Hello everyone!

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Hello everyone!

Post by Samantha Lienhard on Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:57 am

Hello! I'm Samantha. I write in a variety of genres, but my specialties are horror, fantasy, and comedy. With that said, one of my stories here with Kellan Publishing is a romance!

I don't have any novels yet, although I have several I'm in the process of editing. Right now, my publications are limited to novella, short stories, and flash fiction. I'm currently in a graduate program for Writing Popular Fiction, which is as awesome as it sounds.

Outside of writing, I'm a big fan of video games. I'm even working on writing my own text-based game. I love video games, especially RPGs, survival horror, and the Ace Attorney series. Everyone should play Ace Attorney.

I hope to meet lots of my fellow authors here! Smile
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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:37 am

Hello Samantha, and welcome!
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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Frank Duarte on Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:58 pm

Hello and welcome.

Hey, I would say that videogames might have a great impact on your writing, am I right?
I ask because I myself am hugely influenced by them too. I've found that many of themes, albeit not exactly the logic, of the games I've played had left a huge impact in my own writing. Case and point, I find that the eeriness and take on the "Hero's Journey" employed by the old Bungie games are very much alive in everything I write.
What would be your biggest influence in this regard, if I might ask?

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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Samantha Lienhard on Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:14 pm

Frank Duarte wrote:Hello and welcome.

Hey, I would say that videogames might have a great impact on your writing, am I right?
I ask because I myself am hugely influenced by them too. I've found that many of themes, albeit not exactly the logic, of the games I've played had left a huge impact in my own writing. Case and point, I find that the eeriness and take on the "Hero's Journey" employed by the old Bungie games are very much alive in everything I write.
What would be your biggest influence in this regard, if I might ask?

Oh, definitely.

Hmm... That's an interesting question to think about. Since I do so much with video games, some influences are more indirect than others. For example, my most recent published short story, "Rokurokubi," is based on the yokai in Japanese mythology. The major reason I became interested in yokai was because the game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies had a case that dealt with yokai, and I looked them up after that. Reading the story itself, however, you'd never guess video games had anything to do with its inspiration... Others have more direct influences.

I think I'd say the video game with the most direct and widespread influence on my writing is Silent Hill. A lot of my horror is Lovecraftian, but the Silent Hill influence can be felt in a lot of it, too.

On the other hand, I seem to go in phases, and I've learned to just roll with the inspiration and let it take me where it will! Last month I wrote a 94,000 word novel for NaNoWriMo, a fantasy novel involving witch hunts. I never would have had the idea if I didn't play Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright.

Good to see I'm not the only writer here inspired by games! I've never played the older Bungie games, though. I discovered Bungie with Halo.
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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Frank Duarte on Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:39 pm

Most of us go in phases, or so I believe. I also had a very successful campaign this NaNo, managed to finish a 65.000-strong novel under the time limit, a first for me. I'll guess that also depends on how much you love the current story. Because you can't love all of your projects equially, some feel like the run-of-the mill story while others get you invested like nothing else.

I do see your point regarding the influence the video game might have on one's writing. I'd say that the influence of games like Marathon and Pathways into Darkness (as you I've also found Bungie through Halo, but found some freeware editions of some of the old games) has more to do with the general tropes and mythology than the games per se. If you fo reading stuff about the old Bungie games you see that they are ridden with symbology and self-consistent mysteries that gives them an almost dream-like quality. Very much like the old Silent Hill games, if I may say so myself.

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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Samantha Lienhard on Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:39 pm

Yes, that was really part of it. I loved writing this story, plus I started attending a daily chat with some other writers for writing sprints, and I was getting in 4k words a day.

Ah, I see.
One friend and I discussed how, thematically and structurally, survival horror games have a lot in common with ghost stories.
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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Frank Duarte on Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:04 pm

There you go. And, yes, staying in contact with other authors and exchanging ideas and evn helping out here and there is really a great incentive. One of the thing I've loved in this NaNo was the new friends I've made. That and finishing the story made verything worthwhile.

I do really like the point you've made. Actually, I do enjoy that concept that even videogames take a whole lot out of ancient methods of storytelling. If I may ask, could you please elaborate about the conclusion you've came to?

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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Samantha Lienhard on Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:27 pm

One of the greatest things was that it added structure. Most years, I'd just write here or there, whenever I found time or felt like it. By attending the chats, I was setting aside a couple of hours each day just for writing.

Well, it was a while ago, and it was more his theory than mine. The basic idea was that both traditional ghost stories and classic survival horror games involve rituals. These might be overt rituals (like in Fatal Frame or Silent Hill) or more indirect ones (taking items from one spot to another in Resident Evil can be considered ritualistic), but the ritual must be performed in order to overcome the darkness.
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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Frank Duarte on Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:37 pm

Ah, I see his point. I do agree with it, although I had the idea that he was talking about it in regards to the meta game itself. I mean, the implicit ritual is indeed an important part of both venues, but I'd say: have you thought about the explicit ritual in there?
On a wider sense you can compare a videogame to the act of play itself. Play, one should notice, is a ritual. What this means is that once you engage in the act of playing, you assume you're working under a very solid set of rules which have little to nothing to do with those under which you work in the “real world”. This separation between the real and the ritual is delimited by what anthropologists call the “magic circle”. For example, the magic circle in a videogame can be the space between loading screen and the quit menu, inside which you assume as working within the rules established by the game (ie, in Counter-Strike, for example, you have to stop the bombing or make it happen accordingly with your team).
Now, horror games do take this approach in a more extreme way, because of the way they work. They also work the ritual on different levels. Let's take Amnesia: the Dark Descent as an example. For starters, you need to accept that the fake world inside the circle has a level of reality close to that of the real world. This means that you must accept the threat within the game as real, in spite of knowing that it isn't. So the first level of ritual engagement is the acceptance of feigned danger as real, and that you are not longer yourself but the avatar you're controlling. This has parallels with what you might find in other games, and is called immersion. The more well-made a game is the greater is the immersion and the importance the person gives to the experience therein.
On a second level is the ritual implicit to the experience itself. Above all things, a game exists to be won, to reach the ending, and in most horror games, to survive. This emulates some deeply-rooted instincts, and the act of reaching the end of a videogame, especially one that can become as emotional as a horror one, is seen but people who research human behavior as a deeply cathartic experience.
On a deeper level we have what you've talked about. The ritual within the ritual. In Amnesia's case (and this ain't no spoiler) it is to kill the villain. You do this by overcoming a series of obstacles, each one proving your capacity to completing the ritual. This may also include the performing of rituals of some sort, like cutting your hand to activate a gate.
Of course, each time you quit the game, you'll be walking out of the magical circle within which all of this happens, going back to the real world.
Interestingly enough, this logic can and must be applied to written stories too.

Uff, hope I didn't bore you with that overlong explanation. Very Happy

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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Samantha Lienhard on Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:54 pm

Interesting concept! I'm afraid that's a bit deeper than I usually think about playing video games. Razz
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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Frank Duarte on Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:56 pm

When talking to me you'll need to have in mind that I overthink everything. Very Happy

That comes with the territory when you study anthropology.

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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Samantha Lienhard on Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:52 pm

Ah, hehe, I see.
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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by joeywillisauthor on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:12 am

Hi everyone. My name is Joey Willis and I have a novel coming out with Kellan later this year. It is my first and I am beyond excited! Best of luck to all of you!

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Re: Hello everyone!

Post by Frank Duarte on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:18 am

Congrats Joey!

It's always a great event to have a novel published. Smile

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Re: Hello everyone!

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