Posted here because LJ is being a bitch. I might post it properly some time in the week if I can work up the patience to do so.
I'm not very active on LiveJournal, so I think a confusion warning might apply here. Also, there may be naughty language. And not many pictures compared to previous entries, unfortunately.
1. Tell us about yourself. (What you do for a living, your interests, where you live, your non-sim hobbies, etc.)
Well, for starters, my name is Van.
And I'd like to thank all those who have read or still are reading any of my stories, for sticking with me and supporting my work in spite of its rather inconsistent quality. And an extra thanks to everyone who tacked some extra questions onto this interview :)
And now, for your questions:
You have such a large cast of characters but you make them uniquely memorable. Although there are family resemblances, every character is strikingly and unforgettable. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about each person?
Thanks! I think about some characters more than others, and not necessarily the ones I write the most. Some of them are almost instinctual by this point, like the way I imagine characters like Cooper and Beth are for you and Gayl, but some of them do require more thought--and some of them I just like to think about :P
I'm not really sure if that answered your question. Sorry :(
How do you do it?
Uh... I just have a lot of time on my hands? :P
I don't know. I honestly don't know. Sometimes I worry about characters being too alike, especially with their ever-increasing number, so I'm just glad that everyone can tell them apart at this point.
Do you find that you think in terms of Naroni or Ashelia... any of them, really... very often, and apply them to RL?
Hmm... I'll admit that I'm not entirely sure what you mean? Sometimes I'll see people interacting in real life and think something like "Hmm, they remind me of Falidor and Florian", or maybe I'll get into a disagreement with someone that's similar to something I've written and I'll look back on how the conflict was solved in the story (not that that EVER works, of course :P).
That's probably not at all what you were asking. Sorry about that. My brain is just not here today.
And you've said before that Naroni started off from something you'd written when you were twelve or thirteen. Have you been developing the stories and plots that long as well, or did you simply borrow them and change them?
Well, since I decided to do a story with the RKC format, I needed a kingdom name and a handful of founding couples. I debated just whipping up some brand new characters, but then I stumbled across this old thing I'd written and thought "Hey, why don't I just make some Sims based on some of these characters?". Some I made the neighborhood--named Naroni after a place in the story--and made my founding couples, all of whom were modeled after those old characters in looks and CAS personality.
Of course, a lot of them completely changed on me once I got them onto their lots ;)
As for the plots, though, none of them have anything to do with the original story at this point, and I'm kind of hoping it stays that way. It wasn't a great story, to say the least :P
When you write, do you know where it's going to go? Do you have outlines or do you just 'go with the flow'?
In general, I have an idea of how each storyline will go. I have a very "connect the dots" writing style--I know the beginning, the ending, and the key points in the middle, and it's just a matter of how to bridge them.
I do have outlines, but they're very vague and don't stretch too far into the future. Their main functions are to remind me which Sims I need for each shoot and to ensure that the present storylines each get an appropriate amount of focus--not that they always work :P
What draws you to a particular time period? I know that your locations fictionalized and that you consider your work not to be historical fiction but many of your stories lean towards the "period piece" genre. What is your favorite thing about writing stories set in the past (or, in the case of Orbis Umbra, a time period that never happened)?
Hmm... I guess it could be the whole idea of "write what you know" and my sheer hatred of said idea? :P
I understand the logic behind it and I do draw on my own experience for certain in-story events, but in general, I have a lot more fun writing what I don't know. Does this sometimes end up with me having no idea what I'm talking about? Invariably. But at least I'm enjoying myself? ;)
As for the whole "why Medieval-esque as opposed to, say, Colonial-esque" aspect... it probably just has to do with my literary background--namely, all the high fantasy I grew up on :P That and the fact that it was sort of implied by the whole RKC thing.
Again, sorry if that didn't quite answer your question. I recently discovered that I think more in numbers than in anything else, and sometimes it's difficult to put my non-prose thoughts to words.
Most of your stories seem pretty thoroughly structured-- A great deal of thought seems to go into your outlines for your stories from beginning to end. But how far in advance do you plan a story like Naroni that is more open-ended? And does the flexibility of an open-ended story pose its own challenges or does it feel more liberating?
I plan Naroni about a story year or so in advance (and now that you've reminded me of that, I should probably bust my ass on my 1174 outline pretty soon). I don't like to plan too far ahead in case I get some new stroke of inspiration for either an existing storyline or a brand new one, but it's nice to have some idea about the near future of the story. Outlining has its advantages and disadvantages, for sure, but I think I've managed a decent balance so far.
When do you take the time to come up with all of this stuff?? Your imagination must not have an off switch! Is there a specific point in your day where you sit down to hash everything out or does inspiration just strike you wherever you are, whatever you are doing?
Heh... well, a lot of it is probably just my personality. I'm kind of a grumpypants and I don't really have much patience for my daily routine. On the other hand, I'm kind of a homebody and not at all a people person, so I don't really get many opportunities to switch things up. Therefore, I'm pretty much thinking about something I'm writing--an online work or an offline one--at any given time. I imagine it's simultaneously amusing and frustrating to the people around me, seeing as I'm always zoning out in lines, grabbing foods I don't don't like off of grocery shelves and rushing to put them back, and walking in front of buses.
So... I wouldn't say that my imagination doesn't have an off switch, exactly. Story stuff is just my mental screen saver XD
Additionally, is Florian based on a real person? And if so, will he marry me?
Florian is... well, he's Florian. He's nothing like I expected him to be when I first made him--he just sort of evolved on his own. He's not really based on anyone, but there might be someone sort of like him out there?
Since you mentioned it, how many illegitimate children does Lonriad have? ;)
Note to self--pick better example question :P
Well, in terms of the game, he only has the four on his family tree (Imena, Orrick, Senwick, and of course Severin). In terms of canon... oh, God. Way more than that. The guy's spent the better part of the last sixty years banging any willing females he can get his hands on, so I don't even want to guess at the number. I'm not sure I can count that high o_O
About how long does it take you to write a post? How many drafts do they go through?
Like I said above, about forty-five minutes to an hour if you don't count time-wasting distractions (of which there are sometimes quite a few). With my Sims stuff, I only do one draft. I should probably do at least two, but I don't have the patience :P
Are we EVER going to see the Many Potential Brides of Severin?
Uh... maybe? The problem is that he never actually married any of them and therefore none of them are in Naroni anymore. Most of them are in Dovia now, though. One is married to Abrich, one is married to Cambrin, one is married to Danthia's father, and the other three are married to the Sadiel brothers who are still in Dovia. Of the other two, one is ridiculously old and probably doesn't have much longer to live, and the other is the infamous Pope's Niece.
I won't rule out the possibility of seeing any of them at some point, but I'm not planning on it just yet.
Does Albany know that Hal is back in town (and married to a Monty)? If so, how does he feel about it and why hasn't he been making Hal's life more miserable?
Albany has no idea that Hal is back in Veronaville. Yet. :S
How do you keep up with so many stories and do it on such a structured time table?
I guess this combines the answers I gave Beth and Pen. Too much time on hands + not many other interests = one-trick pony who's constantly writing, whether it be sim stories or manuscripts :P
What drew you to this time period? I know you hopped into current time with THIV (which I <3). Do you see yourself doing another story like that?
Like I said to Pen, it's mainly the reading material in my past plus the RKC format plus the desire to speculate about the unknown (plus maybe my obsessive world-building tendencies and my inability to put those to use in a time/place with which the readers are already familiar?).
I actually have some Sims whipped up for another modern story that I might start at some point. I'd planned on using them in another SimFic50 after wrapping up THIV, but then Orbis Umbra exploded out of nowhere and that ended up taking THIV's old slot. I might do the other SimFic after IFV winds up, though? ;) Of course, looking at my notes for it, it wouldn't end up being anything like THIV.
OMG!! FLORIAN!! He is the best! Where did his character come from?
Flooooorian again! I really need to think of more for that man to do these days :S
(Granted, his last appearance was him dragging his boss out of bed in the middle of the night for the sole purpose of ranting about romantic relationships between stepsiblings, which is definitely something that Florian and only Florian would do.)
Thanks again for reading, everyone. This was fun (minus all the LJ ridiculousness), and I hope you all have a great week :)