Shit just got real.

Shit just got real.

I hate the idea of quoting a Michael Bay shitfest like Bad Boys 2, but unfortunately it’s only apt.  Besides, I’m legally and morally bound to make an allusion to Hot Fuzz in some way every two weeks or they’ll stop giving me my medication again.

For the past month, as the costs of the wedding my fiancée and I are planning continue to mount and the need for an incredibly stringent savings routine developed in order to pay for it all, I had begun to lose hope that I’d ever be able to do anything for fun again that involved leaving the house and spending money.  I had all but given up on my plan to attend the inaugural event of Legacy, the live-action role playing game my friends are kicking off at the end of the month, and I was seriously bummed to be missing it (even though a big part of me heaved a huge sigh of relief for not becoming “one of them“), but after careful considering of the options and some serious number crunching – I even used a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and everything – it looks like we can meet our savings target for April and still attend the event at the end of the month.

The stripes make me go faster.

Hope it's warm that weekend.

Unfortunately, this gives me less than two weeks to learn an entire new game system, create a character and a backstory, and somehow find some kind of costume to wear so I don’t show up on the 27th in a pair of grubby sweatpants with Cheetos dust hand prints on the ass.  When I was down visiting my parents, I managed to come across a couple of costume pieces I had gathered over the years for Halloween costumes, and I brought them back up with me, thinking I’d be donating them to Legacy as kind of a consolation prize for not being able to show up; I could possibly use some of those,  but I’m going to need more than just a matching pair of boots and gloves.  Well, I guess I could just add a rubber-banded sock around my junk and go like that.  Somehow I don’t think I’ll be invited back after that, though.

I also don’t know how detailed I should make this character, either.  I mean is it really going to be necessary for a 5,000 word personal history, complete with elementary school pictures and birthday cards sent by long-dead grandparents?  I really don’t want to go with the Orphaned at Birth trope in order to avoid it all, as that’s a serious cop-out that always made me roll my eyes whenever I ran into it in the back stories of other people’s characters.  I mean nobody wants to be that guy, especially when you’re actually making your living as a writer.

Next!

Great, that's one character concept down!

This leads me to another dilemma – are my friends expecting me to deliver some Hugo Award-winning character treatment because I’ve got an MA in English?  I mean, I basically make up shit for a living – it only makes sense that people are going to be expecting better-than-average results from me, if not excellent ones, and I don’t know if I can deliver that – not on two weeks’ notice, at least.  Well, I probably can, but it’s going to be dependent on a bunch of different factors.

I know this guy.  He's goin' after my balls.

I can almost guarantee I'm getting a nut shot from this asshole that weekend.

Of course, if I do decide to go balls-out with a character concept, there’s always the chance that it’ll never actually come out in play.  90% of backstory stays in the background, after all, kind of like how Hemingway’s iceberg remains mostly underwater, and it’s not really going to matter if my character lost his big toe in a tragic farming accident that resulted in the death of his younger sister that haunts him to this day if the majority of the game is nothing more besides people in elf ears beating the shit out of each other with latex weapons and throwing packets of birdseed at one another.  I’m not going to have some sort of death soliloquy on the field of battle about strutting and fretting my hour upon the stage after some overzealous 20 year old Naruto fan “accidentally” jabs me in the yambag with his $200 Museum Replicas Excalibur prop; I’m just going to keel over, try to prevent myself from vomiting, and pray for a swift death.

I am so fucked.

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8 thoughts on “Shit just got real.

  1. Schmirnolf the drunk wizard.

    Think of the possibilities of such a character. The good part is as a drunk person you get to be able to make up random shit and not be accountable. So if you make up some silly backstory element on the fly (improvstyle) that u don’t like, u can just. Blame it on the jum jum juice.

    It also will allow u to not have to take anything too seriously and will ikely b an instant hit.

    Make him like the drunken massters from kung fu legends and make it so u use ur magic better when hammered. And the costume can be a cheap bathrobe 🙂

  2. You could just go the George R. R. Martin route and spend 10 pages describing your clothing and banner. That would take care of a good chunk of the word count 😉

  3. Dave, don’t worry, you have an MA in English *Literature*, not writing. You weren’t trained to be a writer, you were trained to judge *other* writers! Now be a good little traditional Masters candidate and tear down everyone else’s work in a flurry of sadistic criticism (just call it “workshopping”) so they won’t pay attention to your stuff! 🙂
    And yeesh, if you want to be a writer, then do what writers do: be lazy and steal. Cannibalize characters from your gaming days. Hell, replace the Lich King with a necromancer or a marauding horde and you could just play Rhandal. 😉

    • Did you know I got yelled at for being “too writerly” in my first postgraduate class? The professor handed me back a paper where she had written, “this is good, but be careful, it’s not like you’re a journalism major.”

      You do raise an excellent point, though. I can’t wait to start picking apart other people’s character backgrounds. I’d rub my hands together in glee right now, only that makes it kind of hard to type.

      • Odd… I’m suddenly getting the urge to say, “Yes, only your hatred can destroy them. Now, release your anger! Strike them down!”

  4. Pingback: He had it coming. « Amateur Professional

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