shawn's blog

Writing for projects

Posted in Other by Shawn on January 26, 2011

As I said at the end of Writing for….., I needed to work on a timeline for my story. This is a very simple take on what I wanted to fully do.

As more and more stories are developed within the world, more and more people are yelling “x is just a rip-off of y” or “y is just like z, without the explosions and guns!”. So the problem that I’m initially striving for is originality. Unfortunately, you’re going to run into that person who likes to reduce everything (ugh) to the point where your great idea is nothing more than the combination of Zelda and Mortal Kombat. So how do you write an original story for a video game?

One may argue that you cannot do such a thing, rather, what’s best to do is to find an existing product, tweak it, and make it better. Did this mean that I would need to find an existing story to model mine off of? Good Earthlings vs evil space mutants? Good Earthlings vs evil space mutants who aren’t really evil, but being controlled? Should a nobody save a princess and the world? The plus with this is that it’s easily identifiable, and I don’t really have to work too hard to think of new ideas. When I’m done looking at one reference, I can jump to another one that does something a bit differently. I then to something a bit differently than that one and ‘Wow, what an original* idea!’.


So, instead, I decided to go my own route, which I personally think is the much better route for me and this story and try to develop something completely original.

But, let’s make an argument first.

Unless I’ve never paid any attention to stories anywhere ever, my mind will be influenced by stories that I’ve heard of, seen, read etc. Does this mean that no matter what, no ideas of mine will be original? Everything that I may potentially work on will be based off something else. To an extent, I will acknowledge that my ideas often come from reading other stories, and becoming invested in the storylines of other games. However, this does not equal plagiarism, at least in my humble opinion. While Metal Gear Solid’s storyline is based off other spy themed stories, it does not really seem like that story. There are numerous references and illusions to James Bond, I like to think of the story as James Bond gone horribly wrong.

The best way that can find to develop something original is to use what I’ve seen and learned from other stories. But rather than find everything I liked about story X, find everything I did not like about the story. What do I think was bad? What seemed off, dumb, lame, cheesy, trite, boring, too complex for anyone to even understand, too dramatic, lazy, pointless, over thought, etc etc. Now, I can do two things with all the pieces that I did not like/fully agree with. One could be to ignore everything that I didn’t like, or I can aim to improve all of these areas and make them work within my own idea. Find the areas where I thought “It would have been much cooler if they did ‘x’ instead of ‘y’ “. So I tried that.

It worked to an extent…..which was nice. While it didn’t give me an instant masterpiece (I wasn’t really expecting that anway), it gave me something to start with. Something to put in the timeline.

The timeline then had moments that I wanted. Bigger moments or more important plot moments. Now everything had to connect, something much more difficult than I initially thought it would be….

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  1. inkforthought said, on January 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    so wait, is there anywhere we could read this story? at least what you have as of now?

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