Pirates with Plumes: Overcoming Obstacles in Creative Writing
Today is Encourage Young Writers Day! Because both Wizard101 and Pirate101 have strong ties to writing through the storytelling that has collectively captured the attention of over 50 million players, we had no choice but to celebrate. In fact, we asked one of our very own fan writers share a little bit about her process of creating great content! (After reading, you can check out even more of D.S. Devereaux’s work on her Soultamer blog and several of her Pirate101 Fan Fiction pieces on the Pirate101.com website!)
“On the day of this initial writing, it is the 29th of March. That means that I’ve put off writing this post for nine days. That equates to approximately eighteen cups of coffee, several handfuls of trail mix, and about six or seven hours of sitting at the computer desk, softly whispering to myself words of praise in the quest of getting myself going. It took me that long to trounce my ‘What if I can’t write this-es’ and get myself going by sitting down in this fancy little cafe with an equally fancy cup of fancy-sounding coffee and starting to type. Somewhere near the end of that process, I get these absolutely un-fancy words out, and then, “Oh, look – I’ve written a few sentences – time to go refill my cup again…”
Everyone sees writing differently. For me, writing is one of those Ettins over on Laestrygon, one of my favorite locations in Pirate101. Sure, they can be big and tough, but they’re also worthy opponents that pirates can and often do defeat. Writing can be described in the same way. There are good days, and there are bad days, both of which contribute to, and enrich the writing experience. Some days, I’m able to sit down and write like the wind, and others, I’m only able to sit down and check Twitter with a kind of velocity that I feel like I’ll ever be able reach when creating content.
Today, for example, is a Twitter day. I went into town and found myself easily distracted and self-entertained as I posted a few pictures of the fantastic burger I had just eaten, followed that up with the cup of coffee parked at my side, now only containing the orange peel left in the cup for flavor (Marvelous!). Mid-sleep-deprived-swashbuckler-y-sipping, a thought came to me besides stating that I really, really needed to get started writing. How did I end up defeating the Ettins when I had to? I didn’t sit at the tavern and think on it over a mug of Yum. No, I got up and fought the beasts! Sure, it took me a few tries, but once I got through the doldrums of poor companion choices and that one accidental heal when I needed to hit, I was well on my way through my questing! And my fingers aren’t Swashbucklers by themselves, that’s for sure, but if Dead-eye Destiny could whip through a few Ettins and emerge mighty, then for my part, I could go ahead and type up a post about it.
When faced with a writing opportunity or challenge, think about your own trials and efforts you have had in-game. Have you met a boss that took you a few tries to get past, or a mob that just wouldn’t drop what you needed? (Here’s looking at you, Fire Lion Ravagers.) Sure, it may have taken some time to fine-tune your strategy, but soon enough, you were the one victorious. The same idea can be applied to writing. I refer to the oldest of the old: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Wizards never stopped Malistaire Drake during their first encounter in Gamma’s Tower, and Pirates never stopped the Armada while in their clutches before meeting Boochbeard and Gandry, and good writing takes the same kind of patience and practice, except that this time, the real magic is in your fingertips.
Just like when you initially approach an Ettin, the task of writing up some fan-fiction, a short story, or even a poem may seem scary, but with every word written, the intimidation level of the threat gets smaller and smaller until you come out on top. And perhaps, for all the hard work you’ve done, you’ve come away with a few good lessons, whether that be correctly using Assassin’s Mist (one of my favorites!) or feeling just that more empowered and enlightened in the art of writing. With practice and patience you too, can size up that Ettin for what it really is, and turn a Twitter day into a writing one, or even turn a daunting task into a thrilling adventure.”