In the industrial revolution, factor-workers aided their miserable jobs by hiring lectors to read aloud. I think of these lectors when I play videos on one screen while working on another. What a time to be alive!
Another T-shirt! This one is wrap-around and has the squid from my Thinkstr videos on it. I’ll admit, I made this shirt purely so I could buy one. But if you buy one, you can try to explain to people what my youtube channel is about!
Today’s video is about this kinda fork-shape. Boo!
The fork shows up in episodes of Black Mirror, but I also think it’s emblematic of the mindflayer in the new season of Stranger Things. Basically everything is an org-chart if you squint hard enough.
New video! This one’s about how in a pretentious, cosmic sorta sense, everything is a product and an advertisement for one.
Of course, me sharing this video is just another advertisement. So it goes.
This chapter is a little short; I just started graduate school, and on top of that I’m having fun experimenting with video-editing, so I’m beginning to move on from this project.
But I’ve had a lot of fun with The Minotaur’s Board-Game, and I don’t think I’ll be done even after I post the last chapter two Fridays from now. I like the world I’ve made, but I think my exploration of it leaves something to be desired. Maybe a year later I’ll revisit this project and spruce it up a bit.
That’s the good thing about having a website instead of publishing a book. I can always change stuff. It’s a living document. It’s only public because I enjoy sharing my stories with anyone who wants to read them.
So let’s leave some notes for myself in the future. What needs to be spruced up in The Minotaur’s Board-Game?
The beginning needs expansion. I’m in such a rush to introduce core concepts, and just get on with the story, that Homer wins his first table-war the day after meeting Aria. I can convey my world to the reader in a clearer, more compelling, but still compact way. What if Aria put Homer to work on her farm, and they bonded a little over board-games? Aria could explain table-war to Homer and the reader. Then Homer’s first victory is more plausible, and the bond between Homer and Aria presented in this chapter is more convincing.
Also, I think Homer should get along more with the sphinx. Minotaurs haunt labyrinths; sphinxs propose riddles; they gotta buddy up. In the current draft Homer beats the sphinx at table-war and that’s that. Maybe Homer should run into the desert to console the sphinx on her loss.
I like Homer the minotaur proposing to Aria the human in marriage. The reader has watched Homer’s whole existence on the surface, so obviously he doesn’t know much about marriage. He can’t know that humans don’t marry beasts. But this book has a theme of accepting beasts; is Aria just closed-minded? Their platonic relationship is probably more fitting.
I started this project focusing on the snowflake method, in which a story is built up in phases. It only makes sense to return later to fill in the gaps, and it bodes well that I’m eager to do so. If I have fun writing it, maybe someone will like reading it.
But that’ll have to wait. After The Minotaur’s Board-Game, I’ll be focusing on graduate school and occasional YouTube videos. I’m having a lot of fun making videos about my favorite shows like Kaiji the Ultimate Survivor. It’s a new kind of content I’d like to practice on; I figure people are more willing to watch a ten-minute YouTube video than read ten-thousand words on my website.
Speaking of, here’s my latest video on Thinskter! Karl Pilkington describes Black Mirror episodes. Maybe next time I’ll discuss a dataset I’m studying about witch trials?
I figure nobody reads anymore, so I’d might as well board a sinking ship and make videos about anime on YouTube. I embedded the video below, but first I’d might as well talk a little about the chapter of The Minotaur’s Board-Game I posted today.
When Aria breaks Homer’s heart, Homer runs into the wild wastes and finds an entrance to (exit from?) a labyrinth. We’ve been warned minotaurs get homesick, but Homer’s commitment to stay on the surface and defeat the dwarfs redoubles when he sees that dwarfs have killed some minotaurs for their heads.
Homer wins a table-war against the dwarven machine, but loses the next round. For the first time ever, gnomes award a commander more than five points when the dwarven machine’s victory earns nine.
Awarding points is a great knob for me to twist, as a writer. What I mean is, it’s easy to replace nine points with eight points, if I decide I need to. I strongly believe no how much planning a writer does, the act of writing is just making things up as you go; if I notice something doesn’t make sense, I can go back and change it. Nothing is written in stone, and having gnomes award points makes the story quite pliable.
I also like the reveal that gnomes and dwarfs used to be the same race. There’s a lot of baggage in using classic creatures like elves, dwarfs, gnomes, and all that, because in many fantasy stories, these races are essentially copy-pasted, but I’ve tried to shake things up. Giving dwarfs and gnomes a peculiar, entwined history makes them stand out in a world of Lord-of-the-Rings knockoffs.
So anyway, here’s that video. It’s about Kaiji: The Ultimate Survivor, an anime about a guy who gambles his limbs. Spoilers!