Hero’s Tale VYA PostMortem

As promised, here’s my PostMortem on the Hero’s Tale Vote Your Adventure series. For the uninitiated, a PostMortem is a look at the successes and failures in a project. In other words, I’m tearing it apart to analyze it. I’ll be looking at the story and writing, as well as how the chaos of real life impacted things. And for the fun of it, I’ll give you a glimpse of some of the possible story branches that didn’t happen.

Story & Writing

The story is the most important part, and I think it turned out well. It was fun allowing others to help direct the plot. But the loose ideas in my head ended up being a hindrance. The project would have been easier if I had created a map of the story before hand.

The whole idea of having people give extra insight into the votes never took off either. There were a couple of times where I took some thoughts, but not as many as I hoped.

The main plot point that was influenced by this was the issue with Bardulf’s cracked ribs and broken arm. Mike and Matt, in the comments for Part 11, mentioned parts of this. Matt (rightfully) worried that Bardulf’s injuries might be too severe. Mike said it was too bad the healing balm wouldn’t help broken bones. I took that thought and ran with it. Bardulf wasn’t the type who would accept magical healing from the elf, but that didn’t stop Malic from not telling Bardulf that the herbs were more than they seemed.

Another plot point that didn’t work as I’d hoped was the elf side-quest. The relationship is important to who Bardulf is and is becoming, not to mention the world. But other than the herbs, it didn’t have a real impact on the story that was being told.


This project was fun, but I went in with un-realistic expectations. I didn’t understand how much time the writing and editing of each part would take. It took a lot of work. In a perfect world, I would have been posting a new entry each week. But it’s a lot of work to do when you have a family: writing, editing, rewriting, etc.

And then there is the emotional aspect. I was frustrated because I didn’t meet my self imposed deadlines, making me depressed. That, in turn, made it that much harder to write. The result being that it took even longer to write than I wanted. Thus, becoming a vicious circle.

There were some external forces at work also. My family moved twice during the project, throwing me off. It’s hard to get things done when the household is in turmoil.

I’m disappointed that it took so long to finish the story. I had hoped that this was going to be a project that would take a couple months to finish. I won’t deny that I considered stopping. But I really wanted to see how the story would end.

Unfortunately, all those breaks cost me readers. The number of people reading and voting dropped off. Thanks to those who stuck it out with me. I hope it was worth it for you, because it was for me.

But please don’t take this as complaining. I’m glad I did this, because I learned a lot. Especially how I work as a writer.


Now, what about those unused plot threads? I’ll let you into my head for a few:

  • There were a couple of places toward the end where Bardulf almost lost an arm. That would have changed some things, but the votes didn’t go in the right direction.

  • In Ruelinthal’s Edge, where the slaves were being held, the one person who would have helped Bardulf was the blacksmith. That would have allowed a chance for Bardulf’s horse to live.

  • At the start, if Bardulf had waited to see Lord Belmont and gone in the morning, the attack would still have happened. But in that thread, Lord Belmont would have died.

Final Thoughts

As I stated before, this blog will be going on hiatus. I don’t know what I will be doing next with it. If there are any Hero’s Tale related tidbits, I will be announcing them here. Otherwise, go take a look at my author site: http://BrianTRonk.com.

Thanks, Brian

Destiny Quest: The Legion of Shadow review

Cover for Destiny Quest #1 - The Legion of Shadow

I talked about gamebooks a few months back here, and mentioned the title Destiny Quest by Michael J. Ward. I’ve been slowly making my way through the adventure, and I’m finally ready for a verdict on this book’s Plot & Gameplay. So, what is it? Read on!

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Authors Acting Badly

A review of a book came across the Twitter-sphere today. That in itself isn’t remarkable. What is remarkable is the response of the author of the book.

The short version is that the reviewer said he liked the story, but that it had grammatical errors. The author took this the wrong way, and ended up giving the reviewer a piece of her mind. She claimed that he had the wrong version (it appears he didn’t) and more. When it came down to it, though, she insulted the reviewer and the other commenters. She demanded that the review be taken down, as well as told commenters to… well… “Go Away” in not so nice terms.

I feel sorry for this lady. In one day, she has managed to destroy her reputation. This whole fiasco went viral on Twitter. She won’t have much luck in the future. And in truth, the real troll in the whole thread of comments was her. There were some others (as you will get when something like this happens), but the majority were people telling her to be quiet for her own good. She should have listened to the criticisms. They are given for a reason. As the reviewer said, the story was good. It was the grammar that made it hard to read.

So, to my family and friends, please destroy my pens, paper, computers and whatever else if I ever do that. It is not professional, nor useful in the long run.

Scrivener for Windows

I’m done reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but I need to do my writeup. I am planning 2 blog posts for that. Maybe more if I feel like expounding more. Today, I want to talk about Scrivener, though.

I heard of Scrivener when I did NaNoWriMo in 2009. It looked interesting, but as it was only for Mac, I couldn’t do anything with it. I may be in IT, but I haven’t been able to justify getting a Mac yet.

Then, as NaNo 2010 was gearing up, I heard that there was a Windows Beta starting. Great! Except that I do most of my writing on a Dell Mini 9 netbook with Ubuntu Linux. As NaNo progressed, I noticed that they had a Linux version! Great! But I didn’t want to take the time to figure out how to get it to work during NaNo, so I waited till afterwords. As I look back on it, I wish I had noticed that Linux port from the start. Its features make it a lot easier to work in for writing, as compared to Word or OpenOffice.

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