Friday Fiction: Skeleton Rise

I’ve been experimenting with a new Storium game, testing out a setting that has been kind of vaguely on my mind for a while. (Storium has been great for fleshing out my setting ideas, by the way). This is the introductory post in that game, Skeleton Rise. I’m trying to do almost a Gothic sort of Western, where the town itself is like a character. It helps that the landscape of the West is so dynamic, and all that geothermic activity makes it easy to ascribe magic to the land itself.

In the foothills of the Washburn range, just north of the Yellowstone River and in the shadow of the huge dinosaur bones up in the bluffs, lay the town of Skeleton Rise. Weren’t much to look at at first glance, nor second glance neither; no railroad this far into unorganized territory, so the town started dying when the gold dried up. Still, there was a town, and a well, and a saloon, and that’s pretty much all you need out in the west. Continue reading

Friday Flashfic: The Hunt

Something a little different for Friday Fiction today. This is a move from one of my Storium games, in which I play Ismena of Belmar, a former mercenary turned caravan guard. It’s one of the more self-contained excerpts I’ve written, but for context: Ismena is in charge of security for the caravan of a wealthy merchant. One day into their journey, her scout comes back to report he found cave bear tracks along their route. They decide to hunt the bear. WARNING: Gore.

Huge trees arched over them, blocking out the light and leaving them in a green-tinted twilight world straight out of a fairy tale. Ismena half expected to find a witch’s cottage around the next corner.

As they walked on, all idle chatter died out. The forest’s silence was oppressive, a heavy blanket that pressed down on them and muffled any desire to penetrate it. Each man retreated into his thoughts.

Ismena found herself thinking of a hunt some years ago in Fall’s Reaches. Continue reading

Storium Part II: Applications to Writing

Second of two blog posts on Storium, the online storytelling game. Part I here.

My Games

I’m currently running two games as a narrator (one steampunk, one SF) and playing in three. One of them seems particularly promising but it’s early days yet; I find that most games tend to fizzle somewhere around scene 3, so we’ll see how it goes.

If you’re interested in seeing how a game plays out, the link to my first narrated game is here; unfortunately, I’m not sure if you’ll be able to read it unless logged into an account. But I’ll give it a shot.

Lessons Learned

Previous attempts to narrate these games (both of the currently-running versions are recent reboots) reinforced some important lessons about writing that I already sort of knew but hadn’t really appreciated… Continue reading

Storium Part I: Online Collaborative Storytelling

What is Storium?

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about a website called Storium. I discovered it way back when it was but a twinkle in the eyes of its creators…by which I mean I backed it on Kickstarter.

But what is it, exactly? Storium is a web-based only storytelling game — think of it like a tabletop RPG, but with less dice rolling and asynchronous moves. Basically, it’s a way to get together with strangers on the internet and write together.

How does it work? Continue reading