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The Art of Sims Storytelling

Comments

  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    @CathyTea I love you a lot forever, okay? *hugs*

    I think you're not the only person to do that. It's understandable, considering how much I've written about Seth and how much I love him and how all my Sims 3 stuff is so focused on him. But actually for me that's part of the appeal of Surreal Darkness - it's a break from writing Seth and it's way more emotionally healthy and the main relationship actually becomes healthier over time, as opposed to Seth and Sarah's relationship.

    Yeah, the Granite Falls bit is so important that it's my avatar and sig. ;) And it's also a major part of why it is still a Sims story and still very much informed by the game despite being only scenery pics - I couldn't have come up with that without the edges of the maps being the way they are.

    How I was thinking when I wrote it was...okay, like the story is very much set in the Sims game. And all the different worlds and towns are different universes. They wink in and out because people open and close the game, play in different worlds, delete files, etc. The narrator starts out as a Sim in Midnight Hollow, and then the narrator becomes a bit more aware and conscious than other Sims. The black is the creative ground, the space that all the worlds come from. When the story starts, the only beings who can create the universes from the black are EA and players.

    But a small bit of the black notices that this Sim in Midnight Hollow seems more aware and conscious than other Sims, so it becomes curious and follows the Sim home. As it learns about this conscious Sim, it becomes more conscious and individuated itself. It also gets attached to this Sim and it doesn't want the Sim to disappear when the player shuts down the game or opens a new save file in a different world or, you know, abandons Sims 3 for the most part and moves to Sims 4. So it tries to make its own world out of the black for the Sim to live in, and the result is Granite Falls. But the Sim notices that the world isn't real, because the Sim is also becoming more and more conscious as it interacts with the darkness and also since it ate the apple in the garden of knowledge and ignorance. ;)

    And then of course the Sim starts trying to make its own worlds, which it's not too great at that yet, but it does seem to be able to survive walking the black between the universes now. Which maybe....maybe that's where the idea that the narrator is Seth could come from, because Seth is the one Sim that I'd always play in any world and the first thing I did with Sims 4 was to make a Sims 4 version of him. And actually someone else once downloaded Seth and told me that it felt like he was a real person among all the other Sims.

    I'm glad you can share in the narrator's thoughts and experiences. :) And I like your explanation of how you do that.

    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 23,047 Member
    @MedleyMisty Oh! This is about game-awareness and a game aware Sim! ****MindBlown****
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • Nory_05Nory_05 Posts: 355 Member
    edited November 2015
    Hey Guys,

    How are you on this lovely Sunday morning? :) I'm again late to the party, as usual. I love this topic! Just read all the comments so far, and man, it's nice to hang around with like minded people who wouldn't consider me a loony for writing stories about sims :D

    So first of all i'm gonna answer these questions...

    Do you have any preconceptions about how SimLit is supposed to be? Or did you used to have some, but you've grown past them as you've read and written more Sims stories?
    I only discovered that sim stories are a thing around december 2014. Yes, late to that party too :D Anyway, at that point I saw that most of the stories i found were legacies, so my preconceptions were that most sim stories are either a legacy, or based on some other challenge with rules, and not so much story driven. The first i read was called Queen of the Dragons, and it had some cool supernatural elements, and really nice picutres.


    If you did have any preconceptions, how did they affect your writing and reading?
    Well, not really. Although i knew straight away that i don't want to write a legacy story. I just got back into the game after a very long break, and i had this idea of this girl i wanted to write about. I was a bit wary because it was not a legacy. I read some personal stories on reddit about people who are childfree, and that sometimes they get harrassed/mocked/pestered, and therefore my first sim story (Abbie's Diary) was written as a blog from the perspective of Abbie, who is adamantly childfree.
    In terms of reading stories, i don't like reading legacies where there is no plot. I scroll through them sometimes and check out the pictures because they are often nice, but i don't feel inclined to read something where nothing actually happens. And i'm not talking about the stories about mundane everyday things. I actually like those, because they can still have an actual story!

    Are there any stories in particular that made you realize that Sims stories could be more than what you thought they could be?
    Oh, yes, i found these soon after i started writing Abbie's blog!
    One of my first favs was "Tales fromTouperdou". I pretty much binge read it :D
    Now that i found this writer forum here i suddenly discovered many more and my reading list pretty much doubled.

    How does the game influence your work?
    I must say, in my detective stories (Regrets, Mistakes) it doesn't at all! I actually write the story first, and then "illustrate" it.
    I had this idea of this story about two detectives, and i wanted to make it happen no matter what :D The limitations of the game are way too restrictive, so i mainly just use it for picture taking purposes. My two characters are actually doing the police career in game, but that's about it! When i need extras for my scene i usually just "recruit" townies :D Side characters who are important, are created by me, specifically for the story...

    My first story was more game driven. I would play, and imagine what would i write about, let my sim loose... But that was the sort of story that let this happen. I'm planning to go back to this approach in the future for some of the stories i'm still planning to write.

    What kind of relationship (or whatever you want to call it) is there between the text and pictures in your Sims stories? And yes, you can answer this even if there is no text or no pics in your story as well. That's a relationship too.

    I use the pictures to enhance the story. I first write my chapters in a word doc, and there are no pictures at all. It would still be ok to read like that as the pictures don't have anything additional that is not mentioned in writing.

    In my first story i sometimes added speech bubbles and captions to the pictures, because it was kind of a funny story. My current one is different, so after i wrote my chapter, i go in game and pretty much just pose them in different locations that will illustrate the story. I spend a lot of time on building sets, creating rooms/offices/coffee shops. That's part of the charm for me though. Recently most of my pictures are screenshots of the characters interacting, not really action packed. But there will be those too, once the story gets to those parts.
    Post edited by Nory_05 on
    My sim stories:
    Regrets (Finished)
    Abbie's Diary (Finished)
    Mistakes

  • Nory_05Nory_05 Posts: 355 Member
    InfraGreen wrote: »
    I told myself that I could excise all of the "mundane" chapters from my story, but I'll admit, a lot of my chapters first come to my mind with a simple event I want to happen, and weaving into everything else that is happening in the story. Though my favorites start out with thinking of a mundane event, but adding something gross and/or intense for the sake of contrast. Renew wedding vows after your friend kills himself, get assaulted at a normal funeral, putting undertones of child abuse in a chapter about kids running away, almost getting shot when going out for cookies, etc.

    But anyways, unless your story is entirely event-driven, I think those moments need to happen. At least I have trouble making character introspection happen at intense times. Closest is that they happen at quiet times right before the storm. I think that SimLit has helped me appreciate those moments in other media too. Nothing wrong with taking a breath.

    @InfraGreen I think you found the right balance with this! If the character don't get the chance to just sit and do nothing for a while, it gets overwhelming.
    I'm still battling with this a little bit. Sometimes i think "do the readers really need to know that Kate was reading a book, or that she's stuffing almond croissant in her face?", but thenk i realise they probably do, because tells what sort of person she is. Not everyone would read a book at 7am on a Sunday morning and enjoy it.




    Though in retrospect, after seeing all the other SimLit out there, now I look back at my own stories and can only see myself as "doing them wrong." My word counts are very low compared to everyone else. I tend to screencap and then write around what happens rather than the other way around, composing and then going into game to get the imagery, which seems to be the standard, so now I've become really critical of myself when I hadn't been before. When I started, I didn't really think of there being any "right or wrong" way of doing things, but now I feel like my eyes have been opened and I'm "doing things all wrong," heh.

    @mastressalita I don't think it's wrong or right! For me when i read stories it's never about the word count. If a chapter/post is 300 words, but it's badly written, or dull, i won't be tempted to read further. On the other hand if the story / writing peaks my interest, i will read it no matter how long.
    But for me this is the same with actual literature and books too. The content matters, not how long/short it is.
    I think, of recent, I've read a lot of TS3 stories that are obviously the product of heavy pose-mods, and I started reading about a lot more authors writing their chapters before going into game, so I started thinking that was a more prevalent method... I guess it is a bit of a comfort to hear there are quite a few folks that actually do let the game have quite a bit of control and do their writing second to the gaming. All these stories have been quite interesting. ^_^

    I used both methods!
    But i felt that my two detective stories are so much plot driven, that i had to write out first what is going to happen. Mostly so i can cross reference myself and not make weird plot holes.
    I also got a bit zealous about controlling everything... :D Like for example the clothes my characters wear. I made little notes on my story regarding on what date and time we are in. (The first picture of my story actually tells the date/time where the chapter starts). So I dress my characters in different clothes every day. Therefore i had to keep track of which chapter i'm taking pictures for. It got so confusing even for me, that now i only take pictures for one chapter at a time, and in chronological order, so i don't end up mixing them all up :D

    In my first story it was different. I mostly played first, took pictures, and only changed their clothes when the season changed. Although that story covered approximately 20 years of that person's life, vs. my current story that coveres about 1 week or 1 month.
    My sim stories:
    Regrets (Finished)
    Abbie's Diary (Finished)
    Mistakes

  • PsychoSimXXPsychoSimXX Posts: 4,403 Member
    edited November 2015
    @CathyTea @CitizenErased14 @InfraGreen

    When I started writing my story, I did have some flashbacks. Then my daughter and I started binge watching Naruto from the VERY beginning to Shippuden in which the current string of fillers are being aired. I got so sick of flashbacks and fillers that I took them out when I had to rewrite the story. (Did system reboot instead of refresh and lost everything)

    Not every story needs flashbacks but some fillers are needed for character development. I know it isn't needed for every character. My favorite characters is some of the things I read and different shows NEVER had any. Their supporting so strong character development isn't necessary. Yet however their role in the story is highly pivotal that the mystery behind them is perfect. (Shougo Makishima from Psycho-Pass comes to mind here. (Sorry been watching a TON of anime with my daughter as of late so forgive the amine references...lol)

    The only character in my story that I feel that really needs the fillers, is the main character. While the story it's self is pushing the pg-13 limits with how he copes I feel that there can't be too much mystery behind him in some aspects. This is due because he does have a lot mystery behind him already. Shinya I find the hardest for character development because of the things he going to have to endue before he even finds out who he really is. Also, I want the readers to love him, then feel sorry for him and hate him before falling in love with him again. IDK I could be putting too much pressure on my self because he is based off of some important people I knew in my life, along with some of the people I have grown attached to in my line of work in the medical field. Except he isn't going to die. My way of giving these people the happy ending they deserved in life.

    Another problem I have is that I tend to give out too much information and analyze things WAY too much. This is due to my line of work. I have just grown accustom to stating every tiny little detail because that is what I have to do for work. I discovered this when my daughter and started writing fanfics together. So knowing that has become a developed habit with many aspects in my life, it something I have myself have to work around.

    I have thought of starting the story with a prelude but the one that keeps coming to mind is so far into the story that I am not sure how to keep it in the readers mind. There are characters in the story that I want to toss in every now and then but keep a HUGE mystery until their roles are vital to the story. Just not sure on how to go about it. These people watch him because if he is to ever find out who he is their lives will forever change and not for the good. He isn't going to have magical powers or anything like that. He was supposed to be killed as baby along with his parents but he survived and was hidden away to protect him. So I know I want to toss these people in there from time to time just to make the readers think "Who are these people and why is Shinya so important to them?" OOOO I could start the story off with the murder!!!!! Never thought of that until just now!!! Not really a flashback but a little back story of none existent characters who are important. Hmmmm


    Follow me on Twitter


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    Peace, Love, and Unity.

    `•.,¸¸,.•´¯ ¯`•.,¸¸,.•´
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,187 Member
    edited November 2015
    @AdamsEve1231 @Nory_05 I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought SimLit was "supposed" to be lighthearted/fun and/or a legacy or challenge! Made me feel so strange having a serious, plot-driven story at first. I think maybe it's because the less-serious and/or challenge-based stories tend to be what's most popular?

    I tried to never take I personally -- I think most people are expecting something a bit more game-driven when they read SimLit. I was always thinking to myself "if they wanted something serious or deep, they'd pick up a novel!" Haha obviously I know that's not true for EVERYONE, but there are definitely people out there who feel that way, which is fine! But can maybe be a bit of an obstacle when trying to gain a readership, I think.

    I have decided to branch out a bit for future projects, I must say. My newer story is still plot-driven, but light-hearted and in January I will be trying a legacy challenge :) This will be interesting for me :tongue:
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  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,187 Member
    @GoddessSims Your prelude idea sounds great for getting readers hooked! A murder would be exciting and interesting :)
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  • PsychoSimXXPsychoSimXX Posts: 4,403 Member
    @CitizenErased14 I am going with that! Some of the best things I have read started with something big!


    Follow me on Twitter


    Check out my Gallery


    Peace, Love, and Unity.

    `•.,¸¸,.•´¯ ¯`•.,¸¸,.•´
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    @AdamsEve1231 @Nory_05 I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought SimLit was "supposed" to be lighthearted/fun and/or a legacy or challenge! Made me feel so strange having a serious, plot-driven story at first. I think maybe it's because the less-serious and/or challenge-based stories tend to be what's most popular?

    I tried to never take I personally -- I think most people are expecting something a bit more game-driven when they read SimLit. I was always thinking to myself "if they wanted something serious or deep, they'd pick up a novel!" Haha obviously I know that's not true for EVERYONE, but there are definitely people out there who feel that way, which is fine! But can maybe be a bit of an obstacle when trying to gain a readership, I think.

    I have decided to branch out a bit for future projects, I must say. My newer story is still plot-driven, but light-hearted and in January I will be trying a legacy challenge :) This will be interesting for me :tongue:

    I've never understood why you'd want to read something that wasn't "serious" or "deep", myself. I know it happens because I read about it when I google about why humans do what they do, but I just can't identify with it.

    I guess - for me it's like "If I wanted to write something trite and cheap that I didn't actually like or care about, I'd be writing text-only novels for money."
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,187 Member
    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought SimLit was "supposed" to be lighthearted/fun and/or a legacy or challenge! Made me feel so strange having a serious, plot-driven story at first. I think maybe it's because the less-serious and/or challenge-based stories tend to be what's most popular?

    I tried to never take I personally -- I think most people are expecting something a bit more game-driven when they read SimLit. I was always thinking to myself "if they wanted something serious or deep, they'd pick up a novel!" Haha obviously I know that's not true for EVERYONE, but there are definitely people out there who feel that way, which is fine! But can maybe be a bit of an obstacle when trying to gain a readership, I think.

    I have decided to branch out a bit for future projects, I must say. My newer story is still plot-driven, but light-hearted and in January I will be trying a legacy challenge :) This will be interesting for me :tongue:

    I've never understood why you'd want to read something that wasn't "serious" or "deep", myself. I know it happens because I read about it when I google about why humans do what they do, but I just can't identify with it.

    I guess - for me it's like "If I wanted to write something trite and cheap that I didn't actually like or care about, I'd be writing text-only novels for money."

    Well, I know for me, it's about entertainment. I'm not huge on comedy movies (usually because the humor is so "cheap" haha) but I enjoy reading lighthearted/amusing stories too. If your story is funny and entertaining and catches my attention, I will read it! Everyone needs a good laugh now and then, I think :) (just my take on it!)

    I prefer serious stuff, but I enjoy lighter things too! I also prefer WRITING serious stuff, but enjoy lighter as well! That's part of why I'm going with something light for my main project after D2D :) To me, it's actually more challenging to write comedy, so I enjoy pushing myself!
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  • Nory_05Nory_05 Posts: 355 Member

    I guess - for me it's like "If I wanted to write something trite and cheap that I didn't actually like or care about, I'd be writing text-only novels for money."

    @MedleyMisty OMG, right? :D I want to have fun while i write my story, and i want it to be the sort of story i'd read. If i find people who also enjoy it, it's a bonus! I would imagine writers who write for money and that's their job sometimes have to be crowd pleasers, like for example those who write for TV series, but i just write sim stories to entertain myself :D So i might as well make it really my own.

    I wrote a funny / light story as my first go, just to practice writing in English, which is my second language, and then i dipped into more serious stuff. I like doing both.



    My sim stories:
    Regrets (Finished)
    Abbie's Diary (Finished)
    Mistakes

  • RipuAncestorRipuAncestor Posts: 2,326 Member
    edited November 2015
    @Nory_05 I recruit townies for group pics too! And I too usually write the chapter first and then illustrate it (but sometimes I do it the other way around). And also, it's nice to see more people are coming to this thread!

    @GoddessSims I think starting off with a murder is indeed a great idea. It creates instant mystery and also a lot of fallout that will give you plenty of material to write about.

    @MedleyMisty I can kind of understand why someone would like to read something "brainless". I mean, it is for unwinding for most people, I think. I do that sometimes myself, but even then I need something well-written and clever if I really want to get anything out of it. Cheap and trite books (or films, games, or whatever) usually just make me bored or angry. If I want to unwind with a less serious story, I'd prefer if it was funny and deep or at least clever at the same time. Of course, a lot of the times I like to laugh at silly things too, but that's not what I want the stories I read to be primarily for.

    Also, your description of the relationship between pictures and text was lovely and I feel like that's pretty much what I want to go for in my SimLit stories.

    @CitizenErased14 Good comedy is indeed really difficult to write, in my opinion as well. That's why I usually don't go for it and the closest I can get to comedy is writing something more serious with funny (or at least what I think is funny) stuff thrown in. And yay for going outside one's comfort zone!
    doublebannerpic.jpg?w=676
    My Sims stories:
    The Fey of Life - fairytales in life are few and far between (Forum thread HERE)
    The Chrysanthemum Tango - a story about life, death, magic, and how to be a good landlady (Forum thread HERE)
    Forget-Me-Not - some things just refuse to stay buried; an Ambrosia Challenge story (Forum thread HERE)
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    Nory_05 wrote: »

    I guess - for me it's like "If I wanted to write something trite and cheap that I didn't actually like or care about, I'd be writing text-only novels for money."

    @MedleyMisty OMG, right? :D I want to have fun while i write my story, and i want it to be the sort of story i'd read. If i find people who also enjoy it, it's a bonus! I would imagine writers who write for money and that's their job sometimes have to be crowd pleasers, like for example those who write for TV series, but i just write sim stories to entertain myself :D So i might as well make it really my own.

    I wrote a funny / light story as my first go, just to practice writing in English, which is my second language, and then i dipped into more serious stuff. I like doing both.


    Haha, I was imagining everyone hating me for saying that so I was anxious, but I clicked on the thread anyway. :)

    Yeah - I've sold a short story, and I'm going to submit some more when I can, but I don't know. Self-publishing my non-Sims work may be the way to go for me. Not a fan of huge corporations who only care about profit and not art. I mean, I know there are small independent publishers too, but from what I've read on industry blogs...I don't know. I think for now I'll write Sims stories and occasionally submit text-only stuff to fantasy magazines, and I'll wait on anything more than that until the current upheaval in the industry settles itself out a bit. Maybe until there are good tools for people to sort through and rate self-published stuff.

    @RipuAncestor I guess that's what I meant - I'd read that people do it for "unwinding", but I don't get that. I mean, obviously it is a thing that a lot of people do, so it must be valid for them, but well - I guess if I was a Sim I'd have the Knowledge aspiration. ;)
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,187 Member
    edited November 2015
    @RipuAncestor @MedleyMisty I think the key thing to realize (which RipuAncestor has already mentioned, so I'm agreeing with you here!) is that there's a difference between completely silly/mindless humor (which I do know some people still enjoy, and I enjoy myself sometimes when I need a good laugh!) and clever or interesting or 'smart' humor. I enjoy lighthearted and humorous stuff, but I prefer it when it has some sort of depth to it.

    I guess what I'm saying is (just my opinion!) I don't think it's fair to completely discredit a humorous or lighthearted story. They can be clever and deep as well, and even if they aren't, they are a source of joy, happiness, and amusement to readers :) (All this being said, I still prefer to write and read more serious stories. But I can appreciate the merits of a well-written comedy story!)
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  • AdamsEve1231AdamsEve1231 Posts: 7,018 Member
    @CitizenErased14 @MedleyMisty You were discussing the idea of rewriting your first few chapters. I started out with long chapters (with too many footnotes) but I had no real direction when I began. I actually tried to shorten my chapters at one point, but then I felt like I was cheapening the story. I've always been a wordy writer who loves character development and dialogue. This tends to make my writing long. Another fellow Simmer (I wish I could remember who and where I read this) wrote about writing the story for yourself. Yes, you have an audience. Yes, you want readers. But ultimately, write the story for your own enjoyment and it doesn't matter what others think. I decided from that point on that I wouldn't compromise my writing style for the sake of gaining new readers.

    If I could start over, I'd re-write part 1 with my end goal in mind. Since I began playing the Sims, I wanted to figure out the well-known mysteries of the Sims 3 universe, but also create some of my own. This is my current goal with my story -The Krazy Crazy Life of Kassiopeia Fullbright (which I'll just short-cut to KCLKF). I think I did a decent job with part one, but I'm hoping to do a much better job with part 2. I haphazardly threw in bits and pieces about Kass's dad and his disease and that became an overarching theme in part 1. The story took on a life of its own and I was able to weave greater drama, deeper plot, and more intricacy to my characters as time went on. I want to do more with this in part 2.

    Can any of you relate to this - starting out without clear direction and ending up with a much deeper story than you intended when you're writing your Sims stories?
    NLa3Fdu.png
    ...a little bit mystery... a little bit magic... a little here... a little there... welcome to my whimsical writing world.
    Livin' A Simmin' Life's Stories
  • AdamsEve1231AdamsEve1231 Posts: 7,018 Member

    If you did have any preconceptions, how did they affect your writing and reading?
    This isn't what I think all Sims stories should be, but it is what I most of the time want my own Sims stories to be like: fictional life stories or slice-of-life stories. They're not going to be about what most would call "normal" lives, but they are going to depict people doing mundane, day-to-day things and grow up as people while living their lives. And also, some weird and most likely dark stuff happens and characters are developed. I think I go for the life stories because that's what I also play the Sims for even when I'm not storytelling and I feel like that's what it's best suited for (but then again, the beauty of the Sims is that it's oh so malleable).

    And yes, I usually like reading plot-driven life stories the most, especially if they bring in something like fantasy or scifi as well. But I definitely don't mind reading something else entirely as well. All I want is stories that are well written and interest me.

    I can totally relate. I like stories that have mundane and miraculous elements, stories that juxtapose the ordinary and the extraordinary. I like when dark things happen, but then there's also random moments of joy. Real life has both. Real life also gets weird at times. It's the dark and weird stuff along with the moments of joy and silliness that really develop a character and make him/her interesting and worthy of my time. Just because a story is a Sims story based on a game doesn't mean the writing can't have depth, intrigue, or well-developed characters. In fact, I really only like reading this kind of SimLit - well-written and developed with interesting hooks.

    NLa3Fdu.png
    ...a little bit mystery... a little bit magic... a little here... a little there... welcome to my whimsical writing world.
    Livin' A Simmin' Life's Stories
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 23,047 Member
    @AdamsEve1231 asks, "Can any of you relate to this - starting out without clear direction and ending up with a much deeper story than you intended when you're writing your Sims stories?"

    Oh, yeah! I started out to write Goofy Love as a light, funny, traditional "Let's Play" style legacy. I mean, it's called "Goofy Love" and the exemplar trait is goofball!

    But somehow, it became esoteric and philosophical and more about life and transitions and what lasts and what doesn't than I ever even considered writing about. I would never have set out to write about these topics: it just happened!

    My plans for the two neighborhood rotations that will replace the legacy are very light--nothing profound intended, at all. But we will see what the Sims decide we should be writing about!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • AdamsEve1231AdamsEve1231 Posts: 7,018 Member
    edited November 2015
    InfraGreen wrote: »
    I told myself that I could excise all of the "mundane" chapters from my story, but I'll admit, a lot of my chapters first come to my mind with a simple event I want to happen, and weaving into everything else that is happening in the story. Though my favorites start out with thinking of a mundane event, but adding something gross and/or intense for the sake of contrast. Renew wedding vows after your friend kills himself, get assaulted at a normal funeral, putting undertones of child abuse in a chapter about kids running away, almost getting shot when going out for cookies, etc.

    Almost getting shot when going out for cookies made me laugh. I love the idea of renewing wedding vows after a friend kills himself (thinking about the frailty and preciousness of life). I love this concept of contrasting mundane with weird, out-of-the-norm occurrences. I did this in my chapter 2.1 Pretending. Kass has an allergy haze right at the beginning of my game and it fits perfectly into my story. She's sitting in a bar doing normal things like drinking and eating, talking with the bartender, talking with her boss, and a shocking thing happens at the end of the chapter (and I can't say without giving it away). One of my most "normal" but favorite chapters from part 1 is chapter 9 and 10. Kass's sisters are arguing at the beginning of the chapter, and Kass escapes to her grandmother's for the day. They sit and enjoy watching television and go swimming in the pool. Kass is surprised to meet her crush and love interest Davis who happens to work for her grandparents. They decide to hang out in chapters 10 and 11 and they have a normal laid-back "date" in a way, the kind friends who have known each other for awhile and are really comfortable with each other would have. I enjoyed writing these chapters because they felt authentic and yet were still interesting enough to pull me out of my "real life."

    Sorry if I'm posting a lot everyone. I just didn't want to do one long post reply and everyone is making such interesting comments and bringing up good discussion points. :)




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    ...a little bit mystery... a little bit magic... a little here... a little there... welcome to my whimsical writing world.
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  • PsychoSimXXPsychoSimXX Posts: 4,403 Member
    I can't remember who but someone mentioned that they thought Simlit was supposed to be legacy stories. It didn't start out that way and it didn't start to become a thing until The Sims 2. In the Sims 1 we could write stories and they were plot driven. The whole legacy stories came to be from a challenge the Pinstar started within a few weeks of TS2 being released. I like the plot driven stores far better and I GREATLY miss being able to go and read TS1 stories.


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  • PsychoSimXXPsychoSimXX Posts: 4,403 Member
    What is good chapter length to keep readers reading. I have written stores for TS1 and got complaints that they were too long...lol I also got complaints that they were hard to follow. I did write the as I was writing a book while many I have read were more like reading a script than anything else. I found the script one hard to follow....lol Another question is what is good length between pictures and what is the best ball park for pictures for each chapter. I was guessing around 25 depending on the content of the chapter. So any tips on how to combine the two would be great. I got my rough draft of notes done for my first chapter.


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  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 23,047 Member
    What is good chapter length to keep readers reading. I have written stores for TS1 and got complaints that they were too long...lol I also got complaints that they were hard to follow. I did write the as I was writing a book while many I have read were more like reading a script than anything else. I found the script one hard to follow....lol Another question is what is good length between pictures and what is the best ball park for pictures for each chapter. I was guessing around 25 depending on the content of the chapter. So any tips on how to combine the two would be great. I got my rough draft of notes done for my first chapter.

    There's so much lee-way here!

    In my own writing, I generally like 1000-2000 words and 10-20 pictures with around a paragraph or a few short lines between each screenshot.

    But I see it done so many different ways! You can really experiment and find what best fits the story you have to tell and the type of experience you want to create for readers and for yourself as a writer.
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  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,187 Member
    Can any of you relate to this - starting out without clear direction and ending up with a much deeper story than you intended when you're writing your Sims stories?

    @AdamesEve1231 Ooh I most certainly relate! I just finished my first ever SimLit story, and it turned into something much deeper than I'd originally intended! I always had a clear direction in terms of the basic plot, but over time, these deeper themes about things like love, grief, selflessness, learning to move on, etc started coming up. Much like CathyTea mentioned, I never set out to write about those things, it just sort of happened!

    I think it's really awesome when that happens. It's like you tapped into something deep within yourself that you never even realized was there :)
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  • VIRTUALEEVIRTUALEE Posts: 2,507 Member
    Hello everyone! I love this thread, I feel like I have learned a lot just reading your responses. Please note; I by no means am a professional writer nor will ever claim to be . I never knew these stories existed before this year and to be quite honest with you all I never really created story lines with my Sims before this year either. Moreover, never wrote anything to contribute to the community until a few weeks ago, so I am very much a noob by all accounts. In fact, my writing is so poor I stick to writing and then reading/recording audio to the story so I won’t embarrass myself, does this still count?
    @CitizenErased14 ‘s Dust to Dust was the very first simlit I read and I couldn’t stop reading it…then I found a few short stories I loved and just finished reading Frenemies by @mightydan. I get very bored with legacy anything so the plot really does it for me.
    My mom was hospitalized a few weeks ago (she is out and doing great) but while she was in there she asked me for a story. Her first language is not English so I told her I would record something for her and upload it to her private message on facebook where she could listen whenever she pleased that is where Cursed Beauty was born. They are literally only 3 minutes long chapters, or less but I loved the story so much that I had to put pictures to it and thought HEY! Let’s have the Sims pose for me lol.

    Below are my answers to the questions asked from a new contributor’s perspective, I also have one of my own for the pros:

    Do you have any preconceptions about how SimLit is supposed to be? Or did you used to have some, but you've grown past them as you've read and written more Sims stories? Had no idea this was even a thing but they have enhanced my game play tremendously. I want to add the stories on this forum have been filling my evenings with much entertainment and I am grateful for all of the authors’ hard work.

    If you did have any preconceptions, how did they affect your writing and reading? I am grateful I did not have any preconceptions regarding simlits because I don’t feel hindered or burdened by rules or regulations, just simply writing because I fell in love with a story  and because my imagination won’t let me stop expounding the tale it has birthed.

    Are there any stories in particular that made you realize that Sims stories could be more than what you thought they could be? See above for the answer to this one ;)

    How does the game influence your work? The various facial expressions and body language expressed by the Sims along with the game packs and EPs help with storyboarding the scenes. I am very much looking forward to GT next week since that is where Cursed Beauty unfolds.

    I do have a question for all of you (sorry if it is a silly one), do you guys copyright your work?
  • InfraGreenInfraGreen Posts: 6,665 Member
    @VIRTUALEE: Welcome! And I'm glad to hear that your mum's doing better. :)

    As for copyright...I don't think you can do that for stories that are using someone else's game as a base. I definitely can't because a decent number of major characters in my story are EA's own pre-mades, operating mostly in one of EA's worlds.

    I don't see a need to anyways.
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  • VIRTUALEEVIRTUALEE Posts: 2,507 Member
    @InfraGreen makes total sense thanks for the info and the warm welcome. Am looking forward to reading your stories :)
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