Memory Lane Challenge

Hi guys! I was nominated for this fun award/challenge by the amazing CathyTea! Her stories are always so profound and happy and make me see the world in a much brighter light. Here is her post. I know I know, I’m super late with this. I’m sorry. But I wanted to really take some time to think about what I was going to write here. And then I forgot about it for a while. And then I remembered again. So… um… let’s get to it now! Here is how the challenge works:

  1. Congratulations! You’ve been nominated for a totally legit award. Get a gold star and stick it on your forehead like a boss.
  2. Share FIVE of your favourite moments from your legacy/challenge/story so far.
  3. Nominate 3-5 blogs to do the same. (I’m not tagging anyone, but feel free to do this if you want.)

First of all, I decided to do this for Tango only for clarity’s sake. Maybe one day I’ll do this for my other stories too. But now I chose Tango because I had just finished its first big story arc when I got the nomination, so I figured it would be a good time to look back to it. A fair warning: this will be a bit wordy and it’ll have a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff.

Here we go:

1. The Beginning

Of course, the beginning will always be special. It’s the time of extra nervousness and so much promise and ideas. What if the others don’t like my story? What if it’ll fall apart before it even properly begins? Man, I’ve got so many ideasIwanttowritethemalldown! I like this idea so much, I really hope I don’t mess this up. Those are the kinds of thoughts that tend to fly around in my head when I start a new story. That mess of emotions alone is what makes starting things memorable to me. But for Tango, it had a bit of extra meaning. At least that’s how I feel.

It sort of started in early spring in 2015, when my favourite author, Sir Terry Pratchett, sadly passed away. To quietly honour him I decided to spontaneously start a new writing project. You know, to write something as a sign of appreciating creativity and letting myself be inspired by Sir Pterry. And since April’s Camp NaNoWriMo was pretty close to starting, I decided I’d write a fantasy detective story during April. And in that story, I wrote my version of Death… not for the first time, I’m sure, but for the first time in a form I wanted to explore further. Then, not long after, the idea of having Death living with a mortal was born, and I got way too carried away with it right from the start.

I took my first screenshots months before I posted the actual first chapter, and it was very different back then in many ways. Tad looked a bit different, Amelia was older, and the main setting was going to be Bridgeport, for example. No, really:

Screenshot-2462

I had the core themes, the two main characters as well as the visual and narrative styles pretty well decided right away. I had almost no idea about the story, though, so I let the whole story grow and gestate for a while. And eventually, it was time to take the leap and put the first chapter out here.

I was especially excited to start Tango, because it was everything I personally wanted out of a story I would write. Fantasy, adventure, quirkiness, sombre moments and themes, and anthropomorphic personifications and other odd characters I love to explore. But I was also extra worried, because I had no idea if anyone would like this. It was a bit out there as a Sims story, I figured. But I also figured, hey, who cares? There are SO MANY kinds of Sims stories out there, so I’ll just throw in what I want and see who sticks to it.

So I did. And here we are.

2. Novak, Meet Death

It’s a bit funny, but Novak is sort of the most developed Sim in this story, since he’s the only adult character in this story whom I’ve played from childhood. I used him and his family as a sort of tester family to get a feel of the new EPs I bought while I was planning the story. So yes, he does have a very defined backstory even though he’d never tell it to you. So have a couple of vague pics of him as a kid and as a teen:

Screenshot-3233Screenshot-3279

But those are not why I brought this up, really. My actual pick is the hilarious moment that happened when I was testing out University Life, and Novak had some time to kill in between his final exams. And he had a megaphone in his inventory. And I had absolutely no idea what would happen if I chose to make him rant about death.

Screenshot-3305

So yeah. It was hilarious. ESPECIALLY since he was very late from his exam because he had to spend several moments DEAD, and apparently the university doesn’t see dying as a good enough excuse to miss tests, so he ended up failing the course. Ah, good times.

So now you know the real reason why Novak thought Death was a jerk when he first met him in the story. 😀

3. Ghost of a Chance

Have you guys read ra3rei’s wonderful Ambrosia Challenge -story called Ghost of a Chance? If not, then what are you still doing here? Go read it, it’s great! I had fallen in love with this story from the first chapter, and so I was shocked and surprised and thrilled when rae asked me if I’d let Tad cameo in her story. I said yes, and I was so, so excited. It was the first time anyone had wanted to do any kind of collaboration like that in the Sims with me! And that cameo inspired me to make the Death Flower both a character-development symbol and a plot point, so it was all kinds of helpful! I still remember how I walked around my apartment for quite a while because I couldn’t sit nor stand still because of my excitement.

Thank you again, ra3rei!

4. Ley Lines

Screenshot-709 (2)

When I realised I had just made readers anticipate meetings with quirky supernatural characters, I had a moment of panic when I also realised that oh, crap! I actually have to make up characters! Before the Ley Line Nexus was introduced, I only had the idea for the four main characters (Amelia, Tad, Vanja and Novak) and some side people, like Amelia’s mum. But now I had to start making new ones because I realised it wouldn’t be enough.

And… it was surprisingly easy. And it was very easy to fall in love with playing the Nexus -household. I was so happy I had forced myself to somewhat hastily add them to my story, and they started the trend of “semi-spontaneously coming up with characters while at school or biking etc.”… okay so maybe I had also used that method for the main characters too, but they were much less spur-of-the-moment than some of the Nexus people were.

5. When it all Comes Together

This may sound generic and boring, if you guys were looking for interesting details and stuff. But I guess I am boring, so I’ll just say that I love those moments when the loose threads in the story come together after such a long time of trying to make things work, and when I realise how I can make it all (okay, some of it) make sense. Like when I realised how important it would be to make Emily into a main character. Or when the Death Flower became an important, recurring item. Or when I realised that “the one” for Amelia would be… oops! Spoilers, almost. 😀

It’s always a treat when it happens. When I feel like what I’m doing isn’t a complete mess.

…And last but not least, my favourite thing about writing this story are all the people I’ve talked with, the great conversations we’ve had. And the lovely support you guys have given me. I’m always so honoured and baffled about the love this story has got. You’re awesome and too kind. Thank you.

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5 thoughts on “Memory Lane Challenge

  1. You are so not a boring writer or person. 🙂 I love what you wrote. It was lovely to hear your insights and your experiences as you prepared to and wrote Tango. Personally, I’m glad you went with the Tad we all know and love, and a younger Amelia, but I suppose if you had written them a different way, I would have loved them equally as much. The tidbits on Novak were awesome, and I think it’s amazing that Novak “ranted about death.” 😉 He is one of my favorite characters. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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