It’s 2 a.m. and I’m madly typing away on the keyboard. My latest scene needed to be written down before I forgot it the next day. This is just one common occurrence since I began to write years ago.
Ever since I was a boy in elementary school, I knew I wanted to make video games.
I may not have known exactly what the job was, but I knew one thing: I wanted to create characters, story, attacks… whatever you can think of. It seems so obvious now that writing would be the course to take, but I didn’t realise it until my third year in college.
I have a degree in English/Creative Writing with a minor in Screenwriting. Some believe that you can’t teach creative writing; you certainly cannot make someone a creative person, but you can definitely help them express their ideas in the best way possible.
This is what I learned from my college education. I still have all my ideas, but I learned how to structure them more solidly, write better dialogue to convey a certain emotion, character development, and all the technical things you need to have a good story.
A small sample of the writing I’ve done at GameSkinny.
Writing is not the most secure, or easy to break into, but it is very rewarding if you have a passion for it.
I know firsthand how hard it is to have a degree in creative writing, then try to get paid work. It takes hard effort, but will pay off in the end.
Besides writing a novel or stories to publish, there really are not a lot of opportunities for work in what I want to do. You need discipline to keep writing, and perseverance to continue after denials. Breaking into the game industry, especially as a writer, is one of the hardest things I can think of.
Without connections, how do you even know if your applications are getting read? That is assuming that you get lucky and actually see an open writing position for which you don’t already need industry experience. Get connections wherever you can. The more people you get to know, the better your chances will be. Plus, many game developers are actually really cool people.
My experience in gaming journalism at GameSkinny has taught me a lot though.
I have greater insight on how companies work, and how they release news. I have a deeper understanding of different roles in a video game company. I even know of games and companies I would not have if I never got into video game journalism.
I am not working on a game yet, but I have learned a great deal about the industry and even got in contact with people I would not have otherwise. Networking is everything in this industry.
The hardest part is not having any money. I don’t want to be rich, or even famous, I just want to do what I love to do: write. It is a little harder when you aren’t making any money, though. Picking up freelance work when you can is a great help; doing that will get you the experience and exposure you need, so don’t take it lightly.
This all may sound terrible, maybe even dissuade people from a career in writing, but it is not all bad. I am actually trying to do the opposite. People that want to write should definitely go for it, and have more confidence in their work.
Writing is the one thing that I love doing, besides playing video games, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
Despite the hardships that come with being an inexperienced writer, I love it. I will continue to write, get experience, and hopefully work on a shipped title some day.
My advice to anyone that loves writing is to stick with it. Continue to write, follow your dreams, and one day, you just might see your name in the credits of a video game. Nothing is more rewarding to me than to know that I had even a small part at making someone’s day with a video game.
To my fellow writers out there, keep doing what you’re doing. People appreciate it more than you might think.