Emy’s Question Time

First of all, I plan to make this an ever-evolving page, so if you guys ever think of any questions to ask me about me, my writing or anything, drop a comment down below and I’ll reply asap. :)

First thing’s first. This is me:

Yes, I’m hiding in a tea mug. I’m rather shy, you see.

What made you want to start writing in general?

I’ve always written stories, even if they weren’t very good! Uh, I don’t really remember when I started writing, just that when I was in year two (about 7 years old), we had to write a story about the Battle of Hastings and instead of writing just one page I wrote about twelve.

The author who inspired me to seriously pursue my interest in writing was JK Rowling (which is why I got the Deathly Hallows and ‘Always’ tattooed on the back of my neck), but I’ve been inspired by a lot of other writers since, including George RR Martin, Jodi Picoult and Tamora Pierce.

What made you want to write this story?

I found A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss and Let It Be just after I discovered the Legacy Challenge and had already started writing the Dreams. Then after a few months of rolling around the idea of a DITFT starting with a runaway in my head, I was playing in Create-A-Sim, Gabe appeared and I decided to take the plunge.

Also, I wanted to show off my writing skills, as the writing in the Dreams is not very good at all and Splintered Sun gave me a lot more room to manoeuvre.

What made you name it Splintered Sun?

I’d really love to say there was a really deep meaning behind the name, but there isn’t. One day, when I was playing around with a scene for my perpetual fantasy novel, I wrote the phrase, and I loved it. Hopefully, the title will gain meaning throughout the DITFT – it’s already the way the Gabe describes Susie’s smile, so we’ll see how else it pops up. ;)

Was there anything that inspired you to create a character like Gabe, with his background?

Hm, this is a tough question. I don’t think anything in particular inspired me, really. I noticed a lot of DITFTs started with the founder coming from a loving, homely kind of home, and I wanted to do something different. When I started Splintered Sun, I’d had the idea of Gabriel running from the police (or someone) for a while,  but I didn’t really know why. It only came together properly whilst I was writing it.

To be honest, Gabe’s character mostly pieced itself together whilst I was creating him for fun in Create-A-Sim, and then his background grew out of that.

Where did you get the idea for the backgrounds of all the characters?

In a similar way to the question above, really. Jamie, for example, was meant to be just a random teenager to booby trap the sink in order to get this shot:

Poor Gabe. Yes, um… what was I saying? Oh, yes. Jamie was meant to be just a random teenager, but, as I created him, a backstory formed in my head, and his story twined itself with Gabe’s and, well… Jamie Kelly was born. Most of the characters I create start off that way, unless I’ve taken them from someone else’s story.

What was your inspiration for the character names?

Mainly, I just pick names I really like. Gabriel has long been one of my favourite, favourite names, so it only made sense for me to use it for my lovely founder. I have about four baby names books that I flick through for inspiration, and I also use babynames.com.

Thankfully, I have quite a long list of names, so I won’t get stuck any time soon!

And why the last name Nesaren?

I totally pinched the surname of my main protagonist from my perpetual fantasy novel. :D ‘Nesaren’ originally came from me putting random letters together and typing them into Google to make sure they didn’t mean anything weird in another language.

How are you such an awesome writer and how do you get all the inspration for the AMAZING storylines you have?

Er, well, thank you for the compliments. :)

In response to the first half of the question, practice. Practice, practice, practice. Also, reading everything I can get my hands on helps. As does the Creative Writing degree. I learnt a lot from workshopping my writing with other people, and listening to their critiques.

As for the second half, usually taking a shower does the trick. I always come up with ideas in the shower, but sadly I lack waterproof paper to write them all down! That’s not very helpful, is it? Um, another way I get ideas is reading news articles. It’s amazing the strange things that happen out in the world. Also, talking about your characters with other people helps a lot, ahaha. People probably get sick of me rambling. :P

Do you ever get inspired by others’ Sims writing?

Not in the way that I get inspired to do similar plots, or use similar characters, but I do. When I read the posts that build up in my inbox (so many posts ;A;), I always get inspired to work on my own story!

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Badly, evidently. XD I’m so slow with getting out updates sometimes because of this.

The things that help:

  • Reading, sims stories or otherwise. Usually because they motivate me to get my butt into gear and to do better.
  • Showering.
  • Killing things on the Xbox 360 when writing gets really frustrating. Hack ‘n’ slashers work best for this.

Do you write your chapter than take photos or the other way around?

Aside from the prologue, for the whole of Gabriel’s generation I took photos and then wrote my chapters (though I had a vague plan of where I wanted each chapter to go). For Elery’s generation, I’m trying something different and writing the chapter first, then taking pictures. I’m not sure which method I prefer, so I’ll probably alternate depending on what the chapter demands. :)

How much time do you spend staging for your updates? And which chapter took the most work?

Hours and hours. >.> Literally. On a good day, writing the actual chapter doesn’t take more than five or six hours, but getting the pictures for a straightforward chapter (that is, with no set building) takes upwards of eight. With more complicated chapters, I think about twenty hours or so has been hit with the staging. I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

The chapter that took the most work was definitely 1.08 – Limbo.

How much of the writing did you do before you started playing the scenes out and did anything change once you started playing?

If you mean the chapter that was the most work, I had no writing done before I started playing, just a vague plan of scenes I wanted in the chapter.

If you mean Splintered Sun as a whole, I wrote the whole prologue before I started playing. Originally, when I started writing, Gabriel was on the run from a sinister organisation, but things sort of changed themselves as I was writing. The playing didn’t really change much of the story line at all (except for the introduction of Jamie, which was a major major change to my plans!.)

Do you know the plot that you want your heir to have and pick traits accordingly, or do you see their traits and go from there? I know you’re following a DIFT and some traits need to be set, but with regards to their back story, etc?

I know the vague idea for the plot I want my heir to follow and pick the traits accordingly. However, I randomly roll their two baby traits for some randomness and to see if that sparks my imagination. Then the child, teenage and adult traits I will pick based on where I want the story to go. :)

Has it been perilous? The whole… have several save loads and play them differently to get the correct photos. And with poses, mods, etc…

Touch wood, my Nesaren saves have behaved themselves so far.

Have there been moments when you felt like totally giving up?

Occasionally. There have been moments where I hate everything and anything I’ve written.

What are your three favourite cities in the world and what five places do you want to visit?

This is a hard question. I haven’t really been anywhere outside England except Ireland (when I was three), Wales, France (when I was eight) and Majorca.

Three favourite cities: Winchester, Brighton, London (I’m sad, they’re all in England)

Places I want to visit: Italy, Finland, Japan, the Aegean, America.

Are the Dreams coming back?!?

At the moment, I don’t have any plans to continue their story, but perhaps one day. I haven’t ruled it out. :)

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18 responses to “Emy’s Question Time

  1. Jedidiah

    Very cool feature you have here. Not that I’m prying or anything >_>
    And I so agree with you on the staging part. Hours and hours. ^_^ I think I missed sending you a question… but just between us handsome awesome super duper cool sim writers XD, how do you deal with criticism?

    • Emy

      Hours and hours and hours. XD

      How do I deal with criticism? If it’s constructive, I take it on board and thank them and tell them I’ll keep it in mind when I’m next writing or for a next draft. If it’s not constructive/just plain rude, I’m polite when I reply because I won’t stoop to their level. :)

  2. Okay, I can’t read it all right now, but getting deathly hallows tattooed on your neck is just the most amazing thing ever.

  3. Thanks for making this, it’s cool getting to know about your writing process, and about yourself.

  4. Thanks for sharing Emy!

    I’ve always found it interesting how characters seem to write themselves. In fact, they just did that last night, for me while I was jotting ideas down.

    In truth, learning about the struggles you sometimes have, and the good moments actually helps me as a writer. Especially when you’re looking back and you don’t like anything you wrote – that really hit home. That being said, your writing is wonderful, so please don’t ever stop because you think it’s terrible. A person is always their own worst critic :)

    • Emy

      You’re welcome! :)

      Yes, it happened to me yesterday morning in the shower! The protagonist for my PhD novel finally revealed themselves properly, haha.

      I think everyone has those moments where they hate everything they’ve written. I think what’s important is to try not to compare yourself too much with other people when reading – it’s too depressing! :) Focus on what you’re good at and all the people who enjoy what you do. :)

      Thank you so much for the kind words. <3

  5. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing you inner thoughts with us. I’ve always wondered how other authors go about writing their story (I have my own methods).

  6. swimlilfishey

    :) Hello. This is cool. I know how you feel when writers block hits as it happens to me all the time! (I think it likes messing with me!!:P) Its cool to see how you get your ideas and how they make it into the story, I would never have guessed about using the newspaper! Also, check out http://www.vat19.com/dvds/aquanotes-waterproof-notepad.cfm , I think it may help! :) Love your writing, and I’m so jealous as mine wont be this good, ever! :P

    • Emy

      Writer’s block is EVIL. It always strikes when you most need to write. >.>

      OMG, WANT! I NEED IT! *flails* Thanks for the link, haha. That’s awesome.

      Ahh, don’t give up! :) Writers never stop improving – you should see some of my old stuff from when I was about fifteen! Just keep practicing and reading. Reading is important! Read everything, even stuff you wouldn’t normally read! :)

      Thanks so much! :) <3

  7. Thank you for introducing me to Majorca. Had to look it up and now I wanna go.

    Anyways, I can’t wait to visit England in the next few years. Party in London!

    Anyways. It’s awesome learning about the author of this DITFT.

  8. This was really interesting to read; I like it! I’ve always loved the chapters you posted and after reading this I can tell that you put so much effort into each chapter. I definitely need to take lessons from you because there are times where I want to write (whether for the Cobblers or just other things), but I just can’t bring myself to actually do it. I know a lot of my that is a result from college (grrr!). Anyway, I’m glad to read that I’m not the only one who likes to destory things in video games when that evil writer’s block comes around. :D My weapon of choice is the PS3 though ;)

    <3

    • Emy

      Destroying things on video games is always the best way forward. ;D

      Thanks! I do put a lot of effort into chapters, but someitmes it’s just so hard to motivate myself to write. Comments like this always inspire me though. :) <3

  9. You’re a fantastic writer and you can tell from just reading your pages that you spend a good amount of time on your stories. It’s nice to have this insight and understand that others have writer’s block and their own remedies (I like to rob people in Skyrim to get over mine ;) )

    It’s interesting to see how you create the stories and I think a mix of planning and letting the reins loose is a good way to go with challenges and legacies. Sims can be quite surprising when they gain their own personalities away from what you’re planning, don’t you think?

    And don’t worry about the time between updates. This is your project, your baby, you attack it in your own time and your readers will wait patiently. I can only speak for myself, but I absolutely adore what you have here. And if other people don’t like waiting then strap them to a chair!

    Thank you for your wonderful creation, Emy :)

    • Emy

      Ahaha, robbing people on Skyrim is good fun. ;)

      Oh, definitely. I love when characters gain their own personalities. Elery’s generation, whilst going in the direction I’ve planned, is throwing up some nice little twists as I write. I think (hope) that you will all enjoy it.

      Thank you so much, I needed to hear that. I worry so much when I can’t update quickly, but sometimes life just gets in the way, you know?

      Thank you. <3 <3

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