How I got into video game writing, and how you can, too

A person handing you a video game controller.
A person handing you a video game controller.
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

The dream: to be a lead writer for video games, to craft the worlds and stories people can’t stop talking about, to escape into my own head and get paid for it. I thank Drew Karpyshyn for this. When I learned that he wrote some of my favorite games (Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic) and some of my favorite books (the Darth Bane Trilogy), I realized that I didn’t have to write in a single medium. I could write trilogies while orchestrating the politics of an MMORPG.

Since that epiphany, I’ve worked on a couple projects. …

Three key avenues to building lasting connections

Woman lounging on a couch, popping bubble gum.
Woman lounging on a couch, popping bubble gum.
Photo by Jason Yoder on Unsplash

The world is digitizing at an unprecedented rate, and luckily this means you have more opportunities than ever to network without leaving your living room. No expensive plane tickets. No worrying about which shoes go best with your outfit. No scrounging Google Maps for a new route to your destination because the subway broke down and you’re already late and why the hell didn’t you plan for this and leave half an hour sooner?!

Networking can feel like a chore even for writers who have been around the block a couple times or have carved out their nook in the community. For writers new to the scene, the task can be daunting. But becoming part of the writing community is one of the best ways to grow as a writer. …

Here’s how I erased $14,000 without jailing my wanderlust.

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Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

Are you one of the millions upon millions with outstanding student loans?

I was.

And do you cringe just thinking about the balance or how to regulate payments?

Because I sure did. Answering these questions myself is what made me stop hesitating over publishing this piece.

Born and raised in Canada, it may have been the maple syrup running through my veins that compelled me to stay in the country for post-secondary. I ate up a four-year university degree, and gained more debt than I knew what to do with. The feeling of success that came with graduation vanished with that first notice about repaying my student loans. …

I didn’t mean to promote uncensored sex, I swear

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I know I’m laughing and it looks like I’m enjoying this (I am) but I swear I am but an innocent party to this scandalous turn of events. Hear me out.

I took a trip down memory lane, looking into old projects, digging around for nuggets to integrate into a startup application. What I discovered was porn. And that’s not the industry I work in.

Turns out a video game I had worked on—but faded out of production — had its website re-appropriated for Chinese porn. So my business website linked out to that instead of a page describing an action game. …

Here’s how I fared

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Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash

After months of being deprived of events I had enough. Copenhell: canceled. Game Developers Conference: canceled. Writers Digest Conference (WDC): pushed to November and made virtual. It’s not just leisure that’s been postponed, but personal and professional development, networking, and expanding our human horizons. Large-scale events like these are healthy. They provide us with escapes from routine, lifelong memories, and lessons we can wear like badges on our chests.

The virtual WDC remains tempting, but it’s expensive and I’m itching for something now. I can only tolerate so many shattered summer shenanigans before I need to take matters into my own hands. And so this past weekend I held the first (monthly, annual?) …

The digital platforms that keep us growing as successful writers

Photo of a human eye looking into the camera.
Photo of a human eye looking into the camera.
Photo by Angelos Michalopoulos on Unsplash

One of the most important things you can do as a writer is to connect with other writers

But sometimes this isn’t so easy. You might live in a small town without any writers’ club, have few hours leftover from juggling work and life-ing, or need to scratch that writers’ convention off your calendar thanks to a certain unwelcome guest going by the name Corona.

At the same time, you may not have the energy to engage with another writer one-on-one, let alone stay focused during a group video call. I’m not always up to it. I need time to recharge. I need time away from social media.

But I also recognize the necessity to stay tethered to the writer’s world, to be inspired, and to learn about my craft. This is part of the job of the writer. So I’m going to share with you 6 YouTube channels that help scratch that ‘socializing with other writers’ itch. The best part is that you can be as passive or as active in the conversation as you like. …

Strategies of a seasoned remote worker and digital nomad

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Photo by kike vega on Unsplash

Not all of us want to work from home, and being forced to do so thanks to this pandemic? My heart goes out to all those struggling with the transition. Few home environments make ideal workspaces, especially if pets or children have free reign of the home during the day. You’re now invading their turf, breaking their rules, cramping their style.

Has your job moved your desk to your living room or have you taken the dive into entrepreneurship? Yeah, the change is like swapping quality espresso for cheap instant coffee.

Of course, still having some sort of income (or at least a path to commit to) makes us the lucky ones. And so we need to work with what we’ve got and soldier on. …

Contemporary flash fiction, set in Japan.

Aerial view of people crossing a black-and-white crosswalk.
Aerial view of people crossing a black-and-white crosswalk.
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

The morning unfolds like every other. I take a moment for myself, then, just three minutes before the work day officially begins, I enter the staffroom through a sliver in the sliding door. I announce my arrival as etiquette would have me, but all I get in return are two grumbles of half-greeting out of a room of three dozen.

The woman who sits beside me, and who I teach the 7th grade English class with, doesn’t even nod to me when I repeat my cheery “ohayou gozaimasu” to her. This non-response is her usual response. …

A snapshot sci-fi story I wrote 5 years ago; feels less sci-fi than it should…

Some say we lost control when the fourth industrial revolution really kicked off, which was once we started realizing the veracity of what was going on and how screwed we were. Automated systems or drones didn’t emit over a million microbes each hour like we did. They didn’t catch and hold onto the new, dangerous ones like we did. Their practicality came from the fact that they were immune to PrionK12 and its consequences, just like nature had somehow designed me to be.

Policy makers and government officials advertised our replacements — strictly temporary — as the only means to procure our future and restore control. Naive and idealist. …

Our date in Berlin, re-inventing brunch

Brunch spread: bowls of yogurt and fruit, waffles, jar of honey.
Brunch spread: bowls of yogurt and fruit, waffles, jar of honey.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Going out to eat, enjoying the city, traveling just to eat everything. Opening hours remain uncertain in some parts. And even if it might rain we prioritize outdoor seating and tables that are 1.5 meters apart. We can’t explore like we used to, and some regions remain in full-on lockdown.

But parts of the world are beginning to breathe again, and with that comes some space to try new food or relish in all-time favorites.

Things may have changed, but my stomach roars on.

I can only watch so much Binging with Babish on YouTube before my tummy is screaming at me and my brain is whirling as it imagines layers of umami and novel combinations of spices. …


Salted Korramel

I’m Korra, academic copy editor, fiction writer, and unabashed foodie. Connect with me on Twitter!

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