Interview with Redsrock

Redsrock is one of the most active fan fiction writers I have ever seen, and an awesome member of Bethesda Game Studios Forums, TESFU, and TESFiction. I had the pleasure of interviewing my colleague about his Fanfic career.   

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1. You write a lot of different Elder Scrolls Fan Fictions, on many different subjects, but what subject interests you most and why?  

Redsrock:  Whenever I brainstorm ideas for my story I usually don’t focus on one particular subject. What I like to do is create an average-Joe type of character and give the readers a story through his/her perspective. I can’t stand stories with the main character being an uber-warrior that destroys everything in their path. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen writers do this and be rather successful, but in my eyes that’s just boring. I try and create your normal character and develop them over time into someone unique; someone the readers can feel for and relate to.

2. Of all your fan fictions, which one do you consider your greatest piece of work and why? Which was most fun to write and why?   

Redsrock: Hmm…..greatest? Well, I suppose I would have to go by reader-interest and that has to be The Last Heir. It’s a story about a young farm boy who finds out that he is the last heir of the Septim Line. He is named Emperor and goes through numerous struggles in his new position. It’s kind of ironic that this is likely my greatest story when, on a personal standpoint at least, it’s my least favorite. I have taken two breaks from the story because I’m not exactly that into it. I mean, I’ll write about five or six chapters in a row and then I’m like “wow, I can’t believe I’m still writing this…”. It’s also ironic that during my first break I was able to write a story that I’ve had most fun with.

The Accounts of Rayden is definitely my favorite story. It’s about a thief named Rayden who happens to witness the assassination of Uriel Septim. After the Amulet of Kings falls into his hands by mistake and from there he embarks on an epic journey to help save Cyrodiil from the forces of Mankar Camoran and the Mythic Dawn. It’s pretty much the Oblivion story-line, but it’s my version.

It was just a fun time writing it, and that shows with how long it ended up being: 139 pages on Microsoft Word. Some may think I write too long, but the words ‘too’ and ‘long’ used in the same sentence just don’t make any sense to me. Sure, you don’t want to drag a story further and further if it’s bland and boring. However, if you’re going strong, you readers like it and you’re having fun, then why stop?

3. What do you think is the greatest difficulty in writing a good fan fiction?

Redsrock: That’s a great question and I’d be very happy to give you my opinion, because I am going through this right now with The Last Heir. The hardest thing to do as a writer, in my opinion, is the ability to write a long story and keep it fresh and entertaining the entire way. I’ve seen several stories where the author will keep writing a story even when it seems he/she themselves don’t even want to write it. Quitting a story isn’t something I advise, but if you don’t want to write then stop. By forcing yourself to write you are only hampering you skills as an author. Earlier in my days of writing I quit several stories, and I feel both ashamed and embarrassed for that. On the other hand, I am also proud of myself for not dragging out a story that’s been beaten to death hundreds of times.

4. What do you feel is the difference between fan fictions and role plays?

Redsrock: Fan fiction and role-playing, despite popular belief, are totally two different types of writing. Yes they are both a story, but role-playing is a lot harder to do and be successful at. You have to grow and learn the ways of your role-play-partners and you have to be able to think quickly and adapt to everyone else’s writing styles. It’s quite the challenge, and if even though I’ve written many fan fics myself, I find role-playing very difficult. Anyone can do it, but to do it successfully is another thing…

5. Outside of Fan fictions, is there anything else you do in the Elder Scrolls universe?  

Redsrock: I used to play Morrowind and Oblivion a lot, but ever since I got a real job I don’t have a lot of time for much. Plus I’m a moderator at TES Fiction and that takes up a lot of time as well. Pretty much all my free time is spent writing fics and moderating TES Fiction.

6. Outside of Elder Scrolls, what are your other hobbies? 

Redsrock: I am the Sports Editor for my high school newspaper, The Hyphen. It’s a lot of fun and I hope to be a sports writer when I grow up (hopefully a beat-writer for the Cincinnati Reds!) I also play baseball, but unfortunately I haven’t played the past two years. In those two years I’ve had two surgeries on my left knee that has disallowed me to play the game I love dearly. My second surgery was just three weeks ago and I am currently trying desperately to get back to the baseball diamond.

7. From what do you draw most of your inspiration?

Redsrock: Most of my inspiration comes from reading other writer’s fics. Fellow writers such as FC4, Darknova, Ethelle (Fayra), Brian S, Gaius Maximus, and others all inspire me to do my best when writing. Their work is so well-written that I thrive on being as good as them some day. Other than that I’d have to say my only other inspiration comes from my sheer love for writing.

8. How do you manage to write so much fan fiction so quickly? 

RedsrockIt’s simply my love for writing. I absolutely enjoy posting my work and letting everyone else read it. It’s the best feeling in the world when you get that well deserved feedback from the readers. It makes you feel very proud, especially when those leaving feedback are talented writers.

9. On a final note, what words would you like to give to newer writers and your fellow writers?

Redsrock: My advice would be to never give up. A lot of times you may not get a lot of feedback, (or maybe none at all), but that doesn’t mean you should quit. Keep writing and sooner or later someone will appreciate your work and tell you so. Besides, writing should be something you enjoy. If you are only in it for the feedback and nothing else, then perhaps you need to rethink what you are doing as an author…