In My Write Mind

It looks like life got away from me a little bit, and I haven’t been updating as much. However, a little motivation came my way: my good friend David Newland tagged me for a writing exercise. (Actually more like a viral micro-interview. But I like it anyway.)

What am I working on?

I still write for Beeline Interactive, mainly on their Smurfs brand. It may sound silly, but it is a brand I still love and respect, even four years later. The characters are perfectly timeless, and their stories are evergreen.

I write poetry and songs when I feel particularly moved, and I suddenly find a pen in my hand.

I’m also working on a longer creative non-fiction piece.

I occasionally write comedy and I’m now working on spec scripts.

There are a couple of other projects I’d like to mention, but those have to stay confidential for now!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I like the challenge of writing unusual stories that fit into unusual places. There are a lot of chances to do that in video games, but I’ve also done that in other ways, throughout my career.

Why do I write what I do?

Because if I didn’t, I’d lose my mind or I’d be unemployed.

Also, I write because I have something to say. I am so obsessed with the (beautiful) subtle nuances of the world, that I feel compelled to write them down, either for the public, or in private.

How does my writing process work?

When I’m working on a piece for my job (especially if it’s a new IP or concept), I do a ton of research. I make lists. I find out what makes that genre/category/brand/setting/historical period tick. And when I’ve thoroughly saturated myself with it, I set all of my notes aside and just dive in.

Even though I’ve read practically every Smurfs comic (in French) and seen many of the episodes, I still go back again and again to the characters to make sure I can nail their voices, and naturally just write how they would react in a given situation.

Once I start actually writing, I do 80% of my work in the first 20% of my time, and then I generally spend the rest of it editing and tweaking.

When I worked on Shrek’s Fairytale Kingdom (yes, really), I wrote more puns than I have ever written in my life. It was awesome. But to do that I had to make a lot of lists of related words, similar-sounding words and catchy idioms. Even the simplest form of comedy takes work.

However when I’m writing poetry or just writing for myself, I generally try to shove my brain out of the way for a while and get the words out. That’s where my real voice is. Me. And while it’s tough to spend as much time with my own voice as I do with the many characters I write for every day, it’s still well worth the time spent.

 

Okay, now it’s somebody else’s turn. Stay-tuned, I’m going to nominate two friends to pass this on!

Update: My friend Robert has now posted his response!