This is terrifying for me. I have spent most of my life trying to avoid calling attention to myself (despite covering myself in colorful tattoos and occasionally shaving my head) and I hate being the center of attention. Posting to social media makes me cringe and selfies are the bane of my existence. But posting from behind a pseudonym? Ah, now that takes the pressure off.
Sometime last year, mid May I think, I played a game called Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s the third installment in the Dragon Age series and is by far the best game they’ve made to date. I fell in love pretty instantly. It’s hard to describe exactly why. Maybe it’s because three out of the four leaders are women. Maybe it’s because the war table function lends realism to what is, in essence, a full-scale military campaign. Maybe it’s because Cullen Rutherford is so hot he could make your eyebrows smoke.
Whatever the reason, I was suddenly seized with an urge to start writing. I haven’t written since I was in high school and I churned out a 400-page beast that was basically a mixture of all my favorite movies at the time. My mother loved it but I knew it was a conglomeration of stolen themes and contrived heartache. But now, I didn’t even know what I wanted to write and I didn’t have time to write; I was two months from finishing my associate degree and I needed to focus.
I didn’t focus, of course. I sat in my classes drawing maps and thinking up battle plans, barely paying attention to what the teacher was putting on the board. If I had had any other teacher I would have failed for sure. Thank Harmony I had Mr. Wright for two of my classes. He wanted us to pass and made sure we had every opportunity to do so. I passed with flying colors thanks to him despite my constant inattentiveness.
When I was home, I was writing at least 10,000 words per day. The story literally flowed out of me as I typed and, more often than not, it was the book that determined what happened next, not me. Each character started out as something different; even Ripley, the main character, was supposed to be less fractured and more stable, but such a thing would have left her incomplete. I formed a deep connection to each integral character and found myself letting instinct take over when it came to how best to make them realistic.
The world I was creating in my husband’s ancient laptop was very different than what I had at first anticipated. I had aimed for what would surely be a lackluster, self-insert fan fiction most likely centered around Cullen Rutherford (look him up, because I am serious, that man is gorgeous!). What I got instead was a complex world with its own conflict, romances, and past that had nothing to do with Dragon Age. Erde and its people completely consumed my life.
It took several edits and rewrites, but eventually I fleshed out the world of Erde in its entirety. And now, here I am, hoping to eventually get this thing pushed through an editor and possibly published one day. Who knows. What I do know is that I’m hopeful for the future and what it might hold.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton