Once a month, the Story Design Tips column is going to have a story design challenge. Whereas we usually use this space for tips about dialogue, world-building, plot, comedy, endings, and more, the story design challenge is the place where you can show us what you’ve got, get some feedback, and maybe get some exposure. The story design challenge and results will also be cross-posted on Gamasutra’s sister site, GameCareerGuide.
Let’s get to it.
As a writer, you’ve got a few tools. One of them, which you can choose to use or ignore, is the first impression a character makes when she/he/it first appears in the plot.
A memorable entrance is a good way for a writer to try and establish his most important characters. Rather than think about what your plot needs, think about the most memorable way for your character to make an entrance. Find a way that is unforgettable and also shows who the character is.
What’s memorable? Think about the first time you saw Doc in Back to the Future. Think about Yoda’s first scene (in Chapter IV). Think about the first time you saw the terminator: the way he got his clothes and sunglasses right after he appeared. Think about Steve Martin’s first few minutes in Little Shop of Horrors. Think about the first scene of every James Bond film. Think about Indiana Jones’ first few minutes on screen in his first and second films.
- Please don’t use anything anyone owns the rights to, even if you’re the one who owns those rights. Let’s have no variations on existing games, movies, or stories. And nothing you or your company are working on at the moment.
- Please keep your entry under 1000 words. 1000 words translate roughly to 4 double-spaced pages. That should be more than enough.
- Winners will be announced in this column in Gamasutra and will also be featured at GameCareerGuide on Tuesday, April 3rd. This means you have six days (Monday is the last day) to publish your entry.
- Please publish your entry in the comments below. If you want to do it anonymously, use Gamasutra’s system to log in anonymously.
- Important: When you publish your entry, send it to me simultaneously via email (at guyhasson at gmail dot com). That way, you make your entry public (in the comments), while ensuring I have your real email address if you win.
The prize: The prize that’s mine to give is a free electronic copy of my book, Secret Thoughts. It’s science fiction, recently published by Apex Books, and so far has gotten great reviews. Here’s a link to the publisher’s website, where you can check out the plot and the reviews. When you send your email, please specify the type of file you want (pdf, epub, or mobi). If you’ve already won a Story Design Challenge, all I have to give you is glory.
Good luck to everyone!