Where’s Woven Fate?


Hey, readers. If you’ve been following my blog you’ve probably noticed that it’s been really quite. I unfortunately got behind with Woven Fate and been busy with other projects to work on that. So, what exactly happened? Well, life just happened.

Time really opened up doing the stay at home order and I did get a lot of writing done. But, not for Woven Fate. I used the time to finish the second draft and start and finish the third draft of my novella The Beauty of Magic which I feel I’m more behind in (I had wanted a release date for last year). So I got far in that one and even passed it off to beta readers (working through those now). I also used the time to work on some flash fiction pieces. So I wrote, just not Woven Fate. I kept thinking I would be able to get to it once I had these quicker, shorter pieces off my plate so I could focus on the blog story.

But, as I’m sure you already guessed, that didn’t happen. Things began opening up again, I went back to work, time got tight, I’m working on packing to move, and then the writers conference I’ve always wanted to go to is being hosted online this year so I signed up… which I’m able to pitch a novel at so I have to work on some final edits for that. *Face palm here*

So, time just filled up with life and other writing. I had to put some things on the back burner, one of which was Woven Fate. But, it is not alone on that burner. I also forced a flash fiction writing hiatus on myself because I would allow myself to write one because “it is short and quick” (and it is) but with my limited time it actually prevented me from getting to my longer projects by a week or two. I’ll be lifting that hiatus here after the conference.

Where does that leave Woven Fate? Well, I still plan on working on it and having it finished by the end of the year. But there will be a lot of catch up when I can get back to it. For now, I have to finish editing my novel for the pitch in case the agent wants to see the first three chapters and The Beauty of Magic has waited to long so I want to finish the beta edits and another read through of that and send it to a proofreader. At which time I’ll be able to return to Woven Fate, starting with Part 4.2 and then working on catching up. To dedicate time to this project, once The Beauty of Magic is published, I will not be starting another novella until after Woven Fate is done.

To finish a writing project, you have to set priorities and focus, which sometimes means setting limitations in other areas or projects. This is how I have to set them for now and I hope this will help me accomplish and finish some of these projects, all of which are dear to my heart and I want to see completed, out in the world, and the best they can be.

The Story Behind the Story – Mew Mutants

2020-05-16 Rachel Harris, _Mew Mutants_Today my story, “Mew Mutants”, is published with Havok. It is about cats with… unusual powers. It is kind of funny how I was first inspired for this story so I thought I would share the story origin.

Back in December, I was doing inventory for the small game and comic bookstore I work at and was having trouble finding one of our newer X-Men comics. Marvel had a restart the X-Men series a few months before with several different titles, one of which was New Mutants. All of them were selling well for us so it made no sense why I couldn’t find it.  I also do the receiving for the comics so it made no sense why I couldn’t find a book that I knew the name of and what I put it in as. So I double checked the book in the system to determine what had happened. Well, instead of writing “New”, I had typed “Mew”.

This was not the first time I miss-typed something or spelled something wrong (you should have seen how I spelled a Spider-Man title) so I wasn’t terrible surprised. But I thought it was hilarious that the name made it sound like cats. I also couldn’t help but think it was a good title. So I made a note of it and went back to work. 

A few months later and Havok was accepting stories for their Bingeworthy season, a season filled with popular troupes that I love. I was still thinking of this title and wanted to write a story sooner than later but wanted to be okay with waiting so it would go with the right story. d Super Duper was one of the themes. The story didn’t come right away but eventually I decided to put the title and and the Super Duper theme together for a Staff Saturday feature and created a story where I couldn’t help but smile every time I worked on it.

It’s funny where ideas come from. They can pop up anywhere if you’re open to inspiration (even from mistakes that should embarrass you). And I did correct the comic book title in case you were wondering. But I love my super powered cats and am excited to share them with you today. Maybe I will write another adventure for them in the future.

If you would like to check out their story, you can visit gohavok.com and read it today (May 16, 2020). If you’re a member, you can also check out my past stories in the archives or click the Havok image on the sidebar to the right which is linked to a list of all my stories with them. Enjoy and hope you find some inspiration today.

Woven Fate: Part 4.1 – Fire and Storm

Woven Fate 1

The rain poured down, soaking Tovi, Makani, and Nara as the made their way down Mount River. As he tested his next step, Tovi watched the thin, little rivulets of water streamed through the mud and down the mountain, giving the name a whole new meaning. Glancing back, he checked on Nara as she more skidded down the incline then walked. Her arms stretched out and mud up to her knees, he was nervous one of these times she was going to trip headlong into him and roll to the bottom. With a squeak, her foot slipped out from under her and fell backwards on butt.

“You alright?”

She waved to him. “Fine. How much farther?”

“I was hoping to get to the next grove of trees so the next hike would only take a day before we were at the bottom.”

Scanning the mountainside, she nodded and struggled to stand. The next stand of trees was several hours away. Tovi sighed and scanned the area. To his left was an outcropping of stone which created a little nook against the mountainside. He checked that Makani was stable then trudged toward Nara. Halfway to standing, she looked up and her feet skidded out from under her as she saw him.

He reached out his hand. “There’s shelter over there. Let’s wait out the rain.”

The rain patted on his head as the seconds dragged by as he held out his hand. She glanced it then him before slowly taking it. With a hand on his shoulder, she let him escort her to the nook and sat down. Tovi went back for Makani and squeezed them under the outcropping before rubbing the horse down and covering him with a blanket and then making a small fire.

While they were walking, he hadn’t felt the cold chill of the rain but, now, as they sat still and his clothes clung to him and the rain soaked through to his bones, he shivered. Wrapping his cloak tight around his shoulders, he huddled before the fire and rubbed his hand, trying to at least chaise away the cold there. Beside him, Nara shivered like a dead leaf in the fall before it was torn from its tree by the wind and blown away. Mud dripped from her hair, skirt, hands… Was there a spot not covered it dirt?

Digging through a saddle bag, he pulled out his blanket and laid it across her shoulders. “Here.”

As the fabric swung around her, she jumped. Tovi hesitated. Her eyes danced between his. First looking at one. Holding it. Then at the other. Sighing, Tovi settled the blanket around her then looked away. Of course she was afraid of him.

“It’ll get wet?” she squeaked as she huddled into the blanket, bring it up over her head. In the two days they had been traveling, she’d barely spoken to him.

He shrugged. “I’ve made do with less.”

The fire crackled as the rain continued to pour. Tovi shifted a little. Should he say something? Nara was looking away from him to occasionally her eyes would dart to him.

“You know,” she lifted her head slightly from the cloak, like a mouse peeking out of a hole, “you don’t seem like the type to destroy a kingdom.”

“That’s because I’m not.”

Nara nodded.

Silence settled as the sky darkened. Looked like they wouldn’t be getting any farther today.

“So… tell me about this… needle.”

“The needle?” Nara’s head popped up and she shook out her hair.

Where her eyes sparkling? Tovi leaned back as Nara straitened up and a smile started on her lips.

“The needle once changed all of Elandra. Three hundred years ago, a king was preparing to hand over his throne to his son and had a tapestry woven. In it depicted to prince’s reign. One of terror and greed. The weaver’s apprentice couldn’t stand what was going to happen so she took her needle and rewove the tapestry so instead of a rise to power, his actions lead to a revolution. Sure enough, the new king was over thrown and a new king rose was crowned who lead the people in peace and goodness. But, because of the potential power of the needle, the apprentice was charged with hiding it away with these instructions from her teacher: ‘Keep it close to your heart.’ To this day, the apprentice’s decedents guard the needle.”

“And it’s in Daker? The center of weaver’s craft?” Tovi furrowed his brow. “Isn’t that a little obvious?”

Nara shrugged. “The weaver also told her apprentice to hide it in plain sight.”

“Harder to find,” Tovi muttered. “Been my policy for a while. Still, we’ll be in center of the weavers’ market. We’ll be looking for a needle among literally dozens of needles.”

“Hundreds. Thousands, actually.”

Tovi berried his face in his hands and growled.

“Buuuut, we do have something to help us. This needle is inscribed.”

“That helps?”

“Do you realize how hard it is to inscribe a needle?” Nara’s voice rose several pitches.

Tovi shook his head. “No.”

Lifting her arm, Nara pulled something from the edge of her sleeve and held it out. Tovi let her drop it onto his palm. A slim, silver needle shorter than his pinky finger laid in his hand. It was thinner than one of his veins and, when he tapped the end, prickly. Handing it back to her, he watched as she placed it back in her sleeve and noticed that it was filled with needles of various lengths and widths as well as pins.

She glanced from him to her sleeve and shrugged. “Habit.”

Tovi blinked. “What else does the legend say?”

“Well… it is believed that King Noach is a descendent of that king.”

“Really?” Odd. The same needle that put him in power will be used to affect him again. “What happened to the king and his son.”

“Don’t know,” Nara said. “They disappeared. No one knows what happened to them. It is said, though, that someday their descendants will return to challenge the heirs who overthrow them.

Tovi chocked. Is that what is happening? Am I an heir and the prophecy is telling how I will challenge them? He shook his head. There were too many possibilities and directions. He couldn’t keep them straight.

Clearing his throat, he said, “You seem to know a lot about this legend.”

Nara smiled and bounced. “It’s one of my favorites of the weaver legends. Being able to change the future. To hold the fate of yourself, others, in your hands. To actually create and do something to make the world better.”

“Isn’t that what prophetess’s do?”

“Not quite. We see a moment of the future and set it into fabric. It is the person’s own choices that lead to it. I just sew it.”

“Asami said though that sometimes it is knowing the future that leads to it.”

Nara sighed. “I’ve been weaving since I was a little girl. Everything I’ve woven has come true. As everyone says, ‘Once woven, forever bound.’”

“Comforting.” Tovi scratched his head. “Then why are you helping me?”

Nara bit her lip as she thought. “Because you seem like a nice person.”

“Thanks.” Tovi sighed.

Nara shrugged. “Besides, your situation is already terrible so how much worse can it get?”

What did she just say? Snorting, Tovi chuckled. She hadn’t been this outspoken every. And he hadn’t laughed since… Rubbing his hand against his mouth, he said, “Daker, ha? My troupe should be headed that way. Spring festivals.”

“Oh, maybe we’ll get to see them.”

Tovi bit his lip. “We didn’t end on the greatest to terms. They hadn’t known…” he reached up and touched his left eye, “and now they kind of do.”

“Oh,” Nara fiddled with the edge of the blanket. “Maybe they won’t mind?”

Tovi huffed and shook his head. “I’m a prize to be won and a villain to conquer. I can’t have anything until this prophecy is changed.”

“Sorry,” she whispered.

Shaking his head, he forced a smile, his cheeks feeling like the strings of a bow being pulled by a fledgling archer. “Doesn’t matter. I’ve lived with it long enough. Besides, once we get that needle, you can weave a new tapestry and everything will be fine.”

“New tapestry?”

“Yeah.” Tovi’s smile faded. “You can do that, right? Asami said that the loom didn’t matter.”

“Yes, no, no, the loom doesn’t matter,” Nara said, the words tumbling out of her mouth. “So, get the needle and weave a whole new tapestry. Is that what you’re thinking?”

“Yes.” Tovi cocked his head. “Is that a problem?”

“No. Not at all.” Nara looked out at the rain as she rocked back and forth.

Did I do something wrong? Is asking her to weave this tapestry more than she wanted to do? Biting his lip, he tried to think of something to say. It was nice talking and he didn’t want it to end. After a few moments, he said, “So how about you? How did you become a prophetess?”

“Oh,” she chuckled, “Same story as many prophetess’s. I was thirteen and was weaving when I kept getting these little pieces of images. They wouldn’t go away so I wove them into a tapestry to get them out. It became an image of my sister’s wedding day. That night, she came home and told our parents she had met a charming young man. A few days later, she introduced him to us and he was the spitting image of the man in the tapestry. They were married a year later. And are still very happy together.”

Tovi blinked and a smile slowly spread across his face. “Well, that was the best story of the night.”

Nara grinned as her cheeks turned red.

They watched the rain fall as silence came to them again. But this time, for the first time since he was a child, Tovi felt at peace. She maybe wasn’t comfortable with him yet, but at least he was beginning to have a friend who know him and didn’t want to see him dead.


Author’s Note

So, this isn’t this month’s edition to the story but something a little extra. This is a scene that bridges to last month’s to this month’s events. It also gives some background info on the needle and Nara as those will all be coming into play in as we go on. Plus, it is fun to see Nara and Tovi’s friendship start and grow. They will be going through a lot… starting with the next post, when it is The End of the World as We Know It. (If you’ve been following the story, you know I am using Havok Publishing monthly theme to create one, cohesive story throughout 2020. When they planned and released these themes last year, no one had any idea how much this month’s theme would mirror our current world. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction. I hope you all are doing well, I’m praying for you and the world and the end of the Corona Virus, and I hope you can find some escape in this story or through others.)

Woven Fate: Part 3 – The Weaver

Woven Fate 1

Wind whipped Tovi as he led Makani up a meandering path of beside a swift flowing river. He wasn’t even sure he was really on a path. Makani’s mane and tail were tangled and Tovi held a hood over his head to keep the wind off as much as possible. The cold air dried his skin, cracking his knuckles, and sending a sharp sting across his skin. They were three days into their journey up River Mountain and the landscape was mostly a sheer rock face, slippery stones, sparse trees, and gusting winds trying to throw anyone foolish enough to climb it off.

Looking up, Tovi could almost see the top but the mountain continued to reach into the sky. There was one more outcropping before the summit. The prophetess had to be nearby. How far up could she live? Or did she even live on this side of the mountain? After running from the troupe, Tovi had just kept going, ignoring the questions as they came. If he paid too much attention, he would stop. Testing a foot hold, Tovi kept going.

Huffing and gasping for breath, he climbed three more feet before looking up again. His head parallel to the outcropping, he could just see over the edge. Far back from the leg, against the steep wall to the summit, was a small cottage. Pulling on the reins, Tovi ran up the remaining incline, dragging Makani with him, and to the front door.

Rushing across the flat ground, Tovi let go of Makani when the horse refused to go faster, and knocked on the door. A moment went by but no one answered. It wasn’t that big of a cottage. Someone had to hear.

Is no one home?

He knocked again.

“Put the horse in the stable and come in through the back,” said a woman’s voice.

Stable? “What?”

“Makani knows. Follow him.”

Just as the woman finished speaking, Tovi saw his black and white horse trudge past him. Following, Makani lead him to a two-stall barn down a short hill behind the cottage. Stopping inside the door, Tovi watch his horse meandered into a stall, head lagging and placed his nose in a full water trough. The stable was small but roomie, giving a homie comfort for the animal. Towards the back, Tovi saw some hay and gathered an armful before removing Makani’s reigns and saddle. After a quick rub down and putting a blanket on the stallion, Tovi petted his friend.

“Sorry, boy. You relax now.” Leaving Makani in the stall to eat, Tovi headed back up to the cottage.

As he reached the back door, he lifted his hand to knock but the door opened with a puff of steam.

“Now, now, there is no need for that. Come in, come in, Tovi.” A short woman waved him inside before waddling away.

Tovi ducked as he entered. Hanging from the rafters were row upon row of yarn, dangling like vines. “How do you know who I am?”

“I remember everyone I weave.”

At least I’m in the right place.

A fire burned in a hearth with a kettle and pot nearby. The sweet, warm smell of fish and bread hovered in the air. He stopped for a moment just to take in this warm home. If reminded him of preparing supper with his father as the hearth heated the room until sweated dotted his brow or chased away the shivers of winter as snow fell.

“Come all the way in, now. No need to stand in the door way letting all the hot air out. Come now, dear.”

Snapping his eyes open, Tovi shut the door behind him as he shook his head. Dodging this way and that, he parted the yarn as he walked through the kitchen, trying to locate the chatty old woman. Her silhouette could be seen scurrying here then there through all the yarn. And she wouldn’t stop talking.

“A good warm meal is what you need. Yes. Just look at you. A tall, straggly young man.” A hand slapped him in the stomach as its wielder passed before disappearing behind another thicket of yarn. “So thin.”

“Um,” Tovi said. “I wanted to talk to about a prophesy you wove.”

The old woman leaned backward from around a yarn waterfall of yarn. “Not until we are by the fire.”

Finally, for a moment, he could see her. She was grandmotherly looking with a wrinkled face and head full of white hair. Despite the spring in her step, she looked like someone who should be complaining about her back and hobbling around with a cane.

“It was the one woven for King Noach, prince at the time, to commemorate the—”

“Defeat of Dallow. Yes, I remember, dear.” She turned towards another sheet of yarn and called, “Nara. Please come. We have a visitor.”

The old woman wove around the yarn with two trenchers in one hand and a kettle and three cups in the other. She swayed back and forth as she balanced everything. Jumping forward, Tovi steadied her then took the two trenchers.

“Oh. What a gentleman,” she said as she pinched his cheek. “This way.” She wondered over to the fire and set the cups down on a table and filled them. Tovi set the trenchers beside them.

She wiped her hands on her skirt then squinted at Tovi. “Oh, that must be uncomfortable.” She reached up and pulled the wrapping off his head.

Stumbling back, Tovi reached up to his face.

“Much better. Sit, sit.” The woman gestured to the chairs before taking one herself.

Swallowing, Tovi took a hesitant step as a young woman came throw the yarn. As she glanced up at him, she gasped and stumbled back, her eyes widened as she stared at his face.

“Nara, you’ll have to grab a trencher for yourself. I didn’t have enough hands.”

Setting back from Tovi, Nara gave him a wide berth as she ducked towards a table and loaded a trencher for herself.

“Sit, dear,” the old woman insisted again.

Taking a hesitant step, like a starving dog afraid of being kicked, Tovi took the other chair.

When Nara joined them, she brought an extra chair, placing it on the other side of the old woman, keeping her between them.

As he spoke to the weaver, he tried not to look at the young woman who was also avoiding his gaze. “I wanted to know more about the tapestry.”

“Eat first.” The woman took a trencher and piled some mashed peas onto her bread.

“The tapestry was revealed the banquet celebrating King Noach’s victory,” Tovi continued. He wasn’t hungry, he just wanted answers. “It depicted—”

“I remember. I remember everything I weave. It was one of my better works, if I might say so. A dark, starless night contrasted with red and orange flames all around the edges with a lone figure, standing upon the ruin remains of stone, one eye green, the other blue.”

Tovi’s tongue clung to the ruff of his mouth. He had heard vague descriptions of it but never like that. “I guess. I never saw it.” Coughing, he tried to clear the lump in his throat. “I wanted to know… why did you weave me into it?”

“I weave what I see.” She tapped the side of her head. “As all weavers do.”

“But why me? I don’t want to hurt anyone. And I don’t want to destroy Elanra. I love this kingdom. Its people, its land. I even like King Noach. He cares for this kingdom, placing its people and their needs first. So why is it I’m the one who is going to destroy it.”

The woman finished chewing and swallowed. “It is very impolite not to ask someone for their name.”

Tovi blinked. “What?”

“You haven’t asked me my name yet. We’ve been talking all this time and you haven’t asked for my name.”

“Ah, what’s your name, ma’am?”

She smiled. “Asami.”

Tovi let out a calming breath. “Lady Asami—”

“Just Asami.”

Biting his lip, he breathed. “Asami, why did you weave me into a tapestry predicting the destruction of the kingdom? Everyone hates me. I have to hide my face so no one will attack me. This is not what I want. I want to live a normal life. I… I want to see my father again.”

Asami tapped her foot. “What do you know about prophecy making?”


She waved a finger at him. “Come.”

Tovi followed her as she got up and began to waddle out of the kitchen into another area of the cottage. Nara jumped up and followed her, staying close on Asami’s heels.

“As I said before, I weave what I see. I don’t choose who goes into the tapestry. I don’t get to make the choice.” They entered a room with various looms against the wall with baskets of yarn beside them.

Asami waddled over and picked up a basket and brought it back to Tovi. “Do you know what this is?”

“Yarn made for prophesizing.”

“Half right. It is yarn.” Asami shrugged. “Nothing special.” She dropped it on the floor and slid it back across the floor with her foot. “How about this loom?”

Tovi shrugged. “Made from a special tree?”

“It is a loom, darling. Other women have them in their homes too.”

This was getting him no where. He started to wonder if the woman could give a straight answer.

“You want to know what makes the tapestries so special?” Asami smiled up at him as if she was teaching a star-eyed kid.


“It is what I see. I can see moments of the future that will come if the people continue down the path they are on. People come and ask me them to weave them a tapestry for their newborn daughter or to remember an event. They will usually bring me yarn and I will see a moment and weave it. Some are happy, some are not. I just weave what I see.” She lowered her arms and looked up into Tovi’s eyes, for the first time being sober. “When Prince Noach asked me to weave, I saw destruction.”

Tovi reached out to a tapestry on one of the looms and played with a loose piece of yarn. “So that’s it then. That is my future.”

Nara glanced from Asami to him, like she was waiting for her to say something important.

“Well… not entirely. It is only the future if you choose it to be. It is all your own choice.”

His head snapped to her. “So, I don’t have to destroy Elandra?” It was the best news he’d heard in years.

“Correct. But,” she continued, “I find that those who know the future have a hard time not fulfilling it. Once a future is woven and they know it, it tends to come true. Sometimes, people try so hard for it not to come true that they make it true. Other times, they try ignore it so much that they don’t see they are heading down the path where it will happen.”

“So…how do I keep it from coming true? Both options say this will happen.”

Asami waddled up to him and placed a hand on his cheek. “The fact you don’t want it is good. Just live your life, be conscious of the choices you make, and everything will be alright.”

Tovi waited for her to go on. “That’s it? There has to be more. Can’t you weave me a new tapestry? Not make me a villain?”

“Sorry, dear. That is all I can do. The rest is up to you.” She turned around and headed back towards the kitchen.

Nara stepped back as Asami passed, squinting at the woman.

“But I can’t live like this. I can’t keep hiding from people trying to hunt me. It is only a matter of time before the king decides to put a price on my head. To destroy the problem before it becomes one. Please, weave me a tapestry. I’ll pay you.”

Asami frowned. “I’m sorry. There is nothing more I can do. Stay the night. In the morning, I’ll help you find a new place to go.” She waddled out of the room.

Was that it? Tovi turned in a circle, unsure of what to do next. From what she said he was trapped no matter what he did. Leaning against the wall, he slid down, hanging his head.

“Hey.” Nara glanced towards the kitchen then crept up to him. “There might be a way.”


She bit her lip and squirmed. “I’ve always heard that prophesy too. It gave me nightmares.”

“Who hasn’t?” Tovi hung his head again.

“But you’re not how I pictured. So… I’ll tell you. Weaver legend has it there is a needle that can change tapestries woven with prophesy. It has been hidden away but lore suggests it is in Daker.”

This couldn’t be real. A real chance to change his destiny. “What do I need to do?”

“I could take you there. Maybe.”

Tovi glanced towards the yarn shrouded kitchen. “What about Asami?”

“She won’t approve so we best leave tonight.”

Silence came between them for a moment. “Why are you helping me?”

Nara swallowed. “I became a prophetess because I could see things. I wanted to help people. But sometimes all I do is set down the future but nothing changes. This is something I can do.”

Tovi nodded. “Okay, let’s go.”

As Nara stood and dusted off her skirt, Tovi reached out his hand towards her. “Thank you.”

She froze and glance between him and his hand. Nodding, she smiled and said, “You’re welcome,” before sweeping into the weaving room and sitting down at one.

Curling his fingers into a fist, he dropped his hand and sighed. Finding that needle couldn’t come soon enough.


Author’s Note

I always enjoyed how inspiration from other places can come together. Last year I was reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book, The Magic of the Unicorn, and one of the endings involved a magic tapestry. I enjoyed that one so much that I thought I would like to one day write a story about a magical tapestry but didn’t have anything planned at the time. I just left it open.

A few months later, I was working on a cross stitch and learned that the little, dull needles used for those are called tapestry needles. I never knew that and loved the name.

This scene also took inspiration with all the crazy yarn from Jenelle Leanne Schimdt’s “Destined for Greatness” short story first published in Paws, Claws, and Magic Tales. 

Inspiration is all around and when woven together can create some fun stuff. I hope you enjoyed this newest edition to Woven Fate and Tovi’s adventure. We are only three months in so there is still a lot to come and I’m looking forward to what comes next.

This part was based on Havok’s Strange New Worlds theme and they just released what July-Decembers themes will be so I’ll be working on that during April. Trying to make it all mesh will be an adventure all on its own. If you’ve enjoyed reading Tovi’s story, feel free to share it or drop a comment below. If you are just now jumping into Woven Fate, you can catch up here. See you next month.


A Writer’s Bookshelf


This is not a typical book found on a writer’s bookshelf. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be a typical one found on my bookshelf as I don’t play video games. Just never really got into them. But, I do think of myself as a student of writing so learning how to write for video games is something I was willing to learn.

Evan Skolnick focuses on a lot of different aspects of writing for video games. I especially found it interesting how the story of the game and the mechanics need to work together to make an amazing experience. Another interesting part of this is how this can be challenging because often the story is secondary if not the last thing considered when creating a video game. Apparently, video game creators’ first consideration are the puzzles and mechanics of a game before the story. In fact, some writers can be brought in so late to the video game creation process that it is difficult to mesh the mechanics and a story. Skolnick does go on to discuss when the best time for the writer to come on board so the story and mechanic can work together. The book also shares some good and bad ideas on how to present the story in a video game as well as the challenges of writing. One last thing the writer does say is that if you want to be a video game writer is that you need to play video games. This makes sense (but makes it difficult for me to ever write a game as I don’t play them) because playing, like reading in the genre you wish to write in, will help you learn the good, the bad, and how to write for a game because of how much you experience through them.

So, even if you don’t regularly write for a particular area or style of writing, you can always learn something from what they have to offer. Even for video games though you don’t play them. If you are considering writing for video games, or just looking for a well written book on writing, this one is interesting and gives insight into the industry and various view points of a creation team working to produce a story and interactive game.