Just a bit of serious

Some of the best stories, webcomics and other things start out as a bit of fun. Just one joke that needed to be told, just a funny story. A way to kick back and write some lovely therapeutic smut with no literary value whatsoever. One prime example of this is the webcomic Looking For Group. (Google it). It started out with a definitely-not-a-blood-elf jumping into the world determined not to be evil, a definitely evil undead warlock determined to be as evil as he possibly can be, a hot babe priestess not-a-troll… And it was very silly, and it was very good. Another prime example is a story I’m now checking regularly for updates, called “Diary of a Mad Gamer Chick”, about a girl gamer (For the Horde!) who suddenly finds herself a Human (crap) in Stormwind, hungering for Orc and Troll flesh in a decidedly X-rated way. And it’s loads of fun, so you keep at it. Giggling your way through the drawings, through the stories. And then, before you realise it, something happens.

You start to care about the people in there.

There’s all these little throwaway lines between the jokes and the smut, and somehow, in your head, it joins together into a back story. So you write a bit more about that. And before you know it, it’s epic. And by that time, it’s too late to stop. Happened to me, too. I started out with the idea of a warrior and an elf girl, the stereotypical damsel-and-warrior-hero type story grabbed by the scruff of its neck and given a good shake. I like playing with people’s expectations and shaking them up. And then the whole story somehow happened. Ariciel got a family she was looking for. Bannog found that he loved this strange Druid enough to overcome his preconceptions. Then Bannog got a home, and it was under siege. And then his little sister, originally simply a secondary character, developed a personality and set off in search of knowledge, and love. The Steambender gnomes were originally meant as something for Ariciel to bounce her racial prejudice off, because a character needs flaws to look real. They turned into a real family. Mareva, originally entering the story as a way to draw out the difference in sexual ethics between humans and elves, told a little shred of her history, which then needed to be documented as well. And all that. It turned into five hundred thousand words (as close as wc can make it) of WoWfic. I have one more big story left to write, maybe two. One, I’m not sure I have the heart to write. Maybe later.

These stories have been, at times, the only thing standing between myself and destruction. They are immensely important to me, as they have been protecting my sanity by providing a place where I can go to reclaim my mental energy, by entering a world like mine, filled with trouble, but with one important difference. I know it will turn out right, because I will make it.

I think the Redridge Chronicles will always be my place of refuge whenever I need to be alone for a while. The setting is rich enough that I can always find some place that I haven’t written about yet. Whether anyone actually reads them? It’s nice to see the occasional flurry of hits meaning someone is reading the story. But ultimately, this is where I go when I’m in a place where I don’t want to be, and need the strength.

As a side effect, it turned me into a creative writer who still sucks, who will never stop sucking, but who sucks at a more advanced level now than he did in 2008, when i started this.

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