8 Steps to Writing an Epic
To help YOU write something with a bit of beef. Something that might rival some of the better games on the site.
A willingness to write, durability to keep on writing and some talent to make your writing acceptable.
1. Think out/gain inspiration for your story. There are a few ways to do this.
- Read a book. Something you enjoy, your ideas will sprout from it. However sometimes when you do this you get an idea but its so similar to your subject that its hardly worth writing. The same goes with movies.
- Go to sleep. I find that sometimes whilst sleeping I think of some good ideas. When I wake up they are right there with me. They are usually pretty original.
- Do some mild physical activity. Say go for a run, or even a walk. Do it by yourself. This is also a cure for writers block. (According to D.J. Machale, Author of the Pendragon series)
- Go shopping. Now I don't mean for food or clothes but go to an exotic store that might sell antiques or spy gear (we have a spy store with cool cameras and gadgets and stuff where I live) or something of the like. I often gather inspiration from cool objects.
Whatever your method is, get your inspiration.
2. Pre-write. I'm guilty of skipping this step but its not a good thing to skip, ever. This step varies depending on what kind of epic your going to write. I find for some fantasy epic's its good to draw out some maps. Some people like mind-webs. I cant use them. Other people like to write out a few paragraphs. You should do one of these at least.
3. Sleep on it. If you commit yourself to writing an epic, you shouldn't quit half way through. So don't commit until your sure you can do it. If you sleep on it first and still feel the same way in the morning then go to the next step. If you don't then start at step one again.
4. Post it on the forums. Doing this commits you to writing the epic. For your first epic I suggest you include a bit of the storyline to build up some hype and gather constructive critisism. Remember, you will probably pick up some critics. You can use that to your advantage. Use it as motivation. Once you have completed this step there IS NO GOING BACK. Do NOT quit on the epic once you've done this.
5. Begin your writing. Two things should be kept in mind for the beginning. Start with some action or at least something that gives them something to want to keep playing. Madglee started with a very graphic scene in Mommy. That's a good example. Just make sure they don't find themselves bored. View SW - A new Galaxy for another example. And the other thing, do NOT give away too much about your epic in the beginning. MAKE sure that there is something to find out until the very end. That way you control the story and people are desperate to find out what's next.
6. Pace yourself/Keep Notes. I find if I write too much in one day I get too many ideas and its not a lack of ideas that fuels writers block, its having too many. Pacing yourself is one way to do it. Say 5-10 Pages a day and that's it. OR You can keep notes. For Mattias I had a deadline, if I didn't get it done it wouldn't be eligible. I found myself writing twenty five pages a day sometimes. What you need to do is open up notepad and put every idea you get while your writing in there. Try to think of where it might fit in later and then forget about it. That way you will have an idea for where your story is going, but you won't be overwhelmed.
7. Have Fun!! I know its a strenuous process that can take a long time but dont forget to have fun. I often find myself grinding my way through and publishing it, just to realise I was having alot of fun and could have dragged it out a bit more. HAVE FUN!
8. Satisfying endings are key. A great story can be ruined by a bad ending. Make sure its an epic ending, or maybe a heart gripping suspenseful ending, or maybe it leaves a question to be asked. Leave it open to make a sequel. Whatever you do, DONT cheap out on your ending. If you get an idea for an ending early in the story start a new chapter and label it ENDING. Then write it out in there and link to it when you get to the end.
Thanks for reading! Have fun writing!