1. Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere! Story is myth, and myth is everywhere. The Greek myths or the plays of Shakespeare, modern dramas, books or even TV. Listening to people, watching the daily news — there are many places to find ideas. The most important thing is to pay attention, and work to expand your perception and knowledge about the world.
2. How did you get started as an author?
I was working toward my PhD, and in my spare time, publishing articles and short stories in various magazines. Eventually, I was hired to write material for published RPG books, and from there, worked on Legend of the Five Rings and other RPGs. Writing novels was the next step, but it took a lot of dedication and a willingness to keep trying to get books published. From there, I was hired by ArenaNet, and now am thrilled to work on story for Guild Wars 2. Really, having a career as a writer is about persistence as much as it is about talent.
3. What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?
Set aside a time each day to write — and do it. Even if you don't write something wonderful, or if you are just editing earlier work, keep a routine. Don't multi-task, or play a video game, talk on the phone or watch TV during this time — put away all other distractions and just write. Soon, your mind will understand, and writing will become easier for you. My second piece of advice, and it's not for everyone, is to outline your stories before you start to write them. Having a structure to follow helps you meet deadlines, keep cohernet plots and maintain consistent characters. I might change the outline along the way as I'm writing, but having that solid foundation makes a great deal of difference.
4. What if I want to be a game designer?
Learn everything you can about how games are made. Although most design houses use software they create in house to spawn and build the game, knowing how that kind of software works will make it easier for you to work with any programs necessary. You might have to get a job as an intern, or in Q&A, but those jobs are great for getting experience and knowledge about the work that happens behind the scenes.
5. How long does it take to write a novel?
That depends on the length of the novel, the difficulty of the plot and research involved, and how much editing is required to make the book meet final publishing standards. It takes a lot to get a manuscript from my brain onto the shelves of your local bookstore! Typically, an author can write 1-3000 words a day, but before you start writing, you usually have to do weeks of research; after it's written, there's editing and lore-checking required before the novel is approved for publication. Getting the words onto paper is only one part of a very involved process.
6. So, about Guild Wars 2....
Sorry, gang! You'll just have to keep up with the game on ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2 site. They're the source of all information, and I won't spoil anything about the release date, lore, story, or gameplay in advance. If you want to know more, visit the ArenaNet page; it's constantly being updated with cool stuff and new information about the upcoming game!
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