No, I didn’t get Heroic: Glory of the Raider, and to be honest, I probably never will (we have a group of achievement-haters in our guild). I don’t have a cool drake or neat title, but this sense of accomplishment is a lot greater than even my favorite achievements (Ambermist Jenkins, c’mon, you know you love it).
I finished a 9.9 thousand word short story.
Okay, yes, I call myself a writer, and I’ve certainly written things. But that’s all I’ve ever done. A few poems here; fragments of novel ideas there; a few stories that barely reached three pages, but never have I written anything to this magnitude. What could have possibly motivated me to finish such a glorious feat in a young (shut up, all you 16-year-old prodigies) writer’s career? I’m glad you asked, my friend: Blizzard’s Creative Writing Contest.
Write a story about something I know inside and out? Put myself in my character’s shoes and create art with it? Relate to the characters in novels by Christie Golden and Richard Knaak, the pages of which I have turned so often they are worn from use and tears? OF COURSE I WILL!
The awesome prizes aside (first prize being a trip to Blizzard to meet the writers of our favorite MMO and related franchises AND a hot, personal Frostmourne), this gave me a chance to put away my pretentious ideas stemming from the three years I worked towards the English Lit degree I never finished and get in touch with who I am as a writer. I finally discovered what they always told me but I never believed: write from what you know.
The competition is fierce; I’ve read several excerpts from competitors and almost lost the resolve to finish my own tale, but with constant encouragement from my mageboy husband and a real love of the story I wrote, I typed out THE END about two weeks ago. After that, it was read after read, cutting back dry dialogue here, choosing better words there, and getting input from other WoW lore fanatics. Yesterday I submitted A Cord of Two Strands for better or for worse.
I don’t know if I even have a chance at winning, though I hope I do. But I don’t need to be number one on progression; knowing that I wrote from that really cool point of inspiration inside of me and seeing my work completed is pretty darn satisfying.
That said, wish me luck!
And, of course, here’s an excerpt from my entry, A Cord of Two Strands:
“I expected it would be painful,” Aleron said. “How do you feel now?”
“Okay, but I feel strange. I—I feel as though I am shaking on the inside,” she said, blushing slightly at how absurd it sounded. Aleron studied her for a few moments, lost in thought. Suddenly, he glanced furtively around the room, then finally looked down at the straw of the makeshift bed upon which they sat. Plucking out a small handful, he looked again at the draenei.
“Hold out your hand,” he directed. She held out her hand dutifully, and he placed the straw inside her palm. “Close your eyes, and try to push that feeling out of you.” At her puzzled expression, he prompted her again, “Go on.”
“I am too tired for games,” she replied.
“Try. You must do this,” he said fiercely, the first real spark of life Sonora had seen shining in his eyes. Prompted by the strength of his response, Sonora tried again. Closing her eyes, she tried to turn her focus inside herself. She felt the shaking, like a reverberation within her. She pushed against it with her mind, and was shocked when it felt as though it were following her focus. Doubling her efforts, she pushed against it further, forcing it into her outstretched arm. The feeling was so intense, she knew her arm must be shaking wildly, but she continued until she felt as though a blast of it went through her fingers. The vibration seemed to settle back into her body, although not as strongly. “My hand is warm,” she noticed aloud. She was surprised to hear Aleron chuckling.
“Open your eyes,” he instructed proudly. She did, and was shocked to see the straw in her fingers smoldering, smoke curling up above her hand. The straw was clearly burnt in places, like the first breaths of a fire had passed over it.
“What have I done?” she said in awe.
“You have proven that you might be our way out of here!”