetic crafting with physics. Shaping air directly into a flame is a difficult task on its own but with the help of pinch of sulfur and some potent guano an explosion can be crafted and controlled with ease. Understanding the feel and use of material components within an environment trains the brain into taking the necessary steps to properly cast a spell.

Your brain and magic.

The dog brain is the body’s main connector to the source. From it flows the power of magic and with it the capacity to create. In the infinite ocean of magic our thoughts cast an ever so subtle ripple. The capacity from which the brain holds magic differs in every individual but can be trained to expand. Emotion also has a large impact on spells. It’s been recorded that a person in state of great emotion can have exceptionally potent spells but tend to have looser control of them. While individuals who can suppress their emotions have a nearly fluid control of casting, their potency of the spell can fall short. Scholars will feud indefinitely as to which style is more efficient. I suggest developing your own style and sticking with it. When first learning magic it is common to experience headaches, this comes from your brain becoming accustomed to crafting. Every brain has its unique way of condensing magic, a differing pattern that it comes to recognize as its own. Because of this unique pattern the brain can identify foreign magic and create a defense.

Like what you read here and want to use it? Go ahead, steal it and edit any way you like. I’m not the police. I would appreciate some acknowledgement, but I’m not about to hunt you down for it.

-Silver the Bard. If you haven’t heard from me, assume I’m dead and avenge me.

 

 

 

What is Corgi Knight?

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Corgi knight is my response to the question: “How do you become a man?”. Three months ago I was approached by an English teacher at my college while I was having a loud debate with my friends about controversial subjects in our western society. I don’t mind voicing my opinion but it does sometimes tick people off. This was not the case. She instead engaged me and tried to add to my argument. Afterward she sat down and invited me to speak in front of a large group of students about these social issues. When I pressed why she admitted that she had two boys at home who were having difficult times. They… Were afraid? Somehow they believed that they had become targets and villains because of their gender and race. I was dumbfounded! I started researching and found that this was NOT an uncommon thing. But what am I suppose to do about it? I’m a dirt poor, disabled college student with NO credibility except for writing a darn good fantasy tale about magic and war. The speech didn’t go very well, and not for lack of trying. Just… Nobody wanted to listen. So I decided it was time to tackle this thing from a different direction. LET’S WRITE A BOOK! YEAH! And Corgi Knight was born.

At the publishing of this post I’m now a little over 50% finished with the raw writing. This blog will continue to express and show my wacky and crazy journey through world crafting. And if you’re reading this now, and I get good later, you can tip your hipster hat in the future and say you where there from the beginning.

 

-Silver the Bard. If you haven’t heard from me, assume I’m dead and avenge me.

King Lord.

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Meet Lord. King of Dogonna, the White Wolf.

Age: Old enough to know better.

Gender: Male

Race: Wolf

Hometown/Region/Country: Unknown, Unknown, Unknown?

Height: 1.9 Meters.

Occupation: Public figurehead. King. Ruler. All around great guy.

Likes: Dogonna, His people, Government, Exercise, Vacations, Technology, Comedy, Those little teeny tiny weenies on toothpicks.

Favorite music: The Wanted – Chasing The Sun, Fall Out Boy – Centuries. (He couldn’t pick just one.)

The near immortal leader of Dogonna, people don’t know where he’s from because he’s been around before writing became a thing. Generally liked by his people, he recently invented Democracy and appointed himself a public figurehead. But still kept his king title. Growing tired of the loss of chivalry in the current age, Lord has now sought to groom a new breed of knight to serve his people.

-Silver the Bard. If you haven’t heard from me, assume I’m dead and avenge me.