New Year's Resolutions 2023 in Manifold Sky | World Anvil

New Year's Resolutions 2023

Introduction

Greetings, one and all, and welcome to my official New Year's resolution pledge page! Here, as we stand in the waning afterglow of WorldEmber 2022 and at the beginning of yet another orbit around our glorious sun, I will state my goals and ambitions going forward. I will also go over a few of the most interesting articles I found from this previous WorldEmber competition, telling you a little about what I learned from them and why I think they're so special in the process. Click here to jump directly to that section.   With that preamble out of the way, let's get started!  
 

New Year's Resolutions

Many of my worldbuilding resolutions for the current year will be carried over from the previous year, which you can read about by clicking here. I strongly believe in the power of setting concrete goals and I have a strong desire to meet the challenges in getting each of these done before the year is out, so here's hoping that I will do better than last year in every way.   I intend to complete the following goals during 2023. Some of these goals also feature sub- or 'stretch'-goals, these being achievements that I feel are either predicated on the completion of the forgoing goals, factor heavily into the completion of the forgoing goals by nature of being accomplished, or are related without feeling as crucial to my sense of accomplishment for the 'mission' of 2023.  
  • Complete at least one State of the Manifold public journal post per month: This goal has been a reliable win for me in previous years. I find that journalling helps me keep honest with myself about what I've done and what still remains to be done. It also helps that the monthly State of the Manifold post provides a golden opportunity to interact with the WorldAnvil community in a way that I don't normally get to do. Ideally, each post should fall somewhere in the last half to quarter of the month so that I have interesting things to share with you all!
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  • Write 100,000 words in the course of one year: The Manifold Sky, Sealed Kingdoms, Matrioshka Multiverse, and Tales of the Transmuter settings are important to me because they represent possible avenues for long-form storytelling and tabletop roleplaying experiences (see below). I need to keep up the pace on these projects because I should not stagnate on my writing progress, should develop them to the point where they can serve as the foundation for long-form projects with that sensation of 'deep lore' to them, and because a high word count is a shiny, feel-good prize I can look at with pride when 2024 rolls around. Less than 10,000 words per month will get me where I need to be, so this should be totally doable. For referrence, my current word counts in these worlds are 546,984, 101,149, 35,439, and 20,117 respectively. Twelve Sides, Kit's Crater, Daynight, and A Peripheral Space are less likely to see progress on this front, but you will see notifications if that changes. Update 10/25/23
    Current word counts:
    MS: 617,143 (+70,159)
    SK: 122,042 (+20,893)
    MM: 41,462 (+6,023)
    TotT: 20,940 (+823)
    PS: 3,366 (est. +2,236)
    NG*: 20,698 (+20,698)
    Total Change: 120,832 (success!)
    *New Generica, world started in June 2023
     
    • Complete NaNoWriMo: I've completed NaNoWriMo at least once in the past with Calculiopolis, an as-of-yet unedited and unpublished novella about a steampunk world set in the broader Sealed Kingdoms universe; this challenge is less a matter of 'can' than 'will' for me. I need to hone my prose with regards to action and dialogue, and getting 50,000 words done in a manuscript would go a long way towards both this objective and the longer objective of making something that would be viable as a published work (see below). Update 11/26/23
      I informally competed in NaNoWriMo, but I got derailed by my growing frustration with the pacing of the story and my tendency to lore-dump - both of which I recognized as issues stemming from the time constraint imposed by the challenge. I want to put my best foot forward with Catalyst: A Manifold Sky Story because it will be the first real outing for the setting I've spent the most time and attention on, and it would be a real shame to stumble right out of the gate for lack of proper time and care. For this reason, it is currently infeasible to complete this challenge in the time alloted.
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    • Achieve the Award of Loquacity during WorldEmber 2023: I've done this twice so far, and I don't intent to stop now!
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  • Compete in all major WorldAnvil challenges: I believe I accomplished this as an unstated goal in 2022. Competition and the subsequent critical examination by other writers are important motivators for me, so I intend to embrace them. I want people to see my writing and let me know what does and doesn't work so I can grow as a writer, and challenges are the perfect vehicle for this. Update 12/10/23
    With 10,000+ words done in WorldEmber 2023 and no more challenges that I can forsee in the immedate future, I consider this resolution complete! Everything I get done past this point is just icing on the cake. Onwards to 2024!
     
    • Complete all prompts in all challenges: This stretch goal is more about pushing my limits. I know I can do the minimum in every challenge and still pass, but pushing for full completion is good for establishing a writing routine and stretches my creative muscles. No quitting! Update 10/25/23
      It turns out Spooktober 2023 was a bridge too far for my productivity. Oh well, we'll try again next year.
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  • [?] Complete at least one manuscript OR get the BCGR rulebook done for open beta: This has been a recurring challenge for me that I simply haven't risen to. BCGR is very close to a state where it can be shown to playtesters or Patreon patrons (see below), but there's a little bit of editing and a lot of ancillary work (example characters, indexes, etc.) that needs to be done before its ready for a publisher or to be released as an indie title. As for manuscripts, I've had two novels bouncing around in my head since forever but haven't executed on them from what I can only describe as a lack of focus and motivation on my own part. I could also accomplish this goal by editing, revising, and polishing my Calculiopolis novella to a satisfactory state, prehaps for publishing here on WorldAnvil. The important part is that I actually finish a long-form project instead of letting them all sit in bits and pieces; if I would feel comfortable sharing at least one work with the world, this goal will be completed.Update 1/3/24
    While I didn't complete this resolution in spirit, the core rules of BCGR are uploaded to a private WA world, thuroughly cross-linked and updated, and otherwise totally ready to play with minimal handholding. That's about as 'publised' as I've gotten so far. For this reason, though I'll consider this resolution failed for the purposes of official counting, I can't consider the project itself a failure and, in fact, it was a success by some metrics. Let me know how you would mark this one in the comments!
     
    • Earn at least one subscriber on Patreon: I want to earn financial support for my creative endeavors by generating quality content that people enjoy. That means showing value to the reader by putting out content that rewards their time and interests. That, in turn, means either putting out some sort of long-form prose that can keep a reader interested in more or establishing BCGR in such a way that TTRPG adventures - including free modules like Inn Too Deep and Operation: Summer Wind - can actually be played by people outside of my personal sphere.
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    • Submit at least one manuscript OR game prototype to a publisher: I would be satisfied to find success in the indie sphere, prehaps using WorldAnvil's integrated novel software. However, if I manage to complete a work that I feel would be worth submitting for traditional publishing, it would be a marvelous thing to be considered. Update 11/26/23
      For similar reasons to those mentioned in the NaNoWriMo sub-resolution, this sub-resolution is unlikely to be fulfilled given the time remaining in the year. Still, I did make some useful strides in both counts, including tranferring the core rules of BCGR into a WorldAnvil world so that, when it comes time for open beta, I can draw test players from here or direct new users to this site through in-person play.
 
 

WorldEmber 2022 Readings

Spellybeans by Bonus Action

Spellybeans
Bonus Action Item | Dec 31, 2023
This article on spellybeans is a real treat. It doesn't just present an idea for an interesting class of magic item: it also features an extensive list of specific items, each of which has a unique look and a narrowly useful gameplay feature that would inspire an adventurer to pick up an assortment for themselve. The concept of the item reminds me of things like the D&D 3.5 Feather Token assortments, the previous feature article Sycian Sorcery, and that old NES game A Boy and His Blob. With one exception, I hadn't considered making an article that's a compilation like this for the WorldEmber challenge, but I can definitely see how it works well in concept as well as a way to increase article counts while still creating worthwhile content. I really like this one!
   

Caroline's Catalog of Curious Conditions: Sneezeberry Addiction by drunkenpanda951

Caroline's Catalog of Curious Conditions: Sneezeberry Addiction
Condition | Dec 2, 2023
It's no secret that I'm a great lover of alliteration, which is one of the things that initially drew me to this article by drunkenpanda951. While aesthetically rather spare, I think the concept of this condition is quite creative. The danger presented by sneezeberries feels very unique in comparison to the usually sparse worldbuilding around how specifically the withdrawal symptoms of an addictive substance present a danger to the sufferer.
   

Lexicon by Qurilion

Lexicon
Language | Dec 12, 2022

A lexicon of common terms and esoteric slang alike for the world of Shedim.

Less a language in the strictest sense of the term than a vocabulary for discussing certain concepts relevant to the world of Shedim, I find Qurilion's article Lexicon inspring because it reminds me of the utility and importance of this sort of article as a whole. My Matroshka Multiverse has a highly localized vernacular that doesn't always match the usual definitions when used in the setting, and my Sealed Kingdoms setting features a lot of esoteric technical terminology that might be obscure to anyone not familiar with the (very good and informative) website Atomic Rockets. Building out a glossary like Qurilion did here would be very helpful in both helping readers understand what I'm saying and, in the case of linked worlds like the Matrioshka Multiverse, providing links to the other worlds all in one place.
   

Gods of Theydim by Lyraine Alei

Gods of Theydim
Organization | Dec 27, 2022

(core) The deities worshiped in the region of Theydim. In myths and legend, Saint Antral supposedly restored them as she overthrew the Adrakian Empire's dragon-gods.

Another anthology article in the vein of Spellybeans, the Gods of Theydim article by Lyraine Alei has the added aesthetic appeal of featuring block links to complete articles for a wide variety of deities. I like this way of treating an article as a sort of 'mini-category,' a style of organization that is somewhat less encouraged by WA since the category system was revamped, and it's great that each article can be perused as a thumbnail before clicking through. I would probably have changed the way the columns are laid out due to the differing lengths of description in each, but there's not much to be done about that other than perhaps putting the blurbs into spoiler boxes which might have changed the aesthetics in ways the author might not have preferred.
   

Qetzel by Stormbil

Qetzel
Character | Dec 22, 2022

Tattered and torn, this once god of Sight and Mind now floats blindly above the landscape, a mirthless echoing laugh endlessly eminating from within; his cultists loyally following in his wake.

It wouldn't be a proper end-of-year reading list without a dive into Stormbril's dark fantasy world of Cathedris. Much like how I was hell-bent on getting geographical content out over the course of WorldEmber, it seems that Stormbril was interested in adding more deities to his already unique cosmology. As always, the immaculate aesthetics of Cathedris come out in this article about the godhusk of Qetzel. From this article, I want to learn more about CSS and using it to fine-tune the aesthetics of my own world, but I also want to either seek out commissions or develop artistic talents in my own right to get better visuals for character- and environment-driven settings like the Manifold Sky.
   

Gauntlet by TJ Trewin

Gauntlet
Tradition / Ritual | Dec 12, 2022

A popular strategy-based card game originating in Melior that's enjoyed even beyond the rifts.

Gauntlet looks great! It would seem that TJ Trewin is a creator after my own heart with regards to making playable in-universe tabletop games. Aspects of this article that I really want to emulate include the close attention to the look of the article and the creative use of less-known WorldAnvil features. The use of slides to show how a typical game plays out, complete with explanatory animations, is quite the aesthetic flex. I've made print-and-play versions of games before, as can be seen on Vyozha, but I wouldn't have thought to illustrate gameplay like that.
   

Becoming an Able Seaman by Jacob-W

Becoming an Able Seaman
Tradition / Ritual | Aug 5, 2023

When a sailor starts his carrier, he begins as an Ordinary Sailor. And with enough experience and show of skills, he will be promoted to an Able Sailor.

This comparatively short article by Jacob-W was interesting to me because it ties into the rest of the worldbuilding in this world regarding the traditions of life at sea. I'm a high desert lizard myself, but it's interesting to think about how the unique set of conditions found in the seagoing professions has shaped culture both within and beyond that subculture. The author has actual knowledge and experience that pertains to the subject matter of their worldbuilding, and it shows. I want to invest my writing with realism-boosting aspects of my own spheres of knowledge - psychology and sociology, but also some engine mechanics - and this article is an example of how to do something like that in a different context.
   

Erebus Kane by Churchwarden

Erebus Kane
Character | Mar 17, 2023
Churchwarden's article about the powerful lich Erebus Kane is a dense and extensive dive into the psychology of a man whose power's extend beyond death. I really like the Lovecraftian prose and judicious use of art assets, though I would like to see some alterations to break up the long blocks of text. As someone who realises that he needs to work on his prose, I find this sort of character work inspiring.
   

Madness by Rumengol

Madness
Condition | Dec 25, 2022

Imagine losing the threads of your thoughts one by one, until the very grasp on reality seems to avoid you. When the pressure of the occult overwhelms the awakened, insanity rise and takes over.

As I made referrence to in the above article about Erebus Kane, I'm a sucker for eldritch horror in the vein of The King in Yellow or The Shadow over Innsmouth. The article Madness by Rumengol scratches the itch for that 'driven mad by the revelation' trope alongside some aesthetically interesting generative art that perfectly matches the article's vibe. I appreciate that, at least based on what I can see on cursory perusal, this article and the world around it have a tightly cohesive theme. My takeaway from this is that I should work harder to give the Manifold Sky setting a more cohesive theme myself, because sometimes it feels like I'm sometimes overeager to stray into areas of worldbuilding that diverge from the dieselpunk pulp roots I set out for the world.
   

Mhat-huur: Flesh Inheritor by Timepool

Mhat-huur: Flesh Inheritor
Character | Dec 27, 2022

An eldritch god of infinite flesh— to which your own hide belongs.

I've always liked the outre, literally organic fantasy worldbuilding found in the world of Qet. It's a unique mashup of concepts that would be at home in works of eldritch body horror - like The Dunwich Horror, Gemini Home Entertainment and the Mystery Flesh Pit National Park - but offset with bright, Mesoamerican-flavored aesthetics which tone down the horror without completely taking away its edge. This article on Mhat-huur is a clean and concise example of what the world has to offer in this regard, and I appreciate the balance being struck here. One thing that I really want to emulate with respect to at least one world - perhaps Tales of the Transmuter - is the cohesiveness of the visual aesthetics found in Qet; articles in the Qet setting have a very specific look that comes from clearly premeditated stylistic choices, like minimalistic, abstract logos to break up large blocks of text, which make them very easy to read and follow.  
 

Closing Remarks

With that, we've reached the end of my content for the year 2022. I hope you all had a wonderful New Year's Day, I wish you all the best of luck on your resolutions, challenges, and creative works in the upcoming year, and I hope to see you all again soon!   Regards,
BCGR_Wurth


Cover image: Disenchantment Bay, AK by BCGR_Wurth

Comments

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Jan 2, 2023 13:15 by TJ Trewin

Thanks for your kind words! Those are some super inspiring goals :D have a great new year!


Journals of Yesteryear

Jan 3, 2023 09:47 by Annie Stein

That is such a massive word count goal, but it sounds like you have a really good idea of what's realistic for you. I'd wish you the best of luck with these goals, but honestly, from how you put it I feel like you've got this when it comes to the words. So instead my best of luck goes towards the patreon, I wish you the best of luck with getting it up and running! May you not just get one patreon, but several!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Jan 9, 2023 09:29

Hey, thanks! I'm glad you liked the Lexicon :D   As a bit of a gamedev myself, I am excited to see more of us on WA and wish you the best of luck with that prototype!


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jan 15, 2023 18:17 by Stormbril

Thank you so much for the inclusion, it's an honor to be included among these great articles! And here's to great luck and success for your goals in 2023, I'm sure you'll do great!

Jan 24, 2023 19:59

Thank you for including Madness among all those great articles :D I'm very happy the Alchemist's Sanctum feels cohesive, this is something I actually struggle with in my other world! Best of luck with your ambitious creative endeavor, may this year be full of success!

Hoo~ Hoo