Musing: Rubber Band AI in Writing

Ok, yeah, I don’t keep my brain on writing all the time.  It comes with the territory, I’m a game nerd too damn it!
I recall a time when I scoffed at desperate grabs at money.   Mario Kart should be the game equivalent of network Television holiday specials.   They take their biggest money makers slap them on Go-Karts and profit.
Well, see, that’s the thing.   It’s a good game and it’s going form a huge sinkhole that swallows my free time.    This is Mario Kart.
Why do human beings find themselves drawn to frustrating ventures?   How could I ever enjoy something made to anger me?  The quintessential mascot racer is the closest thing we will ever come to an “Incredible Hulk simulator”.  You’re cruising , no cares in the world then, BAM!   This guy:


Say hello to my little friend.

I need to relate this to writing somehow, I guess.   Ok, let’s talk rubber band AI.
When you hit a stride in writing and the world can do no wrong, you snap into grooves.   These grooves are dangerous.   You must not forget the problems waiting to knock you out of first place.  Or get juggled down to to 8th.  Check your rear view mirror.   Keep a healthy layer of cynicism and you save yourself the pain.  Do so sparingly, you won’t get anywhere without confidence.    Reading this, If you have played Mario Kart you know to collect item boxes, even in first.   A banana peel or green shell can deflect the inevitable endgame red shell.  You also need to prepare for a blue shell.  There’s nothing you can do sometimes.  You pick up pieces and get back in the race.
Writing is full hang ups.   The red shells may be plot holes you make when you’re on a roll.   Blue shells are two or three chapters you  need to rewrite.  You can’t fear fighting in the packs.   You’ll can pull ahead if you play your cards right and you may get natural scenes as a result.    It doesn’t matter if you spent most the race in third if you end in first every time.   (Unless you’re trying to get triple stars in the circuit.  *growls*)

The closer you are to the finish line, the closer guarded you should be.  For now, I’ll accept my fate of embracing my masochistic side thanks to Mario Kart 8.










Baby Rosalinaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

2 thoughts on “Musing: Rubber Band AI in Writing

  1. Now how did I know that this was going to be a post involving Mario Kart in some capacity? Oh, right — because I can’t think of a better example than Mario Kart. Also, Blue Shells. I’ve always thought that (at least in MK Wii) they’re not SO bad assuming you can build a dominant lead — but for pretty much every moment before that? Probably the best way to put a friendship in danger.

    And now they’re in the new Smash Bros., apparently. Wow. I hope Nintendo releases a bundle that comes with helmets and mouth guards.

    But back on topic? Yeah, it is important to be wary of those pratfalls, because it’s WAY too easy to make mistakes. Just a little while ago, I caught myself accidentally writing “shit a finger”, and, well, that’s not exactly a pleasant image. So I’m thinking that I’ll definitely need to go back and make sure I didn’t sabotage myself with other silly mistakes. And beyond that, I probably need to go back and make sure certain plot threads make sense. And cut out the redundant stuff. Well, rereading my stuff certainly helps. Painful and nerve-racking as it might be at times.

    “Blue shells are two or three chapters you need to rewrite.”

    Really? I would have figured that me over-drifting and crashing into a corner and having to do a messy U-turn would be a rewrite. Or getting knocked off a ledge by a passing Bullet Bill.

    Suddenly, I’m not as hyped for the new Mario Kart as I should be.

    • It’s not so much the shell itself that takes you from 1st to 8th, but the inevitable massacre after its impact. Blue Shell, red shell, starred 3rd place guy tumbles you off the track. Lakitu dumps you on the track only to be sideswiped, mere feet from the track end.

      It’s all about anticipating the worst case scenario really.

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