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Guest Blog by Jay Posey - Under the Influence ... of VIDEO GAMES - April 29, 2014


Please welcome Jay Posey to The Qwillery. Jay is the author of the Legends of the Duskwalker. Morningside Fall (Legends of the Duskwalker 2) is out today from Angry Robot Books. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Jay a Happy Publication Day!



Guest Blog by Jay Posey - Under the Influence ... of VIDEO GAMES - April 29, 2014




Under the Influence … of VIDEO GAMES

       It’s a fairly common experience: you’re hanging out at a party, or a conference, or a convention, and you meet someone new, and they ask you what you do for a living. For me, this exchange generally falls into a somewhat predictable pattern that looks something like:
New Acquaintance (politely feigning interest): “So, Jay, what do you do for a living?”

Me (nervous, as usual): “Oh, I’m a writer.”

New Acquaintance (leaning forward with genuine interest): “Oh, really? Wow that’s cool! What do you write?”

Me (nervous, as usual): “Video games!”

New Acquaintance (leaning back, scanning room for reason to escape): “Oh … that sounds … interesting. I’m sorry, would you excuse me for a moment?”
       And I get it. Video games aren’t exactly known for their ground-breaking, revolutionary writing and mastery of story-telling. It’s not a secret that writers of other media sometimes think of game writing as the sort of thing you do if you aren’t good enough to write anything else. Which is a real shame, because some of the most talented writers I’ve ever met work in games, and can (and do) move effortlessly from games to novels to movies to TV shows. I won’t get up on my soapbox about the complexity involved in writing your average video game, but I will say that one of the coolest things about the discipline is that it draws from just about every other form of writing there is out there.

       Though I’ve been interested in all forms of creative writing since I was a wee lad, I came into the game industry with more of a screenwriting background than anything else. Like most people, I assumed that if I knew how to write a movie, writing a game would be easy. I will pause now for all of my game writing brothers and sisters to have their laugh and wipe the tears away.

        Suffice to say, I had a lot to learn from games, and I was fortunate to have an excellent mentor in the legendary Richard Dansky. After a few years in the game industry, when I decided to take a stab at writing a novel, I was amazed at how much I was able to bring over. I probably don’t have the space to cover everything that you can learn from game writing and apply to novel writing, but three big things jump out to me.

        The first is in world building, and there are two important lessons I picked up. One lesson, which is probably kind of obvious, was in what it took to establish the world. That’s mostly in regards to the amount of work and the level of detail that needs to go into building up a new world from scratch for the writer’s use. Learning what kinds of questions to answer and what kind of topics to consider when creating a consistent, credible world was a huge help to me when I started my novel writing. But just as important was learning what of all that information actually needed to be communicated to the audience. I found myself constantly tempted to want to tell ALL THE INFORMATIONS, because hey, I spent so much time figuring out the details, it only seemed natural to share it all with everyone. But game writing taught me a lot about the difference between writer’s needs and the audience’s needs.

       Another thing I learned from game writing was to trust my own creativity to deliver in times of crisis. Game development is typically a chaotic process where budget concerns or looming deadlines might suddenly gut your entire meticulously-crafted second act break without warning. Or, you know, your second act entirely. It’s not necessarily a pleasant process, but having to pick up your broken story bits and then reforge them into a meaningful narrative develops a certain confidence in being able to face those crisis moments. When I hit a wall while writing a novel, I still tend to have a little freak out, but I also know that if I take a little time to breathe and contemplate, my story brain will generally find a solution.

       And probably the biggest influence that game writing has had on my personal writing style is that it’s made me more comfortable with the idea of the audience collaborating to create their own experience. When I first started out writing prose, I was always very concerned with making sure that readers would picture things exactly as I saw them. But in games, the story you write is only part of the equation; it’s not really complete until the player steps in and adds their choices and actions, and experiences it all for themselves. In writing games, I learned that it was okay if your version of a character didn’t look exactly the same as mine, or if that fight scene played out for you with fewer elbows and more flips. It’s a natural part of reading anyway, to personalize your own vision of the material, but it’s one I had just never really embraced the idea of. These days I spend more energy trying to sketch the right feeling for a particular scene or setting, giving readers enough to understand what’s going on and to build their own picture of it, without necessarily trying to enforce my personal vision for every little thing.

       I could ramble on a lot longer talking about all the things that writing video games has taught me about all the other forms of writing I like to do, but I’d likely go on until I was the only one left listening. Suffice to say, the depth and complexity of video game narrative provides ample opportunities to learn and to practice a lot of the craft found in other disciplines, and I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had writing in the industry.





Morningside Fall
Legends of the Duskwalker 2
Angry Robot Books, April 29, 2014 (US/Canada and eBook)
      May 1, 2014 (UK)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
Cover Art: Steven Meyer-Rassow

Guest Blog by Jay Posey - Under the Influence ... of VIDEO GAMES - April 29, 2014
The lone gunman Three is gone, and Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at the border outpost, Ninestory, only to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.

File Under: Science Fiction



Three
Legends of the Duskwalker 1
Angry Robot Books, July 30, 2013 (US/Canada and eBook)
     August 1, 2013 (UK)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
Cover Art: Steven Meyer-Rassow

Guest Blog by Jay Posey - Under the Influence ... of VIDEO GAMES - April 29, 2014
The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.

But when a lone gunman reluctantly accepts the mantle of protector to a young boy and his dying mother against the forces that pursue them, a hero may yet arise.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Three For All | Apocalyptic Wasteland | A Journey Home | Fear the Weir ]





About Jay

Guest Blog by Jay Posey - Under the Influence ... of VIDEO GAMES - April 29, 2014
Jay is a narrative designer, author, and screenwriter by trade. He started working in the video game industry in 1998, and has been writing professionally for over a decade. Currently employed as Senior Narrative Designer at Red Storm Entertainment, he’s spent around eight years writing and designing for Tom Clancy’s award-winning Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six franchises.

A contributing author to the book Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing, Jay has lectured at conferences, colleges, and universities, on topics ranging from basic creative writing skills to advanced material specific to the video game industry.

You can find him online at his website, jayposey.com, as well as on Twitter (@HiJayPosey).


Release Day Review: Three (Legends of the Duskwalker 1) by Jay Posey - July 30, 2013


Three
Author:  Jay Posey
Series:  Legends of the Duskwalker
Publisher:  Angry Robot,  July 30, 2013
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and ebook, 421 pages
Price:  $7.99  (print)
ISBN: 9780857663634 (print)
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley

Release Day Review: Three (Legends of the Duskwalker 1) by Jay Posey - July 30, 2013
The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.

But when a lone gunman reluctantly accepts the mantle of protector to a young boy and his dying mother against the forces that pursue them, a hero may yet arise.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Three For All | Apocalyptic Wasteland | A Journey Home | Fear the Weir ]



Melanie's Thoughts:

This post apocalyptic story starts with the enigmatic Three minding his own business when he is approached by a beautiful woman and her young son. The pair are looking for a way out of a desperate situation. Little did he realize that how fateful this meeting would really be and where it would take him. Its not long before realizes what is in store for him when he agrees to help Cass escape from the malevolent Asher who wants to hurt her and capture Wren, her son. A flight for freedom soon turns into a fight of their lives.

The story unfolds as the trio make a perilous journey across a barren and dangerous country. Each of the lead characters tell parts of the story but it is largely told through Three's eyes. Something happened decades before that destroyed the world and left the Weir to destroy those that survived. I wasn't entirely sure what the Weir were but they sounded a bit like mechanized zombies but with electric blue eyes. Some of those that survived had special abilities and were augmented with networks so they could communicate electronically, like Cass and Wren. Three, however, was human but with exceptional skills as a gunfighter. He had been a loner and bounty hunter prior to meeting Cass and Wren.

Posey has created a gritty and detail rich world for his characters. The characters however, are just a tad one dimensional especially, Cass and Wren. I also missed having the back story as to what brought humanity to its knees and how the Weir were created. Three was interesting and I appreciated that Posey didn't explain everything about why he was different and how he came to be a bounty hunter. Posey also created some truly evil baddies, if not perhaps a little too obviously evil. Asher, the main antagonist was just a little too Dark Vader for my liking but there is an excellent twist in store in regards to this character.

While I thought there was a few flaws in the story and perhaps one too many escapes from Asher and his crew, it was an ambitious tale for a debut novel. Posey, created an interesting environment, conflicted heroes and some great twists and turns for all of the characters. Kudos to Posey on his debut novel. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 7, 2013



Melanie's Week in Review - July 7, 2013


Greetings from my back garden.  England is finally getting a summer or at least a few days of it.  I know it has been sweltering in the States and I have been watching the news about that huge forest fire in Arizona. Here in the UK it has been overcast and rather tepid. In fact, I thought I was going to need a sweater one day last week.  But here I am....sunnies on, sunblock on, and enjoying the sunshine.  Hurrah!


Enough of my weather forecast this is what I have been reading this week.  I finally finished The Devil's Looking Glass by Mark Chadbourn. I will be reviewing it soon so don't want to give too much away.


Melanie's Week in Review - July 7, 2013
I also discovered a new Thea Harrison novella, Wicked was out so I bought and downloaded it.  It is one in the series of the Elder Races series.  It was OK.  Seemed a bit short even for a short story and I am never sure I am convinced by Wyr who transform into smallish birds and reptiles. The story featured Khalil and Grace from Oracle's Moon and I couldn't remember how the main character in this novella came into contact with these two so I went back and read it. That got me on a trip down Elder Races memory lane and I am currently reading Storm's Heart. I am sure you are wondering why I am reading something so obviously PNR when I have said before I don't normally read it.  Well that is one my reading quirks. I will start a series, not necessarily like it that much but feel compelled to finish it.  So here I am ...several books and short stories in.  I usually skim the bits where man-hoods are bulging and breasts are heaving and get to the story.  In some cases that doesn't leave much to actually read but in Harrison's case I can tell she is building a slow, long but interesting story arc. Overall, I don't mind this series and looking forward to the next book to be released in November.


Melanie's Week in Review - July 7, 2013
I also started Three by Joe Posey.  Regular readers will remember that Posey did a guest blog on Monday and is part of DAC 2013.  It has started out quite interesting.  I can't say I completely know what is going on but sometimes that is a good thing.


I am not certain what next reading has in store for me.  I think I am going to be playing it by ear....or is that by eye? I hope you have a productive week of reading ahead and until next time Happy Reading.

Guest Blog by Jay Posey, author of Three - Bad Guys Are People Too - July 1, 2013


Please welcome Jay Posey to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Three (Legends of the Duskwalker 1) will be published on July 30, 2013 in the US/Canada and on August 1, 2013 in the UK by Angry Robot Books.




Guest Blog by Jay Posey, author of Three - Bad Guys Are People Too - July 1, 2013




Bad Guys Are People Too

        I’ve been a Professional Doer of Words for a while now (going on a decade if you count the time that I was doing it full-time and not getting paid), and one of the things I learned very early on is that a character who is evil for evil’s sake is less of what we call a “character” and more of a LAZY THING TO DO AND YOU SHOULD NEVER DO IT EVER.

        Which, like all NEVER rules, isn’t strictly true. An emotionless evil-for-the-sake-of-evil character can be terrifying in the proper context (say, horror, for example), but by and large if you’re trying to write something with Compelling Characters™, it’s counter-productive to put the antagonist in the “bad guy” box and not give her or him or it or frnyrx a soul. A two-dimensional bad guy is still just as flat and boring and predictable as a two-dimensional protagonist. And without an interesting antagonist, stories just aren’t all they could be. This is the point in the post where I make the obligatory Batman/Joker, Sherlock Holmes/Professor Moriarty, Kirk/Khan reference. (Also obligatory: Khaaaaaan!)

        All of this is a long-winded way of saying, when I started writing Three I was well aware of the fact that Bad Guys Are People Too. And in Three there are a lot of bad guys. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was to find a Bad Guy that would become so much of a person that I would find myself rooting for him. His name is Dagon.

        I was actually pretty pleased with how most of my characters turned out. I know the Bad Guys well enough to know they don’t really think of themselves as Bad Guys. Hopefully that comes across to the readers. They all have wants and desires, and some they get and some they don’t. They have a certain skill set and they provide certain services that other people are willing to pay for, so in a post-apocalyptic world, they’re really not any different than anybody else that’s doing what it takes to get by. As far as they’re concerned, at least.

        But Dagon stands apart from everyone else in my mind because he is, perhaps, a tragic hero in his own story. A man with good intentions who can’t quite build up the courage to make the hard choices, who can’t quite sacrifice a part of himself for the good of someone he loves, and who finds himself compelled to keep doing things he doesn’t really want to do. Or maybe who is compelled to keep doing things he does want to do, all the while wishing he didn’t want to do them.

        He has his own story that developed over the course of the writing of Three, and it was much deeper than I ever expected it to be. He was one of those cases where I felt like I wasn’t creating a character so much as discovering one.

        Dagon is, in many ways, a man who never reaches his full potential because he is constantly undermining himself. He knows what the right thing to do is, he just can’t quite bring himself to always do it.

        Which just might be about the most human thing in the world.





About Three

Three
Series:  Legends of the Duskwalker 1
Publisher:  Angry Robot Books, July 30, 2013 (US/Canada)
      August 1, 2013 (UK)
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print US)
ISBN:  9780857663634 (print US)

Guest Blog by Jay Posey, author of Three - Bad Guys Are People Too - July 1, 2013
The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.

But when a lone gunman reluctantly accepts the mantle of protector to a young boy and his dying mother against the forces that pursue them, a hero may yet arise.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Three For All | Apocalyptic Wasteland | A Journey Home | Fear the Weir ]





About Jay

Guest Blog by Jay Posey, author of Three - Bad Guys Are People Too - July 1, 2013
Jay is a narrative designer, author, and screenwriter by trade. He started working in the video game industry in 1998, and has been writing professionally for over a decade. Currently employed as Senior Narrative Designer at Red Storm Entertainment, he’s spent around eight years writing and designing for Tom Clancy’s award-winning Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six franchises.

A contributing author to the book Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing, Jay has lectured at conferences, colleges, and universities, on topics ranging from basic creative writing skills to advanced material specific to the video game industry.

You can find him online at his website, jayposey.com, as well as on Twitter (@HiJayPosey).


2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - April 28, 2013



2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - April 28, 2013


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the 3 newest featured authors for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge.





Ann Leckie

Ancillary Justice
Orbit, October 1, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

[Cover forthcoming]
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren--a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose--to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.





Jaime Lee Moyer

Delia's Shadow
Tor Books, September 17, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - April 28, 2013
It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.

And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.






Jay Posey

Three
Legends of the Duskwalker 1
Angry Robot Books, July 30, 2013 (US/Canada)
August 1, 2013 (UK)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook

2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - April 28, 2013
The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.

But when a lone gunman reluctantly accepts the mantle of protector to a young boy and his dying mother against the forces that pursue them, a hero may yet arise.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Three For All | Apocalyptic Wasteland | A Journey Home | Fear the Weir ]



Guest Blog by Jay Posey - Under the Influence ... of VIDEO GAMES - April 29, 2014Interview with Jay Posey, author of Three (Legends of the Duskwalker 1) - August 1, 2013Release Day Review: Three (Legends of the Duskwalker 1) by Jay Posey - July 30, 2013Melanie's Week in Review - July 7, 2013Guest Blog by Jay Posey, author of Three - Bad Guys Are People Too - July 1, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Update - April 28, 2013

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