Mistakes are awesome. One of my beliefs is that no one learns from succeeding. When they only win, then there is no reason to strive to better themselves. In some ways, the second-place person has the easiest time, they have something to strive for. I've seen in business a lot, the first company pays the price for implementing a Great Idea™ but then the clones (relatively) easily duplicate the result.
I've screwed up a lot of things in my life. Some of them were pretty serious while others were relatively minor. I've learned and improved but those painful moments are just as integral to me as the moments when I succeed beyond my expectations.
I wish I could teach my sons that. My eldest already is focused on winning when it isn't the medal or the goal that is important, it is how you get there. It's a lesson I don't know how to communicate other than to demonstrate my failing and how I improve. I think that is one reason I want him to get into video games. I've been playing most of my life, I am good at most platformers but I chose not to be when he is watching. I jump into pits and blow all my lives. Right now, I'm playing Ori and the Blind Forest again with him watching and, more than once, I've jumped into spikes and had to start over.
“Daddy, you died.”
“I'll do it right the next time.”
It isn't just one attempt and then I succeed, sometimes it takes me a while. Sometimes I'm honestly missing it (like the elemental stages) and other times I'm deliberately missing. When I first started playing fighting games with my wife, I did the same thing. Well, until she found Button Mashing For Fun and Profit™ and realized she could spam me to death. That's okay, it became an honest fight then.
I think TV shows should show the iterative success/failure loop more often. EDM loves Power Rangers and I see that a lot.
- Bad guy shows up.
- The rangers use their current powers and fail.
- They talk or work out their problems.
- They gain new skills, abilities, or Zords.
- Defeat the bad guy, usually with the phrase “these new powers are great!”
- Go back to 1 until end of season.
I like that the show demostrates failures, but I don't think I have ever seen a sequence that involved the rangers losing, improving, losing again, and then improving even more.
Iterative failure is critical in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). My philosophy in coding is Fail Fast which is why there are so many version of Author Intrusion and none of them are done. Each one is an improvement but I'm still learning how to write the tool that I continue to think is critical. At work, I code and build quickly so I can break it; unit tests are awesome for that.
In the end, it is the failures that really count.
Sand and Blood 27: Pabinkue Tsubàyo
We are down to the last few chapters of Sand and Blood and this is the fourth to the last. It isn't quite the climax, we have one more introspection chapter before that happens, but this is where Rutejìmo tries to fight and fails. And he fails more than once throughout the chapter as he struggles to defeat a warrior who had already had a better understanding of his powers.
Looking back, one of the twists of this chapter is a little heavy handed. I created a constructed language for naming characters in this book. It went through a number of iterations before I decided on the grave and acute accents to describe gender. It just made sense that there was a minor plot item related to that gender marking.
Read Sand and Blood 27: Pabinkue Tsubàyo at https://fedran.com/sand-and-blood/chapter-27/.
Flight of the Scions 32: Exhaustion
This is an A-team montage but with failure. Like most of my chapters, there is quite a few things in here that move the plot forward. The biggest is how Kanéko puzzles out how to build something she had only read in a book. I love that exploration while building something. It really adds to the depth of her characters because she is capable of solving problems that others don't see.
The one part I'm not entirely sure about is how I present Lopidir and Stubborness. I need Ruben to be able to take on the spirits inside him (that's his power along with telepathy) but it seems sudden because Kanéko doesn't know what is going on in Ruben's head. I'm curious to see what patrons think about it.
Read Flight of the Scions 32: Exhaustion https://fedran.com/flight-of-the-scions/chapter-32/ (subscribers)
Sand and Bone
I just got back Sand and Bone's edit from the development editor. I haven't had a chance to look at it, but I'm hoping to have it integrated with the online version within a week or so. Just as a reminder, Patron-4 subscribers can read it as I edit it.
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