My worst enemy. Posted my story for the EVE Fiction contest today, only to realise later I had missed the deadline by 40 minutes. Wow.
It was pretty damning, but entirely my fault for not starting the story sooner.
OH WELL. There’s always next year. For now though, I will go ask for some feedback in the forum thread.
Warning: slightly less entertaining post ahead. Mainly for myself to have a glance at next time. This blog has become a sort of… diary for myself. Except when I write, sometimes I don’t hit publish. Need less of those.
Seriously though, I don’t know why. A deadline in its very name implies some kind of doom awaits on the other side of the line. But I just can’t seem to plan long-term at all. When I see a deadline in the horizon, I walk happily towards it until my toes are on the edge, then I come to a screeching halt and do months of work in a few days.
The same thing happened with this story. Well, kinda. I had been thinking about it for weeks. WEEKS. But a good idea never came. Then, I decided two days ago, I had to at least enter something.
So I wrote. The first story was…, well, it lacked a spark. Then I took a breather, walked around for a bit, and like a bolt of lightning, my perspective shifted, and a whole new story was born. Yeah, it was weird.
Too late, though. So out comes a rushed piece, and I don’t even manage to submit it before the deadline.
Bah. Water under the bridge now. I have, however, learnt a few things about writing stories in New Eden (and in general), whilst trying to stick to official canon, though, things I’d like to record.
Firstly, do the research. It sounds boring, but it doesn’t have to be. When I was trying to make my story fit into the lore, I had at least ten tabs up in my browser window at any one time, links to everywhere, popular ones being EVElopedia, Chronicles and World News. It can be extremely fun, clicking on random Chronicles as I did, and sometimes what you read can enhance portions of your story too. For example, in mine, I had a part where I wrote about an Amarrian Holder purchasing goods at a market. Then I read up on the chronicles on the city of Dam-Torsad, which included Chained to the Sky, which very early on mentioned Izoni Square, nicknamed ‘the Cauldron’, a place where ‘every creature in New Eden was being cooked’. It was perfect, and gave that part of my writing such an authentic feel.
Use your strengths, or research more. I could write about dogfights in space but I lack the background in mechanics or engineering to make it feel legitimate. Same with describing objects and structures in space. The technical know-how won’t make or break the story, but when I was reading through my piece the parts where I definitely didn’t know how to describe… well, weren’t very descriptive at all, even though I wanted rich detail. It isn’t exactly a novel though, with the 5000 word limit. This means more research and reading can patch those holes in your knowledge. An example for me was reading through The Capsule and the Clone to understand how exactly capsuleers’ immortality worked. I had never heard of transneural echo burning scanners before then, and my first attempt at the story heavily revolved around the transfer of consciousness.
Challenge yourself. Getting a piece started is definitely the first hurdle, but once you’re really getting into it, question yourself. Is this really what you want the characters to be doing? Is this the setting you want? What was the main purpose of this story? Channel the imagination that is pouring fourth into pen/keystrokes of genius. I personally have a hard time with this. I let myself get swept away by my own writing, let myself get immersed in the world my characters are in, and I lose sight of my story’s goal. A few hundred words later I look back and delete it all because it’s just going down the wrong path.
Give it time. I didn’t do this. I let my first story play out in my mind for weeks, and it looked much prettier in there than when I put it to paper at the last moment, only to realise it was absolutely dull. I feel much more happy with what I have put out but even that is… imperfect. Neither story have that spark that ignites my being. Maybe that’s because I wrote them. Hmm. Anyway, it’s important to write out anything that comes to mind, as soon as possible. When it’s there you will find it is much easier to edit.
When I think about it, my high school teachers have probably told me this once… or a lot more than once. I told them I understood, but until now, it’s interesting to see myself regurgitate close to their exact words after my own writing experience, free from their guidance. And of course, it’s always great to see EVE bringing me opportunities to push what I’m capable of.
In fact, in this obscure little post that I probably won’t look at much ever, I think I shall list some of my achievements in New Eden:
-Win the Newbro award for OMC.
-Enter Theomachy and not be the first competitor killed (wasn’t far behind though).
-Enter the Angel Contest.
-Make an EVE video.
-Start an EVE-related blog.
-Go to a casual EVE player meetup.
-Go to a major EVE player meetup.
-SPEAK at a major EVE player meetup.
-PvP at a major EVE player meetup.
-Win a prize on the EDU radio show.
-Meet a CCP developer, LIVE.
-Lead fleets of players in EVE.
-Win fleet battles.
I gamed before EVE, and I can say with certainty no other game has impacted me enough for me to be able to write out a list like this in a minute or so. This isn’t even counting some of the cool ground commanding I got involved in for DUST 514, as well as my forum warrioring over there.
Could games affect your lives, your futures in real life, positively? Could I develop skills from playing games like EVE, that I can use in real life? Could I put in my resume I had experience leading people through a computer game?
If I step back from the heavy EVE content and look at the entirety of this blog, I think as time progresses, my posts could answer that question.