Monday, March 26, 2007

Finally done

Among the tasks I have struggled with this year is the article for the WoW anthology we are writing with Jill and Hilde as editors. First I didn't manage to get into the flow of writing, then it all exploded and it grew to twice the size. Today I managed to slice it down to an acceptable format, and I almost understood what I am writing too. Not bad, really.

This article has been haunted with problems. I started with an idea which turned out to be really hard to confirm. People do way too much more stuff ingame compared to what I thought they did, and they all wanted to talk about it. I got a lot of great information from a wonderful bunch of people, when I went to Holland to interview the guild I played with. Not much of that was about the topics I wanted them to talk about though. Oh well, it's what I get for interviewing real life people, I guess!

When I finally got time to have the interviews transcribed (and here I again had the pleasure of getting help from the guild: a member did the transcriptions, and I am not sure if he ever contacted the college to get paid for it. I hope he did! He deserved every krone, because it turned out that the quality of the interviews was really lousy. And as if that's not enough:) all the interviews were cut short. I cried when I discovered what had happened. The recorder I had borrowed at the college after many negotiations (I wanted to buy, they wanted to save - familiar story) had some weird malfunction, so not only was it a poor recorder, it also made me lose the end of every single interview.

So, patching this optimistically together, I kind of lost sight of what I was writing about. The first draft of the full article was more about "all kind of human experiences in WoW." Fun stuff, but babies had to die. 1/3 of the babies, really.

That's what I have been up to the last week: killing innocent idea babies. The blood was seeping into the keyboard, so I had to get it replaced. Also the touchpad and the main card of my brand new Dell XPS M1210 - the cutest and most powerful laptop I have ever had. I am absolutely certain it was the cruel attacks on the text with axe, spells and swords that shook everything lose inside.

Today I got the text down to less than 8000 words. I feel like a human being again. Tomorrow, after a final proofreading, I'll send it off.


s4dfish said...

Sounds like it'll be an interesting read upon completion. Any chance of an online, english version?

M-H said...

Fascinating insight into your writing process. Tnanks.

Torill said...

It is in English, don't know about the online version. The book will be published on MiT, hopefully in print next year.

Iason said...

I remember the interviews Toril... and as you say they were not really about what you wanted them to be about (deviant strategies within the game? Something like that). Instead you got a load of raiding information and some odd comments on Roleplaying. You probably should have not done the interviews just after we had the huge raid tactics discussion... but you were getting ice cream at that point I think.

If you ever want another go at the talk of deviant strategies. Just say so.

Torill said...

That train has left now Iason :) If I was to go into that topic again, it would be in a wider discussion of the connection between deviance, gaming and user participation.

There is something liminal about games which I should pursue. It is the edge of pleasure, the joy, which exists beyond immediate reason. I just don't know how to reach this field of questioning yet.