About eight years back, I was sitting in the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, Missouri. I was at the beginning of my career, at a monthly writers group, populated by some of the most creative people I'd ever met.
And man, did I feel stupid.
They were tossing around classic works of literature, written by names I'd never heard of.
I'd heard of him. Yes. Now I don't feel so stupid anymore.
Soon the group was asking me; if I haven't read all of these classics, or heard of these authors, then where was I getting my inspirations? One must read in order to write, right?
And while I did delve into the classics, my inspirations for storytelling came from a most unusual source.
I grew up at the birth of gaming and the multimedia that followed. I didn't just play Yars Revenge on the Atari 2600,my parents bought me the accompanying LP. Destroying the Quotile wasn't about running up the score; it was about settling the score, ensuring this monster would never wipe out another world.
Capcom's Final Fight was family time, my sister and I tearing through the Mad Gear gang to get Jessica back. Kidnapping her was wrong. We had to set it right. As a kid, I used to fashion all kinds of stories for the games I played. If it didn't have a story (Space Invaders) I'd make one up. Simply doing it wasn't enough. There had to be a reason for what was going on, and I wanted to be involved in that reason.
Street Fighter II changed everything. This game, this larger than life display of lights and sound and overcomplicated controls was made maddening by a simple phrase;
"You Must Defeat Sheng Long To Stand A Chance."
|"Who The Hell Is Sheng Long?!"|
I didn't know who he was or what he was about or anything. I always thought my defeated opponent was saying that to me. So I figured that I was playing this game, hoping to meet the elusive, enigmatic Sheng Long and at last, get the ending to this game.
Yeah, that didn't happen.
I was enraged. How could this epic title have absolutely no story to speak of? I give a damn about beating M. Bison. BRING ME SHENG LONG!
My mind refused to accept this, and I wrote story after story of utter crap (Street Fighter III: The Arts Master will never see the light of day) as I tried to somehow reconcile all of these wonderful characters into a world that made sense.
But it threw a chink into my writing. Who could I relate too? Who would read the work written by a guy who's favorite reads were basically marketing schemes for old NES games?
|My First Foray into Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear Universe. Good Read!|
What's a writer who doesn't read?
CLICK TO TWEET: What's A Writer Who Doesn't Read?
Years passed, and a lot of time would be wasted before I got the message.
I stopped waiting for permission and began writing.
I wrote a bevy of free shorts, some of which led to my first real novel. My second short story reached the top of one of Amazon's charts and hung there for a little while.
It turns out I'm extremely particular about the fiction I read (I'm partial to Brad Meltzer) and I read a ton of how-to books. I also support indies, not because I know them but because they write captivating stuff.
CLICK TO TWEET: It doesn't matter what inspires you. Act on it.
It doesn't matter what inspires you. What matters is that you act on it.
So my name is Avery K Tingle, and I am the Gamer Author. And I'm okay with this.
Thanks for reading.
Still have no idea who Faulkner is.