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On Dragon Age and Science

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A couple of things to talk about today.

The first is something I haven’t spoken much about. I am currently  in the outline stages of my first Dragon Age module. This module will focus on only two backgrounds, each being a different perspective of the same events. I really enjoyed how in the base game you would come across events that took place for all the starting origins. Each time you would get a glimpse of that story from another point of view.  With that in mind, and how intrigued I am by the plight of the City Elves, I began to write.

I am currently finished plotting out the City Elf section, and will soon be done with the Human story.  Once I’ve completed outlining them both, I’ll begin working on the dialogue trees. This is my first foray into deep intricate dialogue trees, but I think it will be a lot of fun. The most challenging thing about this type of writing, I am discovering, is making sure you have a solid and engaging story, with several possible ways to reach the end; while maintaining believable characters and interaction.

Once I get some dialogue trees written out, I’ll post a few samples.

The second thing I wanted to talk about is Science. Specifically science in speculative fiction. While working on Dragon Age I am also researching what new trends are happening within the science field, in order to get some inspiration on how I should handle technology in my Complex novel. There is some amazing stuff happening in the world of science right now that sends my little writer brain into a tizzy.

But I have come to realize that most of it is over my head, and it makes me wonder. Should I try and make the science as “real” as possible– leaning towards hard sci-fi. Or should I just throw it all to the wind, go Dr. Who style, and just let the fantasy fly. I would like to think there is a good middle ground. Being believable enough, while still allowing room for yourself, as a writer, to have some fun. Many sci-fi writers I have been studying from have said, “As long as the rules stay consistent you will be fine” (or some variation like that). While that is a comforting thought, I know as a reader there have been many times that I didn’t even agree with the rule itself. Some rules just break things too much for me to take seriously.

I guess this is something I will discover the more I write and the more I work on the “science” of my world. Maybe if I believe in it enough, so will you.

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1 Comment

  1. Matt says:

    Interesting to hear you say that about science in stories. I often have the same dilemma. I read something like Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, and I wish, I WISH I could write something with that much hard science detail in. It really is a tremendous achievement. But I know that kind of detail comes from a lifelong interest in science and Mars, and I will not be able to get even close.

    On the other hand, whereas I admire the creativity in Dr. Who silliness (and to be fair, some are sillier than others. The current main writer, whose name I’ve forgotten, is much less likely to indulge in silliness as Russel T. Davies), I can’t see me writing it, even though I enjoy it.

    So yes, I definitely want to find a middle ground, and internal consistency is the most important thing. If however, at the end, you read your story, and find yourself asking questions about the science, those questions probably need answering, as your readers will likely ask them as well.

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