Brian Douglas Moakley: Wild World of Jezner

Writer, Developer and Aspirational Daydreamer

Writing Every single Day

In my sophomore year of college, I took an intermediate writing class. I thought it was going to be like my introductory course. That is, write a story utilizing expanded concepts.

I was wrong.

My instructor, the great Perry Glasser smiled like an executioner about to start the warm-up torture before the crown pleasing beheading. “I want you to write six stories and I want you to write them in the next six weeks. Your first story is due next week.”

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Twine 2 Tutorial: Adding More Locations

Passages are the bread and butter of creating interactive stories in Twine. You don’t have a story without them. Passages can represent anything in a story. For instance, you can use them to represent a place like the moon, a thought in a character’s head, or even a single line of dialog.

Combined with Twine coding, you can use them to run specific code that be accessed from anywhere in your story. You’ll learn how to do this later in this tutorial series. For now, it’s time for you to get practice building passages and linking them together.

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Old Time Radio: Bloodbath

The first time I played the Escape old time radio show, I was hooked. While this series certainly has its share of cheese, for the most part, the tales of “high adventure” are really good.

Had I listened to these tales as a kid, I would have been amazed. Growing up in the eighties, I was an Indiana Jones nut and this show seems to have channeled the spirit of the character.

This episodes is a great one … a group of travelers make their way through the jungle to find some uranium, and when they strike the motherload, they come to realize that they can’t trust each other. And so the bloodbath begins!

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The Turning of the Worm

In 2003, a person (whose name is long forgotten) reached out to me on this blog. He was creating a zine based on 1930s depression era horror and asked if I’d like to contribute a story for it. I wrote a first draft but by the time I reached out to him, he was gone. His zine was taken offline and that was the end of that.

I liked the story and kept it around, polishing it over the years. I started submitting my work to various magazines on and off. I found one horror focused magazine called Body Parts Magazine that has since gone dark. (Reference images here). I submitted it in 2014. It took an entire year to get a response, but they accepted my story for publication in 2015. I was paid twenty dollars! That’s the most money I have earned from my fiction writing.

The story has been taken offline due to Body Parts’ closure, but I thought it’d be nice to share it as I won’t be submitting it again. Enjoy!

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The Fall and Fall of a DM

Adam made a mistake.

Having been a dungeon master for hundreds of sessions – Adam was quite confident in his own abilities. He streamed multiple games a week to crowds of hundreds of people. When not running an adventure, he’d teach people the tools of the trade.

But even the best tradesman can make a critical blunder to the detriment of their own careers. Adam made such a mistake. He roleplayed a sexual assault of a player without the player’s consent.

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Aliens: Phalanx Audible Review

I admit it. I’m a sucker for Aliens. Not the kind of aliens that travel to and from countries, but rather Aliens with a capital A that like to use people as living nurseries.

I first heard about it as a little boy. My dad was talking with my uncle about the original movie. I remember the discussion focused on the chest-bursting scene.

I don’t remember their opinions (it was forty years ago), but I do remember being shocked by the concept. The very idea was terrifying to me and I actively avoided the franchise until high school. Then, I got sucked in and have been a fan ever since.

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Twine 2 Tutorial: Writing Your First Story

Twine is a Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) development environment. This is a tool that allows anyone with a little passion to write a branching story that you can share, sell or read on your own.

Twine is program developed by Chris Klimas. He originally wrote it as a desktop application but with the release of Twine 2, it is now a web app. This means Twine can run on any platform. All that is needed a modern web browser. While Twine has many contributors, Chris is the driving force behind the project. If you enjoy the software, support him on Patreon

Twine is a free tool and the stories made with it are yours. This is different than say a competing product known as ChoiceScript where you need permission to sell your story.

This tutorial will teach you the basics of Twine to get started.

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Beginning Interactive Fiction with Twine 2

You step into the pantry thinking about spice combinations when the door slams shut behind you. A lock snaps into place with a loud click. The pantry light goes out.

You turn on your heels to see a pair of twisted yellow eyes in the dark. The corners are bloodshot and savage. From the faint light spilling underneath the pantry door, you manage to see the serrated edge of a knife, pointed directly at you.

Do you:

Kick at the stranger in the dark.
Ask, “What do you want?”
Step backward, feeling for something heavy.

So begins a story that may leave you scrambling through a house with a killer at your heels. Or its a story of epic pranks that grow out of control. Or maybe its the beginning of an inter dimensional chase with the fate of civilization hanging in the balance. The ultimate outcome of the story isn’t determined by the writer. Rather, it’s the reader who makes the journey.

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Choose Your Own Adventure

I don’t remember the first time I played a text adventure, but I do remember the first time loving branching fiction. I was six years old, sitting on my father’s lap. He read to me The Cave of Time by Edward Packard. It was the first book in the popular “Choose Your Own Adventure” series.

I love this memory for two reasons. First, it’s one of the few times I remember my dad reading to me. I know both my parents read me lots of books, but it’s this the one time I really remember. Second, I loved the idea that a story could change based on my own choices. It was incredibly exciting to control the events of a tale.

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Alien 3 by William Gibson

1992 was a special year for me. First, I was finally graduating from my dumpster fire of a high school. Second,  my writing started to mature into something people wanted to read. And finally, Alien 3 was released.

Growing up, I was a huge fan of both the Alien and Aliens movies. Yes, both movies scared and repulsed me, but the style, aesthetics and storylines captivated my imagination, unlike any other sci-fi horror.

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