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Learn to Write

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May 8th, 2010
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I’m not the only one who’s trying to improve his writing craft here in the house. My four year old son is as well. Whenever my daughter is doing her homework, he’s supposed to do worksheets alongside her. Things like math sheets, learning the sounds of the alphabet, practicing his penmanship, and so on. Well, the other day he had to practice writing the letter “W”. So my wife gave him one of those sheets that shows you how to write the letter, with little paths to trace, and then some blank lines.

He’s supposed to write “W” several times in a row on the blank lines. This is what he actually wrote:


That’s right. For those of you who live on a different planet, that says “Wii.” As in Nintendo Wii.

My response? You, my little dude, are awesome.

The lesson: write what you love. I leave you with two awesome quotes. “All games teach,” and “If you think there’s a difference between entertainment and education, you don’t know shit about either.”

[Edit Update: For whoever is curious, the first quote is by the superb game designer, Jonathan Blow. I have no idea who said the second one. Perhaps I've safely passed the statute of limitation, and can now claim it for myself :)]

Good News

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May 6th, 2010
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Earlier in the year I submitted my novel  Jack of Hearts to the Houston Writer’s Guild novel contest.  Recently, I received an envelope in the  mail from them. Looking at any Self Addressed Stamped Envelopes from places I’ve submitted always makes my stomach churn for a second. What’s it going to be? Of course, as any submitting writer knows, it’s likely to be bad news. But, you never know.

The results were kind of bizarre in this case.

When I opened the envelope it contained only the two judges’ scoring sheets. Nothing else. No, “Thanks, but you didn’t place” or “Congratulations, blah blah.” So, my first assumption was that JoH didn’t do too well, and they hadn’t bothered to put a note in because it was obvious. But then I looked at the scores. The first judge gave me 148.5 out of a possible 150. And the second judge gave me a 139. Both had very nice and glowing things to say about the story.

Still assuming I hadn’t placed, I at least knew that the margin of victory must have been slim (within 12 points out of 300). I was a little bummed at not winning anything, though. Later, it was still kind of nagging me–probably because I’m too optimistic or vain (how could I not have won something with that score! haha)–so, I decided to email the head of the guild and ask how I’d placed, just to be sure. I’m glad I did. He emailed me back five minutes later, and said he was about to email the results to everyone, but had misplaced my email. I’d contacted him just in time.

Jack of Hearts won an honorable mention. Only 13 other contestants scored higher than me out of a total of 140 entries. And this was a wide open competition; it wasn’t genre specific. So, all in all, I’m pretty happy with the results.  Feel free to read the first chapter here, if you’re interested.

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About Me

Ricardo Bare
Austin, Tx

Ricardo Bare is a writer and game designer living near Austin, Texas. Currently he works as a game designer for Arkane Studios, which in 2012 released Dishonored. Ricardo started his career in the games industry working on the Deus Ex series, winner of the BAFTA and numerous other Game of the Year awards.

Ricardo is the author of Jack of Hearts and Fool of Fate, the first two books in a young adult fantasy series.


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