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Aspirations to writing: Where to start?

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There are plenty of sources on that one, but a webpage doesn't discuss, and it can't answer questions, so here I am. The title sums up the question pretty well, so a bit about myself. I have some skill at writing, and I've been called everything from talented to gifted, and I absolutely love to write. Characters, setting design, storyline, dialogue, any of it. The problem comes in the form of the perhaps too frequent question, "Now what?" I suppose my overall goal is design as a whole, I work best with concepts and setting theme and design, I suppose, and people seem to say I have a gift for diologue and character interaction, so that too, I guess. When it comes to the gaming industry, where to start is beyond me, except, of course, for places like this. It has come to my attention that the best (if not only) way to get a job in the industry is to know people in the industry, especially when it comes to writing. That's all I have, as I've not even enough experience in the business side of things to know what specific things i need to ask. So any advice, words of wisdom, pointers or any such thing would be most appreciated. On second thought, I do have one specific question, What sort of schooling does a writer need? That's something I need to start planning for in the *Very* near future, after all.

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Dur wrote:

>Aspirations to writing: Where to start? There are plenty of sources on that one, but a webpage doesn't discuss, and it can't answer questions, so here I am.

Are you saying you came to ask this in lieu of reading articles on this topic? Or are you saying that you've read some and found them lacking?

>I've been called everything from talented to gifted

Have you been called that by your Writing professors? Have you been called that by your editors or agent? Have you been called that by literary reviewers?

> people seem to say I have a gift for diologue [sic]

They "seem" to say that? Or they actually say that?

>When it comes to the gaming industry

"Gaming" refers to gambling and casinos.

> where to start is beyond me, except, of course, for places like this.

So you have read the writing FAQs?

>It has come to my attention that the best (if not only) way to get a job in the industry is to know people in the industry, especially when it comes to writing.
>That's all I have

That's too bad, because knowing people isn't enough. You also need a lot of published works under your belt.

>So any advice, words of wisdom, pointers or any such thing would be most appreciated.

Read the writing FAQs:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson32.htm
http://www.igda.org/writing/
[Edit]And of course you should read the posts in "Writing for Games," which is where you should have posted this question in the first place.[/edit]

>On second thought, I do have one specific question, What sort of schooling does a writer need?

The FAQs discuss this, but if you don't want to read FAQs, then how about this: a writing degree.

[Edited by - Tom Sloper on February 14, 2008 7:17:21 PM]

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Tom Wrote:

>Are you saying you came to ask this in lieu of reading articles on this topic? Or are you saying that you've read some and found them lacking?

The Latter

>Have you been called that by your Writing professors? Have you been called that by your editors or agent? Have you been called that by literary reviewers?

Teachers and peers only, but some of them are published, so it's a start, no?


>They "seem" to say that? Or they actually say that?

You got me there, I'll take less liberty with my phrasing next time.


>"Gaming" refers to gambling and casinos.

Moderate misunderstanding. Thanks for the heads up.


>So you have read the writing FAQs?

Quite.


>That's too bad, because knowing people isn't enough. You also need a lot of published works under your belt.

No, it's not enough, but I get the impression it's a big part of it. And I don't know a damn person anyway, so the point is moot.


>Read the writing FAQs:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson32.htm
http://www.igda.org/writing/

Right-O

>And of course you should read the posts in "Writing for Games," which is where you should have posted this question in the first place.

I was under the assumption that was for the usage of people who knew what the hell they were doing and that "For Beginners," was better suited to an obvious imbecile like myself.


>The FAQs discuss this, but if you don't want to read FAQs, then how about this: a writing degree.

So go away and come back once I know what I'm doing? Is that what we're getting at?

I can understand that I didn't exactly come across right, but such dripping condescension sure helps me learn by god!

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i can't answer you question/s, but i do know a book which cover up about how should you write a game, i think the name is 'Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX 8.0'. Even it says programming, they do cover about how to write a game.

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"Dure," you wrote:

>Teachers and peers only,

So does that mean you haven't been to college/university yet?

>but some of them are published, so it's a start, no?

Sure, of course that's a start.

You also said that you had read the writing FAQs and that they were severely lacking, but when I recommended two particular must-read articles, you said "Right-O" which seems to indicate that you hadn't yet read those.
Then, when I said that this topic was probably more appropriate for the "Writing for Games" forum, you wrote:

>I was under the assumption that was for the usage of people who knew what the hell they were doing

People who know all they need to know about writing for games aren't posting questions in that forum. They'd be there to share their knowledge with the beginners.

When I said that the appropriate schooling for writing for games would be "a writing degree," you replied:

>So go away and come back once I know what I'm doing? Is that what we're getting at?

No. The message is "you should have tried harder to find the right FAQs before posting."
It's very possible (heck, it's very likely) that a lot of the responses you get here will miss the mark since we do not know: (1) how old you are, (2) what level of education you've completed, and (3) your current occupation. You ended with:

>I can understand that I didn't exactly come across right,

You got that right.

>but such dripping condescension sure helps me learn by god!

I'm sure there was a healthy amount of sarcasm in that, but at least now we can drop all the posturing and just talk honestly. Am I right? After you've read the stuff at the two links I gave you before, you can always post here again (actually, the Writing For Games forum would be better than here in Beginners) and get any more blanks filled in.

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I apologize for my wording and general disrespect. I don't know what got into me there, but I am suitably chastised and horribly embarrassed.


So I never really said anything about myself that would be of use, so going by your list...


I'm an 18 year old highschool student with far too much free time and with my aspirations set far too high, perhaps. I'm not out of HS yet, I had some trouble at one point and wound up repeating a few years, but I'm over that. (Long story short: clinical depression sucks.)

My current occupation is, well, not a damn thing. I've got a novel half done, but that counts for little. Anything I said about my skill in writing stems from opinions I've gotten of that.

I'm out of things to say, except another apology for my earlier behavior.

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The following is my opinion:

Take my opinion for what it is (an opinion), and take into context the fact that I'm no writer, and the games I work on don't require much writing (so I don't interact with writers).

-You say that you're in highschool, from the sounds of things you do not currently have a job, and you have a novel half done (which is receiving positive reviews, at least from your friends and teachers). If I'm not missunderstanding you, that's a lot of free time (I was in highschool once. Although instead of writing a novel, I played video games 4 hours a day).

Why not use your free time to finish up a draft of your novel and then have someone help you out by reading the finished product and allowing you to get feedback and rework it until you're happy with it.

The worst that could happen is that it's not a great book, and you get to chalk it up to experience. The best that could happen is that somehow you can get it published. And the more likely positive case is that you have a decent book no one wants to publish, but something you can throw in your portfolio.




As for what type of degree you should get? Well, I'd suggest any degree that helps you become a better writer.

For example, if you want to write about all sorts of things, maybe the best thing to do is to take an English (or your native language if it is something else) degree which will let you develop and mature your writing skills.

Another option would be a history degree if your personal interest is historical writing, or if you're more into mythology you could think about a Classics program.



Essentially, my advice is: Finish your novel while you have the free time. Take whatever program you feel would benefit you the most as a writer. And read. A lot. Or play a lot of video games. Do anything that will expose you to good and bad stories. Find out what makes a good story. Find out what makes a bad story. Learn about pacing. Learn about emotions. Etcetera.

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"Du" wrote:

>I apologize for my wording and general disrespect. I don't know what got into me there, but I am suitably chastised and horribly embarrassed.

For my part, I'm sorry I was so hard on you.

>I'm an 18 year old highschool student
>My current occupation is, well, not a damn thing.

Wrong. Your occupation is "student."

>I've got a novel half done, but that counts for little. Anything I said about my skill in writing stems from opinions I've gotten of that.

OK, no prob. If you aspire to write as a career, I assume you've written more than that. Some stories, some humor pieces, some poems, some game ideas...? Because if you aren't writing all those things, then maybe you only think you want to be a writer. So write, already!

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