About the Writer

Dear reader,

As I start this blog, and even though it will mostly consist of posts solely related to my project, I feel like I should take some time to address you directly. It seems necessary to kick-off my undertaking by giving you a little context, if only to reduce the distance between us. I’m a people person so I need to give you a glimpse of the “me” that resides behind the stories I write.

At first, I thought I would merge my presentation and my project’s in one post. I then realized that I had more to say then what my initial draft let on. So here I am, rewriting my presentation and keeping the project’s details for tomorrow. The mystery shouldn’t kill you, whoever you might be. For now, you’ll have to be satisfied with a “wordful” portrait of who I am.

My name is Emilie and I’m a writeaholic. 😉

I started to write stories when I was pretty young and haven’t been able to stop ever since. I was first published when I was ten. I had a monthly page in the local newspaper. It was called “Jour de pluie” (which translates to Rainy Days) and would contain short stories or poems.

I have written for a few contests but have mostly been writing for myself. Then, I studied and got a job as a video game designer. Basically, my job is to write games: how it is played/won/lost, who are the characters, what is the story and every other details that will direct the work of a team of programmers and artists. In a nutshell, I write 40 hours a week for Sarbakan. And I love it!

In the course of that job, I had the occasion to become a mentor for a game designer in the making. I also supervised internships, wrote formations, am presiding the social club… Some of my coworkers go around saying I sold my soul to Sarbakan. I have been working there for two years and am at the very beginning of my career. I am twenty-three and single: now is the right time to give everything to my passions until Mister Right comes by. I’ll revise my priorities then!

My implication in the video game industry does not quite stop with my work. This brink of 2010 sees me becoming a teacher for the very formation I was part of three years ago. I teach narrative structure or how to write stories in games. It’s a really short evening class (barely 45 hours) but I’ll do my best to cram it with information.
Storytelling in games, as you might have guessed, is what really drives me in this industry. I’m all about stories and I’m bummed by the fact that we haven’t quite found the way to tell them in games. The game’s theme and emotional range is so thin compared to movies or literature. I hope we can find a way to broaden it. And may be, just may be, I can help us walk toward that goal. But I’m not there yet!

One thing that I am convinced of is that stories are flexible. I believe they can be bent to fit any format no matter how arbitrary and numerous the rules of that format are. And may be, just may be, I can prove that with my project. But that’s for tomorrow.

Apart from my two jobs, when some free time rears its blessed head, I turn mostly to writing-related hobbies. I’m writing songs, which are all a cappella so far, but can be enjoyed on MySpace, if you are so inclined. I am working on my first novel (which is in French, sorry gals). And though I spend some time singing, dancing, acting and painting, the bottom line remains that I write a lot! A parallel truth would be that I am an all-around artist who can’t settle in one art form but it is not the focus of this blog.
I also have a notebook with me at all times to scribble down thoughts and ideas as they cross my mind.

I’ve been asked why I write in so many different formats. The truth is, I don’t really know why. Some stories come to me in a way that they can only be told in a specific format. Sometimes, I force myself to think up a story based on a given format. My creativity works either way and I am not one to rein it in.

Last confession but not least: in case you haven’t picked up on that yet, English is my second language. I was born and am living in Quebec City, Canada and am thus French. So I plead here and now for your forgiveness for any misspelled, misspoken or misused words that may riddle my writing. I am revising every thing I write a couple of times but have no external English-speaking proof-reader. I hope you can understand and I’ll do my best to keep my “Frenchiness” from showing.

Well! I think that about covers the “who the hell is that girl” angle. “About covers” because I should probably mention my trademark: I have bright blue hair. I’ve had the same color for five years now so it has really become my signature look. I guess my portrait wouldn’t have been complete if I failed to mention this calling card. Not that it affects my writing or anything but it is a trait that defines me.

That being said, I’m signing off. I’ll be back tomorrow with the details of the writeaholic project I devised for myself.

Don’t be afraid to comment! 😉

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

4 responses to “About the Writer

  • Chase Miller

    I really get what you’re saying about how stories are not being told very well in games. I’m glad you’re working toward a better gaming future. I’m an aspiring fiction writer as well and I never really thought to go down that path. I’m trying to get started into my writing career and I’m finding a little difficulty finding somewhere to start earning a name for myself. It makes me feel comforted to see someone else so enthralled by writing. You go girl.

    • Aheïla

      Hi Chase!
      Welcome to my blog. I like to see new faces and hope you’ll stick around. 😉
      Finding a place as a writer isn’t easy. I’m lucky enough to have a job that I love and, sometimes, allows me to write stories. Mostly, I plan how the game works and all so it’s creative but not narrative.
      Keep searching and I’m sure you’ll find your place too! 😉

  • Lindsey

    Hi! I stumbled across you blog while doing some research for a writing project I am considering for myself. Outside of my love for the super-natural, I really enjoyed your writing and the tone and feel of your blog. And, in all honesty, I truly admire your project! You’ve set perimeters as achievable goals. I too am trying to push myself to achieve my writing goals. I keep tell myself “Less talk…more action! ” Anyway, I wanted to begin and the beginning of your blog so I could get a sense of the whole scope of your project and (of course) read Unforeseen Dives from the beginning!

    In reading the above post, I found that your company (Sarbakan) developed on online game for my company (Senario–well I should say old company as I no longer work there) two years ago. The internet really does make for a small world!

    Keep writing. It inspires me to move forward. You’ve gained a dedicated follower 🙂
    -Lindsey

    • Aheïla

      Hello Lindsey!
      Welcome to my blog!
      I’m glad you like what I write. It’s always nice to gain new dedicated followers and get to know more readers. 😉
      Just so you know, all the chapters of Unforeseen Dives are listed on the page of the same name (accessible from the navigation bar up top). Same goes for my other story. So don’t work your way from the beginning of the blog unless you really want to read all the crazy chat too.

      Yes, I seem to remember that project for Senario. I didn’t work on it though. But you are right, small world!

      If you’re looking to challenge yourself writing, maybe you should join us for NaNoWriMo. 😉

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