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Professionalism vs Freestyle - Saturday, June 26, 2010

    Regular visitors of this site may notice that Stormwind Keep is currently unavailable for reading...

    The citizenry of Stormwind City come from all walks of life. Both the good and the bad of society is represented within the city's secure walls, and even within its royal keep, the diversity does not change. This is the story of one such member of Stormwind's citizenry learning what really means the most to the kingdom's royalty.

    The reason for this is that it's been submitted to Blizzard's 2010 writing contest. As stated in the rules:

    "7. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you may not sell, sublicense or distribute the Entry Materials or any derivative of the Entry Materials without the express, written permission of Sponsor."

Therefore, it's down. My apologies if you haven't read it and had some burning desire to right this second. It will be re-posted after the contest is over, also in its edited form. (since, y'know, IT'S NOT GOING TO WIN ANYWAYS) The prizes, however, are a bit too good to pass up: first place is a trip to go waltz around Blizz's facilities and eat a meal with Blizzard's writing staff AND a pick between a Diablo III barbarian diorama or the much more awesome Frostmourne Sword, and seven runner ups will win machine-signed copies of the Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, and War of the Ancients archives, all signed by a machine imitating Chris Metzen's hand. (if I were to win one of those prizes, I swear I'd both suddenly give a damn about Diablo and Starcraft as well as rub the books against my body until I'm covered in papercuts) However, one thing interested me most in submitting my work. At the very bottom of the submission page were two check boxes. One said "I am already a published author" and asked for examples to be given in the description of just what the hell you were sending to Blizzard. The other was "I am interested in becoming a professional writer." That piqued my interest greatly. Are they suggesting something with this? Would they give me feedback? Or are they just curious to see if I actually think I'd have a shot with a piece of crap fanfiction? I may never know. Still, writing for Blizz would be pretty awesome. It'd give me a lot of excuses, too.

    Mum: Jane! Go to bed!

    Back to the main point I'm trying to meander my way into... Would it be fun to actually write professionally? I remember an author speaking to our school via satellite, answering questions we asked. One thing he mentioned that I remembered was that it's very easy to sign a contract to write, say, one book a year for so many years. He said the money and the attraction of writing and getting paid a good deal for it was something he was unwilling to pass up. However, he did indeed mention that it sounds great at first and then turns into "Shit, what did I get myself into?" Writing for fun is awesome. Would I like to do it if I had to do it, though? An interesting question. I enjoy drawing. Would I be a good professional artist? Hard to say. I enjoy swimming as well. The debacle of me trying to join the swim team in middle school is unsettlingly fresh in my mind (I'm 20, by the way) and not to be soon forgotten. However, there's something else to consider, too: what else can I do with my life if I don't do something creative with my time? What, work in a factory? I did that when I was 15 (illegally of course, not that I understood it at the time and now wish I hadn't written it on job applications) and I don't plan on ever reliving that experience. Fast food? Come on. I'd eat all of it. Any actual professional choice of study? I happen to be quite the failure when it comes to boring fact memorizing (except for things like remembering how many vials Illidan took from the Well of Eternity) and am not much of a critical thinking type of gal. (other than when I decide whether or not a Black Temple group can AoE down the Council or not)
    So what future would I have in a professional field of writers? Let's think about how I get things done when I write.
  1. Pre-writing Exercises: Play WoW
  2. Deciding on the plot: Run aimlessly around Stormwind while wearing RP gear. (Play WoW)
  3. Deciding how to resolve the conflict: Run to involved locales within WoW, observe scenery and NPCs. (Play WoW)
  4. Fact checking: Put WoW in windowed mode, peruse WoWwiki. (Have WoW open in background)
  5. Type most of the story (No WoW involvement)
  6. Get bored with story, post on website for later. (Damnit, I wanna play more WoW)
  7. Play WoW
    Not the best process, really... But if I had, say, a year to write a full book, damnit, I could. I definitely could. Hell, Wildheart is about a book long... Maybe. Big fonts are nice, right?

    Oh, and just to reiterate: yes, there are machines that sign all that stuff.