A Game of Power: Power, Politics, and the Pursuit of Privilege

I know it’s been months since I talked about my upcoming story for TS4, Reign: A Game of Power. I’ve suffered from an incredible case of writer’s block, although I already had a few chapters written. I think because I am such a perfectionist and I often fear that one small detail that may be incorrect, people will single it out, and that would be the one thing they would focus on. Maybe it’s because I see some small flaw either in my writing or pictures and I obsess over it until I can get it fixed, get it “right.” In truth, that one thing or maybe two or three aren’t such a big deal, and all the pressure and anxiety I have caused to myself has been self-inflicted.

I obsessed over my writing style, how I would explain things in a way that made sense to the readers, what would the characters’ end goals be? How would I get them there? It wasn’t easy for me to get inside the heads of my characters this time around. In the past, I knew who they were and what they wanted. This time around, it took more time for me to learn their personalities and once I did that,  I faced another roadblock, how could I convey their feelings and motives? What is true for them versus what I wanted?

The common theme in Game of Power is just that: power. What do we do to get it? Do ideals get you the things you want or need? Or does one need to be a ruthless pragmatist to get the job done? You can’t get to the top in this climate by adhering entirely to ideals. Life has taught me that through a means to an end, sometimes have to do the opposite of what we want or what is ideal in order to get what we need. Class, affluent vs. poor, politics, big business, and sacrificing your scruples are all subjects and topics I plan on writing about in this new story. One of the things I think that hits closest to home for me is the topic of mental illness and how it takes over one’s life. I know all about how it feels as I have struggled with depression since I was eleven years old. I want to confront my hypocrisies within myself; how I’ve had to sacrifice my ideology at times to survive. I feel as if I need to write characters dealing with the same struggles as I believe it will be cathartic for me. To be completely honest and raw isn’t always easy.

One of the first storylines for Rico Thomas, probably the most pragmatic of my main characters is his pursuit of a hostile takeover. As Rico is a business consultant, he helps his clients through his mergers and acquisitions expertise among other many talents and services his firm provides. I’ve always been fascinated with stories of corporate power, boardroom politics, and the decisions that go into taking over a company or the reasons behind it. Is it only money? I would venture to say no, but I think power plays a big hand in that. The two are very connected in many ways. You can be rich but have no power, but money can buy influence and in turn power. Later on in the story, Rico will consult on a political campaign, and I think this will start to open up and expose the seedier reprehensible side to politics. Rico is politically neutral; his only interest is in helping his clients, even it means fighting against what some people see as “his own.”  Rico, however, has no shame, he has no use for it, nor does he let his background and ethnicity control his decisions. I look forward to getting to this part of this story and introducing more of the main characters.

A lot of other things made me nervous as well; such as certain “controversial” topics we often don’t want to talk about or explore. It makes us uncomfortable makes us feel less sure of ourselves and the world around us. I have always been interested stories, movies, and books about power and political intrigue; especially in the American political system. As with most things in life, we can find a connection even when it seems to be even closely related. So much of what makes up the fabric of America is race, politics, class, and social systems. They all tie into one another. For me, talking about racial politics isn’t always so comfortable when exploring it with other people; more when I was younger. But as someone in their late 30s, I understand more about the world, how I see myself, how I look at my race in this society and what it all means. I do not have the same struggles as maybe a woman in her early twenties has; dealing with identity issues and their place in the world. I wanted to write about some of the current topics on some of the class and racial politics in the US, but it was never the main thing I wanted to talk about in this story. I didn’t just want to write from one lense either, but to explore what someone else from the other side may think or how they view things through their own eyes. Is it always black and white? Experience and life have taught me that no, it isn’t. There are no heroes and no real villains in this story. I feel like the characters all have their reasons for pursuing what they want and employing the means to get them. I can’t stand in judgment to them. Maybe that thing that makes one uncomfortable needs to exploration to understand it and deal with it head-on.

When it’s all said and done, I hope to make a story that I can be proud of and say fear didn’t stop me from looking at all sides or presenting different arguments in many situations where there is no clear right answer. Very few things in life are black and white for most people. I am ready to get back on this ride and make something that can resonate with my audience. Thanks for coming along with me.

-Camille

Writing can be isolating

“Writing a book is most often a solitary endeavor. It can be isolating. It can be lonely. And, if you’re successful at it, it means you’re signing on for more isolation.”

I can attest to the above quote. When I was writing Reagan Leeds: Run The World for nearly two years, there were many periods I felt very alone, which is not anything I’m not used to anyway. I’ve always been a loner, and as an introvert, I enjoy my own company.

I can remember times of being up until the wee hours of the morning (like right now) working on Reagan’s story, either editing, taking pictures, or shooting out paragraphs. I could leave the surrounding world around me and enter into another one entirely within my mind. I felt my characters’ emotions, and I empathized with what they were going through. Some of my characters made me angry, even though I was the one writing the story. Even Reagan herself wasn’t always my favorite character, but if she were to be real, she had to be realistic and have layers to her personality as we all do in the real world.

I did push myself when I wrote for Reagan and the other characters, but I’d always felt I was a bit PC at times. But now with my new story, Reign in the works, I want to get out of my comfort zone and write the story that I feel is true to life and resonates with me. Many subjects I’m uncomfortable with exploring, but I feel as if I must.

I am not going to rush this new story, and it has been taking me longer than I thought to publish the first chapters, even though I have some that are already written. I want it to be right, but sometimes I trip myself up with thinking things must be perfect. That is one of the problems as face being so alone in my head as I create. I think I make up all these rules to hold myself accountable to, but they aren’t that important. I’m such a perfectionist, and I fear that may hinder me in the long-run.

I am going to task myself with a commitment to write at for at least an hour every other day in the coming weeks. I think it will get better once I have content out there for everyone to read.

All the best,

Camille.

 

Character Generators

Hey everyone, check out the new section on the Resources page on this blog right here. I have added some helpful links to character generator sites. These sites that help give you ideas for new characters or to help you develop new ones. Maybe you need help coming up with personalities, traits, backgrounds, etc. Check it out and Happy Simming!

Character Personality Generator

Character Generator

Character Design Inspiration

Postive and Negative Trait Table

Show & Tell

Great tips on how to improve your writing. The vlogger makes some excellent points. Check out the video in the link!

7 Tips to Improve Your Writing

 

“Showing and Telling”. Often in writing, we know when a character is angry or sad. You can write: Sarah was upset.

Okay, great, she’s upset, but is there a better way to show us that she was upset? Did she bang her fist on the table or clinch it? Was her face distorted? What were her movements? Did she run away, slam the door, and storm out the room? These are all things we as authors want to show our audience. I know for the Sims, we can see visually, but don’t rely on pictures only to tell your story. Write as if this was a traditional novel, without any pictures.

Happy Simming!

Character Biography Template Download

This is my character bio template you can download and edit for your own characters. Character Bio Template   CHARACTER BIO TEMPLATE Name: (Include formal and any nicknames or aliases) Role in the story: Age: Sex/Gender: Race: Ethnicity: Marital Status: From: Parents: Siblings: What languages do they speak?: Where do they currently live? Describe their home/city: […]

Punctuation Tips

Do you ever get stumped when wondering which punctuation marks to use in your writing? I know I do. Check out some of these helpful videos and sites that can help. Happy Simming! How to use a semicolon (video) 10 Comma Rules (video) Writing Skills: When to use commas with for, but, and, or yet, […]

What is Descriptive Writing?

Descriptive writing is a description of characters, objects, environment in your story. It awakens the five senses: Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch.

Try using sensory descriptive words.  Here’s an example from my upcoming story

VAGUE: I sat up in my dark bedroom. I felt horrible and angry. Eventually, I laid back down and started to cry.

VIVID: I sat up in my bed engulfed by the darkness, only the light from the moon illuminating the room. I felt a heavy pit in my stomach as I tried to grasp what just happened. Why do I keep allowing this happen? I wiped away a tear, angry at myself for crying. Get it together, I told myself. I laid back down in my bed, looking out the window, as the blaring sound of an ambulance whirled by. I stayed very still, trying not to feel anything, trying to be numb. If I moved my body or even one inch, I would come undone. I closed my eyes and could feel the hot tears running down my cheek and onto my pillow forming a warm puddle against my face.

See the difference? Ayana is expressing sadness because she feels heartbroken. But simply saying she felt horrible and angry wasn’t enough. Simply saying she was in a dark bedroom wasn’t enough. It’s important to paint the picture for your audience.

Check out this link:

Descriptive Writing

Writer’s Haven

These are some very helpful sites for a wealth of information for writers. Information includes everything from publishing, copyright, blogging, seminars, courses, writing tips, the list goes on. Check it out!

Creative Writing Now

Now Novel 

Writers and Authors

Writer’s Digest

Write to Done

Writer’s Treasure

2017’s Best Sites for Writers