Monday, March 31, 2014

Next up, April A to Z Challenge

Didn't mean to let March almost slip by without a post, but weekly exams do tend to pull attention away from the more enjoyable "assignments" in real life. April will be no different as it's the month leading up to the last weeks of the semester, finals occupies the majority of May. However, since there's the April A to Z Challenge, I'll give another activity a shot. Despite knowing I've gone the easy route with these last few challenges by compiling brief posts into large blocks right at the very end.

Why do these month long activities always fall on the busiest months. The A2Z Challenge in April before the end of Spring semesters. NaNoWriMo is in November, when typically Fall semesters' finals tend to take up the early to middle of December and term projects and papers are due shortly after Thanksgiving. For those who work in retail, it's one of the busiest months of the year. Family tends to coming over in November, get-togethers require planing, traveling, and cooking. Why not March and October?

Anyway. On to the A to Z Challenge!

Will be blogging along unofficially as I will likely not have the opportunity to write up half-decent blurbs every day this month. I will use it as a prompt to sketch out a setting I've been mulling for a while. Each day and letter will have a location/geography/polity topic and a person/object/organization/history bit. Further refinement of the major topics yielded the following six subjects for each broad topic:

"Where (Mostly)"
1 - Country, Kingdom, Empire or Major Polity
2 - Capital City
3 - Other City, Major Town
4 - Site of Interest: Fortress, Prison, Outpost, Oasis, etc.
5 - Ruin, Historical Site, Site of Catastrophe or Tragedy
6 - Geographic or Geological feature or landmark (Mountain, Forest, Desert, River, Lake, Sea, etc.)

"Who (bit of What or When)"
1 - Organization
2 - Religion
3 - Ruler
4 - Person of Interest
5 - Significant Object/Relic
6 - Major Historical Time Point or Historical Person

I rolled 2d6 for all 26 letters and that formed the basis for the topics by letter. More rolling may be required to narrow down the day's topic and I'll likely pull up some random generators to trigger ideas to overcome the blank slate. I'm going into it with a rough idea of the atmosphere and a few archetypes I want to include. Beyond that, nothing is set, not even names, which is where the alphabetical nature of this challenge comes into play.

First up is A and the roll results say Ruin or Historical Site (5) and an Organization (1).

Of course, I'll have to pull up the country entries first to flesh out at least some names, associate them with rough archetypes to get a sense of where things are before I can jump in.

Preliminary results return the following letters denoted as a country: D, E, F, G, H, L, M, O, U

As you can see, the dice roller threw "1s" consecutively at a length there. Doesn't matter, one letter is as good as any other, especially when the starting phase is so unformed. I had not planned on any specific name for the nations at this point. Broke down my nation archetypes into a list of nine, rolled a virtual d9 and matched them to an available letter.

A few days will be spent (aside from getting RL stuff out of the way) outlining where everything is before I head into the nitty gritty of something as specific as a historical site or organization. Will be back on this after the leap into April.