I have decided what I am going to do next.
I have a draft open with what I’ve written of Ten so far. 🙂 I’ve decided I’m going to write and publish it scene by scene like I did with Valley, but it’s not going to have pics – well, not most of the time but I might include them from time to time if I feel like it – and they won’t necessarily be game pics. It’ll be a bridge between Sims Valley and non-Sims Valley, a way for me to learn how to write without using the game.
Apparently eight months of intensive writing makes it a habit that can’t easily be let go. Who knew?
And it has indeed been an intense eight months.
I started my first Sims story in the summer of 2005. Here is my Sims 2 story page if you want to check it out. Do note that Valley is the first story I’ve finished.
So Sims 3 came out and I wanted to do another legacy. I read the first few that were published, checking out the competition. I read a comment that grumbled about everyone using the same spouses for their first generation and decided I would have a different spouse. So I thought “How would I do that?” and the answer was “Push the game ahead a few generations.”
Then it all just sort of came from there. Lilith was the founder, and originally Seth was going to kill her and she was going to be a ghost for a while and then just randomly find and eat some ambrosia and come back to find that she’d been dead for generations and that Seth was extremely pissed at her for eating his ambrosia.
I had these visions of the chapter where she’d be a ghost, all abstract and dark, and of her going back to her house to find that Jason had moved on and gotten married and had kids and his adult grandchild was living in the house now and had no idea who she was. She’d be all angsty for a while and eventually find another guy (I was going to cannibalize a save I’d played through four generations already for the legacy) and Seth would be the legacy villain.
I found this note in an old notebook yesterday. It’s from when I first started planning the story.
Dude – insane, evil – grows over time, garden, scientist
Wife – innocent, coward
save camera angles?
If so – get shots of house with different color lights?
So I really did think it was going to be a legacy at first, but as it went on it took on a life of its own. I never was in control. I would occasionally outline a chapter shortly before writing it, but I never had an overall outline. I never had an idea of where the story was going until near the end. I think I saw the ending at about the time that I switched from headlong two updates a week finger vomit to one update a week and struggling to pull the words out of my fingers and then heavily editing them.
I have grown so much in the last eight months, both as a writer and as a person. I learned about editing, about sentence structure and rhythm and the power of the delete key. I kept going in the face of anonymous hate. I realized some of my character flaws and I’m working on them. I finished Valley Sunday night despite waking up sobbing on Saturday.
I made writing a habit, and one that I can’t bear to give up. Who knows, maybe one day the non-Sims version will be available for sale at your local bookstore. 🙂 We’ll see. But that’s years in the future.
I can’t express how much I appreciate my regular readers and commenters, the people who stayed with me through the whole thing, including this last month of sturm und drang. I love you guys so much, and you have no idea how your words have touched me and have kept me going and have been a reason to smile when I was at my lowest. I hope that I entertained you and that you enjoyed going on this adventure of discovering Valley with me.
I meant to discuss themes and symbols and metaphors and things in this post but I find that I’d rather do that in comments and have a dialogue about it and see what other people’s interpretations are – which I think it’s really cool that there are different possible interpretations and that we see Valley through our personal lenses and find things in it that resonate with our feelings and beliefs and how other people see it as sometimes vastly different than how I think of it. So please reply to this post with any thoughts you want to share about the story.
And lastly – it wouldn’t be a post about writing Valley without some YouTube links.
Possum Kingdom, by The Toadies, is the ultimate Seth song. And the video is a fan video for an anime that I haven’t watched but I might have to because it certainly does look Valley-ish, with the moon and trees and things.
Gingerbread Coffin, by Rasputina, is Lilith’s song. I think you’ll see why. 🙂
I can’t decide which song to share for Jason so I’ll go with both of them.
Lillian, Egypt by Josh Ritter. Which by the way – Josh Ritter rocks and my husband and I are going to see him live for the third time in May. 🙂 But yeah – there’s the name thing and then the whole damsel in distress/villain thing going on – and certainly Lilith was tied to the train tracks the last time Jason saw her.
One by U2 was the first Jason song. I’ve been thinking about Jason a lot lately and really wanting to explore him and his relationship with Lilith, which kind of makes me want to go ahead and get started on non-Sims Valley. When I was gearing up to write Death, I felt like he understood that he had to go for the story and was okay with it as long as I made it good.
Sarah – Sarah’s songs started coming to me as I was preparing to write her diary. #1 Crush by Garbage seems to sum up her vibe pretty well. I also want to explore her more and may yet still write that zombie apocalypse story with her as the main character.
Yes, I was a teenager in the 90s. 🙂
So I guess that’s it for now. See you in replies to comments, and look for the first chapter of Ten to be posted fairly soon.