Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Sleepers Awaken

So, while we're reading and judging and waiting for contest results... some thoughts on the contest so far.  We received 101 new, original works of EVE fiction.  To put that into perspective:  Consider that each one of those 101 works is an entirely original work, by somebody who might be an active EVE player first, and a writer second.  Or a brand-new neophyte to telling a story in written-word format.  Either way, an individual putting a little or a lot of his/her soul into creating something from zero, and his/her talent, skill and ego open to view and criticism by the whole vaguely envisioned population of the viewing world.  Launching a story into the unknown, to fare as best it can in a PVP zone against opponents/writer colleagues of unknowable quality, in unknowable quantities.  A story produced within tight word count limits, so that what might have been dreamed up as an episodic story, or with introductions, scene paintings, and other complexities, had to be reduced to a swiftly and economically paced short narrative.  Or conversely, something more involved was rejected, and instead an overheated module snapshot of a work was envisioned, captured, and slammed.  

In any event, from what I've seen so far, people did it, and did it well.  I've always theorized that EVE Online players are the most sophisticated MMO players there are.  Like, they play EVE because the game and the community are the only things around that are as sophisticated as they are.  I don't know if that theory's correct, but I know that the stories so far have been surprising in their level of sophistication.  I haven't read enough 'fan fiction' to know, but I wouldn't call this that.  I'd call it writing, and crafting, and storytelling, with pretty finely-tuned  awareness of the audience sitting around there in the crowd.  Well done mates, and many more yet to be read....

OK, and then I'd say:  Writers, while you're waiting for judging, take a moment to hansei.  That's a Japanese word that just means to stop for an adequate amount of time to really stop and really relax and stop; and to reflect.  The thing to be reflected on is:  I wrote something.  I'm proud of it, enough to publish it to the world.  I hope people agree with me that it's good.  Yeah, I have doubts about a couple of things that might fly or might not fly.  I can't read minds, I'm floating it and hoping for the best.  So I hope some smart fellow person will read it and tell me what they think.  Good, bad, whatever-- it's better than having it drop into a no-response internet corner void!  Probably everybody else who submitted a story feels just like me.  So, the thing I'd hope people do hansei reflection on is:  Damn, how do we keep this going?  What little organizational/administrative things have to happen to keep me and other people writing?  And maybe more than that, reading what's been written, and sharing and commenting?

OK, so the title of this post is "The Sleepers Awaken."  Not those those fast-moving red crosses in a wormhole site-- you and me, the writers, the readers, and the writer/reader/commenters.  I'm going to be thinking how to have a unified place for all of us to comment on the works we've done so far.  But that's truly weak compared to farming the idea work out to all of you thinking people.  We have more good stories than we have prizes this time.  : [  Why not write more, write better, take it from hesitant tries, to smugly popping the reader's eyes open and leading him/her to the glorious end of the trail?  Here's hoping we throw a little energy in, discuss, and keep creating.  Entropy is a silent and sad sucker.  But it can be defeated by just a little energy thrown in to maintain momentum.  I know we're still in the entries judging stage for this one.  But that just means you all have more time to think about the next excellent thing we can do.  
07! mates


  1. Absolutely! I submitted two stories of my own just to see how they fared against the others submitted. After reading all the entries I have to say the talent level for telling stories in the EVE community is far, far from lacking. Some of the best fan fiction I've ever had the pleasure to read came from this contest. I could care less whether my stories even place in the top ten. This contest got the creative juices out there flowing and I certainly hope you all keep writing. It was a pleasure to see such works from this community!

  2. Thanks for organizing and being the "faceman" for this TS! It was fun to take ideas that have been churning through my head and forcing them down on paper (so to speak). Looking forward to the next time!

    Random McNally

  3. Agreed. Its been a lot of fun. What I'd suggest is that CCP set up a system for allowing writers to continue on this. Obviously there has to be a screening process. But may be they say to a writer "How about writing on X" or "develop Y" Or a writer says "I'd like to do Z" I think it needs some encouragement but I'd be happy to take part.

    Madouc d'Gamdis

    1. That's an interesting idea, about writers taking assignments on specific topics. CCP's Mercury, which is a division of the ISD Volunteer program, has writers who take writing assignments. I'm not sure exactly what they write about, but I think it includes writing EVElopedia entries, descriptions for in-game items, that kind of stuff. And probably the news items found on the Communications page. http://community.eveonline.com/news.asp Our contest judge CCP Eterne came out of Mercury, so he could give you more details. Here's the link to Mercury's page if anyone is interested. (http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/ISD_Mercury)

  4. Does this contest have to be a one time thing? Why not make it either an annual or semi-annual. Could even make it more challenging by giving say more Specifications such as: write a comedy in New Eden, or write a story that includes the following subject. Keep the categories you have as free form and then maybe include some theme categories. Up to you, its all food for thought. But would like to see this contest happen again and soon. In a perfect world I'd like to see it be Quarterly, but I'd be happy with a Semi-annual. For a semi-annual I'd be more than happy to kick in isk prizes.

    Ren K.

  5. Let's create a new blog post for this topic. The comments and replies don't show up very well, and want to give the topic as much opportunity for discussion as possible.


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