Aug 312004

Hi there Todd,

My name is Duran and I have been thinking about writing my own book, but after the third to fourth chapter I got a major writer’s block and now I have no idea what to write. The book is based off a game I am also making. They are both called Metaverse Legacies.

I was wondering if I could send you my beginning and you could finish it, or give me some Ideas. How does that sound? If not, I understand. I live in Texas, am 17, short, and I am a Senior. By the way, How is Anne? I would sure like to hear from both of you. Thank you.


No one can write your book or make your game better than you. If you’re getting a writer’s block, there’s probably a reason. Give yourself a rest. If that doesn’t work, check your outline, look at your characters, check your protagonist. Also, joining a writer’s group has proven helpful to many people.

Remember that a game and a book are fundamentally different things — it’s unlikely that a good game concept will make a good book and vice versa.

You might also try writing short stories. They tend to make it easier to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of writing, even though they involve a lot of the same world-building. You might consider asking yourself if your game-world offers itself to different types of stories. Could you write a version of “Romeo & Juliet” in that universe? The basic plot is pretty easy but the permutations can make that story new again (just as “Ten Things I hate about You” is a rehash of “The Taming of the Shrew”).

Good luck.

Mum’s doing well, thanks!


 Posted by at 21:30
Aug 312004


Not everyone has a hero much less the opportunity to meet that hero. Anne McCaffrey has been my personal hero since I was in eighth grade. It was a great honor and privilege to meet Ms. McCaffrey and yourself. It was a great excitement to say thank you, shake both your hands and have a photograph taken.

I had spoken with my roommate on the plane to Los Angeles about what I would say at the signing. Ironically I developed lockjaw and words completely escaped me. These things happen I guess.

It was a great opportunity. I am very glad everything worked out for me to travel to Los Angeles for the signing. Thank you.

(From Denver, Co.)

Hi Jeramy,

It was good meeting you at DV. We were happy to be there and glad that it worked out! I understand all about lockjaw — it’s not the absence of words but the conflicting presence of all too many words fighting for their right to utterance. Mum understands as well.


 Posted by at 16:32
Aug 312004

*gasp* *read last couple of letters* A sequel!? Yes! *does happy dance*
Well lucky my college excess aid check made it possible to get the hotel. (Just reserved it today) So I’ll be seeing you and your mother soon. *holds breath* I still haven’t decided what book I should bring to get signed by your mom!

As for my story. My head is working on a new opening so… back to square one. ;-; (I’m missing the end of my first week of college just to see you and your mom! My math teacher is gonna kill me, because that’s the first day he actually teachs, Weds. is a placement test.)


Yes, that’s what Mum says. So let’s not tire her out too much at Dragon*con!


 Posted by at 10:29
Aug 302004

At seventy-eight Mum still rarely is willing to admit when she’s tuckered out — this is a great improvement, actually, over never admitting when she’s tired — but I, thirty years younger, hereby freely admit that she’s run me ragged in the past two weeks!

We’ve had five booksignings — all marvelous; Mum’s received the L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts; we’ve dined or lunched with many of her old friends; we’ve practiced for one of the really cool things we’re going to be doing at Dragon*con; we’ve gone shopping and just generally been everywhere and done everything. And as her chauffeur, I must pat myself on the back for deciding that Mum needed a break before Dragon*con — not so much that she needs it as much as I do!

Well… back to work!

 Posted by at 18:07